Things to do in Gimmelwald and Mürren, Switzerland
Itinerary for a quick trip to Gimmelwald and Mürren, Switzerland:
If you were to close your eyes and picture Switzerland…you’d envision glorious Gimmelwald! The quintessential Switzerland village. I almost don’t want to share its magnificence, because it is pristine as it is – without too many visitors. The only way to get there is via cable car (gondola) or hiking. It is truly one of my top locations on this Earth.
Getting to Gimmelwald:
- Fly to Zürich Flughafen
- SBB Train from the Zürich airport to Interlaken Ost (~3 hours). Disembark and find train to Lauterbrunnen.
- Train to Lauterbrunnen*. *This train has two parts – get on the first 1/2 that goes to Lauterbrunnen. The cars will be marked. (~20 minutes). Disembark the train and cross the tracks, and walk to the right to the bus stop.
- Bus Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg Schilthornbahn. (~12 minutes). Arrive at the Stechelberg gondola station.
- Gondola Stechelberg – Schilthornto. Get off at the first stop and behold: Gimmelwald!
There’s only one way around the village of Gimmelwald and that’s with your own feet. You will feel like you’ve just stepped back in time and perhaps inside the movie, “Heidi” as you inhale all the beauty and wonder of the Alps surrounding you. Large open fields of green with cows and cowbells and working farms encircled by a stunning mountain range. It is truly spectacular. Time slows down as you walk to your chosen hotel or hostel accommodation.
Accommodations in Gimmelwald:
I stayed at the charming Swiss chalet, Hotel Pension, (book on: Hotels.com) which has a sweet restaurant (indoors and outdoors) and a Biergarten with amazing views right on the edge of the Alps. Note that not all the rooms have a private bathroom, so if this is important to you then read the descriptions carefully. There are a few other options for accommodations in the village, and they are all very similar.
Food in Gimmelwald/Mürren:
Wait until you hear this! You can walk down the paved path and go into a farmer’s residence, open the little refrigerator, take out fresh cheese, fresh milk, yogurt, eggs, sausage and bread and leave your money on the counter. For real! Other options, including hiking up the mountain path to the market in Mürren (a larger but also car-free village) and/or eating at the restaurant at the hotel (Hotel Pension) or in Mürren.
Paragliding in Gimmelwald:
This was an absolutely amazing experience. So calm and peaceful as you glide through the air with your professional pilot and take in the all the beautiful sights from above. (I expected raging winds to be passing by me and to be terrified, but it was quite the opposite. I’d do it again in a second.) I used Airtime Paragliding. They met us locally, explained the procedure, and we just ran a few steps and away we soared through the valley. An unforgettable, beautiful experience and highly recommended.
Hiking in Gimmelwald:
So many options for hiking through the Alps through fields of wildflowers, little Swiss huts, streams, waterfalls cascading down the mountains and wondrous views. Be prepared with plenty of water, grab a hiking map from your hotel, and off you go! I used the hiking map above from the Mountain Hostel which is right next door.
Hike 9 in Gimmelwald (see map above):
I highly recommend the 10.5 mile loop which is hike 9 (Gimmelwald – Obersteinberg) on the map, as the trek goes through many types of terrain including fields, forests, along the top of the mountain, and along the edge of the mountain with views that literally made me tear up with awe.
You’ll be treated to amazing views of the summits rimming the head of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Also in the middle of the hike is the remote Hotel Obersteinberg which is a lovely place to have a snack or a drink. Do be careful leaving the hotel to get back on the trail as there’s an electric fence, and if your hiking pole should hit it…it might scare the heck out of you. Don’t ask me how I know!
Hike 3 in Gimmelwald:
Other lovely hikes include a 1/2 day hike to a waterfall: hike 3 Gimmelwald – Sprutz – Spielbodenalp – Bryndli. Also the hike down to Stechelberg and back up is another 1/2 day option.
Walk to Mürren:
A nice 40 minute walk up the mountain through the Lauterbrunnen Valley, on a paved path, is the larger, but also car-less village of Mürren perched on the edge of the Alps. You’ll find quaint shops, restaurants, entertainment and more alpine scenery to behold. Mürren has a market for food/lunch to take along on your hikes including prepared foods, cheeses, Alpine meats, and bottles of local wines.
Other options to get to the tops of mountain peaks without hiking include: Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn. There are some opportunities to get to these peaks and hike down as well.
On the way back to Zürich, stop in the picturesque city of Bern (where there is a transfer of trains to get back to Zürich). You can lock your luggage up at the train station while you visit the city. The city is quiet and calm and easily explored on foot.
Bern is known as the city of fountains. You can fill your water bottle up with fresh spring water from the fountains all over town, some of which are over 500 years old. In the River Aare you can actually get in and swim or float down the river. Strangely, there is a bear pit located right in the city!
I hope you enjoy your trip to Gimmelwald!