Hiking in Mürren, Switzerland
One of the best summer activities in Switzerland is hiking through the Alps. You see people of all ages and abilities enjoying the endless jaw-dropping mountain scenery on foot.
It’s easy to set off with babies and toddlers in carriers or backpacks — more challenging is motivating school-age kids to go for any consequential distance. Fortunately, our Swiss friends have thought through this and have taken the time to add kid-friendly treats on the trail.
The Jungfrau Region tourist board recently hosted Ciao Bambino on a visit through a some of the most coveted tourist attractions in the Bernese Oberland; during this trip, I was able to give a few of these treats a test drive with three kids ages 8, 11, and 13.
We kicked off our trip with an overnight in Mürren, a car-free village at 1,650 meters (5,413+ feet), perched on a mountain with uninterrupted views of three of the most famous mountains in the Alps: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. If you want the ultimate Swiss Alps scenery, this is it (Zermatt is another favorite).
Allmendhubel Funicular Train
One benefit of hiking in the Swiss Alps with kids is that the extensive gondola and funicular train networks are open all summer long — enabling families to skip terrain that is too rigorous, yet still access high altitude hiking.
Playground at Allmendhubel
Children’s Adventure Trail
A “we’re going to have a blast” tone is set when you arrive at the top of the Allmendhubel Funicular and are greeted by a playground with a fantastic slide and panoramic views. If you didn’t pack a lunch, there is an aptly-named restaurant located here called the Panorama Restaurant Allmendhubel. We stopped here for a bite — friendly service, kid options, and good food make this an excellent pre-hike meal choice.
Lookout on the Children’s Adventure Trail
The Children’s Adventure Trail combines lovely scenery with kid-focused entertainment. It’s ideal for school-age kids (although the tween in our group loved it too).
Little monkeys will fully appreciate the climbing, crawling, and jumping opportunities on a wooden obstacle course of sorts including lookouts, see-saws, and balance beams. The trail hands-down winner for fun, however, is the zipline-style swing.
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Zipline-style swing on the Children’s Adventure Trail
The swing has just enough speed and bounce for school-age kids to think its cool, but not so much to scare more timid travelers (best for ages 6 and up).
Once you are able to wrangle your kids off the swing, there’s a long slide connected to a picnic area and yet another playground before you are back in town. The full trail takes about an hour to complete — if you combine the hike with lunch it is a perfect 1/2 day excursion.
Car-free village of Mürren
Need to Know Facts
Mürren’s unique mountainside position makes it a thrilling home-base; in addition, the car-free set up means it is perfect with kids and is small enough that you can get everywhere without hassle.
You can only access Mürren via the Schilthorn Cable Car or to take the Cable Car and then panoramic train from Lauterbrunnen. Fee-based parking is available in both places.
Regardless, purchasing a Junior Card for every child in the group ages 6 to 16 is a must! This pass allows children to travel with one or both of their parents for free for a year and costs 30 CHF. It includes trains, boats, and many of the cable cars throughout the country. Trust me, it pays for itself it no time! Get more information on the SBB website.
A finite number of accommodation rooms means that overnight crowds are limited in Mürren — hooray! — and that booking a hotel ahead of time is a must. We stayed at Hotel Eiger this past winter and enjoyed all the onsite amenities.
A less expensive option with huge family rooms is Hotel Jungfrau. We stayed here on this last trip and fell in love with the charming owners. Rooms and public areas are simple, but the “will do anything to help our guests” attitude makes this hotel an absolute pleasure. Stay tuned for a complete review this fall.
This is the first in a series of posts on things to do in the wondrous Jungfrau Region with kids. Stay tuned!
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