One of the most idyllic little villages that Switzerland has to offer, the car-free mountain top village of Mürren is unique in character and ambience. There are several ways to make the journey to the top depending on where you start; from Lauterbrunnen you must first get a cable car to Grütschalp, and then change to a funicular to continue on to Mürren. The journey is breathtaking, and can by no means be rushed. Ensure you sit on the left hand side on the way up to Mürren from Grütschalp to get the best views. I managed to both shoot and video parts of the journey by using a high shutter speed, and opening the windows fully to let in the fresh mountain air.
Reaching the top, you are met with a surprisingly overwhelming view of buildings stacked upon buildings. Just opposite the station is the Hotel Eiger, which is a great place to pause for a drink whilst you take in the mountaintop views and decide where to head to first.
Undoubtedly this is a bit of a tourist spot, particularly because of the connections of the Schilthorn to James Bond (you will see the marketing for this everywhere). If you want to check out the revolving restaurant up on Piz Gloria, you need to walk from one end of Mürren to the other, getting yet another cable car up even further. I decided not to do this on my visit; webcams in the cable car stations show you the weather at the summit, and a thick, dense, cloud had rolled in, meaning there would have been little to see, anyway.
Undeterred, I continued to explore the back streets. Visitors amble around houses, guesthouses, hotels, small museums and shops, which are all located just off of the intertwining paths. Little clusters of houses face out the same way onto the mountains and you can’t help but be envious of their morning view, despite the fact that they are all crammed in like sardines.
It’s common to see tourists struggling with luggage here; whilst I absolutely do agree that this would be a beautiful place to spend the night, it doesn’t seem that people thought through the various methods of transport and effort required just to get here, nor the steep hills to navigate a suitcase up. My advice: pack an overnight bag, sling it on your shoulder, and leave the rest in the car. If you are the kind of person who would want to stay here, chances are you’ll be the kind of person out on an epic road trip and moving around a lot, so this arrangement just makes the most sense. (NB. parking available in a multi-storey at the foot of the mountain in Lauterbrunnen, so the car will be fine even if it decides to snow!)
It’s easy to spend hours upon hours looking at the quaint architecture, chatting to the locals over their small front garden fences, and just generally being envious of living in such a beautiful spot, but it doesn’t come without its difficulties. Baking hot in the summer, and under mounds of snow in the winter, this is a place of extremes, styling it out and radiating quaint and calm to rest of the world. Make sure you check the funicular and cable car timetables so you have an idea of when to set off – I remember planning to catch the second-to-last train just to ensure I could continue my journey on to Grindelwald that same night – and time it right so that you get a late evening sun over the mountains on your descent.