Why Visit Wengen? The Reasons, Experiences, and Expectations

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When it comes to planning a trip to Jungfrau Region, it’s always a dilemma deciding which place to visit, especially if you plan to stay only for a few days. It seems almost all of its villages, towns, and attractions are hard to miss (particularly those near Interlaken). If you’re a laid-back traveler, even a 4-day trip to the Jungfrau Region might seem short.

Among the beautiful destinations in the Jungfrau region, Wengen stands out in a way. This village is one of the most convenient places to go to behold an overlooking view of the Lauterbrunnen valley, which is commonly nicknamed ‘the heaven on earth.’ If you’re coming from the city (e.g., Bern), Wengen is just roughly a 2-hour train and funicular journey away (with a transfer in Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen village). Not to mention, Wengen can be a good home base for exploring the Jungfrau Region.

There’s more to know about Wengen, So, let me give you more ideas about why you’d like to visit Wengen and how it compares to other places that can also be a good home base. And if you decide to make Wengen your destination, I’ll give you ideas of what you can do while you’re there.

How to Visit Wengen

There are two ways to get to Wengen if you are already in the Jungfrau Region.

  1. From Lauterbrunnen: Funicular.
  2. From Grindelwald: Cable car passing Mannlichen.

If you are from other regions or you’re flying into Switzerland, you can start in Bern, Basel, or Zurich to reach Wengen. From these cities, you can find direct train rides to Interlaken, where most trips to Jungfrau Region begin. Once you reach Interlaken, you must get another train to Lauterbrunnen and finally transfer to a funicular heading to Wengen. The journey from Interlaken to Wengen usually takes 40 minutes to 1 hour.

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Should You Visit Wengen?

Three aspects where Wengen stands out are its breathtaking location, idyllic scenery, and belle-époque-period-inspired quaint alpine architecture. It is an unforgettable moment for someone like me to wander in Wengen, seeing all the flower-becked chalets, gorgeous hotels, and the stunning trough-shaped valley below. Everyone can simply agree that Wengen is a village worth visiting for the best overlooking view of the Lauterbrunnen valley. Make sure to check out Evangelisch Reformierte Kirche Wengen to experience the awe-inspiring view for yourself!

Yes — as someone who grew up in a completely different environment, I find Wengen unreal! It satisfies my craving to see beauty.

You will love taking a stroll in Wengen because it is a car-free village. Take a stroll around St. Bernard’s Anglican Church and experience the heavenly views of the Swiss countryside. Witness the cows grazing in the meadows and bask in the serenity of the fields.

However, aside from sightseeing, there’s not much unique to do within the village of Wengen. You have to leave the village to make the most of your visit. Mostly it’s outdoor activities nearby like hiking during summer and skiing during winter. There are also thrilling cable car rides and scenic trains to some of the top attractions in the Jungfrau Region.

The good thing is that these attractions are very accessible from Wengen and they make Wengen a fantastic home base for travelers. Let’s not forget that Wengen also has more shops and restaurants compared to other villages within the Lauterbrunnen commune.

Wengen as a Home Base in Exploring Jungfrau Region

When it comes to how accessible Wengen is and how quickly one can reach other attractions in the Jungfrau from Wengen, it’s easy to see why Wengen is a good home base for exploring the Jungfrau Region. Lauterbrunnen? It’s only one train ride away. Grindelwald? Just hop on a cable car. Mannlichen? It’s only a 5-minute fancy cable car ride to the top. Jungfraujoch? Only two scenic train rides away. And there are more examples!

Scenic hiking trails also start in Wengen, like the Wengen-Lauterbrunnen, Wengen-Leiterhorn, and the Panorama trail, among others. And if you’re visiting during winter, Wengen is the closest village to the World Cup piste on the Lauberhorn. The hiking trails around Wengen become a skiing winter wonderland that you can quickly access.

Before you visit and find a place to stay in Wengen, make sure to check out some other awesome villages too. Similar to Wengen, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Mürren, and Lauterbrunnen are all great options as a home base in the Jungfrau region based on the selection of accommodation, location, and access to facilities.

The map below should give you a clear perspective of the strategic location of Wengen and the different destinations in the Jungfrau Region. (I linked the brochure and maps of Wengen and the Jungfrau region to the resources section of this post for further information.)

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Map of Wengen and the different tourist attractions in the Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Map of Wengen and the different tourist attractions in the Jungfrau Region
Interlaken, Grindelwald, Mürren, and Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Interlaken, Grindelwald, Mürren, and Lauterbrunnen
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Wengen vs Interlaken
Map of the Jungfrau Region showing the location of Wengen and Interlaken, Switzerland
Map of the Jungfrau Region showing the location of Wengen and Interlaken

Interlaken, the gateway to the Jungfrau Region, is situated right at the doorstep of this spectacular destination. It’s an awesome alternative to Wengen as a home base for a Jungfrau Region trip if you’re looking for a more diverse experience. That includes castles, lakeside villages, and more mountain-top destinations.

Did you know? Interlaken is sandwiched between two lakes — Lake Brienz and Lake Thun — two of the most stunning lakes in Switzerland.

It’s on the shores of Lake Brienz where you can find the picture-perfect village of Iseltwald. On the other hand, it’s on the shores of Lake Thun where you can find the beautiful town of Thun and Oberhofen Castle. From Interlaken, you can take a boat to Thun, explore its fairytale old town, visit the medieval Thun Castle, and behold the Thun Panorama — the oldest of its kind. Harderkulm, one of the best view points of the Jungfrau Region, is located above Interlaken.

View of Interlaken and Lake Brienz from Harder Kulm, above Interlaken, Switzerland
View of Interlaken and Lake Brienz from Harder Kulm
View of Interlaken and Lake Thun from Harder Kulm, above Interlaken, Switzerland
View of Interlaken and Lake Thun from Harder Kulm

Another advantage of Interlaken as a home base? Suppose you plan to join guided tours in the Jungfrau Region (Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch). In that case, Interlaken is preferable over Wengen because Interlaken is the common meet-up place for these tours. Sometimes, excursion trips to the Jungfrau Region from other cities in Switzerland also have a pick-up point in Interlaken.

Here is the list of the different guided tours to Bernese Oberland (Jungfrau Region included).

Wengen vs Grindelwald
Map of the Jungfrau Region showing the location of Wengen and Grindelwald, Switzerland
Map of the Jungfrau Region showing the location of Wengen and Grindelwald

Grindelwald is another alternative to Wengen as a home base for a Jungfrau Region trip. This beautiful village has become one of the top destinations in Switzerland since the Golden Age of Alpinism in the 19th century. Located on the eastern side of the Jungfrau Region, it is here in Grindelwald that you can get the best view of the notorious North Face of Eiger.

You can check my budget one-day Grindelwald itinerary to learn more about this village.

View from First Cliff Walk in Grindelwald, Switzerland
View from First Cliff Walk in Grindelwald

As a home base, Grindelwald is the superior choice for your Jungfrau Region trip if you want an action-packed adventure. From Grindelwald, you can experience the Glacier Canyon Grindelwald Swing, First Flyer, Cliff Walk, Mountain Cart, Trotti Bike, and Schynige Platte Hike – all of which are sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

However, if you have Jungfraujoch on your travel bucket list, it doesn’t matter if you’re coming from Wengen or Grindelwald. You can reach Kleine Scheidegg, the first station of the Jungfrau Railway, in an hour – 40 minutes from Wengen and 25 minutes from Grindelwald.

Wengen vs Murren
Map of the Jungfrau Region showing the location of Wengen and Murren, Switzerland
Map of the Jungfrau Region showing the location of Wengen and Murren

Murren is the highest village in Lauterbrunnen, situated above the middle part of the valley. It’s an excellent choice for a home base in exploring Jungfrau Region if you want to explore the less touristy yet still conveniently accessible west side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

A few of the must-see destinations that are easily accessible from Mürren include Schilthorn’s rotating restaurant, Birg’s Thrill Walk, the quaint village of Gimmelwald, and Tanzbödeli. Trummelbach waterfall, Europe’s largest underground waterfall, is located between Wengen and Mürren.

The view isn’t something to be taken lightly when it comes to choosing a home base. If waking up in a hotel with an impressive view is a priority for you, then you need to know that Mürren and Wengen offer two very different sceneries. Although Mürren and Wengen are in Lauterbrunnen, they’re situated at opposite ends of the valley. Consequently, the mountain views you’ll get from each are totally distinct.

Unlike Wengen in the northeast of Lauterbrunnen, you won’t get the same breathtaking view of the Lauterbrunnen valley from Mürren. Instead, you’ll be treated to the awe-inspiring, craggy rock face of Schwarzmönch Mountain— an impressive sight, too.

Lovely scenes in the charming village of Murren, Switzerland
Lovely scenes in the charming village of Murren
Wengen vs Lauterbrunnen
Map showing the location of Wengen and Lauterbrunnen in the Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Map showing the location of Wengen and Lauterbrunnen in the Jungfrau Region

If you don’t mind a limited range of restaurants, hotels, and amenities, Lauterbrunnen village is a great alternative to Wengen. Most importantly, if you want your mornings and nights in the Jungfrau Region to end with the awe-inspiring view of towering granite cliff walls, graced by the plummeting silk-like Staubbach Waterfall, then Lauterbrunnen is the place to be. Like, you can check out these beautiful views of Lauterbrunnen!

Scene captured from the main street of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Scene captured from the main street of Lauterbrunnen

Another advantage of Lauterbrunnen village over Wengen is its more central location in the Lauterbrunnen valley. Getting to each place of interest within and around the valley is a breeze – none is too far or too close. Therefore, I believe Lauterbrunnen is a better home base for travelers wanting to spend more time and see more tourist attractions in the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Nevertheless, Wengen and Lauterbrunnen are just one train ride apart. When it comes to this small difference in location, it should depend on your personal preferences.

Things To Do In Wengen and From Wengen

Wengen is one of those places where I could spend all day just wandering, relaxing, and taking in the views of the quaint and rustic surroundings. If only I were a Swiss local! Oh, how I wish. As a traveler, it goes without saying (like what I’ve mentioned a while ago) that we need to venture beyond the village to make the most of our time for a more memorable journey. If you decide to visit or stay in Wengen, here are some attractions and experiences you can enjoy once you’re done exploring the village.

1. Explore Wengen and Wengwald

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View of the Lauterbrunnen Valley from Wengwald, Switzerland
View of the Lauterbrunnen Valley from Wengwald
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Wengen is an unmissable place, especially since it offers the best view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Aside from the Evangelisch Reformierte Kirche Wengen, which provides the most accessible viewpoint of the Lauterbrunnen valley, and St Bernard’s Anglican Church, where pleasing countryside views abound, there is one more place I recommend. It’s called Wengwald. The view from here is better than what awaits you from Evangelisch Reformierte Kirche Wengen.

Only in Wengwald and Tanzbodeli can you find a view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley that is perfectly aligned with the valley’s length. Both the steep precipices on both sides of the valley and the flat valley floor are visible from Wengwald. The scenery is incredible, especially during sunrise. The view is simply marvelous, and it’s going to make you marvel at how creative Mother Nature really is!

Tanzbodeli Fun Fact

Tanzbodeli is the mountain at the far southern end of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. From there, you can also find a panorama that includes all the villages in Lauterbrunnen in the picture. It can be hiked from Murren or Gimmelwald to Stechelberg (or vice versa). You can learn more about Tanzbodeli from walkinghiking.com, linked in the resources section of this post.

2. See The Breathtaking Mannlichen

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To me, the place to see best views of the Jungfrau Region, not just Lauterbrunnen, is just above Wengen. It is called Mannlichen, and it is just one cable car ride away from the village. This mountain, standing tall at 2,343 meters, is also home to the region’s nicest hikes and ski pistes.

More about Männlichen

From the summit of Mannlichen, which is a 10-minute hike from the cable car station, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Jungfrau Region. This includes Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, the Lauterbrunnen Valley and its villages, and Grindelwald. Even Lake Thun is vividly visible if the skies are clear!

You can also hike from Wengen to Mannlichen; however, I would not recommend it. The views along the Wengen-Mannlichen hiking trail are rewarding, but the path can be quite exhausting for some. Instead of hiking, consider using the cable car and upgrade your ride to the “Royal Experience.” With this, you can stand on top of the gondola as you ascend from Wengen to Mannlichen! It might be a little scary at first, but it’s definitely an awesomely memorable experience.

Mannlichen can also be a great destination for families traveling with kids. There’s a playground with a huge cow slide, and kids can have fun chiming a few cowbells. You can read my other article to help you make the most of your trip to Mannlichen.

3. Visit The Ultimate Destination, Jungfraujoch

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As much as everyone wants to save money during their Jungfrau Region trips, I believe you just can’t miss the pricey yet once-in-a-lifetime Jungfraujoch visit. Jungfraujoch is the saddle between Monch (4,110 meters) and Jungfrau (4,158 meters), two of the highest mountains in the Bernese Oberland. This destination offers awe-inspiring scenery and awesome experiences, which justify its expensive tickets.

There are two ways you can get to Jungfraujoch: (1) a train ride and (2) a cable car. But, if your home base is in Wengen, it’s preferable to go up and down from Jungfraujoch using the trains. The cable car valley station is in Grindelwald. The quickest way to get to Jungfraujoch from Wengen is to get to Kleine Scheidegg by train first. In Kleine Scheidegg, you must transfer to the Jungfrau Railway, which will directly bring you to Jungfraujoch in approximately 45 minutes.

Interested in Jungfraujoch? Here’s where you can check the price of the tours and tickets to Jungfraujoch.

The summary of why I think Jungfraujoch is the ultimate destination in the Jungfrau Region
  • First, the Jungfrau Railway is one of the most scenic in Switzerland, and its stop station is the highest in Europe. Marvel at the scenery as you experience the commendable ingenuity of the Swiss engineers who built the railway.
  • Second, Jungfraujoch is also home to the Sphinx Observatory, an astronomical observatory perched on a 3,571-meter summit called Sphinx (hence its name). Although you cannot enter the observatory, you are allowed to visit its viewing platform and be amazed by the otherworldly ice views!
  • Third, the highest tip of the longest and largest glacier in the Alps, the Aletsch Glacier, can also be spotted in Jungfraujoch. If you haven’t seen a glacier before, visiting Jungfraujoch is your chance to make your first glacier sighting special.
  • Fourth, when visiting Jungfraujoch, you will not only see glaciers but also be able to enter one! The walking-inside-a-grotto-of-a-glacier moment takes place in the Ice Palace, and it’s a surreal experience. You will also find ice sculptures, which are so cool. Lastly, have fun finding Scrat (a fictional character in the movie Ice Age); he’s frozen at the wall of the glacier tunnel!
  • Another reason to visit Jungfraujoch is the Lindt Chocolate Museum. It’s a twist in your mountaintop journey—making it memorable and sweet! There’s so much to do in Jungfraujoch that it can already serve as a day trip from any village in the Jungfrau Region. In fact, some travel companies offer a whole-day excursion to Jungfraujoch straight from Switzerland’s major cities like Bern, Lucerne, and Zurich.

4. Adventure In Grindelwald

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Whenever I see mountains, two things always come to my mind. First, it’s peace of mind; the other is adventure. In the Jungfrau Region, you can expect to have a lot of both. The adventure starts in Interlaken, but for me, the best adventurous activities happen in Grindelwald.

More about Grindelwald

Suppose you are based in Wengen or currently in Wengen. In that case, the adventure village of Grindelwald isn’t hard to reach. Grindelwald is only a 30-minute cable car ride from Wengen, passing Mannlichen. The adventures in Grindelwald are exceptional. The exhilarating outdoor activities are matched with breathtaking views. No wonder it has been a top destination in Switzerland for more than a century now!

A wide range of outdoor fun awaits you in Grindelwald, regardless of the season. But it’s during the summer that these activities are most enjoyable. Your choices start from just a relaxing hike to extreme activities to help you overcome your fears. Here’s what I can recommend:

  1. Relax with a thrill and view😄 — Feel like flying over Grindelwald with a cable car, then walk on a steel pathway, and hike to Bachalpsee, which is one of the most picturesque small alpine lakes in the Jungfrau Region. Discover: Grindelwald Gondola Ride to Mount First
  2. Slight adventure 😛 — Explore a canyon, see impressive rock galleries, and walk on the “spider web” hanging above the river. Check it out here: Glacier Canyon Entrance Ticket.
  3. Adrenaline-pumping 🤪 — Jump in the middle of the canyon and safely experience free fall from a 90-meter-high platform! Learn more: Grindelwald Canyon Swing.

5. Go To Lauterbrunnen’s Viewpoints

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Breathtaking views of Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland
Breathtaking views of Lauterbrunnen Valley
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Only 15 minutes away from Wengen by train, wandering in Lauterbrunnen must also be on your plans should you decide to stay in Wengen. No explanation is needed: you can simply look at the “Heaven on Earth” views on the photo above. I bet, you’ll take more than a dozen of photos visiting Lauterbrunnen photo spots.

6. Wander In Gimmelwald

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Cute things to discover while wandering in Gimmelwald, Switzerland
Cute things to discover while wandering in Gimmelwald
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For pure-blooded wanderers and travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path destination in the Jungfrau Region, Gimmelwald is the place to be. Gimmelwald is only a small village with only a few, but it has meaningful, activities to enjoy. Despite its size — Gimmelwald is the smallest village in Lauterbrunnen Valley — it’s where you can find some of the most authentic Swiss alpine cultures in the Jungfrau Region.

Gimmelwald is also the southernmost village above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, but it can still be easily reached from Wengen. To get to Gimmelwald from Wengen, you must first take the train to Lauterbrunnen. Once in Lauterbrunnen, board bus #141 to Stechelberg, where the cable car station to Schilthorn is located. Hop on the cable car and alight at the first station, Gimmelwald. The travel time between Wengen and Gimmelwald should not exceed an hour.

7. Marvel At The Jungfrau Massif From Murren

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Quaint chalets in Murren, Switzerland
Quaint chalets in Murren

If you’ve made it to Gimmelwald (as discussed previously), Murren is just a stone’s throw away. Murren is the second station on the cable car route to Schilthorn from Stechelberg. This village, the most elevated in the canton of Bern, is also one of the most beautiful in Switzerland. The quaintness of the buildings and the breathtaking views in Murren clearly explain why. Come here to wander and surround yourself with alpine charm!

More about Mürren

Aside from exploring its charming village and taking hundreds of photos of stunning alpine vistas, you can visit the hill above the village called Allmendhubel.

Allmendhubel is a relaxed place with an unobstructed view of the Jungfrau region’s three superstar peaks. It also has a large playground and a restaurant, making it a nice destination for families traveling. The journey up to Allmendhubel from the village is as quick as 5 minutes. You just have to ride the funicular that links the two places. If you wish, you can take the flower trail back to Murren for a varied experience.

If you haven’t checked out my article about Mürren, here is the link.

8. Feel The Thrill In Birg

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Open-air tunnel in Birg, Murren, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Open-air tunnel in Birg
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The western side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, where Murren and Gimmelwald are located, is best visited on a day trip if you’re using Wengen as your home base. If that’s what you prefer, you can also add Birg to your itinerary for a more fulfilling trip. Birg is the middle station between Murren and Schilthorn and is worth visiting for the free mini-adventures it offers.

More about Birg

Birg is situated approximately 1000 meters above Murren, and you can expect even more breathtaking views of the Jungfrau Region from a different perspective. The mini-adventure is called the Birg Thrill Walk, which is very similar to the Grindelwald First Cliff Walk. In this attraction, you’ll be walking on a metal pathway attached to the cliff wall surrounding the station.

However, there’s a twist! The Birg Thrill Walk features an open-air tunnel made of meshed metal. You can crawl on it to see hundreds of meters of emptiness below you. Thrilling, isn’t it? The Birg Thrill Walk also features a tightrope where you can walk, balancing over the exhilarating height between you and the ground. Is it dangerous? No, it’s absolutely safe! There is a metal mesh safety net to catch you if you lose your balance.

9. Dine With A View In Piz Gloria Schilthorn

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Inside and in the terrace of Piz Gloria in Schilthorn, Murren, Switzerland
Inside and in the terrace of Piz Gloria in Schilthorn
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Suppose you are traveling with your romantic partner. In that case, you must really consider going to the western side of Lauterbrunnen valley, even if it takes more effort to reach from Wengen. Why? Simply, it’s because of Piz Gloria. Piz Gloria is a revolving restaurant perched on top of Schilthorn. And here, you and your partner can have lunch beside a window with changing stunning views of the Alps every minute.

More about Piz Gloria and Schilthorn

Sometimes, a sea of clouds appear, turning the mountain peaks into islands of the heavenly ocean. Can you imagine how magical and lovely it is? Mouth and eyes are satisfied! Of course, the view isn’t always perfect, and it will all depend on the weather, but still!  Piz Gloria and Schilthorn is a popular tourist spot in the Jungfrau Region, made famous by the James Bond Movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. This is why you will also find Spy World, an interactive exhibit about James Bond, in Schilthorn.

If you want to go to Schilthorn, Birg, Murren, and Gimmelwald, here’s where you can check the price of the skip-the-line round-trip Stechelberg-Schilthorn cable car tickets. To learn more about Schilthorn and Birg, you may visit their official website, linked at the end of this post.

10. Spend a rainy day in Trümmelbach Waterfalls

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Different scenes inside Trummelbach Waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen Valley, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Different scenes inside Trummelbach Waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen Valley
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I can assure you that Wengen and the rest of the Jungfrau Region are truly awe-inspiring outdoor destinations, especially when the sky is clear and it is sunny. However, bad weather may happen, and you should have a plan B to still enjoy it, even if it’s cloudy and gray. So, what’s the plan? Trummelbach Waterfalls. It is Europe’s largest underground waterfall which you can also quickly visit from Wengen. After a train ride to Lauterbrunnen, take bus #141 heading to Stechelberg and alight at Trummelbach Waterfalls bus station.

More Information about Trummelbachfalls

The travel time should not be more than 10 minutes from Lauterbrunnen. Here, you can experience the power of nature, manifested by the 20,000 liters of meltwater cascading down to the valley from Jungfrau. The thundering sound of the waterfalls and the large rock formations will feed your senses with wonder.

There are 10 different platforms in the Trummelbach Waterfalls; some have a beautiful view of the valley. And believe it or not, there is also a funicular inside Trummelbach Waterfalls connecting a few of these viewing platforms! They’re another proof of the ingenuity of the Swiss engineers you’ll find in the Jungfrau Region. The visitor’s information, facts, and FAQs about Trummelbach Waterfalls are linked in the resources section of this post.

Resources

So, that’s it! Those are my reasons why you should stay in Wengen and the list of things to do in Wengen. I hope I’ve also helped you decide whether to stay in Wengen or make it your home base in visiting the Jungfrau Region. As promised, below are the links for further learning about the tourist attractions you can visit from Wengen.

If Wengen suits your preferences and you’re considering a stay in this village, please consider finding a hotel using my partner’s hotel search and booking platform. They offer some of the best hotel deals in Europe, and their map browser makes it easy to find a hotel in the most convenient location for you. Please note that it’s an affiliate link. I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you when you book through the platform. It’s a fantastic way to support me in creating more content like this. Your help is greatly appreciated! 💖

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