Wengen, Switzerland - possibly the most beautiful place on earth in Winter!
June 28, 2018
So, you are looking for a wonderful place to take the family for a Winter holiday?
For years now, in fact - since our eldest (9) was 1 year old, we have been searching for a fabulous - but moreso, a suitable ski field (within Switzerland) to spend our February school holidays.
We decided to then try Wengen.
We have consulted with so many friends, researched dozens of places and even tried and tested a number of Ski Resorts, namely Engelberg, St Moritz and Zermatt. All absolutely beautiful ski towns. We knew there had to be more of a suitable ski town though. We have friends who have spent holidays in French, Austrian and German Ski Fields, all with fabulous reputations. We tend to love Switzerland, because we are more familiar with the Airports and rail system in and around Zurich.
If it is skiing, boarding, snow fighting or just enjoying the stunning Winter surroundings, Wengen (Switzerland) is one of the most wonderful family places to visit during the European Winter Season.
Before last year, I think we had heard of Wengen before, certainly the region of Lauterbrunnen. We had heard that the Glaciers up in the Bernese Alps were incredible and that this was the region of the Highest Point in Europe (Jungfraujoch). Last year we decided to venture to this area to see what Wengen and surrounding areas have to offer.
When it comes to European Ski / Snow Fields, there are literally dozens and dozens of fabulous destinations around to visit. The risk though, is choosing a destination that is going to be worthwhile your effort and of course value for money. A Ski Holiday can be one of the most expensive holidays a family can have. Between lift passes, train and mountain tickets, ski lessons, peak rate hotel costs and of course Ski Equipment, you'd want to make sure the destination gives you and the whole family some joy.
When you desperately love skiing and you want to hit the ski slopes, as a parent you can feel really guilty when all you want to do is get out there on the snow. 1) because you have paid so much money in lift/ski passes and 2) because you chose this destination to spend as much time in the outdoors enjoying what this time has to offer. The age of the children total dictates the activities you can do. Getting the balance of this can be difficult.
All of these reasons, are why we love Wengen so much.
How do you reach Wengen?
Wengen is located about 2 hours outside of Zurich.
Obviously you can drive there yourself if you live in the European Region. Wengen is, however, a car-free town, so you will have to leave your vehicle most likely Lauterbrunnen. There are parking garages there. Visit www.jungfrau.ch/shop/en/parkticket for more information.
If you are flying into Zurich, you take the SBB Train to Wengen via Bern. You do need to change trains at a couple of stations - merely because the trains are specialty trains, particularly the cog train that takes you up the Mountain through Interlaken and Wengen.
Visitwww.sbb.com/en (SBB Rail) to enter your connections from your destination. This will give you all of the details you need, including platforms, train times and stops (changes) that you need to make.
SBB InterCity Trains have the fabulous Family Carriages (Marked "FA"). If you have small children, this carriage is wonderful and gives you peace of mind. None of us like to be on a train - mindful of the noise that our children make that we all know upsets people around us.
and it was very good. The location is perfect (literally steps away from the Co-op supermarket and the Rail Station) and a tiny walk to the Children's Ski Field. The Ski Rental Hire place is directly below on Ground Floor- right next door to the Hotel's Ski gear storage place. This is a godsend, as lumping that gear from playing in the snow to the hotel is not always easy.
There are a handful of hotels around this location though, as well as many Apartments that you can rent or Airbnb.
Look at the following options to find your type of accommodation.
So, as for location - if you are nearby to these places, your stay will be very simple and blissful.
* Ski Rental Places (Central Sport, Alpia Sport) * Ski School (where you will book lessons) Next door to the supermarket.
You will also buy your Lift Passes there. * Supermarket (Co-op) the hot croissants in the morning are to die for by the way if you have not arranged a hotel breakfast)
* Rail Station - SBB Rail.
Preparing for Snow/Ski Fun Activities
When it comes to activities, there are loads of things to do for everyone in the family. In the centre of town there is a giant skate rink where you can have a game of 'curling'. The Snow Park Area itself is fabulous for skiing and tobogganing. There is a small 'magic carpet' for little kids to play with in this area.
You can also purchase ski gear and clothing as well.
Booking your Ski Activities?
Next to the Co-op Supermarket is the Ski School. Become familiar with this place, as you may need to be in contact with them for booking of Ski School lessons for the family.
You can decide whether the children have private lessons or they attend the ski school lessons. Either way, the instructors are fabulous and communicate wonderfully with the children.
Hint: Try to stay away from your instructor when your children are having lessons.
Otherwise they may be distracted.
For the little Kids
In the Centre of town there is a fabulous Kids Snow Play Area (mentioned above). It is central to every part of Wengen - you cannot miss it. This is where you may spend a lot of your time if your children are very small. The Ski School will start lessons here - and as your children progress with their skill-level, the instructors may take them to another area, even possibly on the train to another ski run up the mountain.
Dining Options in Wengen?
There are numerous restaurants in around Wengen, offering all types of cuisine. There is a tiny little take-away place in the Main Street that offer fresh burgers, salads, nuggets, fries, fish and chips and more. (I cannot even remember what it is called anymore, but it is on your right -in the main street - as you walk 'away' from the Rail Station. It is a small place so don’t always expect a free table always. The food is delicious.
For all other restaurants, make sure you book ahead for dinner- it can get very busy.
There is a pizza place, and an Indian restaurant and a Pasta place very central to the town.
There is of course a coop supermarket, so there are plenty of options for you to source takeaway food. Of course many of the hotels have their own restaurants. The hotel Silberhorn Restaurant have beautiful meals, desserts and coffee.
Things to do as soon as you arrive:
* decide where you will hire your rental gear (find that place)
* take a look at the Coop Supermarket to establish what items you will source from there for your stay
* Find the Ski School / Tickets Office - establish what days you will need to buy Lift Pass Tickets for (try to minimise the days you will need passes for - so to save money, during your stay. The ski school we used was located next door to the Coop.
* during the day, suss out where you think you will dine - and make sure to book a table.
Hints: If you do not have helmets for the kids, seriously consider them. In Wengen Stores, we found that they were not actually that expensive. We found that so many people on the ski fields wore helmets - children and adults alike.
If you are to stay in Wengen, being close to the Rail Station is very handy as it is where you obviously embark and disembark your trip (from and to home), however, it is also where you will board the train to head up to the Mountains to ski or to venture to the "top of Europe" (Jungfraujoch)..
Definitely do venture up to the top of Jungfraujoch.
It is magnificent, the views are spectacular, the rail ride is beautiful and the dining options are excellent.
Not to mention, there is a Lindt chocolate shop at the top.
Hint: Try to reach the top of Junfraujoch, it is the highest point in Europe - all with a Swiss Flag to mark the spot - get someone to take your picture for sure.
Take a look at the Map here to get become familiar with the areas around Wengen. The best ski fields (stops on the train up the Mountain reach these ski runs).
Click here to find this Map with a higher resolution. It is critical to understand which Ski Run you wish to take.
If you are unsure, just ask the Ski School for advice when buying ski lift tickets - and make sure to tell them your true skill-level.
If you have any questions at all - please leave a comment or follow us on facebook and Instagram to chat with us.