Skiing in Murren

Murren’s ski area is the highest in the Bernese Oberland and includes 54km of pistes with long descents from the summit of the Schilthorn at nearly 3,000m to Murren and Winteregg. When snow conditions are most favourable, you can ski all the way down to Lauterbrunnen at 800m.

Murren Ski Area Overview

Many families come to Murren year after year and from one generation to the next because of the ambience of the village, which is normally blanketed by snow, and to enjoy skiing uncrowded pistes. There’s also some fine tobogganing and winter walking paths, which wind their way down the mountain through pretty wooden huts amid some of the best mountain scenery in Switzerland.

Murren is best for confident intermediates and above and can easily be skied in two or three days, which makes it ideal for weekends and short breaks in perfect conditions, and romantic winter holidays, but if skiing is your main aim the ski area in Murren is too small for a week long holiday.

The ski area offers an interesting and exciting combination of long downhill runs, some impressive cable cars and fantastic views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks, glaciers and cliff faces on the opposite side of the Lauterbrunnen valley. The terrain is limited but varied including easy off-piste terrain beneath chairlifts and between marked runs as well as significantly more challenging off-piste for experts.

A dozen ski lifts provide access to 24 pistes totalling 54km including five black runs, 11 red runs and eight blue runs, a few of which include short variants to the same end point and raise the total number of runs to 28. Murren has a wide variety of ski lifts including impressive cable cars, a funicular, six chairlifts, a T-bar and the electric mountain railway between Winteregg (1,578m) and Murren (1,638m), but no gondolas.

The cable car connections from Stechelberg (922m) to Murren (1,638m) and the Schilthorn (2,970m) and the famous Piz Gloria rotating restaurant was opened in 1967. The summit of the Schilthorn is the site of the Piz Gloria rotating restaurant, which was largely financed to create a suitable location for the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. The Piz Gloria restaurant is internationally renowned because of its James Bond connection and for spectacular views of the Bernese Oberland, but the gastronomy is by no means as good as the location.

The ski area between Murren and Schilthorn is the highest in the Bernese Oberland and almost invariably offers good snow conditions until late April. The vertical elevation from the summit of the Schilthorn down to Murren is 1,300m and the Inferno race route from Schilthorn to Lauterbrunnen is is a whopping 22km from start to finish and 2,100m vertical, but the lower sections between Winteregg (1,578m) and Lauterbrunnen (796m) are unexciting (except at race speed) and snow conditions lower down are not reliable.

A quaint funicular railway situated close to the centre of the village leads to Allmendhubel which features a popular panoramic restaurant with a large sun terrace and is the preferred location for beginners and for winter walking, tobogganing and snow shoeing. There’s also a first time beginner area next to the ski school in the centre of the village, which is an ideal place for toddlers to learn to ski and have fun in the snow while parents relax on the Hotel Jungfrau’s sun terrace next to the nursery slopes.

The skiing includes steep pistes in the Murren-Schilthorn area from 2,970m down to 1,638m and some impressive off-piste including 30 to 45 degree slopes, which attract plenty of freeriders. The Murren-Schilthorn is one of three main ski areas in the Jungfrau Region along with the Kleine Scheidegg between Grindelwald and Wengen and Grindelwald-First. The Jungfrau Region as a whole has over 200km of slopes served by 45 ski lifts all covered by the same Sportpass Jungfrau lift pass.  The Kleine Scheidegg-Mannlichen ski area is the largest of the three ski areas with 110km of ski slopes served by 19 ski lifts dominated by the world-famous Eiger north face.

The train station at Kleine-Scheidegg (2,061m) is reached by Alpine railway from Lauterbrunnen (796m) in 45 minutes, as well as from Grindelwald and Wengen, which also makes it accessible for day trippers from Murren, but it’s a two hour round trip from Murren, which takes a big chunk out of your ski day so best advice would be to spend a few days in Murren followed by two or three days in Wengen or Grindelwald, which offers easier access to another 50km of skiing in the Grindelwald-First region as well as Kleine Scheidegg and more off-mountain activities.

Beginner Skiing in Murren

Murren has a nursery slope in the centre of the village, which is ideal for toddlers. Although one third of 24 pistes are blue runs, Murren is not an ideal resort for beginners as the ski area is generally quite steep and can be icy first thing in the morning.

The wide open nursery slope and Snowli Kids Centre is conveniently located in the centre of Murren, right next to the ski school and immediately behind the Hotel Jungfrau. The hotel has a small sun terrace where parents can enjoy a drink and take it easy while watching their kids take their first steps on snow.

When ready to move from the nursery slopes to the ski area proper, the funicular lift next to the nursery slope provides easy access to Allmenhubel where there is a popular mountain restaurant with sun terrace and another learning area where beginners can gain confidence. A long scenic blue run (6) winds its way from the top of the funicular down to Murren and beginners can ski a few laps to warm up before skiing the blue run (20) from Allmendhubel to the base of the Schiltgrat chairlift next to the Taverne Restaurant.

The blue run (23) from the top of Schiltgrat chairlift (2,145m) offers more stunning views and easy skiing down to Gimmeln (1,813m), followed by a long T-bar ride back up to Schiltgrat then the long blue run (20) down to Murren (1,638m). A choice of three blue runs offer more beginner skiing below Maulerhunel (1,930m), access to which involves skiing down the easy red run (5) from Allmendhubel then riding the Maulerhubel chairlift. Alternatively, take the train from Murren to Winteregg then ride the high-speed chairlift from Winteregg (1,578m) to Maulerubel.

From a beginner perspective, Murren’s blue runs don’t link up as well as in many other Swiss ski resorts and the ski area is a mix of “can do” and “no go” areas, but the views and uncrowded slopes help compensate for any short comings. For example, good snow and easy skiing at higher altitude in the Engetal is easily reached by riding the Murren-Schilthorn cable car between Murren and Birg (2,676m) (in both directions), which is one of the “must do” experiences of Murren.

Beginners can ski blue runs 11 and 12, part of the famous Inferno race route, from Birg as far as Oberhubel (2,439m) then blue run 13 and catch the Riggli chairlift back up to Birg and repeat laps. The cliff top sun terrace at the Birg mountain restaurant is a magnificent spot for lunch after which you can catch the final stage of the cable car from Birg to Schilthorn (2,970m) to visit the Piz Gloria mountain restaurant and heli-pad.

The Piz Gloria restaurant on the summit of the Schilthorn which featured in the James Bond Film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is a “must do” highlight of a skiing holiday in Murren for spectacular views of the Bernese Oberland and to enjoy a drink in the world’s first rotating restaurant. Bond fans can also visit the James Bond museum beneath the restaurant before returning to Murren by cable car.

Intermediate Skiing in Murren

Murren’s ski area is relatively small, but will suit intermediates wanting a weekend or short break in an authentic Swiss ski resort. The ski area offers plenty of challenges including steep slopes, long downhill runs, good off-piste and some of the best scenery in Switzerland.

Murren offers a choice of 11 red runs as well as eight blue runs and five black runs. Most if not all of the pistes can be skied by competent intermediate skiers and boarders and snow conditions generally are excellent, but watch out for icy patches early in the morning especially when skiing steeper slopes which have a more southerly aspect.

There’s good intermediate skiing on Schiltgrat and Allmendhubel with a choice of easy blue and red runs between 1,638m and 2,145m served by two lifts on Schiltgrat and the Allmendhubel funicular. These lower slopes are an ideal place to warm up first thing and to enjoy the skiing and have time to admire the exceptional views of the Jungfrau peaks across the valley.

Most of Murren’s more challenging skiing is to be found higher up and is reached by riding the Murren-Schilthorn cable car to Birg (2,676m) and then the smaller cable car to the summit of the Schilthorn (2,970m). Home to the Piz Gloria mountain restaurant made famous by the James Bond Film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” the Schilthorn offers dramatic views of the Bernese Oberland and is the starting point for the equally famous Inferno Race.

While there are exceptional views throughout the ski area, you will need to pay attention also to the ground beneath your feet as some steep sections higher up are narrow and bumpy and require concentration. The steep black run from the top of the Schilthorn is groomed more often than not nowadays, but sometimes features big moguls and then is quite tricky. The route down from the Schilthorn is a mixture of black, blue and red pistes with a vertical elevation of over 1,300m from the summit to Murren and more than 2,000m vertical from the Schilthorn to Lauterbrunnen (796m) in the valley if when snow conditions are good enough to ski the lower section below Winteregg (1,578m).

Murren appeals to traditionalists and skiers who enjoy taking it easy and mixing good skiing with leisurely lunches, laid back après ski and other winter holiday activities including walking, tobogganing and ice skating. There’s plenty more skiing nearby in Wengen and Grindelwald, but getting there is quite a journey, a minimum of 46 minutes each way by cable car and train, even if you time it perfectly, and takes at least one and a half hours out of your ski day, which is not recommended.

Advanced & Expert Skiing in Murren

Murren’s ski area is limited in extent, but is mostly quite steep and offers good piste skiing for advanced skiers and riders including five black runs and 11 red runs, as well as good opportunities for freeriding including challenging off-piste descents for experts.

The long winding run from the top of the Schilthorn (2,970m) is a thrilling 1,300m vertical and surely one of the most scenic descents in the Alps with sensational views of the cliff faces and the majestic Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau peaks on the far side of the valley. This extra long run offers a mix of black, blue and red sections including a steep upper section from the top of the Schilthorn down to Birg, which used to be heavily mogulled but nowadays is often groomed, followed by a long flat schuss on blue runs through the Engetal then a long descent to Murren via the narrow Kanonenrohr (gun barrel) with a solid rock face skiers right and a steep drop (and safety nets) to the left then the “hogs back” below Allmendhubel on the run down to the village.

While on-piste skiing for advanced skiers in Murren is limited to a handful of black runs there’s plenty of challenging terrain including steep slopes, moguls together with good off-piste on relatively easy powder pitches between marked runs and beneath some chairlifts on lower runs. Murren also offers demanding off-piste skiing on avalanche-prone slopes into the Blumental including Blumliloke off Schiltgrat and Tschingelchrachen from Birg, which involves difficult skiing above a cliff band and no margin for error.  There are big mountain descents off the back of the Schilthorn, which are for experts only and not to be attempted without a guide as the difference between choosing the right and wrong route off the back of the Schilthorn could prove fatal.

Mountain Restaurants in Murren

Murren offers a choice of ten mountain restaurants, of which the best known by far is the world famous 007 Piz Gloria at 2,970m, which starred in, and was partly financed by, the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.

Murren’s ski area and mountain restaurants are blessed with some of the best views in the Alps. The choice on offer, from the top down, includes the famous Piz Gloria with its magnificent rotating restaurant, the splendid sun terrace at Birg and a selection of cosy traditional Swiss mountain huts lower down for home cooking and good service such as the Sonnenberg, Suppenalp and Allmendhubel and other options close to the ski lift base stations.

Piz Gloria

The Piz Gloria restaurant is perched on the summit of the Schilthorn (2,970m) and rotates through 360° once every hour. Largely completed in 1967 it had a starring role in the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, which provided the additional funding needed to create the world’s first rotating mountain restaurant and for a heliport on the roof. There’s not much atmosphere and the food is nothing special, but you can enjoy a tasty and reasonably good value meal here if you have time to take your gaze can avert the stupendous views long enough to study the menu. Tel: +41 (0) 33 856 21 56.

Pasteria Birg

The Pasteria Birg restaurant in the cable car station at Birg (2,676m) is Murren’s second highest restaurant and includes a large sun terrace where you can enjoy stunning views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau peaks and a varied lunch menu including Swiss specialities and a variety of pasta dishes; or just stop by for a coffee or a drink and admire the views. Open in winter season only. Tel: +41 (0) 33856 21 41.


The Schilthornhutte (2,432m) is a cosy rustic mountain hut by the Stellifluh and Muttleren pistes which is easily reached from the top of the Muttleren and Kandahar chairlifts. It’s well worth visiting for excellent food including raclette and homemade soups and splendid views in Murren. It’s also a good place for pit-stops and to try the Schilthornhutte’s Kaffee Fertig – coffee with schnapps. Tel: + 41 (0) 33 855 50 53


The Schiltgrathusi (2,100m) is good for pit stops, tasty homemade burgers and to enjoy splendid views.


The Sonnenberg (1,870m) offers a choice of local and international dishes with a Swiss-Californian theme, delicious homemade cakes and hot chocolate with rum. Tel: +41 (0) 33 855 11 27


The Suppenalp (1,850m) is a cosy traditional Swiss mountain hut with an extensive but reasonably priced menu including delicious toasties. Located lower down the mountain beneath the cliff bands of the Blumental and at the bottom of the Hindenburg run, access is from the top of the Schiltgrat chair or the Allendhubelbahn funicular.  The outdoor terrace gets no sun in December or January so get there early to be sure of a table inside in the Gaststube. Tel: +41 (0) 33 855 17 26


The Allmendhubel (1,907m) at the top of the funicular is a popular mountain restaurant serving homemade Swiss dishes which is also open in the evening for fondue and raclette then a toboggan run down to Murren. There’s also a large sun terrace which fills up quickly on warm sunny days. Tel: +41 (0) 33 855 25 12


Gimmeln (1,813m) is a self-service restaurant with a large terrace, best known for its apple cake. Tel: +41 (0) 33 855 13 66


The traditional Taverne restaurant in the Murren-Schilthorn base station (1,638m) serves traditional Swiss dishes and is a popular meeting place for an après ski drink and an easy option for lunch if planning on riding the cable car to Schilthorn in the afternoon.  Tel. +41 (0) 33 856 88 00


The family friendly restaurant at Winteregg (1,578m) has seating indoors for 150, a sun terrace for 210 people and serves hot food from 10:00-16:00 daily. It’s a convenient place to pause after skiing the runs down from the Maaulerhubel (1,930m), but there are better restaurants higher in the ski area and in Murren. Tel: +41 (0) 33 828 70 90


Back To Top