Medieval Murten is a charming Swiss town, located about 30 minutes west of Bern. Its location along the southern shore of the Murtensee, or Lake Morat, makes it a popular daytrip for locals from neighbouring cities and tourists alike. It was recommended to us by our former-expat neighbours when they heard we would be visiting the Bern area so we decided to check it out.
Medieval Murten enjoys a prime location, tucked away between the vineyards of the Vully region yet along the Murtensee. The beautifully restored rampart walls, mostly still intact, create a stunning entrance.
It seemed busier than we’d anticipated, which made it a bit of a challenge to find a parking spot. It was a beautiful spring day and we couldn’t wait to get out of the car and start exploring the small but very charming center. Most visitors only seemed to enter the town for parking-purposes and soon made their way to the Murtensee. So, we decided to take advantage of that by starting our visit in medieval Murten’s shaded streets before enjoying the late afternoon on the lake.
How medieval Murten caters to kids
For once, we didn’t come prepared. How atypical, right? 🙂 So we trusted on the ladies at the tourist information center to point us in the right direction. They provided the girls with a treasure hunt folder.
Together we enjoyed a lovely afternoon exploring medieval Murten and its secrets while solving the questions and puzzles in the folder. I was pleasantly surprised about how involved the kids actually were. Especially Alegra was determined to solve the puzzle. The town’s center is nothing but picture-perfect. The rampart walls set the tone but also the tiny streets and typical houses ooze charm. It’s very walkable too, perfectly kid-sized.
Unfortunately the tourist office was closed by the time we had finished so the kids had to miss out on their well-deserved treasure. But they seemed to have enjoyed the hunt so much that they didn’t really care about their compensation and they proudly settled for ice-cream.
Time to head to the water. We had hoped that most visitors would be returning home by this time but that wasn’t the case. The closer we got to the lake, which is only a 5-minute walk from the town’s center, the busier it got. The holiday-like atmosphere on the promenade showed that, even in spring, this is a very popular retreat. Luckily, there are many options to escape the crowds, and they all take place on the lake. We rented a pedalo, paddling our way between the swans and enjoying the beautiful nature surrounding us.
There’s also a miniature train that takes visitors on a one-hour ride around Murten. And if you’re looking for even more activities to do with kids, you could take them to see the butterflies in nearby Papillorama.
Ending the day in style
To end this sunny day in true spring style, we went looking for a restaurant with outdoor patio within the walled center. It wasn’t easy to find one that fitted the bill but our patience was finally rewarded. We enjoyed a delicious dinner in restaurant Murtenhof while enjoying the most amazing panorama over the Murtensee. If only we hadn’t planned on returning to Belgium that same evening, we would have lingered on the restaurant’s sun-drenched terrace.
Have you experienced Switzerland with kids? Where did you go and how was your experience? Don’t hesitate to share your family travel tips in the comments below!