Harder Kulm: an easy-to-reach viewing point above Interlaken
Are you looking for an easy trip with beautiful views? Hop on the funicular from Interlaken to Harder Kulm, where you’ll have pretty views of the Bernese Oberland. You can enjoy a meal in the panorama restaurant too.
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Attraction type: Natural site, Mountain top, By funicular
Escort: independent (no guide)
Region: Interlaken (Bernese Oberland)
Duration: 1 day or less
An easy ride and great views
Harder Kulm is a mountain at 1321m, located above the tourist town of Interlaken. It can be reached in a 10-minute ride by funicular, and the funicular valley station is at 5-minute walk from the railway station of Interlaken Ost. Once you’re at Harder Kulm, you can look down onto Interlaken and the two lakes of Thun and Brienz. If weather is clear, you’ll also see the snow-capped Bernese Alps, including the famous trio Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. If you like, you can enjoy the views from the panorama restaurant.
What to expect at the top
Once you get off the funicular, you have to walk a bit to reach the actual viewing point and restaurant. This is a 5-minute walk over an easy gravel path. You’ll end up at a spectacular viewing platform, supported by a steel construction. It’s called the “Two Lakes Bridge”, as visitors can look down onto Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
You’ll also find a playground and the panorama restaurant, which serves brunch, lunch and dinner and specializes in Swiss food. From April to October, the funicular operates in the evenings as well. The last ride down is as late as about 21h00, allowing you to experience sunset while dining. Breakfast buffets are served on Sundays; reservation is recommended.
From May to October, there are regular live folklore shows, allowing you to get acquainted with Swiss traditions.
If you prefer to enjoy the views while hiking, consider the 1,5- to 2-hour circular theme trail. On information panels along the way, information about the history and geology of this area is provided.
How to prepare
The views are the main reason to get up to Harder Kulm, so check weather forecasts and make sure it’s not too cloudy or rainy. There might be some wind at the top, so dress accordingly. Don’t forget your sunglasses either. If you plan to hike the circular theme trail, make sure you wear solid hiking shoes and other appropriate gear.
Combine a visit to Harder Kulm with other activities
A trip to Harder Kulm can be done quickly if you want, even within one hour from Interlaken. This means that there’s plenty of time for more activities on the same day.
- Explore Interlaken and do some souvenir shopping.
- For kids, consider an additional visit to Heimwehfluh, the JungfrauPark or the Alpenwildpark Interlaken, which is a small zoo with alpine ibex and a marmot colony next to the Harder Kulm valley station.
- Enjoy a boat ride over Lake Thun and visit a mountain top such as Niesen, Stockhorn or Niederhorn, or explore the lakeside towns of Spiez and Thun;
- Take a boat ride over Lake Brienz and visit Brienz, the Aare Gorge, the Reichenbach Falls or the Ballenberg open-air museum.
An overview of more activities in the Bernese Oberland can be found here.