At 4,334 feet (1,321 metres) above sea level, the viewpoint at Harder Kulm is a serious hike from the town of Interlaken. Luckily for visitors, the funicular—which has been taking passengers up the mountain for over 100 years—makes the journey in about 10 minutes.
When you reach the top, you can opt for coffee or lunch at a historic mountaintop castle-cum-cafe or test your nerve at the vertigo-inducing Two Lakes Bridge, which juts out over the valley in a way that seems to defy gravity. Other activities include a family-friendly wildlife park, a playground, and hiking trails. For an easy day, get tickets for the funicular as part of a guided half-day tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
Visitors must buy a ticket before getting on the funicular.
Funicular train carriages have been modernized over the years; the most recent cars were installed in 2008 for the train’s 100th anniversary.
The funicular railway is wheelchair accessible; inquire at the ticket office for more information.
The two lakes visible from the viewpoint are Lakes Brienz and Thun.
How to Get There
Harder Kulm is accessible on foot from Interlaken, but the hike is very steep and should only be attempted by experienced hikers. The funicular railway is the easiest way to reach the summit; the station is located near the Interlaken Ost train station. The closest airport is in Bern, which is about 45 minutes away by car; Zurich International is about 2 hours away.
When to Get There
The funicular railway operates daily at 30 minute intervals but only runs during the summer season, from April to November.
Enjoy Lake Brienz
It’s hard to find a more picturesque spot than Lake Brienz: Classic steamboats chug across the bright turquoise water; grand, old-fashioned hotels dot the hillsides; and an impressive 500-meter waterfall rushes through the trees into the placid lake at Giessbach. Take a hike or a bike tour through the mountains, or ride the local ferries from town to town to explore the lakeside attractions.