Two Lakes Bridge at Harder Kulm, Interlaken
Interlaken/Jungfrau Region Things to Do

How to visit Harder Kulm

September 7, 2023 Last Updated on March 12, 2024

If Mount Rigi, overlooking Lucerne, is Queen of the Mountains, then surely Harder Kulm is Interlaken’s King.

The Swiss resort has its very own peak to discover, and the best news is that it’s so simple to get to Harder Kulm from the centre of town.

In fact taking the funicular to the Harder Kulm viewpoint is one of the most popular things to do in Interlaken, and it’s easy to see why.

Who would want to miss the chance of taking a picturesque journey by funicular railway, or even taking an uphill Harder Kulm hike to reach the summit?

Alas a Harder Kulm winter visit is not possible, as the transport only operates between mid April and late November.

If you’ll be in Switzerland during those months, though, it’s an easy trip well worth taking – as long as you can cope with a 64% gradient.

If you like the sound of taking a scenic trip on the Harder Kulm train for sweeping views over the surrounding Swiss landscape, read on.

In this article we cover everything you need to know – from the Harder Kulm funicular price to what to do at the top.

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Aerial view of panorama restaurant and Two Lakes Bridge at Harder Kulm overlooking Lake Thun.
With a castle-like restaurant and panoramic views, Harder Kulm makes a wonderful excursion from Interlaken.

Quick summary of Harder Kulm prices for 2024

Type of ticketPrice per adult (round trip)Where to buy
Regular ticketCHF 38BUY HERE
Jungfrau Travel Pass holderFree travelBUY PASS HERE
Berner Oberland Pass holderFree travelBUY PASS HERE
Swiss Travel Pass holderCHF 19BUY PASS HERE
Swiss Half Fare Card holderCHF 19BUY PASS HERE
Eurail Global Pass holderCHF 19BUY PASS HERE

About Harder Kulm

View of Lake Brienz from Harder Kulm
Both Lake Brienz (pictured above) and Lake Thun can be seen from Harder Kulm.

Harder Kulm is located over 1,300 metres above sea level, and is perched above the Swiss resort of Interlaken.

Once you’ve taken the Harder Kulm cable car (funicular) trip up to the summit, you can see Lakes Thun and Brienz glittering beneath your feet from the Two Lakes Bridge.

There are also panoramic views over famous Swiss peaks like the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

In fact the ten-minute trip alone is worthwhile, as the large windows and glass roof of the funicular give tourists stunning views over the Interlaken area.

Things to do at Harder Kulm include savouring the views while you enjoy a meal, snack or drink at the restaurant and taking a brisk or relaxed walk around the area.

The Two Lakes Bridge viewpoint is the perfect spot to snap some fabulous panoramic pictures, too.

Where is Harder Kulm?

Harder Kulm – also sometimes known as Harderkulm – is close to the Swiss resort town of Interlaken in the canton of Bern.

There are views over both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, as well as the Bernese Alps, from the peak.

Harder Kulm belongs to the Emmental Alps and there is a restaurant at the summit bearing a striking resemblance to a castle.

This part of the Bernese Oberland is famous for its lakes and mountains, and visiting Harder Kulm gives holidaymakers a great sense of place.

How to get to Harder Kulm

Getting to the viewpoint or restaurant from Interlaken is really easy. The Harder Kulm funicular station is only a five minute walk from Interlaken Ost train station.

Getting from Interlaken to Harder Kulm

View over Interlaken from Harder Kulm funicular.
Even the views from the Harder Bahn funicular are spectacular.  

Once you’ve bought your Harderbahn tickets, you can board the funicular in Interlaken to be taken to the summit in under 10 minutes.

Departures are around every half hour from 9:10am between mid April and late November. The last descent varies depending on the month.

You can check the exact operating dates for each season here.

Hiking to Harder Kulm

If you don’t mind an uphill climb you can also hike from Interlaken to Harder Kulm. This panoramic hike is admittedly steep, but it’s also short.

There are fantastic views to swoon over en route and it’s rarely super busy.

You can access the three mile (five kilometre) route via Interlaken Ost station, near the base of Harder Kulm.

An organised tour to Harder Kulm

Another option is to take a guided city tour that includes a visit to Harder Kulm, such as this private city tour of Interlaken. During the three hour experience you’ll visit the mountain as well as the key sights of the town.

Harder Kulm Timetable

The funicular departs for Harder Kulm about twice per hour from mid April to late November. You can check the latest timetables here.

Harder Kulm Tickets

View to the cloud covered Bernese Alps and the Lauterbrunnen Valley from Harder Kulm.
There are views to the Bernese Alps and the Lauterbrunnen Valley from Harder Kulm.

The Harder Kulm price paid depends on how you access the mountain. For hikers who trek there and back, it’s free.

You can also buy a standard ticket for the funicular, or opt for a private tour of Interlaken including a trip to the viewpoint.

Individual tickets to Harder Kulm

It’s simple to book Harder Kulm tickets online. We use and recommend this site which offers an excellent refund policy.

If your plans do change you can receive a full refund when cancelling 24 hours or more in advance. The return ticket is valid for one day.

> Click here to book Harder Kulm funicular tickets

Guided city tour including Harder Kulm

Another way to see Harder Kulm and the views from the top is to take an inclusive Interlaken tour.

You can book a three hour private city tour like this one, ensuring you make the most of all the main sights.

> Click here to book a city tour with Harder Kulm visit

Travel Pass holders

Your Harder Kulm funicular ride is free if you have a Jungfrau Travel Pass or Berner Oberland Pass. If you have a Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card, the fare is half price.


Things to do at Harder Kulm

There are three main things to do once you reach Harder Kulm.

A visit to the viewpoint is of course obligatory, and you may also like to book a table at the restaurant for lunch or dinner. You could also drop in for a drink or snack before or after a walk or hike around the area.

Two Lakes Bridge viewing platform

People standing on Two Lakes Bridge at Harder Kulm, admiring the view of Lake Thun
The views from Two Lakes Bridge at Harder Kulm are breathtaking.

You might want to take a deep breath before taking a walk on the Two Lakes Bridge at Harder Kulm. Suspended above Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, there are stunning lake views on each side to admire.

Look forward and you can also spot the Jungfrau, the Eiger and the Mönch. Once you’re standing here, it’s pretty difficult to believe that you were in central Interlaken only minutes ago.

Harder Kulm restaurant

The Harder Kulm Panorama Restaurant looks something like a hybrid between a castle and a traditional Swiss mountain chalet.

With an expansive outdoor deck and an indoor dining area with full length windows, it makes a stunning setting for a meal to remember.

Delicious, authentic Swiss style fare is served throughout the season, or you could simply enjoy coffee and cake while admiring the sweeping views.

During the summer months, the Harder Kulm restaurant is a popular destination to watch the sunset.

Advance dinner reservations are recommended.

Harder Kulm's panorama restaurant resembles a castle
The Harder Kulm Panorama Restaurant is the ideal spot for a tasty lunch or dinner with a view.

Harder Kulm hiking

If you like, you can hike up to or down from Harder Kulm instead of taking the funicular.

The three mile (five kilometre) ascent involves a steep uphill climb, but it’s worth it for the incredible views and the sense of tranquillity.

You can find the signposted route by setting out from the station.

If you want to sample the hike but don’t want to trek all of it, you could walk a little way down and back up again after catching the cable car.

Alternatively a circular walking trail – the Harder Wanderweg – is easier and takes only about one hour to complete.  It starts close to the restaurant.

Harder Kulm animal park

 A small animal park can be found by the Harder Kulm funicular station. © Jungfrau Railways

Those hiking up to the summit of Harder Kulm will pass by the animal park along the way. It’s at the foot of the mountain, near the station, and is a good place for families in particular to visit.

The park is small, but free to enter, and home to local fauna such as marmots and mountain goats.

Can you stay at Harder Kulm?

There is no accommodation at Harder Kulm, so visitors must be content with staying in Interlaken.

There are plenty of hotels in Interlaken, Switzerland to suit all budgets so you’ll have no trouble finding something suitable.

How long should you spend at Harder Kulm?

You should allow a couple of hours for your visit to Harder Kulm. We recommend booking a table at the restaurant to make the most of the experience.

If you’re hiking to the top, allow about two hours for each leg of the trek. The trip by funicular, meanwhile, takes just 10 minutes each way.

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Best time to visit Harder Kulm

Harder Kulm opening hours reflect when the funicular is running, and this operates between April and November. Spring, summer and autumn are all good times to visit.

Expect the weather to be drier and warmer during June, July and August.

View over Interlaken and Aare River from the Harderbahn funicular at Harder Kulm
Even the ride to and from Harder Kulm is worth photographing!

Practical advice for visiting Harder Kulm

Harder Kulm weather & webcam

It’s worth checking the Harder Kulm webcam as well as the weather forecast when you’re heading to Harder Kulm, as this will give you some idea of what to expect.

Summer highs can reach up to 20°C in July, while in April or October a maximum of 10°C is usual. Lows during the day may reach zero on the coldest days, but should not dip below this during the visitor season.

Pre-purchasing Harder Kulm tickets

Pre-booking tickets is always a good idea to avoid disappointment – as well as queuing – and we recommend doing so for a visit to Harder Kulm. 

Harder Kulm parking

As Harder Kulm is only accessible via hiking or the funicular, the closest places to park are in town near the station of Interlaken Ost. 

There’s an outdoor car park behind the train station and an undercover parking garage beneath the Coop supermarket. Fees apply for both.

From both car parks it takes around five to ten minutes to walk to the funicular station at the base of Harder Kulm.

Is Harder Kulm worth visiting?

Wooden statue at Harder Kulm overlooking Interlaken and the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
 A number of wooden statues line the trail from Harder Kulm station to the restaurant.

Harder Kulm is definitely worth visiting, not least because it’s so very fast and easy to get there from Interlaken.

The funicular station is near the railway station, and the trip up to the viewing platform takes only about 10 minutes.

With the incredible views over two lakes and three major mountains as well as Alpine pastures what’s not to love about a quick trip to Harder Kulm?

Visiting Harder Kulm – FAQs

Wooden statue waving a Swiss flag at Harder Kulm.
Harder Kulm is the ‘house mountain’ of Interlaken and can be reached by funicular in just 10 minutes.

Where is Harder Kulm, Switzerland?

Harder Kulm can be found in the Bernese Oberland area of the canton of Bern.

The peak is perched above the popular Swiss resort of Interlaken, and is very easy to reach from town via the funicular railway. This means visitors can reach the viewpoint in just ten minutes.

How can I visit Harder Kulm?

The ten minute funicular trip from Interlaken will take you to the Two Lakes Bridge and Harder Kulm viewing point. The funicular departs from the centre of town, near Interlaken Ost train station.

Alternatively you can hike up to the top via the marked three mile route, or visit as part of an organised day trip itinerary. 

Harder Kulm sign with Bernese Alps in the background.
Harder Kulm is referred to as ‘Top of Interlaken’.

Can you hike Harder Kulm?

If you don’t mind a steep climb, you can indeed hike to Harder Kulm. There is also a shorter walking trail once you get there.

The trek to the top takes around two hours: though it’s just three miles (or five kilometres) the Harder Kulm altitude means the incline is challenging.

Walkers are rewarded with unique breathtaking views, however, making it more than worthwhile. 

Is Harder Kulm open in winter?

No, Harder Kulm is not open during winter. The funicular operates between mid April and late November, and the restaurant opening times reflect this. Harder Kulm is not accessible from late autumn to mid spring.

Does the Swiss Pass cover Harder Kulm?

An often-asked question is ‘does the Swiss Travel Pass cover Harder Kulm?’ The answer is no, however Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare Card holders get a 50% discount on their tickets for the Harder Kulm funicular.

Whilst the Harder Kulm ticket price with a Swiss Pass is less than the regular ticket price, holders of a Jungfrau Travel Pass or Berner Oberland Pass can travel for free on the Harder Kulm funicular. > Buy your travel pass here.

🇨🇭 Ready to plan your visit to Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region? Check out our guide to 60+ attractions and things to do in Interlaken. You might also like to read our guide to hotels in Interlaken, Switzerland to suit all budgets and our Interlaken and Jungfrau Region Travel Guide.

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