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, stay right here to find out everything you should know – from the Harder Kulm funicular price to what to do at the top.
[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]
|Type of ticket||Price per adult||Where to buy|
|Regular ticket (return)||CHF 34||BUY HERE|
|Jungfrau Travel Pass holder||Free travel||BUY HERE|
|Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland holder||Free travel||BUY HERE|
|Swiss Travel Pass holder||CHF 17||BUY HERE|
|Swiss Half Fare Card holder||CHF 17||BUY HERE|
About 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 trip up to the top, 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 Mönch, the Jungfrau and the Eiger. In fact the ten-minute trip alone is worthwhile, as the large windows and glass roof 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, taking a brisk or relaxed walk around the area or simply snapping fabulous panoramic pictures from the viewpoint.
Where is Harder Kulm?
Harder Kulm – also sometimes known as Harderkulm – is close to the Swiss resort town of Interlaken in Bern canton. 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 departs from the cable car station, which is only a five minute walk from Interlaken Ost.
Getting from Interlaken to Harder Kulm
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, taking place each year between mid April and late November. You can check the exact dates for each season here.
Hiking to Harder Kulm
If you don’t mind an uphill descent, 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 available via Get Your Guide. During the three hour experience you’ll take in 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
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.
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.
Local & national travel Pass holders
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
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, you have a lake to 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.
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 – or simply ask anyone n town to point you in the right direction. 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.
Harder Kulm animal park
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, where there are plenty of options.
Find out all about the best Interlaken hotels in this article. This will help you find a convenient and comfortable Harder Kulm hotel, whatever your budget.
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 about 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 thus good times to visit, and the weather may be drier and warmer during June, July and August.
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 ideal 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. From here it takes around five to ten minutes to walk to the funicular station at the base.
Is Harder Kulm worth visiting?
Harder Kulm is so 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 that await, what’s not to love about a quick trip to Harder Kulm?
Visiting Harder Kulm – FAQs
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. This departs from the centre of town, near Interlaken Ost.
Alternatively you can hike up to the top via the marked three mile route, or visit as part of an organised day trip itinerary.
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?
Swiss Pass or Half Fare Card holders get a 50% discount on their tickets for the Harder Kulm funicular. Not only is the Harder Kulm ticket price with a Swiss Pass less, holders of a Jungfrau Travel Pass or Regional Pass Berner Oberland also benefit from free travel. > Buy your travel pass here.