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One of the largest cities in Switzerland, Bern is incredibly popular with tourists. Bern is sure to be on many bucket lists, what with the Aare river, the Old Town, the Parliament Building, and numerous museums. You’ve also got Marzilibahn and Gurten right on your doorstep. Marzilibahn is a short and fast way to reach Aare and Marzili-Bad. Gurtenbahn in Wabern, on the other hand, reaches the car-free Gurten 856 meters above sea level.
There’s more to Bern than just a great destination. Bern is a good launching point for many of the mountains of canton Bern and its neighboring cantons.
Despite not being as close to the Bernese Alps as Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, or Wengen, it is a good middle ground between city life and mountain excursions.
In this article, we will discuss the various mountains close to Bern, how to get to the mountains from Bern, and why these are worth visiting. Without further ado, let’s get to the list of 10 mountains to visit near Bern, Switzerland.
1. Stockhorn (2,190 meters)
In Erlenbach im Simmental lies Stockhorn, a mountain in the Bernese Oberland. From up here, you can see Lake Thun, Aare Valley, Bern, and the Jura Mountain range. Stockhorn is 2,190 meters high and accessible by cable car from Erlenbach.
How do you get from Bern to Stockhorn?
Take the train from Bern to Erlenbach im Simmental. Change to the cable cars to Chrindi and Stockhorn. To get from Bern to Stockhorn, expect a travel time of 1 hour and 31 minutes.
Why should you visit Stockhorn?
Stockhorn attracts the eye with the high alpine setting of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau to the south, and the Swiss plateau (known in German as Mittelland) to the north. Due to the partial glass floor on the platform, there is a clear view of 400 meters down the valley. It is situated next to the panoramic mountain restaurant.
If you’re looking for a bit of adrenaline, bungee jumping is available in the evening after regular cable car hours. Anyone who wants to jump will do so by freefalling down the cable car to Hinterstockensee Lake.
Those looking for something more relaxing can go fishing in the aforementioned lake Hinterstockensee. Stockhorn also has climbing routes of all levels, as well as paragliding and delta flying. This mountain is also great for hiking.
2. Marbachegg (1,476 meters)
Located where the Emmen valley in Bern and Entlebuch in Lucerne meet, Marbachegg is a sunny terrace with a spectacular panorama. On the northern side of Schrattenfluh, the cable car runs from Marbach village at 888 meters to Marbachegg at 1,476 meters.
How do you get from Bern to Marbachegg?
Take the train from Bern to Escholzmatt. Take the bus to Schangnau and get off at Marbachegg, Talstation. Take the cable car up to Marbachegg. To get from Bern to Marbachegg, expect a travel time of 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Why should you visit Marbachegg?
This mountain is a special place to see Schrattenfluh, Schibegütsch, and Hohgant, yet you can still see the high alpine peaks of Schreckhorn, Finsteraarhorn, Wetterhorn, Mönch, and Eiger.
You can see unspoiled moors and karst fields if you go to Switzerland’s first biosphere reserve – the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch.
3. Weissenstein (1,395 meters)
Weissenstein is a mountain in the Jura, north of Solothurn town. 1,300 meters above sea level, it’s on the eastern side of the Juras. The mountain itself is located in canton Solothurn.
How do you get from Bern to Weissenstein?
Take the train from Bern to Solothurn. Take the regional train to Oberdorf SO. Take the cable car up to Weissenstein. To get from Bern to Weissenstein, expect a travel time of 70 to 90 minutes.
Why should you visit Weissenstein?
The Weissenstein mountain range offers gorgeous views of Solothurn and its surroundings. Weissenstein boasts an amazing view of the Swiss Alps and Central Switzerland.
It’s a wonderful experience to visit Weissenstein Mountain. Trails like the Planet Trail, Jura Garden Trail, and more await hikers.
4. Niesen (2,362 meters)
Niesen is a mountain peak located in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. The pyramid-shaped mountain is one of the symbols of Lake Thun.
How do you get from Bern to Niesen?
There are direct regional trains that go from Bern to Mülenen. From Mülenen, you can go to the Niesenbahn. There, a funicular will take you to Niesen. It departs once every 30 minutes from mid-April until mid-November.
Why should you visit Niesen?
Funicular rides like the Niesen funicular are very interesting. Despite looking steep at 66% and 68%, it’s actually quite safe to ride on. There are no cogs on this funicular.
Upon reaching the top, you will find a glass restaurant and a kids’ playground called Niesen Village (Niesendörfli). There are also great views of the surrounding area. The surrounding Bernese Alps can be seen, as well as Lake Thun, Simmen Valley, and Kander Valley.
During the winter, skiing is also possible here. There are also trails for snowshoeing.
5. Harder Kulm (1,321 meters)
Harder Kulm is the top station of the funicular right above the town of Interlaken and Unterseen. Harder Kulm is located 1,321 above sea level in the canton of Bern.
How do you get from Bern to Harder Kulm?
Take the train from Bern to Interlaken Ost. From Interlaken Ost, walk through the English Garden and cross the bridge to the Interlaken Harderbahn. The Harder Kulm Valley Station is only 6 minutes away from Interlaken Ost railway station. The funicular will lead you to Harder Kulm in 10 minutes. It leaves once every 30 minutes. Expect to travel from Bern to Harder Kulm in 1 hour and 16 minutes.
Why should you visit Harder Kulm?
Though the funicular has been around for 100 years, the view never gets old. You can look out over Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz from the viewing platform near the funicular mountain station. The town of Interlaken is smack dab in the middle.
From Harder Kulm, you can also go hiking in the mountains – one towards Augstmatthorn and another through the woods to Interlaken.
In the Harder Kulm Panorama Restaurant, you can also eat delicious food. Moreover, they have a stunning panoramic view. Furthermore, lunch tickets are available for reasonable prices, so you can go up to Harder Kulm, eat the special, and then come back. You get a meal with the lunch ticket, and it’s just for adults.
Every last Sunday of the month, they have brunch. From mid-April to mid-October, they also have evening trips.
6. Zweisimmen Rinderberg (2,008 meters)
Between Gstaad and St. Stephan in the Bernese Oberland, Rinderberg is part of the Bernese Alps. The area is at the northern end of the range separating the Saane valley from the Simmental valley, north of the Wildhorn.
How do you get from Bern to Rinderberg?
Take the train from Bern to Zweisimmen. Change to the cable car that leads to Rinderberg. To get from Bern to Rinderberg, expect a travel time of 1 hour and 53 minutes.
Why should you visit Rinderberg?
You’ll find Rinderberg between Lenk, Zweisimmen, Saanenmöser, and Gstaad. It’s a popular spot for ridge hikes and high-altitude hikes thanks to its location.
7. Schynige Platte (2,000 meters)
Schynige Platte is a small mountain that is part of the Schwarzhorn group in Bernese Oberland. The mountain range consists of Gumihorn (2,099 meters), Tuba (2,076 meters), and Geiss (2,067 meters). The viewpoint itself lies at an altitude of 2,000 meters.
How do you get from Bern to Schynige Platte?
From Bern take the train to Interlaken Ost. In Interlaken Ost, take the train to Wilderswil. From Wilderswil, you can take the cogwheel train. The travel time from Wilderswil takes one hour and opens from the third week of May to the third week of October.
Why should you visit Schynige Platte?
Wilderswil’s cogwheel train up to Schynige Platte harkens back to the Belle Époque era. It’s a century-old train that climbs the mountain at 25% steepness to the viewpoint.
A one-hour slow ride, similar to the red panorama coaches going to Brienzer Rothorn, except that the Brienzer Rothorn train is a steam train. There’s nothing better than riding the cogwheel train up and seeing the view. The view once you’re at the top is great too.
On the mountain, you have an alpine garden with hundreds of different plants. You can also hike to Faulhorn and Bachalpsee Lake. Stunning views of Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, and most of the Bernese Alps can also be seen here.
8. Le Moléson (2,002 Meters)
Le Moléson describes itself as the following:
Truly a balcony over the Prealps, the summit of Le Moléson allows you to contemplate the entire French part of Switzerland, from the Lake of Geneva to the famous peaks of the Bernese Oberland as well as from the Mont Blanc to the Jura Mountains and the 3 Lakes region.Moleson.ch
How do you get from Bern to Moléson?
For Le Moléson, you can go by train via Fribourg, Bulle, Gruyères, Moléson-sur-Gruyères, and Plan-Francey. It’s a lot of changing trains and the total trip will be 2.5 hours. So I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.
Even better is going by car instead of the train so that you can use your time efficiently. This journey from Bern to Le Moléson with the car will take only 1 hour instead of close to 3 hours. Parking is available close to the base of the lifts.
Why should you visit Moléson?
The Moléson is a mountain of the Swiss Prealps. It is located in the region of Gruyéres in the canton of Fribourg.
Moleson Village is a developed tourist destination at 1,130 meters. The area has a lot of attractions like alpine chalets, hotels, railways, and other fun stuff. There are over 35 kilometers of slopes in the winter. Further up the road, the 2,002-meter-high Moléson mountain offers stunning views.
On Le Moléson, you can go hiking, climbing, playing downhill golf, and riding downhill carts. You can let the kids have fun on the bouncy castles and on the playground. Fromagerie d’Alpage is a mountain cheese dairy. The dairy puts on cheese-making demonstrations every day for 45 minutes.
9. Schilthorn (2,970 meters)
Schilthorn is a summit in Bernese Oberland, Switzerland. The mountain can be accessed via Mürren and overlooks the Lauterbrunnen Valley below. Although Schilthorn is administered and located in Lauterbrunnen, the western slope belongs to Kander Valley.
How do you get from Bern to Schilthorn?
From Bern, travel to Interlaken Ost. From Interlaken Ost, travel by train to Lauterbrunnen. From Lauterbrunnen, transfer to Stechelberg, Schilthornbahn. Thereafter, you will take the cable car in four succeeding sections: Gimmelwald, Mürren, Birg, and then lastly Schilthorn. The total estimated time from Bern is 2 hours 23 minutes.
I’d recommend taking the car instead of the train from Bern to Stechelberg because of all the train changes. And there are lots of parking spots in Stechelberg (Plus code: HW42+9H Wilderswil). Thereafter, you can take the next cable cars up to Schilthorn.
In case you noticed, there are many cable car changes leading up to Schilthorn. This was considered one of the most difficult airways to be built in Switzerland.
If you would like a guided group tour from Bern to Schilthorn instead of going by yourself, you can book a tour at GetYourGuide – From Bern: Schilthorn, Bond World, and Piz Gloria Tour.
Why should you visit Schilthorn?
Schilthorn was made famous by the spy film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service featuring James Bond. Therefore, you can enjoy Bond World (an interactive exhibit about Bond), Bond Cinema (a cinema showing clips from Bond classics), and 007 Walk of Fame (15 information boards on the mountaintop).
Also on the peak is the Piz Gloria restaurant, located 1,300 meters above Mürren. From the top, there are awesome views of the Jungfrau region, Beni Flue, and Blümlisalp. The video above is courtesy of Schilthorn on YouTube.
Schilthorn is also a winter ski resort that has 50 kilometers of slopes between 1,600 and 3,000 meters. It’s open until the end of April. Part of the Jungfrau Ski Region, Schilthorn has the steepest slope in the region (88% steep).
10. Niederhorn (1,963 meters)
Niederhorn is a mountain of the Emmental Alps in the Bernese Oberland. Located near Beatenberg in canton Bern, it is 1,963 meters above sea level.
How do you get from Bern to Niederhorn?
Take the train from Bern to Thun. Then take the bus to Beatenbucht. From Beatenbucht, you can take the funicular up to Beatenberg, and then the gondola to Niederhorn. It only takes 90 minutes from Bern to get there, even with a bunch of transfers.
Why should you visit Niederhorn?
Niederhorn offers a great view of Lake Thun and the surrounding mountain peaks of the Bernese Oberland. The famed Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau can be viewed from here. You can also see the Justis Valley, Jura, and Aare Valley from the mountain peak.
There are plenty of hikes around Habkern and Gemmenalphorn. The area is also supposed to have alpine ibex, but we didn’t see any when we went.
There’s a big wooden playground right next to the restaurant. You can also rent mountain scooters from the middle station.
TIP: You can also combine this trip with a stop at St. Beatus Caves in Beatenberg.
Summary: Mountains Near Bern, Switzerland
Here is a brief summary of the 10 closest mountains to Bern, Switzerland, and how far away these are (in kilometers, approximate).
|Mountain||Height (m)||Distance from Bern (km)||Canton|
|Stockhorn||2,190 meters||46.1 km||Bern|
|Marbachegg||1,476 meters||49.2 km||Lucerne|
|Weissenstein bei Solothurn||1,395 meters||49.8 km||Solothurn|
|Niesen||2,362 meters||58.6 km||Bern|
|Harder Kulm||1,321 meters||59.6 km||Bern|
|Zweisimmen Rinderberg||2,008 meters||62.7 km||Bern|
|Schynige Platte||2,000 meters||64.6 km||Bern|
|Moléson||2,002 meters||71.0 km||Fribourg|
|Schilthorn (via Stechelberg)||2,970 meters||71.3 km (via Stechelberg)||Bern|
|Niederhorn||1,963 meters||74.5 km||Bern|
Even though Gurten also has a great viewpoint over Bern, if you travel a bit further, you’ll find higher mountains with more activities. Other nearby mountains in canton Bern also include Kiental – Ramslauenen, Kleine Scheidegg/Männlichen, Adelboden Sillerenbühl, and Isenfluh – Sulwald. Chaumont in Neuchâtel is also relatively close to Bern.
As you can see, there are so many mountains near Bern. It’s truly a mountain lover’s paradise here.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.