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Among the most popular destinations in Interlaken is Harder Kulm. Located 1,323 meters above sea level, this place is the idyllic escape during your stay in Interlaken. It is easily accessible from the town center starting in mid-April until the end of November.
You can book a private guide to Harder Kulm on Viator – Interlaken City Private Walking Tour and Cable Car to Local Harder Mountain. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased in advance from GetYourGuide, at the counter, or from the machines located outside the building.
Overview: Harder Kulm, Interlaken
Harder Kulm, one of the most popular peaks in the Bernese Oberland, is located in Interlaken, Switzerland. In reality, Interlaken’s local mountain isn’t much of a mountain, but rather a prominent vantage point for viewing the town.
The reason it is so popular is that it offers fantastic views of the three prominent mountains of the area (Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau) as well as two lakes beneath Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.
They built Harderbahn in 1905, 15 years after the initial planning. The train line was relocated away from the forest in order to protect it. The Harderbahn has been operating since 1908. Between 1961 and 1966, both trains were replaced with newer ones.
Harderbahn was refurbished in 2008, 100 years after it opened. Moreover, two brand-new panorama wagons were delivered.
Nowadays, can reach the Harder Kulm from Interlaken on the Harderbahn funicular in less than ten minutes.
Best Things to Do in Harder Kulm, Interlaken
Private Guided Tour
There is also a private tour option if you’d like to explore more than Harder Kulm’s ascent and descent. As your private guide takes you through Interlaken, the surrounding area, and to the best spots in Interlaken, including the casino, the Aare River, and Harder Kulm, you’ll see all the best sites.
Private guides can be booked on Viator here – Interlaken City Private Walking Tour and Cable Car to Local Harder Mountain. In case you enjoy private guides, I highly recommend booking one while in Interlaken.
The benefit of having a private guide is that they can provide you with detailed information about the local area. Furthermore, they can give you some tips and tricks you won’t be able to find in guidebooks or brochures.
Two-Lakes Bridge Viewing Platform
A must-see while visiting Harder Kulm is the Two Lakes Bridge. Visitors to the viewing platform can enjoy fantastic views of the two lakes around Interlaken, such as Lake Thun to the west and Lake Brienz to the east.
We were unable to see the lakes due to a sea of fog. In any case, we were greeted by a sea of clouds, which was also stunning.
We still enjoyed the view of mountain peaks even without seeing the lakes. In contrast to Interlaken’s gray and dreary weather, Harder Kulm’s sunny skies and cloud cover allowed us to view the Bernese Alps.
Panorama Restaurant: Harder Kulm, Interlaken
A beautiful and picturesque restaurant can be found at Harder Kulm. While the restaurant appears to be a small castle, it is just a beautiful panoramic restaurant and nothing more. If you are traveling through Interlaken, you can also see the restaurant from below.
Harder Kulm can also be visited at night by purchasing an evening ticket. It is also possible to purchase a combination ticket that includes both the funicular ride and your dinner at the panoramic restaurant (excluding the drinks).
When the sun shines out, there are tables on their panoramic terrace where you can enjoy food and drinks. It’s a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Additionally, there is space for more than 200 diners in the restaurant and 130 guests in the “Jungfrau” panorama room. Those who would like to rent the entire hall exclusively can also do so.
Hikes around Harder Kulm, Interlaken
The hike between Harder Kulm and Interlaken is short, yet steep at times. Therefore, ensure that you are ready to take on this challenge.
Within walking distance of the restaurant, you’ll find hiking trail signs that you can follow. You can choose to hike around the nearby forest and return to the funicular or go further. Most trails offer spectacular views of the Bernese Oberland mountains.
Here are some hikes around Harder Kulm:
|Hiking Trail||Distance (in kilometers)|
|Harder Kulm – Interlaken Ost||4.1 km|
|Harder Kulm – Bleiki – Goldswil – Interlaken Ost||5.4 km|
|Harder Kulm – Roteflue – Ringgenberg – Interlaken Ost||11.9 km|
|Harder Kulm Circular Trail||2.0 km|
|Alp Lombach – Augstmatthorn – Suggieture – Harder Kulm||10.3 km|
Interlaken-Harder Alpine Game Park
Once you’ve finished your trip to Harder Kulm, you might like to stop by the Interlaken-Harder Alpine Game Park.
Just near the exit, you can find the way to the game park. Take the paved road up the hill after you exit the funicular. Furry marmots are in the first enclosure.
Visit the Alpine ibex after seeing the marmots. Ibexes are omnipresent in Interlaken. The wildlife park had a program that allowed them to breed Alpine ibex. Eventually, the kids were born, and they were released into the wild on the Hardergrat. Eventually, the animals chose and maintained their permanent habitat at the Mährengrinden, with is the southern slope of the Augstmatthorn.
How to Get to Harder Kulm, Interlaken
First, you will have to take the train heading over to Interlaken Ost. After heading out of Interlaken Ost, just head down the Aare River towards the Beaurivage bridge, and cross towards the Harder Kulm Valley station.
Harder Kulm is only 6 minutes away from the train station of Interlaken Ost. To get to Harder Kulm, you just need to write the funicular from Interlaken going up to Harder. The funicular leaves every 20 to 30 minutes.
|By Train||Interlaken Ost|
|By Bus||Interlaken, Drei Tannen|
GetYourGuide.com is a renowned travel platform in Europe that gives you the flexibility to book either travel guides or tickets, depending on your preference. Additionally, it offers the convenience of reserving your spot now and settling the payment at a later time.
Final Thoughts: Harder Kulm, Interlaken
Harder Kulm isn’t really an area where you can do a lot of different things. You can go up there with friends and family, enjoy a delicious meal, take pictures, go for a walk, or go for a hike, and then head back down.
In addition to Harder Kulm, Heimwehfluh can also be a good alternative. From Heimwehfluh, you can also see Lake Thun and Lake Brienz as well as the surrounding mountains. There is a playground and a toboggan at this place, making it a good place for children. Located near Interlaken West, it is also open from April to October.
If you are interested in more mountain activities, my recommendation would be to head over to nearby Grindelwald First. There are mountain carts, hiking trails, scooters, and more at Grindelwald First.
Harder Kulm is an excellent option for a romantic date or relaxing excursion. It is also suitable for those who don’t care about adrenaline-packed mountain adventures. The entire experience can be accomplished in two to three hours, depending on the crowd and whether you want to eat there. Coming from Interlaken, it’s also quite easy to reach.
Guests staying in Interlaken who have guest travel cards can use these to get a reduced price to Harder Kulm.
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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.