Get A View of the Swiss Alps From Interlaken

Take The Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views

Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

We Planned To See The Swiss Alps From Interlaken

A day trip on our stay in Bern gave us the opportunity to view the Swiss Alps from Interlaken.

We visited Switzerland for 10 days. When we planned the trip, we decided that this would not be a Swiss mountain adventure. But we did not want to miss seeing them totally. The weather dawned clear and sunny one day so we headed for a view of the Swiss Alps from Interlaken.

The small town of Interlaken was charming. In Bern we took the Gurten Funicular and got great panoramic views out over Bern. In Interlaken, the Hardenbahn Funicular took us up to the Harder Kulm viewpoint for amazing views over Interlaken and the Thun and Brienz Lakes. The view of the mountains left us with a promise of so much more.

The Train To Interlaken

Interlaken was an easy day trip from Bern. Trains ran from the main train station to Interlaken Ost about every half hour. The train we took stopped first at Interlaken West. From that stop, it was easy to wander in town.

Interlaken Ost station was the terminus and junction for railway lines that went to Jungfrau and Luzern. This station was closer to the Harderbahn Funicular to the top of Harder Kulm.

We were not sure if all trains stopped at the West stop. So after we visited the town, we made our way to Interlaken Ost when it was time to return to Bern.

Different Options For The Swiss Alps From Interlaken

When we originally planned our trip to Switzerland, we intended to head deep into the Swiss Alps from Interlaken. The peak at Jungfrau was called “The Top Of Europe”.

From Interlaken there were a few options to get to Jungfrau. Most people suggested we go one way and return another. There was a train from Interlaken to Grundlewald with a connecting train to Kleine Scheidegg. The other route went via Lauterbrunnen and Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg. In Kleine Scheidegg another train finished the trip to Jungfrau.

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The train ticket to Interlaken was quite cheap. But the cost for additional trains rides to Jungfrau was quite expensive. There were several trains a day. But we were concerned that a day trip from Bern would squeeze us for time. So we left a visit to Jungrau for another visit to Switzerland.

The other Swiss Alps trip that we considered from Interlaken was a trip south to the town of Zermatt. From there it was possible to take a cogwheel train to Gornergrat for a view of the Matterhorn. The town of Zermatt looked like an ideal mountain town to stay at. So we put this on the list for a future mountain visit. At that time we would also head into the mountain region around Lugano and St Moritz.

But on this visit to see the Swiss Alps from Interlaken we headed up to “The Top Of Interlaken” at the Harder Kulm viewpoint. From there we got a great teaser view of Jungfrau off in the distance.

Heading High On The Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint

The bottom of the Harder Kulm viewpoint was located a short walk from the Interlaken Ost train station. The funicular ran about every 30 minutes. There were both one or two way tickets for the Hardenbahn Funicular. But it was a couple of hours to walk down and we did not have that time on this trip.

Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

The funiculars ran at a very steep gradient (64 degrees) and at one point went through a tunnel. Stairs ran beside the funicular in case of an emergency. On one trip, we sat right at the back and got a view of Interlaken below us.

Harderbahn Funicular.jpg

Harderbahn Funicular.jpg

View - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

At the top, there was a gentle path up to the Harder Kulm viewpoint. We were excited when we headed up on the Harderbahn for a view of the Swiss Alps from Interlaken.

Stunning Views From the Harder Kulm Viewpoint

As we approached the viewpoint, we saw the chalet restaurant with a big patio area. The viewpoint platform stuck out from there.

Harder Kulm Chalet and Viewpoint.jpg

We were amused when we found a cow statue in the middle of the platform. He looked out and enjoyed the view from there. Visitors could not resist ringing the bell around the neck. We wondered if that was some kind of local good luck charm.

Chalet and Viewpoint - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

Chalet and Viewpoint Cow - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

It was still early when we arrived, so we headed directly to the platform for our panoramic views. In one direction we saw deep into the Swiss Alps. The Jungfrau summit came in and out of clouds as we watched through our visit.

View Jungfrau - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

Harder Kulm Chalet and Viewpoint View Jungfrau.jpg

Looking down we got a great birds eye view of the town of Interlaken. On one side we saw the clear green Lake Thun. And on the other side the Lake Brienz. Boats did tours of the lakes when we visited in late May.

View - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

View - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

Harder Kulm Chalet and Viewpoint View Town Church.jpg

We looked out and saw the hiking paths that led further up this mountain and others that led back to town.

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We took in the stunning views from Hader Kulm on our trip to the Swiss Alps in Interlaken.

Typical Tourists At the Viewpoint At Harder Kulm

We were surprised by how many people took their quick Instagram moment and left. They stood at the platform point, quickly posed in a number of amusing ways and then headed back down. Even when they were there with someone else, they could not leave without at least one selfie.

We must admit that we took our share of pictures at the platform too. We got pics of each other and someone even took our picture together. There are not a lot of pictures of us together since we were often not comfortable when we handed over David’s expensive DSLR camera or my iPhone.

Harder Kulm Chalet and Viewpoint View.jpg

But we did not leave the viewpoint without sitting down to just enjoy the view. There were tables at the restaurant with good views. The self service counter had picnic tables. Although there were a number of signs cautioning us about having a “Pick Nick”.

Chalet - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

Harder Kulm Chalet and Viewpoint.jpg

We took two lounge chairs and got some drinks. I could not resist an Aperol Spritz. We were delighted we found them readily available as we travelled in Switzerland. David continued his quest to find a local beer that he liked. Of course we made a toast to the perfect day visiting the Swiss Alps from Interlaken.

Harder Kulm Chalet and Viewpoint View.jpg

A quick picture stop may prove we visited. But we were happy we stopped and really enjoyed the view on our trip to the Swiss Alps. If that meant that we saw less viewpoints in a day, then that was a trade off we always made.

Fun Views From The Air

There were other ways to get a birds eye view of the Swiss Alps from Interlaken. As we wandered through the town we saw signs for paragliding, hanggliding and skydiving.

When we were at the Harder Kulm viewpoint, we got a great view of the paragliders as they launched from the heights of the mountain hills beside us. They took the updrafts from the mountain sides and the lake and stayed in the air for quite some time. A few times the paragliders buzzed the platform we stood on. We were sure that the view while paragliding was quite awesome.

Skydiving and Paragliding - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

We saw paragliders several times on our travels around the Alps. One time when visiting Annecy in the French Alps, we stopped and just watched them float down.

From the viewpoint, we saw the landing zone for the skydivers and paragliders. When we were in town we visited the landing zone and watched as they came in. It was quite a show.

Skydiving and Paragliding - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

Skydiving and Paragliding.jpg

If you head to the Swiss Alps from Interlaken, think about seeing them from the air. I thought that David should try it. Having 150 skydives under my belt, I wanted to watch him have this experience. But by the time we finished lunch and found the place to sign up, the clouds started to come in. This was definitely on the list for a return visit to the Swiss Alps from Interlaken.

Walking Around Interlaken

The quaint town of Interlaken looked exactly like we expected a Swiss mountain village to look. The hills around the town were green and cows grazed lazily in the fields. The houses looked like mountain chalets. The hotels in town were elegant. Parks offered green spaces to sit and enjoy the views. And everywhere we looked, the mountains loomed above us.

Interlaken Town Gardens of Friendship Hotel - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

Interlaken Town Victoria Hotel - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

Town Church Gardens.jpg

Interlaken Town Royal Georges Hotel - Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

Town Gardens.jpg

Town Buildings Design.jpg

Town River View.jpg

Town Mountain View.jpg

There were many places for lunch in the town. There was something for every budget and taste. We had a few options pinned on our offline map. And finally chose to sit at an outdoor patio at the Café de Paris. It was asparagus season and I was in heaven to find a spring menu with lots of tasty options.

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When we headed to see the Swiss Alps from Interlaken, we enjoyed the quaint town.

A Taste Test View Of The Swiss Alps From Interlaken

When we visited Switzerland, we were glad we planned to see the Swiss Alps from Interlaken. On a quick day trip from our stay in Bern, we went to Interlaken and headed up to the Harder Kulm viewpoint. We got a great view down to the town below and out on the horizon to the summit at Jungfrau.

If we wanted to see Jungfrau up close, we needed to plan enough time to make that visit properly.

We definitely put Interlaken on our list of places to re-visit. We loved this quaint mountain town. It would be a great spot to use as a base to explore the Swiss Alps from Interlaken in much more depth.

Did you get a view of the Swiss Alps from Interlaken? Did you head from there to Jungfrau?

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Hardenbahn Funicular To Harder Kulm Viewpoint For Panoramic Views of Swiss Alps From Interlaken.jpg

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About TravelAtWill 641 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

45 Comments

  1. Love me a good funicular, Linda, and the Swiss do them so well. David’s beer quest sounds like a fun challenge. Pity he missed out on the skydiving.

    It is very unusual to hear someone say that ‘this Switzerland trip was not going to be about the mountains’. But you’ve seen a lot on your other trips and good to see you still squeezed in a fair few mountains so to say.

    In London they used to have similar cow statues standing around every corner a few years back (some charity campaign).

    Your post brings back fond memories of Switzerland. I used to be surprised when world travellers who had been everywhere said that Switzerland is their favourite country. Being from Germany, Switzerland almost feels like home and we think of places like Cambodia, New Zealand, Peru, or Nepal, not countries next to our backyard. But maybe Switzerland is the most beautiful country in the world.

    • It was funny to visit Switzerland and not plan to spend most of the time in the mountains. But on our first taste test we needed to choose a few spots. So we were glad to get a view of the Alps at Interlaken. We certainly found Switzerland to be beautiful and know we will be back for more. Have to see those mountains!

  2. You had me at funicular. I dont know if it is the little 5 year old boy in me or what but I just love saying the word Funicular! So I always love riding them. Thus riding the Hardenbahn Funicular is a must do event for me when we finally get over to Interlaken. I have always wanted to go canyoneering there and really explore the whole area. I think Darcee my wife would absolutely love checking out the Harder Kulm viewpoint. Those views you captured were amazing

  3. Those views are stunning! I have not been to Interlaken… yet, but it is now on my list. Thank you for giving me a taste of what to expect.

    • I hope you get to visit Interlaken. This view over the town and out to the mountains was amazing. Whether you stand on the platform or soar like the birds!

  4. Wow, this makes me want to teleport back to Interlaken right now! Thanks for that amazing advice, we were only there for a few hours when I went and that was so my mom and I could skydive together. Definitely a wonderful spot to visit!

    • So great that you got to skydive on your visit to Interlaken. A great memory for sure. A return visit should definitely include a trip up to Harder Kulm. Although the views might not surpass what you got skydiving.

    • We were glad we did Interlaken as a day trip but next visit want to spend more time there. The top of Harder Kulm was definitely the perfect spot for a spritz and a view!

  5. Switzerland is one of the prettiest places on earth. Seriously, look at those views!! I can’t wait to hike more through those mountains!!

  6. My friend just moved back to Switzerland from the UK yesterday! I am so planning to visit her next year and therefore I am definitely pinning this post for a future reference. It looks like a great place to visit with great views. The funicular would be fun for our son. Thank you for sharing.

    • I hope you do get to visit your friend in Switzerland. It will be great to have a local show you around. But I would definitely add the view from Harder Kulm to your list when you visit.

  7. I have been to Jungfrau in June and it was snowing so hard I couldn’t see anything so I think you made the right choice. I only spent a little time passing through Interlaken and want to return for sure. The Harder Kulm Viewpoint looks incredible and a selfie with the cow a must!

    • We were disappointed we did not see more of the mountains in Switzerland. But these views from high over Interlaken were a great tease to make sure we plan for a longer mountain visit on our next trip. And hopefully we will have clear weather at Jungfrau.

  8. I am glad I came across this post. When we will have a little bit of time to take a peek of the Alps, it will be here at Interlaken, just like you did at Hard Klum!

  9. A great 10 day trip around Switzerland. I like the idea of going to Interlaken by train. You can then focus on admiring the nature and majestic mountains outside the window. It’s great that there are so many sightseeing options for the Swiss Alps from Interlaken. Good to know that train rides to Jungfrau are expensive. It helps to plan a budget. Views from the Harder Kulm Viewpoint are spectacular. The cover photo is amazing – the essence of Switzerland.

    • We did most of our travel around Switzerland by train. Loved just window gazing on the trips. We will plan properly on our next visit to see Jungfrau – both time and money!

  10. Your post has brought back such amazing memories from my trip 7 years ago. Switzerland is one of the prettiest countries I have been to, and Interlaken was one of the best destinations/ cities to visit in Switzerland. I didn’t make it to Harder Kulm Viewpoint, didn’t even know about its existence back then but I did the paragliding above the two lakes, and it was one of the best experiences ever!

    • I am sure paragliding was an amazing experience from Interlaken. It seemed like the perfect spot to get views and a thrill at the same time. A great memory for sure!

  11. You’ve just described my dream holiday. The Alps are simply breathtaking. I love the idea of taking the train there, what a great way to take in stunning scenery. Not that I would ever try it, but I could watch those paragliding float through the air. So lovely.

    • The train was indeed the perfect way to visit Interlaken. It left us lots of energy to explore above and below. A great day trip but worth more than a day.

  12. This article comes at a great time as I’m currently on a Swiss road trip! What a view! This will be one of the last stops of the trip but I am very excited now

  13. Switzerland is always in my bucket list and I am so impressed by all your picturesque photos! Riding a train is a relaxing and good way to enjoy this nature wonderland. And that’s what I would love to do when travelling there!

  14. I would love that train ride, looks stunning. It is one of those bucket list items for sure. I have had Interlaken on my list and wanted to visit it the last time I was in Switzerland. But unfortunately because of time constraint I couldn’t go. Interlaken looks very pretty and it will be awesome to see those snow capped mountains for sure. Hopefully I get there someday.

    • I do hope you get to Interlaken if you get back to Switzerland. We were sad we could not go further into the mountains. But glad we got such great teaser.

  15. Wow! The view is indeed beautiful. It is nice that there’s a restaurant too where you can hangout while enjoying this beautiful view. I am excited to hear more about David’s verdict about the local beers he tried. 🙂

    • The top of Interlaken at Harder Kulm was indeed the perfect spot for a meal and a drink. I loved being able to get an Aperol Spritz. David continued to be disappointed in most of the beers. Just not dark and stout enough for him.

  16. Oh my goodness! Those views are spectacular. I totally would have taken the Funicular instead of walking to save time. Plus, you get the views in a condensed amount of time. Maybe better luck somewhere else on the beers. Ha!

  17. I have only been to Basel in Swiz and I’m yet to see the snowy Swiz mountains. I hope I’ll get to go sometime next year atleast. I’ve heard a lot and lot about Interlaken and many of my friends have been there and now reading this, that might be where I might head to. The views are just too good! I love funicular rides. Swiz cow bells are often bought as a souvenir. I’m also not sure if there’s any ‘luck’ belief associated with it.

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