Located at 1322 meters above the sea level, Harder Kulm is one of Interlaken’s greatest attractions. This mountain peak is the ideal destination for photographers, gourmets, hikers and nature lovers. From up here you’ll get the most breath-taking views of the entire Jungfrau region.
How to Get to the Harder Kulm Peak in Interlaken
Getting to Herder Kulm from Interlaken is quite easy. You can either hike to the top, or take the Harderbahn, a modern funicular that operates from the center of the town.
We arrived in Interlaken late afternoon and decided to take the funicular, which was just steps away from the Lindner Grand Beau Rivage Hotel, where we were staying.
The Harderbahn ride takes about ten minutes during which time you can enjoy the beautiful views of the valley from the rear window of the funicular.
On the way back, we took the trail down to Interlaken. If you are in a good physical shape, I would encourage you to skip the funicular and hike to the Harder Kulm Peak from Interlaken.
The trail is a bit over 4 km (2.54 miles) and it takes approximately two hours to hike to the summit. On the way up you will enjoy amazing views, water streams, and lots of vegetation.
What to Do on Harder Kulm
Although there is not a lot to do at the top of Harder Kulm, you could easily spend a few hours up here.
Have Lunch at the Herder Kulm Restaurant
From the upper station there is a five-minute walk that takes you to the Harder Klum Restaurant. It’s hard to miss this castle-like structure with red tile roof and a turret.
The restaurant’s sun terrace is a great place to unwind and enjoy some tasty Swiss food and a glass of Prosecco.
We tried the Swiss raclette and some local beer and loved it. Everything tastes better in this gorgeous setting!
Hike the Elfenweg Trail
While wandering around at the top of Harder Kulm, we discovered a short hiking trail called Elfenwe, from where you can see the village of Interlaken. The trail starts at the side of the restaurant and circles the Harder ridge, going mostly through the woods.
This is an easy hike that takes about an hour. The passes through green woods, but sometimes opens up to the valley offering fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. I highly recommend this beautiful walk if you have the time.
Enjoy the Panoramic Views
But the real reason people visit Interlaken’s Harder Kulm is neither the restaurant, nor the hike. It’s the views. The panorama over the entire Lütschine Valley is amazing! You can see Lake Thun, Lake Brienz and the summits of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfraujoch from up here.
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On a clear day you can see for miles around. However, I imagine that getting up here when the visibility is low may be very disappointing!
Stand on the Viewing Platform
In front of the restaurant there is a viewing platform that hangs over the mountain edge. Stepping over the glass-bottom platform makes you feel like you are on top of the world with the town of Interlaken below you, flanked by the two lakes of Thun and Brienz.
When we were there, there were a number of paragliders around that made the experience even more interesting.
Best Time of the Day to Visit Harder Kulm in Interlaken
The best time of the day to come to Harder Kulm is around sunset, when the sunlight shines at a lower angle reflecting shades of pink onto the white snowy peak of the Jungfrau range.
We were lucky to be here in May, about a month before the peak season in Switzerland starts. I imagine this place must be pretty crowded in summers.
Tips for Visiting Harder Kulm, Interlaken’s Local Mountain
• The restaurant and the funicular are closed in winter. They are open from April 25 till October 25.
• The funicular fee is 30 CHF round trip, but with the Swiss Pass you can get a 50% discount. You may choose to buy just a one-way ticket to the summit (15 CHF) and hike down (about 1.5 hours) on the way back.
• The Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open from Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. and on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. It can also be reserved for weddings or special events.
• There is a small Animal Park near the entrance to the funicular that can be reached from the bottom station on a small trail with steps.
Planning a trip to Switzerland? You may find these posts useful:
10 Days in Switzerland – the Perfect Scenic Train Itinerary
Best Things to Do in Interlaken for Couples
Lucerne to Interlaken Via the Golden Pass