On 25th April’16, we reached around 2 PM to our hotel. After getting refreshed, we were out at 3 PM and started exploring the place on our own. Having no pre-planning where to go, still we were confident that we will make most out of this place. We had a complimentary bus pass given by the hotel staff by using that we could go near-by places and can avail some discounts as well at railway tickets. After spending couple of hours exploring nearby scenic views, Lakes and Mountains, we moved to Interlaken OST railway station. From here we came to know about Harder Kulm, mostly known as Top of Interlaken. We didn’t read about it before travelling to Interlaken though were convinced to be at this place by the ticket operator at OST station. In her words, for me this place is like, “Reach in the morning, had couple of beers, read a book, enjoy the city view surrounded by mountains covered with eternal snow. You guys will definitely like it. Though you are starting late, but still you should go.” And we were convinced. Rest is the story that we would have missed out a big if we missed it. Thanks to the ticket operator who made our day!
How to Reach
The journey from Interlaken to the Harder Kulm (Interlaken’s local mountain), takes ten minutes by cable train. Harder Kulm station is at walking distance from OST station. Tickets can be bought from OST station or from Harder Kulm station itself. Ticket price is around CHF 15 for one.
Before we could witness Interlaken view from altitude of 1322 meter height, we enjoyed 10 minutes cable train journey at fullest. Almost 90′ steep train journey, it is no less than an adventure in itself. Constructed by cutting the mountains, it gives a breathtaking view and thrill while reaching up to the harder Kulm mountain station. It is said that it has been more than 100 years for cable train serving the tourists.
Harder Kulm Mountain station to the Viewing Deck
It is around 5 minutes picturesque view walk from mountain station to the viewing deck. On the way you witness the calmness of mountain which are filled with eternal snow and slow moving clouds. You feel the almighty nature and believes why it is called God’s heaven. Viewing deck just out of the mountain and you can’t beat the view that Harder Kulm offers from here. A wonderful panorama view of the Alps, two lakes and the beautiful city of Interlaken. It is just an amazing view which is a must experience if you are in Interlaken. If luck favors and weather is clear, the view is going to be incredible.
At harder Kulm, there is a standalone restaurant just in front of viewing deck. At 2 degree of temperature, when we were freezing outside viewing one of the most incredible view, we had no choice but to get inside the restaurant. A warm feeling sitting inside and watching the view from wall size glass windows, we ordered Swiss homemade beer and red wine. We spend around 1 hour sitting there and ordered few drinks. Its little expensive restaurant but looking at the warmth and feel it gives at the top of Interlaken, it’s worth spending time there. The only drawback here, you just can’t sit idle even for 5 minutes, stewards will keep asking you on frequent interval to order something even if restaurant is empty and there is no customer. We faced such incident there.
The Harder Kulm is a starting point for mountain hikes. It also offers a beautiful view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains as well as Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Folklore evenings are held regularly on the Harder Kulm. There’s fun at the playground for children.
A must visit place if you are in Interlaken. You need to keep 2-3 hours aside for this place including cable train waiting and travel time. Though it all depends on your schedule and mood. Overall I give 4 out of 5 rating to this place for cable train journey and incredible view from viewing deck.