The Brienzer Rothorn
You will reach this mountain along Lake Brienz via a cogwheel steam railway across an extraordinary landscape. There are breathtaking views of Central Switzerland and the Bernese Alps along the way and from the top.
This is how to get to the Brienzer Rothorn.
The forum allows you to post your questions and discuss your plans.
Attraction type: Scenic trip, By train;
Natural site, Mountain top, By train;
Natural site, Mountain top, By cable car;
Scenic trip, By bus
Escort: independent (no guide)
Region: Lake Brienz (Bernese Oberland)
Duration: 1 day or less
Up and down to the Brienzer Rothorn by steam train
It's a real pleasure to board the train in Brienz, and travel to the top the same way that's been used since 1891: by a steam locomotive pushing the carriages up the mountain on a cogwheel railway. It takes an hour to reach the station on the top of the Brienzer Rothorn, at an altitude of 2244 m.
The scenery along the way is extraordinary: the train winds its way up the mountain, crossing meadows and forests. Once the mid station of Planalp has been reached, the forests make place for alpine meadows, rocks and sharp ridges.
Diesel locomotives are available too, which will be used if there are lots of travelers or technical issues.
On the top, there is a tremendous view of Lake Brienz deep down in the valley, the Bernese Oberland in the south, and Central Switzerland in the north. There's a restaurant and a mountain lodge to spend the night. Note that this is closed in 2023 due to revision and construction work.
Round trip by bus, cable car, steam train, train and boat
Instead of going up and down the mountain by the cogwheel train, you can also make a beautiful round trip and use 5 different modes of transport! Note that you can't make the trip as described below in 2023, because the cable car to Sörenberg is temporarily closed.
- From Interlaken, you first take a train along the GoldenPass route, via Brienz and Meiringen, to Giswil.
- There you change to the postbus that takes you to the Glaubenbielen Pass. Change for a bus to "Sörenberg, Rothornbahn" Be sure to check the timetable, as this bus route isn't available on all days and doesn't run frequently.
- Next, take the cable car up to the Brienzer Rothorn.
- Take the cogwheel train down to Brienz.
- Walk over to the boat dock and take a boat to Interlaken. Alternatively, you can take a train.
Check the weather forecast to make sure that the top of the mountain isn't in the clouds, and that the skies are clear enough to enjoy the wide views.
The Brienzer Rothorn is not exceptionally high for Swiss standards. There will normally be no snow on the top in late spring, summer and early fall. Still it can be chilly, as the top is fully exposed to the wind. Dress in multiple thinner layers so that you can adapt to whatever circumstances you will encounter. Take along sun glasses.
Allow at least an hour on the top to fully enjoy the views, and at least 3 hours for the full trip from Brienz. The round trip via Giswil takes at least 6 hours.
Did you like your trip to the Brienzer Rothorn?
If you liked the train ride to Brienzer Rothorn, the cogwheel train to Schynige Platte may interest you too.