If you’re like me, always on the hunt for those special spots that fly under the radar, then today is your lucky day! A bit on the edge of the Jungfrau region, away from the usual tourist trails, sits the Brienzer Rothorn. It’s one of those places that might not get all the flashy headlines like its neighbours, but trust me, it’s every bit as breathtaking or more.
Let me introduce you to the Brienzer Rothorn and tell you why this hidden gem of the Jungfrau Regions deserves a top spot on your Swiss adventure list!
How to get to Brienzer Rothorn?
The Brienzer Rothorn is accessible by cogwheel train from Brienz, or by cable car from Sörenberg. The train ride from Brienz is a spectacular experience, but only available from June through October. Although less spectacular, the access from Sörenberg is year-round. Because I believe the magical cogwheel train ride is the real highlight of the journey, I am going to focus on that one only.
How to get to the Brienzer Rothorn Cogwheel Train Station?
Getting to the train station of to board the cogwheel train is easy. The cogwheel train station is just across the regular train station in Brienz. Luckily for you, the ship’s pier is also just there and if you stay in Interlaken, this would be your preferred way to commute in summer! There are also car parks scattered in walking distance.
The Brienzer Rothornbahn (Brienzer Rothorn Cogwheel Train)
Once you’re in Brienz, the next part of the trip is pretty exciting. You’ll be taking the Brienzer Rothornbahn, which is this historic cogwheel train that takes you all the way up the mountain. This isn’t your everyday train ride. Founded in 1892 with tracks of a length of 7.6 kilometers, it climbs quite a bit, over 1,678 meters to be exact, and offers some really stunning views as you go up. You’ll see Lake Brienz on one side and beautiful alpine scenery on the other.
The Brienzer Rothorn
As soon as you step off the cogwheel train,you’re hit with views that’ll make you want to drop everything and just stare. Also, you will notice the peace and quiet even more as it’s in contrast to the huff, puff and hammering you have experienced for the past hour. Looking down, you’ve got Lake Brienz below, shining bright blue and looking pretty as a postcard. Then, you look up a bit and you can admire the Swiss Alps and maybe you even see Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau in the distance!
At the peak there are paths heading off in all directions – some are easy walks where you can just wander and take in the sights, and some are tougher hikes that’ll give your legs a good workout. But no matter which path you pick, the views are always worth it. Most of the visitors head directly to the physical peak, the Brienzer Rothorn, and enjoy the 360 degree view, where you might even see the popular moutains of the Lucerne Region, Rigi and Pilatus.
Hotel and Restaurant
The coghweel trains operate from June towards the end of October. During this time, they run from around 8am to 6pm. Check timetable link here.
A full fare (return ticket) is almost CHF 100. You get a 50% discount if you are in possession of the Half Fare Card for Tourists or the Swiss Travel Pass.
How long does the experience at Brienzer Rothorn take?
I would plan somewhere in between 4-6 hours depending on the availability on the train and how much you like it up there. This half-day trip can be combined with attractions in the area such as Aare Gorge, Giessbach Falls, Iseltwald or a village tour in Brienz.
How long is the ride to Brienzer Rothorn?
The cowheel train ride to Brienzer Rothorn takes almost an hour. There are no toilets on the train.
Can I make seat reservations for the cogwheel train to Brienzer Rothorn?
The Brienzer Rothorn cogwheel train runs on a timetable. You can purchase a guarantee to be transported at a certain time, but the seats as such cannot be reserved. If there is high demand, more than one train will run at the scheduled time.
What are the best seats on the Brienzer Rothorn cogwheel train?
I recommend the seats near the door as you enter from the platform. Like this you get the snap the «money shots» of the train and the Swiss chalets in Brienz and also you will experience the famous long turn towards to peak on the favourable side. If you want to have good pics of the train, sit away from the locomotive. If you want to smell and hear the locomotive, sit closer to it.
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