Berggasthaus Aescher: A Visitor’s Guide to Epic Swiss Views

berggasthaus aescher hut appenzell

We’ve all seen that one wooden house built into the side of the mountain on the cover of the National Geographic book. It’s the Aescher Guesthouse in Switzerland, and it’s been welcoming hikers and tourists since the mid-19th century.

If you want to visit this magical place but you’re not sure where to start, you’ve definitely come to the right place. This detailed visitor’s guide on Berggasthaus Aescher has all the information you need, including when to go, how much will it cost, and what else you can do in the area!

History of Aescher

Aescher Guesthouse
Aescher Guesthouse

The Aescher guesthouse has existed since the mid-19th century, and it’s always been a popular destination among hikers in Switzerland. It became internationally famous only when National Geographic put it on the cover of their Destinations of a Lifetime book. That amount of exposure really made the place go viral, and nowadays it’s one of the best-known destinations in Switzerland. 

There’s evidence that the Wildkirchli caves were used as living spaces in ancient times, and even bones from cave bears were discovered in the area. Additionally, Priest Ulmann is thought to have been the first hermit who lived in the Wildkirchli hermitage, way back in 1658. 

The history and cultural heritage of Aescher are something you need to experience to understand. But once you’ve been there and seen it, you’ll get it and you’ll never want to leave the place!

How to Get to Berggasthaus Aescher

Aescher Trail
Aescher Trail

Berggasthaus Aescher is easily accessible by public transport. You can take a train to Wasserauen from almost everywhere in Switzerland; you might have to change trains here and there, but it is possible to travel even from Geneva just by train. 

At Wasserauen, look for the Wasserauen – Ebenalp cable car station. It is just behind the train station, only a short walk once you get off the train. The cable car takes you to the top of that massive mountain, and then you’re just a short distance from Aescher. 

When you get out of the cable car, look for a path made from stone blocks that leads downhill. This mountain path will take you straight to the Aescher guesthouse, and you can enjoy some pretty views along the way. It’s a steep path, so take your time and be careful. 

Opening Times

Aescher House
Berggasthaus Aescher

The Aescher guesthouse normally opens in early May and stays open until the end of November. The opening times of the restaurant depend on the season – from May to October, it’s open from 7:30 AM, but in November the restaurant opens at 8 AM and closes at 8 PM. 

It’s worth noting that the cable car stays open longer, so you could hike here even if the guesthouse is closed. Naturally, that’s only if the conditions are good enough to descend to the guesthouse from the mountain station. 

There’s a serious risk of avalanches in the winter, so if you’re dead set on visiting the area, at least make sure that the conditions are safe and avoid visiting the area in heavy snow. 

Ticket Prices

Ebenalp Cable Car
Ebenalp Cable Car

A return ticket for the Ebenalb cable car costs 34 CHF for adults. The tickets are cheaper for kids, and it’s worth noting that you can get all sorts of discounts for the tickets. If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, you pay only 50% of the price. 

On the other hand, even dogs have to have their own tickets at the Ebenalp cable car, which is a bit too much if you ask me. Also, I have to point out that these prices are listed as summer ticket prices, which leads me to believe that there’s some sort of discount for visitors who come here in the off-season. I couldn’t find any exact information, but it’s something to keep in mind. 

Since Aescher is a restaurant/guesthouse, you don’t have to purchase a ticket to visit. You can just get coffee at the restaurant, stay for lunch, or book a night in one of the guesthouse rooms

The famous Wildkirchli church is also accessible for free, so you really only need to pay for the cable car ticket

What to Expect When Visiting Aescher

Ebenalp Paragliding
Ebenalp Paragliding

One of the main things to expect when visiting Aescher is cold weather. Even if you come here in the middle of the summer, you need to bring a warm layer. The guesthouse is at an altitude of some 1500 meters above sea level, so it can get very chilly here in the evenings, even on the hottest summer days. 

Also, the guesthouse is not heated and travelers are advised to bring a warm blanket or their own sleeping bag. Depending on which room you choose to stay in, that sleeping bag might be your only source of warmth. 

The accommodation options at Aescher that include a duvet are the double room with the comfy double bed and the quadruple room. There’s also a group room for up to 15 people – there aren’t any duvets or blankets here, and a personal sleeping bag is necessary. 

On top of that, there’s also the Hermit Lodge. This accommodation is separate from the guesthouse, and it’s between Aescher and the Wildkirchli cave. All guests who stay at Aecscher are treated to a welcome drink and a delicious breakfast in the morning.

The Aescher restaurant is even more popular than the inn. It’s visited by all the people who choose to stay at the inn, plus countless hikers who come to the area just for the views. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it stays open throughout the entire season. 

The restaurant only accepts reservations for groups of 10 people, and reservations for the terrace can be made only for the time slot between 7:30 AM and 9 AM. It’s first come first served, so if you want to enjoy the views from the restaurant terrace, you better get here as early as possible. 

Other Places to Stay Near Aescher

Ebenalp Mountain Hut
Ebenalp Mountain Hut

Want to visit Aescher but don’t necessarily want to sleep in a house without heating? Then you should know that it’s not your only option when it comes to staying in Ebenalp, Switzerland.

Berggasthaus Ebenalp is another popular inn in the area, just minutes away from the top cable car station. It has great rooms with panoramic views, as well as free WiFi and complimentary breakfast. 

There are also several hotels and guest houses in Wasserauen that are within walking distance of the bottom cable car station. The only problem with staying in Wasserauen is that you need to pay for the cable car whenever you want to go up to Aescher, and that can be very pricey if you’re staying in the area for a while and are planning on doing multiple trips. 

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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