Schynige Platte: A Detailed Guide For Visitors

view from schynige platte

Schynige Platte is one of the several iconic mountains near Interlaken. Accessible by a historic cogwheel train from Wilderswil, the mountain ridge is a popular summer destination.

Below, you’ll find all the information you need to plan the trip in this guide.

General Information

Altitude2,099 meters
LocationGündlischwand, Switzerland
ParkingAt Wilderswil
Opening TimesJune – October, 7:25 AM – 4:45 PM
Prices64 CHF – 71.20 CHF
DiscountsSwiss Travel Pass, Half-Fare Card, Interrail/Eurail Card,
Free withJungfrau Travel Pass, Berner Oberland Pass
ServicesHotel, Playground, Train Station, Botanical Garden, Paragliding
Websitejungfrau.ch
General information about Schynige Platte

How to Get There

Schynige Platte train

Schynige Platte is most easily accessible from Interlaken and Wilderswil. The travel times are:

  • Interlaken – Wilderswil – Schynige Platte: 1 hour 3 minutes
  • Wilderswil – Schynige Platte: 52 minutes

Schynige Platte is only accessible by train. Buses don’t run to the mountain ridge and it is not possible to drive up the mountain in a personal vehicle.

In theory, hiking to Schynige Platte from other destinations in the mountains is possible. More on that below in the hiking section.

NOTE: It isn’t possible to bring a bicycle on the trains to Schynige Platte.

Tickets and Prices

Schynige Platte Switzerland
Views at Schynige Platte

Train tickets from Interlaken and Wilderswil were previously priced at 64 CHF and 71.2 CHF. The price of tickets is subject to change, so please check the current prices before booking as they often change each year.

What I can confirm is that it’s possible to get discounts with a variety of different travel passes. These include:

Whether it makes sense to buy one of these travel passes depends on how long you’re staying in Switzerland and where you’re planning to travel. The Swiss Travel Pass is the best value for longer trips that include many regional trains. On the other hand, the Half-Fare Card offers the most savings for mountain railway trains and occasional travel on regional trains.

The Jungfrau Travel Pass is excellent value because it offers free travel on nearly all the trains and cable cars in the Jungfrau region. It’s a perfect option for travelers who plan to stay in Interlaken for at least three days and want to explore all the top attractions in the area, from Murren to Grindelwald. The prices start at 190 CHF for three days. 

The Berner Oberland Pass also offers great value. It’s a more expensive pass, but it covers a wider area and offers discounts on more trains. The prices start at 240 CHF for a three-day pass. 

Another important thing to note is that it’s possible to purchase both the Jungfrau and Berner Oberland passes at a discounted price with the Swiss Travel Pass, Half-Fare Card, and GA Travel Card.

Timetable

The trains from Wilderswil run only in the summer months. They’re guaranteed between June and September; depending on the weather, they run in May and October. The schedule depends on the weather conditions quite a bit, and it changes every season.

The first train to Schynige Platte departs Widlerswil at 7:25 AM. The next one is at 8:45 AM, and after that, the trains run every 40 minutes until 4:45 PM.

At Schynige Platte, the first train departs for Wilderswil at 8:21 AM, the second at 9:41 AM, and then there’s a new one every 40 minutes. The final train from Schynige Platte to Wilderswil is at 5:53 PM.

Best Time to Visit

schynige platte

The best – and only – time to visit Schynige Platte is the summer, maybe the shoulder season if the train is operational. Mountain trains are the only way to access the mountain, so as long as the trains are running, it’s an excellent time to travel up to Schynige Platte.

Even in the off-season, checking the planned schedule for the next season on the Schynige Platte website is possible so you can quickly start planning your trip.

Regarding the time of day, it’s best to go as early as possible. You’ll beat the crowds and have more time to enjoy Schynige Platte to the fullest instead of missing out and rushing to take the last train back to Wilderswil.

Top Activities at Schynige Platte

Unsure how to spend your time at Schynige Platte? There are a few different ways to have fun up the mountain!

Hiking

Schynige Platte to First
Schynige Platte to First hike

Hiking is the most popular activity at Schynige Platte. With stunning mountain landscapes and direct trails to multiple nearby summits, you could spend hours hiking on Schynige Platte.

The summit has four very popular hiking trails, which range from easy to very challenging.

Daube Hike

  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Rating: Easy

Daube is a viewpoint approximately 20 minutes away from the train station at Schynige Platte. This is the easiest hike up the mountain, suitable even for very young kids. The loop hike takes 40-45 minutes over a trail of 2 kilometers, and the total elevation gain is just 100 meters.

Oberberghorn Hike

  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Rating: Moderate

This is just a longer version of the Daube hike. Start at the Schynige Platte station, hike to Daube, and then continue hiking to Oberberghorn.

It’s a more challenging hike because of the rocky and steep terrain, but nothing too technically challenging. The trail is about 3 kilometers long with an elevation gain of 123 meters, and it takes up to an hour and a half to complete.

Schynige Platte Panorama Trail

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Rating: Moderate

The Panorama Trail is the best hike atop the Schynige Plate for moderately experienced hikers. The trail is six kilometers long and takes approximately three hours to complete.

It starts at the train station atop the mountain, then goes on to Daube, Oberberghorn, and finally Loucherhorn. The elevation gain is about 230 meters, the terrain is rocky and steep at times, and the views are out of this world.

Schynige Platte – Faulhorn – First

  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Rating: Challenging

The most challenging (and rewarding) hike atop the mountain is via Faulhorn to First. It includes the panorama trail to Loucherhorn, and during the entire hike, you can enjoy views of magical Swiss landscapes. The trail is 16 kilometers long with an elevation gain of 840 meters. It takes almost six hours to complete, and it is suitable only for the most experienced hikers.

This is a fantastic hike that I did many moons ago, and you can do it in the opposite direction, too. However, it is quite an arduous hike that takes 6 hours and is difficult to complete in one day unless you are fit. We stopped at the Faulhorn Hut and stayed the night, which is a great option. You can continue hiking the next day or even descend to the Grindelwald Valley floor on foot, although it is a long way down!

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Botanical Garden

Schynige Platte Bahn and the Lütschental
View of Schynige Platte Bahn and the Lütschental © Alpengarten Schynige Platte

The botanical garden at Schynige Platte specializes in researching the Alpine flora of the Swiss mountains. With a collection of more than 600 plants native to the Alps in Switzerland, this is an attraction you simply cannot miss while you’re at Schynige Platte.

The garden is approximately a 15-minute walk from the train station, if you go slowly and marvel at the stunning landscapes stretching before you. Entrance to the garden is included in the cost of train tickets.

There’s also a shop at the botanical garden, where you can buy all sorts of souvenirs. My favorites were the small scented pillows, which made my entire wardrobe smell divine for months.

Paragliding

Paragliding from Schynige Platte to Interlaken
Paragliding from Schynige Platte to Interlaken

If hiking is too tame for you, perhaps paragliding will be more up your alley. Although many paragliding flights take off from Schynige Platte, you will need to head to Interlaken first. Most companies that operate paragliding in the area are based in Interlaken, and in most cases, the instructor will ride on the cogwheel railway with you.

Paragliding is certainly not an activity for everyone, but it is fun. And it’s the perfect thing to do for travelers who are always looking forward to the next adrenaline rush.

Takeoff is from Schynige Platte, where you enjoy incredible views of Interlaken, Lake Brienz, and Lake Thun. If you purchase the thermal flight add-on, you’ll be in the air for 20 minutes and climb even higher. The landing is at Interlaken, after about a 20-30 minute flight. In total, the adventure lasts for about two and a half hours.

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Rock Climbing

There are no rock climbing routes at Schynige Platte, but some of the best mountain climbing adventures are at Hintisberg. The hamlet is accessible by cars from Lütschental and hiking trails from Schynige Platte, so it’s definitely worth exploring if you’re into rock climbing.

It takes about two and a half hours to hike from Schynige Platte to the Hintisberg climbing area. The path is mostly downhill, and the hike can be done quicker in ideal conditions. Several climbing routes are available for ascents on the Burg mountain summit.

Additionally, the Hintisberg mountain house is in the area and it offers lodging to climbers and hikers. If you want to climb as many of the 25 routes as possible, you’ll have a place to stay for the night.

Alphorn Players

Alphorn players
Alphorn players

The Alphorn is a traditional instrument usually played by locals in the Alps. It’s a very long type of horn that sounds wonderful when played by professionals. But when played by someone who has never handled the Alphorn, it tends to sound more like Ros Geller with the bagpipes.

Alphorn players entertain the guests at Schynige Platte daily during the season. They can usually be heard playing from 11 AM until 2 PM, and they’ll even pose with you for photos after the free concert.

The Schynige Platte History

Schynige Platte railway
The Schynige Platte railway dates back to the 19th century

Schynige Platte railway was constructed in the late 19th century and has transported passengers to the mountain ridge ever since. Even today, the Schynige Platte Railway operates one of its original steam locomotives up the mountain. The rest are electric trains, which were introduced on the railway several decades after its opening.

Trains officially started running from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte in 1893, but it wasn’t until 1914 that electric trains started transporting passengers up the mountain. And it took more than a decade for the Alpine Garden to open up at Schynige Platte in 1928.

The train travels slowly up the mountain, climbing from 600 meters to more than 2,000 meters and passing through several tunnels along the way. The journey alone is a fantastic experience, offering views of dramatic mountain peaks, cows grazing, mountain pastures, and forests.

What’s most special about the Schynige Platte Railway is that most of the technology it uses today is more than a century old. The initial electric locomotives are still being used to transport passengers up the mountain, and most of the infrastructure of the railway dates back to the original construction. That’s partially why it takes so long to travel up the mountain.

Where to Stay

Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel Interlaken
Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel in Interlaken

The best places to stay are Interlaken, Wilderswil, and Schynige Platte.

Interlaken is generally the best option for tourists because it offers a wide selection of hotels in all price ranges. The town has easy access to all the major attractions in the area, Schynige Platte included.

The top Interlaken hotels (for all budgets) are: 

Wilderswil is an excellent place to stay for the easiest access to Schynige Platte. But, there aren’t too many other things to do in the town, and you will need to travel to Interlaken for connections to other tourist attractions in the area.

The best hotels in Wilderswil are:

There’s also one hotel at Schynige Platte, and it’s a good place to stay if you want to spend several days exploring the mountain. However, remember that the hotel gets busy in the peak season, and rooms aren’t always available. If you want to stay at the Schynige Platte Hotel, you will need to book a room months in advance.

Nightly rates for the Berghotel Schynige Platte start at 325 CHF for two adults. Breakfast and dinner are included in the rate, but guests won’t have access to a private bathroom.

Where to Eat

There’s only one restaurant atop Schynige Platte, and it’s in the hotel. The menu is standard Swiss, with some international options like burgers and pasta. The food is excellent, but the prices are high, which is standard for Swiss mountain restaurants.

If you’re fine with preparing your food, use the barbecue area atop Schynige Platte. There is a designated spot for grilling, so bring some fresh meat and veggies and enjoy grilling under the blue sky.

Alternatively, get some food to go at Wilderswil or Interlaken and take it with you up the mountain. Sandwiches will hold best, but it’s fine to pack some more elaborate meals because there are plenty of spots up the mountain where you can set up a picnic. Just don’t bring anything with a really strong smell on the train because the other passengers won’t like you very much.

What to Wear

The weather can change quickly up in the mountains, so it’s best to be prepared for multiple scenarios. On a sunny summer, you should be fine with a T-shirt, shorts, and decent hiking shoes at Schynige Platte. But I wouldn’t go up a mountain without some spare clothing in my backpack.

I’d pack a lightweight waterproof jacket in case of rain and a fleece hoodie in case the temperature drops. If the weather forecast doesn’t look that good for your visit, wear longer pants and maybe even a long-sleeve shirt. Finally, an extra pair of socks adds virtually no weight to your backpack but will be a lifesaver if needed.

That’s pretty much it for what you should wear. But I’ve got a few more tips on what to bring to Schynige Platte, especially if you plan on hiking on the mountain:

  • Hat (baseball cap is best)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lots of water
  • Hiking poles
  • Gloves (better to have them and not need them than vice versa)
  • Snacks

Map Guide to Schynige Platte

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Schynige Platte worth visiting?

Yes, Schynige Platte is worth visiting, especially if you’re already in the Interlaken area. The train ride alone is a fantastic experience, and then there are all the things you can do atop the mountain. 

How long is the train to Schynige Platte?

The train from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte takes approximately 52 minutes. Add another 11 minutes for departures from Interlaken. 

How to go from Interlaken to Schynige Platte?

From Interlaken go to Wilderswil first, by train, car, taxi, or just walk. Then board a train at Wilderswil to Schynige Platte and you’re at the mountain in under an hour. 

Is Schynige Platte included in the Swiss Pass?

Schynige Platte is partially included in the Swiss Pass. Holders of the Swiss Travel Pass can get a 50% discount on train tickets. 

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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