Schynige Platte rack railroad

Schynige Platte - Is it worth visiting in 2023?

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Schynige Plate Activities and tickets

8 reasons why you should visit Schynige Platte

  • Schynige Platte is nicknamed "Top of Swiss Tradition" because here you can immerse yourself in various typical Swiss traditions. These include the free alphorn concert, which takes place daily between 11:00 and 14:00. Afterwards, you can even have your picture taken next to the typical Swiss instrument
  • The ride on the nostalgic, over 100 year old rack railroad is an unforgettable experience. During about 50 minutes the train winds its way up to 1967 m above sea level.
  • On some days of the year the old steam locomotive from 1893 is brought out. Cab rides take you back in time to more than a hundred years ago.
  • In the botanical alpine garden you will find over 700 different flowers and plants typical of the Bernese Oberland.
  • The Schynige Platte is a slate rock face on the Gummihorn, which reflects the light particularly intensively during and after rain. Because of this enchanting phenomenon, the Schynige Platte bears its name.
  • The Panorama Hike is a leisurely circular hike to and from Schynige Platte, suitable for the whole family.
  • The Schynige Platte is a paradise for families thanks to the children's playground "Lily's Alpenspielplatz" and the Teddyland
  • From Schynige Platte a very popular, challenging and incredibly panoramic hike leads to Grindelwald First or to Grosse Scheidegg. Hiking tickets are available for this hike, which include all mountain rides.
Hiking Oberberghorn (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Hiking Oberberghorn (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)
Cog railroad (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Cog railroad (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)

Sights on the Schynigen Platte

The mountain top with the Schynigen Platte offers a lot of nature. It is known for hikes with particularly beautiful views of the Lake Thun, but also the four-thousand-meter peaks of the Jungfrau region. In a botanical alpine garden, visitors learn about well-known wild plants. And with a big picture frame you can take a great souvenir photo. All sightseeing is possible during the summer and autumn months, when the rack railroad goes to Schynigen Platte

In detail, the sights include:

  • Botanical Alpine Garden
  • Teddy bears and children's playground
  • Concerts of the alphorn players
  • Nature cinema

Botanical Alpine Garden on the Schynigen Platte

More than 700 different alpine plants are on display in the Botanical Alpine Garden on the Schynigen Platte. In addition to the well-known plants such as edelweiss, gentians or alpine roses, there are also plants that you have probably never consciously seen in nature. These include the black man's trefoil and the lily of paradise.

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Schynige Platte Alpine Garden (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Schynige Platte Alpine Garden (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)
Schynige Platte Alpine Garden (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Schynige Platte Alpine Garden (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)

Admission to the Alpine Botanical Garden, located at 1967 meters above sea level, is free if you can show a train ticket. The tour is about 1 km long and shows about two thirds of the entire alpine flora. Some terrains are artificial like the limestone scree or the primary rock field.

Very specific species grow here. The Schynige Platte Alpine Garden Association specializes in the study of the high altitude flora in Switzerland. It brings visitors closer to the beauty, secrets and richness of the alpine flora. The plants to be seen bloom in a staggered manner: Early bloomers can be seen from the end of May. Between mid-June and mid-August, the alpine flora is in full splendor and the last buds open in September.

Entering the grounds of the Botanical Alpine Garden is completely safe, even for children. The Alpine Garden is open in summer between 8:30 am and 6:00 pm. You can find it right near the top station of the cog railroad. Every Sunday there is a guided tour "Discovering the Alpine Garden" between 13:45 and 14:45. Here you can participate for free without pre-registration. The guided tour is paid with a collection.

Ordered tours for up to 20 people last one hour and cost CHF 80 in 2022. For the guided tours you can choose special topics like medicinal plants, endangered and protected plants, climate change, parasitic plants, alpine animals or wild hay.

Teddy bears and children's playground at Schynigen Platte

Nostalgic teddy bears have found their place in a former mass storage area. They were made by Theresia Bodenmann-Muggler (Turbenthal) and Ursula Rudin (Matten) and can be admired in an exhibition.

The children's playground "Lily's Alpenspielplatz" near the Berghotel is run by the dialect singer and pop star Marc Trauffer. Lily is a carved cow. Besides her, there are also cats, chickens and other carved animals from the workshops of Trauffer Holzspielwaren. Since 2020, there has been a new slide in the playground.

Schynige Platte children's playground (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Schynige Platte children's playground (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)
Schynige Platte children's playground (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Schynige Platte children's playground (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)

Mountain railroad to the Schynige Platte

The Schynige Platte cable car is a rack railroad. The mountain station is located at 1967 m above sea level.

Buy your ticket for the cogwheel railway to the Schynige Platte here.

Arrival with the nostalgic rack railroad to the Schynige Platte

The railroad line was opened in 1893. Today, the ride on the rack railroad is called a nostalgic ride. Its track gauge is 800 mm. For the stretch from Wilderswil near Interlaken up to Schynige Platte, the railroad takes about 50 min. It covers a distance of 7.26 km and overcomes 1383 meters of altitude. The average gradient is 19 %, the highest gradient is 25 % within the Gräti tunnel.

Stations of the Schynige Platte Railway

The individual stations are:

  • Wilderswil (584 m altitude)

  • Rotenegg (886 m altitude after 1.84 km)

  • Breitlauenen (1542 m altitude after 4.61 km)

  • Schynige Platte (1967 m altitude after 7.26 km)

In Wilderswil parking spaces are available at the post office building (parking lot Migros) and on the other side of the station in the Alte Staatsstrasse.

Season of the Schynige Platte Railway

The journey starts every year around the end of May to mid-June and ends at the end of October. The train runs every 40 min and passes through four tunnels and over eight bridges.

Every autumn, the catenary of the long-electrified rack railroad has to be dismantled in the upper section of the line, as there is a danger of avalanches there. As soon as the time of snowmelt is over, the catenary is re-installed. Inside the train, the wooden benches also remind us of the early days of the railroad. During the ride you can enjoy the view of the four-thousand-meter peaks Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

Cog railroad (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Cog railroad (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)
Panorama (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Panorama (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)

Steam locomotive ride to Schynigen Platte in the driver's cab

The rack railroad was electrified as early as 1913, but about four times a year it runs up the mountain with a steam locomotive

A trip can be booked by 40 people at a time, as the steam locomotive only carries one car. It is also possible to book a cab ride and help out yourself. For this you get an overall and a heater cap. Oiling the engine is also one of the tasks of a hobby locomotive driver. Before the trip, you learn how to prepare the locomotive. You load water and coal, are allowed to fire up the engine during the journey and later even hold the wheel yourself.

Schynige Platte steam locomotive ride (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Schynige Platte steam locomotive ride (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)
Schynige Platte steam locomotive ride (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Schynige Platte steam locomotive ride (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)

The steam locomotive has the number H 2/3 5 and dates from 1894. The nostalgic steam locomotive trip starts in Wilderswil and lasts one hour. The handmade fittings on the tender are still in their original condition and the plaque with all the builder's data is also still present in the original.

Dates and costs of these trips are published on the Jungfrau Region page. It is also possible to buy a three-hour ticket for the driver's cab. This includes coffee during the breaks. As a souvenir, the hobby locomotive driver receives the heating cap, an antique folder of the Schynige Platte Railway and a certificate as well as a souvenir.

Cog railroad (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Cog railroad (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)
Panorama cogwheel railroad (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Panorama cogwheel railroad (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)

Activities on the Schynigen Platte

The most popular activities are hiking, but also paragliding from the Gumihorn is becoming more and more popular on the Schynigen Platte. After the annual dismantling of the electric trolley line in the upper part of the ski run due to avalanche danger, you can also enjoy winter sports here. However, without a mountain railroad, skiing is very limited.

The main activities are therefore:

  • hiking
  • paragliding

Hiking on the Schynigen Platte

In summer there are several hikes to and from Schynigen Platte, which you can combine with an arrival or departure on the nostalgic cog railroad

The panorama hiking trail is very easy to walk. It starts and ends at the mountain restaurant. The hike leads to the Oberberghorn and back and is marked as trail no. 60.

If you would like to climb a peak, you can also do so here

However, the summit of the 2100 m high Gumihorn is not easy to climb and requires good mountain skills. In the immediate vicinity, however, there are two other peaks that are only slightly lower. They are located on both sides of the actual summit and can be easily reached from the Schynige Platte train station

The 2076 m high peak to the north is called "Tuba" or "Daube". The 2067 m high peak above the station is called "Geiss".

The hike from Schynigen Platte to the First above Grindelwald takes about 6 hours. The moderately difficult hike is signposted as hiking trail no. 62.

By the way, below the train station on the Schynigen Platte there are three barbecue sites if you want to organize a small barbecue. The wood for this is provided by the railroad.

Hiking nature (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Hiking nature (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)
Hiking nature cows (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)Hiking nature cows (Photo: Jungfrau Railways)

Paragliding at Schynigen Platte

Paragliding begins with the ride up the mountain on the rack railroad. On the way there is enough time to instruct the tandem pilots in detail. Once at the top, another walk of up to just under half an hour is required

The flight with a view of Lakes Thun and Brienz as well as the Bernese Oberland is considered spectacular. Evening flights are particularly popular.

Coordinates of various launch sites on the Schynigen Platte:

  • N 46°39'29.61" E 7°54'10.54" (1,750 m altitude, takeoff to the NW)
  • N 46°39'45.40" E 7°54'03.88" (1,574 m altitude, takeoff to W-NW)

Coordinates of various landing sites

  • N 46°40'51.44" E 7°49'25.90" (565 m altitude, Interlaken
  • N 46°41'10.02" E 7°51'31.39" (569 m altitude, Interlaken)

Take-off and landing sites are subject to change. For tandem flights, the organizers will inform you in advance about the exact take-off and landing sites. Several organizers offer tandem paragliding flights from the Schynigen Platte.

Offers at Swiss Activities:

Also Parachuting at the Schynige Platte is a great fun for adrenaline junkies.

 Paragliding Tandem (Photo: Swiss Paragliding & Adventure) Paragliding Tandem (Photo: Swiss Paragliding & Adventure)
Paragliding Tandem (Photo: Swiss Paragliding & Adventure)Paragliding Tandem (Photo: Swiss Paragliding & Adventure)

Lily's treasure hunt

A small hiking trail has been designed especially for puzzle lovers and treasure hunters. Riddles are waiting for you at nine places, which, when put together, result in a solution word. You can get a treasure map at the train station and at the restaurant Schynige Platte. There you will also find the last puzzle. If you have the correct solution word, you can choose a treasure from a treasure chest.

Nature cinema on the Schynige Platte

The Nature Cinema is a circular trail at an altitude of about 2000 m that leads along above the railroad station. Through two huge picture frames you can watch your own nature cinema, film or take souvenir photos. Wooden feel-good benches let you close your eyes and listen to nature

Naturkino Fotopoint (Foto: Jungfraubahnen)Naturkino Fotopoint (Foto: Jungfraubahnen)
Naturkino Wandern (Foto: Jungfraubahnen)Naturkino Wandern (Foto: Jungfraubahnen)

Concerts of the alphorn blowers at Schynige Platte

During the summer season, a free concert by alphorn blowers takes place daily in front of the Schynige Platte mountain hotel between 11 am and 2 pm. Afterwards, tourists may have their picture taken with the musical instruments. In case of bad weather it takes place in the hotel

Since 2015, about 80 alphorn players from Switzerland, Austria and Germany meet annually on the first weekend of September for the "Bernatone Alphorn Meeting Interlaken-Jungfrau". Each Sunday afternoon, a concert with the almost four-meter-long alphorns takes place at the Berghotel Schynige Platte.

Alphorn players (Photo. Jungfrau Railways)Alphorn players (Photo. Jungfrau Railways)
Panorama (Photo. Jungfrau Railways)Panorama (Photo. Jungfrau Railways)

Schynige Platte: location and approach

Schynige Platte is located in the administrative district of Interlaken-Oberhasli and belongs to the political municipality of Gündlischwand. The mountain Gumihorn, where the Schynige Platte is situated below the summit, is located at the western end of the Schwarzhorn group.

You can reach it from Lucerne or Berne via the A8 freeway. Exit no. 25 leads to Wilderswil. From Interlaken, visitors arrive by car via the Gsteigstrasse (Route 6) or from Interlaken Ost by train on the Bernese Oberlandbahn (direction Lauterbrunnen, first stop).

In Wilderswil you can park a car at the parking lots near the valley station. The rest of the way is by rack railroad between the end of May and the end of October. Due to a sometimes very high volume of visitors, it is recommended to book tickets in advance.

The Schynige Platte is located on the side of the 2100 m high mountain Gumihorn. You can reach it in summer via the Schynige Platte-Bahn (SPB), which has been operated by the Berner Oberlandbahn (BOB) since 1895. The trains carry more than 200,000 people between May and October.

Mountain hotel Schynige Platte with restaurant and accommodation

The Berghotel Schynige Platte dates back to 1899 and is located 1 km from the Schynige Platte train station. Overnight stays between or after extended hikes reward you with beautiful sunrises on the mountain with the backdrop of the four-thousand-meter peaks.

From the terraces, the Bernese Alps and Lake Thun as well as Lake Brienz are clearly visible. The group of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau is unmistakable in the south and even Pilatus stands out in the northeast.

The hotel offers single, double, triple and family rooms. Special rates are offered at full moon times. The restaurant also offers a self-service buffet on the terrace. The alpine hut, which also belongs to the hotel, is located on the path to the alpine garden. The hotel and restaurant are open during the operating months of the cog railroad.