Gelmerbahn Day Trip from Berner Oberland

Gelmerbahn Day Trip from Berner Oberland

Gelmerbahn Day Trip from Berner Oberland

In this post, we share our experiences and give advice on how to best explore the Gelmerbahn day trip from the Berner Oberland. Find out how to get here, where to park, and how much time you need. Don’t miss one of the steepest railways in Europe in Switzerland, with stunning views of the mountain top and valley.


Where is Gelmerbahn?

The Gelmerbahn is located in the Berner Oberland, southeast of Meiringen, in the canton of Bern.

How to get to Gelmerbahn?

By car: Arrive early because parking places run out quickly on weekends. It takes about one hour to get to Gelmerbahn from Interlaken, from Zurich it takes about one and a half-hour. After turning off the main road, there is a small free parking lot.

Public transport: By train from Interlaken Ost or Luzern to Meiringen. From there, take the post bus number 161 to the Handegg-Gelmerbahn stop.

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Way to the Handeggfallbrücke, Switzerland

Handeckfall Bridge

As the bridge is located right next to the Gelmerbahn, take your time to explore the bridge and then enjoy the fantastic panoramic views from the Gelmerbahn. From the car parking, it is a 5-minute walk to the bridge. Visiting the bridge is free and open all day.

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This suspension bridge stretches 70 meters above the gorge and connects the Gelmerbahn and Hotel Handeck. Crossing the bridge over the Handeck Falls is a real experience. It was super foggy and cloudy at the bridge, but after a few hours, we had beautiful weather.

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Foggy weather in the Handeggfallbrücke


The Gelmerbahn was originally built to transport heavy building materials for the Gelmer dam. With a gradient of 106%, it is one of the steepest passenger cableways in Europe and the best experience in Meiringen. If you’re looking for even more thrills, we recommend sitting in the front. Once you’re at the top, take a hike around the turquoise-blue Gelmer lake or hike up to the Gelmerhütte.

The Gelmerbahn operates from the end of May to the end of October. Opening hours from 9 AM to 4 PM and from July to August until 5 PM.

Prices: Adults CHF 32 return / CHF 16 one-way. Children (6-15 years) CHF 16 return / CHF 8 one-way. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Gelmerbahn station. Dogs are allowed on the Gelmerbahn. Small dogs can travel free of charge, but larger dogs must buy a ticket.

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Most people just come to ride the Gelmerbahn and quickly see the lake, but hiking around Gelmer lake is one of the most beautiful hikes in Switzerland.

If you plan to hikes around the lake, we recommend 3 to 4 hours. If you are doing a short walk and picnic, 2-3 hours is probably enough.

Buy your ticket online a few days in advance because tickets sell out quickly, and the Gelmerbahn has a capacity of 24 people/ride.

Gelmerbahn Day Trip from Berner Oberland


Once you’re at the top, take a hike around the turquoise-blue Gelmer lake or hike up to the Gelmer hut. The adventure around Gelmersee is 4.5 km long on a narrow, rocky alpine path with some steep downhills. There are no restaurants around Gelmer lake, so bring some snacks with you. If you want to hike to the Gelmer hut, you’ll need to add a few hours.

Read more → 5 Things to Do in Meiringen, Switzerland

Tips for Gelmerbahn day trip

  • Based on our own experience, we recommend arriving early. Visit the bridge, then take the first train and enjoy the fantastic panoramic ride to the top of the valley. Once you arrive, choose a hiking trail or spend a half-day exploring the area.
  • Wear suitable hiking shoes and dress comfortably, as the weather can be windy at the bridge but very warm at the top of the mountain.
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen.
  • If you want to hike the lake, we recommend visiting between June to October.


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