With every new place I write about, I tend to go into superlatives about how beautiful the views are or how dazzling the panorama is – I can’t really help it! The Swiss Alps are that amazing and I hope my enthusiasm inspires you to visit! Schynige Platte is another such place that deserves to be on the list of must-visit places in Switzerland but is not really well-known. Most people make a beeline for the famous Jungfraujoch or Interlaken when visiting the Bernese Oberland, completely missing out on some fantastic experiences at other mountains!
Schynige Platte is a plateau located at 1967 metres above sea level in the Jungfrau region. Its unique location offers dazzling views of the famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains above and the bluest of blue lakes of Thun & Brienz below.
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The Alpine World of Schynige Platte is a piece of paradise and you should not miss it! It claims to be the ‘Top of Swiss tradition’ and a visit up will convince you of it. From the historic cogwheel train to the Alpine garden famous for its Edelweiss flowers or the Alphorn players, the place oozes Swiss tradition. The mascot of the place is Lily the Cow who you can find everywhere – from the starting train station at Wilderswil to Alpenspielplatz, the playground at the top.
Read on for a detailed guide for visiting Schynige Platte – the best things to do, the best viewpoints, and all the information required to plan your trip.
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Here's what's in store for you
Highlights at Schynige Platte
Experience the historic Schynige Platte Bahn
The historic cog railway that takes you up to Schynige Platte exudes the charms of a bygone era. It started carrying passengers up to the plateau in 1893 and has been operating for more than 125 years! Little wonder then that the place proudly proclaims to be ‘Top of Swiss tradition’.
What sets apart this train from some of the other Swiss trains is the vintage look & feel of it. With wooden benches and coaches that open up with every pair of benches instead of the standard entrances at 2 ends in usual trains, this train is certainly unique. This seat configuration also means that you really need to be at the window seat to be able to see (and capture) the breathtaking views.
The trip up to Schynige Platte starts at Wilderswil and takes about an hour. It takes you through lush forests, green meadows bursting with Alpine flowers and breathtaking views of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
Be amazed at the dazzling scenery
The impressive mountain ranges of the Bernese Oberland and the dazzlingly blue lakes around Interlaken make for a phenomenal sight from high up at Schynige Platte. Just walking out from the train at the plateau will make you stop and take endless pictures!
Make your way first to the terrace at the restaurant – a short climb up from the train station. Walk out from the terrace to the viewing platform for panoramic views of the mountains and the lake below. There are even benches there to relax and take in the magnificent views.
A short walk up from this platform you can find the first of the many ‘Nature Cinemas’ in the area. These are wooden frames looking out over amazing sceneries – perfect to capture some great pictures!
Marvel at the Alphorn Players
The Alphorn is a very typical Swiss instrument that was traditionally used by Alpine herdsmen to communicate across meadows and valleys. This horn-shaped instrument is around 4 metres in length and takes considerable skill to play.
During the summer, Alphorn Players welcome visitors with their melodious tunes. You can enjoy the free concert in front of the hotel between 11 am and 2 pm.
Here are more ideas for your trip to Switzerland: 25 best places to visit in Switzerland!
Head on a hike
While you can enjoy a lot of incredible views by just taking a stroll at the top at Schynige Platte, some of the most spectacular ones can be found on hikes around the plateau.
Schynige Platte Panorama Trail
This trail is one of the easier ones with very rewarding views – even if you do only a part of the hike! With fairly low effort you can reach along the side of a ridge and enjoy stunning panoramic views all around you. With the snow capped peaks of the Jungfrau giants on one side and the lakes of Thun & Brinz sparkling on the other side – it’s a postcard perfect view!
For the best experience, start your hike by following the signs for Daube. It’s about 1 km away and would take you ~20 minutes to get there. Fantastic views of Lake Thun await you at this viewpoint.
Next, head in the direction of Oberberghorn which is ~1.2 km away and will take another ~20 min. This is the part of the trail where you walk along the ridge and there are breathtaking views all around. The lakes around Interlaken on one side and Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks on the other. Perfect spot to stop for a picnic!
The actual Oberberghorn viewpoint is a steep ~15-min climb up from the ridge where you have to tackle a lot of stairs as well. If you are already tired you can skip this climb – while the views are lovely from the top, in my opinion the scenery from the ridge itself is the best on the entire plateau.
To head back towards the Schynige Platte Hotel/ Train station, take the lower trail (below the ridge trail). This takes you through beautiful Alpine meadows with the snow-capped mountains in front of you. If you are visiting in the shoulder months you’ll also find patches of snow and ice on the pasture.
From the top of Oberberghorn the Schynige Platte train station is ~1.5 km away and will take ~25 minutes of walking.
Schynige Platte – Faulhorn – First
One of the most famous hikes in the Jungfrau region, this hike is a fairly long and more challenging one, recommended only to experienced hikers. It’s nearly 16 km long and takes 5-7 hours. I have only done sections of this hike at Schynige Platte and the last section from Bachalpsee to First which have been fantastic.
For the avid hikers, read here for more details on this hike.
Discover the Alpine Garden
A circular path nearly a kilometre long introduces you to 600+ species of plants at the Alpine Garden. You can see the beautiful Alpine flower Edelweiss in this garden. Asterix readers, this is the flower our heroes travel to Helvetia (Switzerland) to find!
Visit in summer (~July-August) to see some of the best blooms. The Flower trail starts just past the train station, a short uphill climb up.
Enjoy a meal with a view
A hot meal looking over the glacial panorama is an experience not to be missed! The Panorama restaurant at the top of Schynige Platte offers Swiss specialities, to be enjoyed looking out over the peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
You can also stop by at Breitlauenen bistro located at the Breitlauenen station, halfway on the train journey between Wilderswil and Schynige Platte. Beautiful views and indulgent pastries are sure to tempt you here!
Information for planning your trip to Schynige Platte
Where is Schynige Platte
The Schynige Platte is a mountain ridge located in the Bernese Oberland region. It is accessible via a historic railway that operates from Wilderswil, located just a 5 minute train ride from Interlaken.
What is the best time to visit Schynige Platte
The railway up to Schynige Platte operates only in the summer, from the end of May to the end of October. For 2021, the dates of operation are from May 22, 2021 to October 24, 2021. Check the latest schedules here.
Try and plan a visit in July when most of the flowers will be at their best. Pick a clear day and get an early start since it tends to get crowded during the months of July & August.
How much time do you need to visit Schynige Platte
Plan for a full day out when visiting Schynige Platte. The journey to and from the mountain will take ~2 hours. Hiking at the trails, relaxing and taking in the views and having a meal/ picnic will take up the rest of your time. It’s a beautiful place and deserves to be enjoyed without rushing.
Do you need a tour
Not at all. As is my usual advice for travelling anywhere in Switzerland, plan your own trip. Everything is very well organized and app/ online ticketing based. It’s very easy to visit Schynige Platte on a day trip from Interlaken/ Lauterbrunnen or even Lucerne/ Zurich.
How to get to Schynige Platte
Make your way to the Wilderswil train station. The Schynige Platte Bahn from Wilderswil takes you up to the plateau. The train runs every 40 minutes and takes 52 minutes to reach the top. Try and get an early start since the train tends to get crowded.
If you are driving, there is a large car park at the Wilderswil station where you can leave your car and get on the train.
The train ride up to Schynige Platte is very scenic and the views on both sides of the train are beautiful, slightly better on the right side (in the direction of travel).
Tickets for Schynige Platte
A Wilderswil – Schynige Platte return train ticket costs ~64 CHF. There are discounts for children available. You can buy your tickets online or on the SBB app.
Is Schynige Platte covered in the Swiss Pass
You get a 50% discount with the SBB half-fare travelcard / GA travelcard / Swiss Travel Pass / Bernese Oberland Regional Pass.
What is the weather like at the top
At nearly 2000 m altitude, the weather at the top remains cool & windy. It can get really warm with the sun shining but if there is a cloud cover, it will be cold, even during the summer!
What to wear
Good shoes are essential for a trip to Schynige Platte since there is a lot of walking involved. Wear layers so you are prepared for changes in the weather. Sunglasses and a cap will also be required to protect from the sun.
Where to stay to visit Schynige Platte
For the best experience, stay right at the plateau itself at the historic mountain hotel and wake up to views of Jungfrau peaks and the beautiful Lake Thun. You also have the place to yourself once all the visitors leave – a piece of paradise just for you!
If you are visiting more places in the Jungfrau region, staying at Interlaken is the best since it’s so centrally located. Getting to Schynige Platte from Interlaken is very quick and easy – just a 5 minute train ride to the train station of Wilderswil.
Schynige Platte compared to other mountains
Schynige Platte is one of the relatively lesser known places in the Jungfrau region in Switzerland which is a shame since it’s absolutely spectacular. It’s at par (and even better at times!) with some of the other well known mountains.
Schynige Platte or Harder Kulm
Schynige Platte. There is a lot more to do here, more spectacular views and fewer crowds.
Schynige Platte or Schilthorn
This is a tough one and I’m inclined to say both since there are a variety of things to do at both places. Schynige Platte has some amazing hikes and spectacular views, but is open for visits only during the summer. Schilthorn brings you up close to the Jungfrau giants and is amazing for winter views.
Schynige Platte or Jungfraujoch
Visit Schynige Platte, skip Jungfraujoch and instead visit Mt. Titlis.
Mt. Titlis is always our recommendation to visitors asking for a snow-capped mountain to discover in Switzerland. It’s cheaper than Jungfraujoch and the ride up is much more scenic, unlike Jungfraujoch where the train goes through a tunnel for the last part of the ride and it can get boring (and slightly claustrophobic!).
Titlis is also less crowded than Jungfraujoch (relatively only though since both are very popular attractions!). But it’s better to stand in the short cable car ride up to Titlis rather than the longer 1.5 hrs+ train ride to Jungfraujoch.
- Make sure you check the Schynige Platte webcams before visiting to ensure you’re picking the right time for a visit. If it’s very cloudy/ rainy there’s no point in making the trip.
- Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes
- Don’t forget your sunglasses & cap as the sun can be very strong
- Arrive early to avoid crowds
Have you been to Schynige Platte? What was your favourite part?
Planning a visit? Let me know if you have any questions below!
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More information for your trip to Switzerland:
BUCKET LIST DESTINATIONS: 25 best places to visit in Switzerland
HIDDEN GEMS: 10 hidden gems in Switzerland
TRAIN RIDES: The Golden Pass train line