“It’s not the Destination, It’s the journey”. A journey by old steam train to the Brienzer Rothorn, the highest summit of the Emmental Alps in Switzerland, is worth remembering for a lifetime. The Brienzer Rothorn cog railway line that connects the Oberland village of Brienz to the Brienzer Rothorn has been there since 1892. This railway system operates daily in the summer season. During the train journey, the passengers can enjoy the beautiful views of 693 mountain peaks.

With stunning lakeside views, a joyous steam train ride, hiking trails, and delicious foods at the restaurants, the Brienzer Rothorn – a scenic steam train excursion can be unforgettable.

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The historic steam train to the Rothorn summit

The Brienzer Rothorn cog railway, the only daily steam rail service in Switzerland, has been carrying passengers at the mountain summit for years. The train journey from the village of Brienz, located at the foot of the mountain, to the top can be a real pleasure for those who love to stay close to nature. Over an hour of the nostalgic ride, the travelers get scopes to enjoy the beautiful views of secluded alpine meadows, rocks and forests. With the cherry red coaches running through the lush forests, the scene can be pretty charming.

Take a historic steam train ride to the Rothorn summit at an altitude of 2244 m and make your childhood dream come true. The whistle of the train, sweet sound of wheels, panoramic views of the Alps and the beauty of Lake Brienz will never fail to cast a spell over wanderlust souls. That’s not all. On the top, there is the beautiful valley of Lake Brienz, Central Switzerland in the north and the Bernese Oberland in the south. Also, there is a restaurant offering mouthwatering dishes. A lodge is there for travelers who want to enjoy a starry night on the mountain top.

Price of the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn

Regular return ticket price (from Brienz)CHF 94
With Swiss Half Fare CardCHF 47
With Swiss Travel PassCHF 47
With Regional Pass Bernese OberlandFREE
  • Seats on a particular departure can be guaranteed by purchasing a seat reservation for CHF 8 per person in advance. These should be purchased from the Brienz Rothorn Bahn station.

Timetable and dates of operation

  • From mid-June until end-October on a regular service
  • Starting 8:36 in the morning, hourly departures until 16:36

Things to do at the Brienzer Rothorn

Apart from the Brienzer Rothorn steam train ride, there are a lot of things travelers can do to occupy themselves at the mountain top. Visiting the Rothorn Kulm mountain restaurant can be one such thing. Situated near the Brienzer Rothorn station, this restaurant with a gigantic terrace is best known for serving authentic three-course Swiss meals.

Famous for regional and international cuisine, Restaurant Rothorngipfel is located at the cableway station at the mountain top. These two restaurants bring opportunities for backpackers to enjoy their favorite dishes while watching sunrises and sunsets at the Brienzer Rothorn summit. One hour at the mountaintop will be enough to enjoy these activities. However, if you have a few minutes in hand, consider exploring the hiking trails there.


On the summit of the Brienzer Rothorn starts different hiking trails, which are suitable for different levels, from the casual hiker to the alpinist. Here are a few examples:

  • Brienzer Rothorn (2,244m) – Brünig Pass (1,022m): Walking time  4hr 30min  
  • Brienzer Rothorn (2,244m) – Planalp (1,341m) – Brienz (566m): Walking time 3hrs 30 min  
  • Brienzer Rothorn (2,244m) – Chrutenpass (2,102m) – Planalp (1,341m): Walking time 2hrs 

How to get there

To reach the summit of the mountain, visitors need to reach Brienz. They can travel from either Lucerne or Interlaken. Go for a train ride to get to Brienz quickly since it’s a convenient route. The train in the Luzern – Interlaken route runs between Lucerne and Interlaken Ost and Brienz is a stop there.  

A boat ride from Interlaken is an alternative option for those who love to see the beauty of aquatic life. The crystal-clear water of Lake Brienz will never fail to amaze you.

It is also possible to reach Brienz by car. The best thing is there is a car parking off the main road for travel freaks. It takes a few minutes to reach there from the Brienz Rothorn Bahn station.

The Brienz Rothorn Bahn steam train rides are pretty popular there. To access tickets, consider reaching there at least half an hour earlier.

Brienzer Rothorn Steam Train Ride – Dream of nostalgia Lovers

With the historic steam train ride, the Brienzer Rothorn journey can be a once in a lifetime experience. Nothing can beat the scenic beauty of the mountains through the open windows. The red coaches, grassy meadows, green forests, and glistening lake – this aesthetic experience will happen when you choose to go for this steam train ride.