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Niesen – the mountain for hikers and athlete

The Niesen (2362 metres above sea level) is one of the most famous peaks in the Bernese Oberland – not least due to its pyramid shape and its wonderful location high above Lake Thun.

It is also popular for hiking and sport. Once a year, the Niesen Stairway Run takes place on the longest stairs in the world. During the season, various hiking paths and running routes lead to the Niesen.

Travel in comfort by train to Mülenen. From there, it is just 200 m on foot to the valley station of the Niesenbahn. Then you can either travel on the historic cable car up to the middle station or to the summit or start your hike directly from there.


Benefit from the following when you purchase outward and return travel by public transport at the same time:

  • 10% reduction on the mountain and valley trip from Mülenen to Niesen Kulm

From 1 June you can purchase tickets.

Hiking trails

Panoramic hike from Mülenen to the Niesen

A long and challenging hiking trail leads from Mülenen via the middle station of Schwandegg and up to the summit of the Niesen. There’s around 1,700 metres of elevation gain to overcome. The trail leads along the path of the Niesenbahn and snakes up to the middle station of Schwandegg predominantly through the forest. From the middle station of Schwandegg there are two possible options. The direct, somewhat steeper path will take you up to the Niesen in around 2 hours. Or you can take a longer but more gentle trail via the Oberniesen alp and Cheesbödi, which will take around 3 hours.

The hiking trail is perfect as a training route for mountain runners.

Route Mülenen–Schwandegg–Niesen Kulm
Distance 7,7 km
Hiking time 4 h
Height difference 1650 m 
Level of difficulty difficult

If you prefer to take things a little easier, you can take the cable car for the first section and save yourself 1,000 metres of elevation gain.

Circular route from Schwandegg to the summit

Taking the Niesenbahn to the middle station will shorten the climb through the forest. From Schwandegg the view opens up: on the steep and stony climb to Niesen Kulm you can repeatedly enjoy magnificent views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The descent from the summit via Oberniesen back to Schwandegg is gentler but no less spectacular.

Route Schwandegg–Niesen Kulm
Distance 8 km
Hiking Time 3 h 30 min
Heigh difference 770 m 
Level of difficulty medium

Niesen–Springenboden panoramic trail

Travel up to Niesen Kulm by cable car and hike from there into the neighbouring Diemtigtal valley. At the mountain station, the path branches off in the direction of Springenboden and leads down to “Obere und Untere Stalde”, via Chummli to Geeri. The path divides here. The right-hand fork takes you via Bruchgeere and Zünegg to Hasli and on to Oey train station. Or you can carry straight on at Geeri to the Hoschüpfe viewing platform. Here you can enjoy one last view of Lake Thun before reaching Springenboden via Unterer Drunen. From here, the hiking trail leads down to the valley road in Horboden, where you can either walk to Oey on the valley hiking trail or return by post bus from the Horboden, Wirtschaft stop.

Route Niesen Kulm–Oey-Diemtigen
Distance 12,3 km
Hiking Time 4 h 30 min
Heigh difference + 79 m / -1749 m 
Level of difficulty medium

Hiking ticket

With the hiking ticket, you can travel three sections on the Niesenbahn and hike one section. You can choose the sections freely and benefit from a discount of up to CHF 14.00 compared to the single ticket.

The sections on the Niesen:

  • Ascent from Mülenen valley station to Schwandegg middle station
  • Ascent from Schwandegg middle station to Niesen Kulm mountain station
  • Descent from Niesen Kulm mountain station to Schwandegg middle station
  • Descent from Schwandegg middle station to Mülenen valley station

Prices hiking ticket

  • CHF 48.00 Adults
  • CHF 24.00 Adults with Half-Fare Card
  • CHF 24.00 Adults with GA Card
  • CHF 24.00 Children (6–15.99 years)


Children with the SBB Junior/Grandchild travelcard travel for free on the Niesenbahn funicular.

Prices in CHF incl. VAT / Prices and products subject to alteration

Stairway Run

The longest stairway in the world

Longest stairway run in the world With 11,674 steps, the stairs next to the route of the Niesenbahn form the longest stairway in the world. They normally serve as a rescue route for emergencies and may not be accessed for safety reasons. But once a year – in June – the legendary Niesen Stairway Run takes place. For a few hours, the cable car comes to a standstill and registered runners can take on this special challenge.


Niesenbahn funicular operating times

Available daily from 29 April to 12 November 2023

Hiking trails

The hiking trails are generally open during the operating hours of the Niesenbahn. However, the routes may be closed or interrupted depending on the season and the weather, so please check the current route and weather conditions in advance at the Niesenbahn.


Travel in comfort by train to Mülenen. From Mülenen Railway Station, it is only 200 m on foot to the valley station of the Niesenbahn funicular railway. The Niesenbahn will then carry you up Mt. Niesen in 30 minutes.

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