The Bernese Oberland is a hiker’s paradise. Alpine trails crisscross their way through the towns, valleys, and the mountain peaks of this gorgeous place. Take your pick from short, easy, family-friendly trails to cliff walks to thrilling trails. Here are 15 of the best hikes to do in the Bernese Oberland.
All of the hikes on this list are located in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. The Jungfrau region is the most popular area of the Bernese Oberland, encompassing the region around Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, and Mürren. This is the touristy heart of the Bernese Oberland and the area where many visitors spend most of their time.
Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
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This list starts with the shorter, easier hikes and continues on with the longer and more challenging efforts.
Blumental Panorama Trail
Distance: 3.2 km (2 miles)
Length of Time: 1 to 1.5 hours
Elevation Loss: 300 meters
This is a shorter version of the Northface Trail (mentioned later in this post). From Mürren, ride the Allmendhubel funicular and enjoy the views of Mürren and of the mighty Jungfrau massif. The Blumental Trail winds its way downhill through a scenic valley and past pension Suppenalp, before descending into Mürren.
The trail is well-marked, just follow the pink “Blumental Panorama Trail” signs.
Distance: 4.3 km (2.7 miles)
Length of Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
Location: Lauterbrunnen Valley
This isn’t so much of a hike as a scenic walk. On this mostly flat, easy walk through the Lauterbrunnen Valley, you are treated to views colorful gardens, towering waterfalls, and the peaks of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau towering over you.
Along the way, add on detours to Trummelbach Falls and Mürrenbach Fall. End your hike with a visit to the fairytale town of Lauterbrunnen and Staubbach waterfall.
Stechelberg and the Lauterbrunnen Valley | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
Lauterbrunnen Valley (photo taken from Trummelbach Falls)
Bus stop on the main road in Lauterbrunnen Valley
PRO TRAVEL TIP: Starting in Lauterbrunnen, take the bus to Stechelberg. Walk from Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen. There is a paved and gravel pedestrian path that runs parallel to the main road through the valley. If you get tired, simply walk to main road to the nearest bus stop and take the bus back to Lauterbrunnen.
Schynige Platte Panorama Trail
Distance: 3 km (1.9 miles)
Length of Time: 1.25 hours
Elevation Gain: 180 meters
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Location: Schynige Platte
Learn More on the Jungfrau website.
This is a relatively easy trail that is done as a loop from Schynige Platte. Schynige Platte is a mountain summit that offers panoramic views over Interlaken, Lake Brienz, and views of the Jungfrau Massif.
This loop trail winds itself around this mountain peak, through an alpine garden, and offers more sweeping views of the area. Schynige Platte is well worth the visit on your trip to the Bernese Oberland, and this short but sweet hike makes the experience even better.
View of Interlaken
Panorama Trail | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
PRO TRAVEL TIP: You have the option to add this hike onto the Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First hike, mentioned later in this post.
Getting Here: Ride the train from Wildersil to Schynige Platte. It’s best to do this first thing in the morning because this is a popular train ride in the Bernese Oberland.
Grütschalp to Mürren
Distance: 4.3 km (2.7 miles)
Length of Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain (Grütschalp to Mürren): 200 meters
Location: Mürren – Grütschalp
The walk from Grütschalp to Mürren is an easy route that offers spectacular views of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. This is a paved trail that runs parallel to the railway that connects Grütschalp and Mürren.
This walk can be done in either direction. If you start in Grütschalp, it will be a slightly uphill walk to Mürren (or a downhill walk if you do this Mürren to Grütschalp).
Transportation: A cable car links Grütschalp with Lauterbrunnen. A short, narrow-gauge train connects Grütschalp with Mürren. You can ride the cable car to Grütschalp, hike to Mürren, spend some time in Mürren, and then take the train back to Grütschalp.
Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on the Panorama Trail
Distance: 4.4 km (2.75 miles)
Length of Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Loss: 166 meters (540 feet)
Location: Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg
The walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is one of the best hikes to do in the Jungfrau region. This easy, mostly downhill trail offers spectacular views of both the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the mountain peaks of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
This hike is suitable for all ages and ability levels. It’s perfect for families, travelers with limited time who want to do a short, memorable hike, and those who want jaw-dropping views with minimal effort.
If you only have the time or the desire to do one short, quick hike in the Jungfrau region, this is a good one to consider.
Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
Kleine Scheidegg | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
How to do this Hike: This is a point to point hike. Ride the cable car to Männlichen. Hike to Kleine Scheidegg. From Kleine Scheidegg, ride the train to your next destination (the train goes to Grindelwald and Wengen and from Wengen you can continue to Lauterbrunnen).
Mürren Via Ferrata
Distance: 2.2 km (1.4 miles)
Length of Time: 3 hours
Location: Mürren to Gimmelwald
When: June 1 to October 31, weather permitting
The Mürren via ferrata is a 2.2 km journey, part via ferrata and part hiking trail. You’ll cling to a cliff, climb down steep ladders, walk on a tightrope and a suspension bridge, and (with a guide) zip line across a ravine.
If you are looking for a big thrill, this is one of the best hikes to do in the Bernese Oberland.
View from the Mürren via ferrata | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
Kara on the suspension bridge | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
LEARN MORE: How to Hike the Mürren Via Ferrata
Distance: 5 km (3.1 miles) round trip
Length of Time: 2 hours
Mönchsjochhütte is an alpine hut located on Jungfraujoch. On a visit to Jungfraujoch, you have the option to hike out to this hut. This was our favorite experience at Jungfraujoch.
To get to Mönchsjochhütte, it is an uphill walk on a well-groomed snow trail. It looks easy in photos, but at this elevation, it’s more challenging than you might expect. Small hills take your breath away. In the summer, as the sun warms up the snow, it can get slushy which makes walking more difficult.
Hiking to Mönchsjochhütte | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
LEARN MORE: Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe…Is It Worth It?
First to Grosse Scheidegg
Distance: 5.5 km (3.4 miles)
Length of Time: 2 hours
Elevation Loss: 200 meters (First to Grosse Scheidegg)
Location: First to Grosse Scheidegg, near Grindelwald
This easy walking trail starts in First and ends at Grosse Scheidegg, a mountain pass in the Bernese Alps. You will walk through rolling meadows and throughout the hike you are treated to wonderful views of the Jungfrau massif.
This hike can be done in either direction.
How to do this hike: To get to First, ride the cable car from Grindelwald. Hike to Grosse Scheidegg. From Grosse Scheidegg, ride the public bus back to Grindelwald. It is an overall downhill walk if you go from First to Grosse Scheidegg.
First Cliff Walk to Bachalpsee
Distance: 6 km (3.7 miles)
Length of Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 100 meters
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Location: First, near Grindelwald
In First, walk the short and somewhat thrilling First Cliff Walk. Then, follow the wide gravel and dirt trail away from First to Bachalpsee, a pretty alpine lake. This is done as an out-and-back hike, so you start and end in First.
This is a relatively easy, family-friendly hike and another very popular hike to do in the Bernese Oberland, so expect big crowds on this trail.
First Cliff Walk | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
Bachalpsee | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
How to do this hike: Ride the cable car from Grindelwald to First. Hike to Bachalpsee and return to First. Kids, and kids at heart, can fly like a bird or zip-line on the First Flyer or First Glider for a quick thrill. Or, ride go-karts downhill on a wide gravel path. The First Cliff Walk is free to visit but you will have to pay to ride the zip-lines and go-karts.
The Eiger Trail
Distance: 7.25 km (4.5 miles) point-to-point
Length of Time: 2 to 3 hours
Elevation Change: 140 meters up, 800 meters down
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Location: Kleine Scheidegg
This point-to-point hike follows the north face of the Eiger mountain. Along the way, you get jaw-dropping views across the Lauterbrunnen Valley to Mürren and also down to Grindelwald.
This was one of our favorite hikes in the region. The views are unbeatable, it is mostly a downhill walk so you don’t have to be super fit to hike this trail, and it can be easily added onto a visit to Jungfraujoch or Kleine Scheidegg.
Eiger Trail | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
Hiking the Eiger Trail | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
Distance: 7.4 km (4.6 miles)
Length of Time: 2.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 380 meters (1,250 feet)
The Northface Trail in Mürren has a little bit of everything…stunning mountain views, small hamlets and chalets tucked away amidst the mountains, flower-filled alpine meadows, and pastures filled with cows and their musical bells.
This is an easy walking trail that is done as a loop from Mürren. Along the way, you are treated to spectacular views of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau as well as views over the Lauterbrunnen Valley. You also have the option to add on Sprutz waterfall.
If you are visiting Switzerland with kids, this is a great hike to put on your list.
Northface Trail | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
View of Mürren from the hike | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
LEARN MORE: How to Hike the Northface Trail
Schilthorn to Mürren
Distance: 13 km (8 miles)
Length of Time: 5 to 6 hours
Elevation Change: 1600 meters
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Location: Schilthorn – Mürren
Schilthorn is one of the highest peaks in the Jungfrau region and it is one of the best places to go for panoramic views of the Swiss Alps. From here, you get jaw-dropping views of the Jungfrau massif.
Starting in Schilthorn, you will descend down through the mountains. Along the way, the view over the towns of Mürren and Gimmelwald, the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and the Jungfrau massif are truly spectacular.
Due to the gradient, this hike is challenging whether you choose to hike the trail up or down. It’s steep, so it can be killer on your knees, should you choose to hike downhill from Schilthorn to Mürren. Going up is even more difficult, since it is a steep ascent the entire way. You can shorten the hike by starting (or ending) in Birg rather than Schilthorn.
How to do this Hike: Ride the cable car from Mürren to Schilthorn. Enjoy the views from Piz Gloria, have brunch in the revolving restaurant, and visit Bond World. Hike from Schilthorn to Mürren.
Gimmelwald to Tanzbödeli to Obersteinberg to Stechelberg
Distance: 14 km (8.7 miles)
Length of Time: 6 to 8 hours
Elevation Gain: 1000 meters
Location: Gimmelwald – Obersteinberg – Stechelberg
Learn more here.
This is a challenging, long distance hike that will take the better part of the day. The view from Tanzbödeli is one of the best you can have of the Jungfrau region.
Start in the charming village of Gimmelwald, walk through farmland and dense pine forests, before climbing up to the Tanzbödeli meadow. From this meadow, enjoy panoramic views and get a different perspective of the Jungfrau massif.
Continue onto Obersteinberg for more amazing high alpine views. Have lunch or a snack here before hiking to Stechelberg.
Hiking trail outside of Gimmelwald | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
View of Gimmelwald from the trail. Due to time constraints, we had to end this hike early, so only have photos from the first part of the hike.
Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First
Distance: 16 km (10 miles)
Length of Time: 6 hours
Elevation Gain: 860 meters (2820 feet)
Elevation Loss: 690 meters (2260 feet)
Location: Schynige Platte to First
The hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First is a big day hike in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland, but what a spectacular day. A scenic ride on a cogwheel train, alpine lakes, rustic mountain huts, snow-covered trails, and some of the best views of Swiss Alps…these are just a few highlights of this thrilling hike.
With views of the Jungfrau massif, Lake Brienz, and numerous alpine lakes, this is often labeled as one of the best day hikes to do in the Jungfrau region.
Trail between Schynige Platte and Faulhorn | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
Hiking to Faulhorn | Best Hikes in the Bernese Oberland
The view from Faulhorn. The header photo for this post was also taken during this hike.
The Hardergrat Trail
Distance: 24 km point-to-point
Length of Time: 10 hours
Elevation Gain: 3000 meters
Read more here
The Hardergrat Trail is one of the most famous day hikes in Switzerland and some people say that it is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. This is a tough day hike and for part of the way, the trail follows along a very narrow ridge. With drop-offs and brief sections of rock scrambling, this is a dangerous hike and only recommended for those with a high level of physical fitness and lots of hiking experience.
When to Go Hiking in the Bernese Oberland
The best time to go hiking in the Bernese Oberland is from mid-June through October. Much of the area is snow-covered through May, so the trails do not open until June.
If you are planning a trip to Switzerland during the spring months, most of these trails will still be closed.
If you are visiting Switzerland with kids (or want to do an easy hike), our top picks are the Northface Trail, Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on the Panorama Trail, the Blumental Panorama Trail, or the Schynige Platte Panorama Trail.
For relatively easy hikes that offer jaw-dropping views, it’s hard to beat the Eiger Trail and the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg hike.
If you want to leave the crowds behind (and like the day of a full day hike), hike to Tanzbödeli.
For a big thrill, dangle over the Lauterbrunnen Valley on the Mürren via ferrata.
If you want to walk on the snow, visit Jungfraujoch and hike out to Mönchsjochhütte.
For an epic hiking experience, we loved hiking from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First. On a future trip to Switzerland, hiking the Hardergrat trail will be #1 on our to-do list.
What do you think are the best hikes in the Bernese Oberland? Let us know in the comment section below.
More Places to Go in Switzerland:
MORE GREAT HIKES IN SWITZERLAND: One of our favorite hikes in Switzerland is the trail from Gornergrat to Riffelberg, which is in Zermatt. Another beautiful hike is the Gastlosen Tour near Gruyères.
MORE GREAT HIKES IN EUROPE: From thrilling trails in the Alps to easy walks along the coast, read our article 20 Best Hikes in Europe for some beautiful hiking trails to put on your travel wish list.
SWITZERLAND ITINERARY: If your visit to the Jungfrau region is part of a bigger trip to Switzerland, check out our Switzerland Itinerary, which has suggestions on what to do if you have 7 days, 14 days, or even longer.
JUNGFRAU REGION: If you are planning a trip to the Jungfrau region, check out our Guide to the Jungfrau Region, which includes maps and important travel planning information.
JUNGFRAUJOCH OR SCHILTHORN: Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn are two high alpine excursions in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. If you only have the time for one, which is better, Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn?
LUGANO: Lugano is located in southern Switzerland. From here, you can visit the fairytale bridge Ponte dei Salti and you can easily day trip to Lake Como and Bellagio.
Read all of our articles about Switzerland in our Switzerland Travel Guide.
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Hi Julie. Thank You for this detailed post. Its such a trigger to visit these places and so useful. Needed to check which of these hikes would be open between say 1-15 May? I am traveling solo & planning to be there around then. Thanks Sandy
Unfortunately, the majority of these trails do not open until the end of May into early June. From what I know, the hikes that could be open are Monchsjochhutte at Jungfraujoch, Lauterbrunnen Valley and maybe the First Cliff Walk. Cheers, Julie
SUCH great information and pictures. Thank you! There will be six of us and we were hoping to hike from town to town on the trails–do you have any recommendations for that?
As far as I am aware, there are hiking trails that connect a lot of the towns in the area, but outside of the hikes I list in this post, I don’t know that much about them. The towns are also connected by cable cars and buses. In my opinion, it seems like it is a better use of time to spend your time on the hiking trails listed in this post, to get different views that you cannot get while hiking from town to town, and then using the cable cars to get similar views as hiking from town to town. For example, hike from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg for awesome views you can only get from this trail, and then ride the train to Wengen, rather than a long downhill hike/walk to Wengen. I certainly get the appeal of hiking from town to town, but there are so many trails in this area that take you away from the towns and into the mountains or countrysides, and they are all worth it, for different reasons. I hope this helps (and makes sense). Cheers, Julie
Hi Julie. I have visited the Jungfrau Region last Sept 4th week 2021, I plan to go back this August 2nd-3rd week 2022, will that be a good choice in terms of weather? The last time I visited 3 out of 6 days I was there, it was kinda cloudy and foggy during the morning. I dont mind the cold I can always adjust to it. I just wanna hike under a clear sky and worrying less about having to encounter a cloudy day/rainy day. Hoping for your suggestion. Thanks, Dien
June, July, and August tend to be the wettest months in that part of Switzerland (there is about a 1 in 3 chance that it will rain on any given day these months). By September, rain chances begin to go down (although it’s not a huge difference from September). We spent 6 days in the area in July and 2 of them were cloudy and rainy, so we were a bit lucky. Unfortunately, you will have to assume that you will have some rainy/cloudy days, so if you can add in some contingency time to your itinerary, that should help. Cheers, Julie
Starting really early on my sons college graduation trip to Switzerland! Was the main (cover) photo you used under your 15 great hikes in the Berner Oberland area taken from the trail to Baschalpese? It is stunning and is exactly what we think of when we think hiking in the Alps! We are going next June and I want that picture!! LOL So happy I came upon your blog – it is already proving to be amazingly helpful!
Hello Susan. The cover photo for this post was taken on the hike from Schynige Platte to First. It was taken just past Schynige Platte well before Loucherhorn. If you read our guide about the hike, do not take the Panorama Trail, just continue into the valley, as we have it written in our guide. In that post, you will several more similar photographs. Have fun in Switzerland!! Cheers, Julie
Thank you for the stunning photos and great tips! When were the photos taken – which month/ part of the month/ year? It doesn’t look busy in the photos – were there many hikers on the trails?
These photos were taken early to mid-July. We timed the more popular hikes for early and late in the day, so there weren’t many people. Overall, crowds were big on Jungfraujoch, in Lauterbrunnen, and at First, but once on most of these trails, it gets a lot quieter. Cheers, Julie
Hello! Are there any hikes open late Nov-early Dec?
From what I know, most of these hikes will be closed/snow covered at that time. You can walk through Lauterbrunnen Valley. I think you could still hike to Monchsjochhutte at Jungfraujoch since that is always snow covered, and there is a chance that you could walk Grutschalp to Murren and maybe the Northface Trail. Cheers, Julie
Hi Julie, Thank you for the great post! I want to hike all the trails you posted here that are under 5 miles. Are there bathrooms on the trails or at the trailheads? I am planning a trip next year, maybe 10 days. Thank you!
Yes, since most of these hikes start within a town or at or near a train station, there will be restrooms nearby. It might not be right at the trailhead but it should be nearby. Cheers, Julie
Just finished 10 days in the Berner Oberland and Zermatt. I can’t thank you enough for your recommendations! Everything was great and your help was so valuable. Thank you!!
Oh my god. The view is perfect!! Your blog is addictive by the way, very inspirational and with a particular style that I really love. If there’s a chance that I could go here with my family, I will invite them to do these best hikes. Thank you so much for sharing this! Looking forward to your new article!
Hi Julie, this is a great post! We decided (as usual) to pretty much follow your footsteps, these time in Bernese Oberland. We will be arriving in Zurich and heading straight to Murren for 7 nights. On the way back we will be stopping for 1 night in Lucerne.
I am quite confused which train pass is best for us. Is Swiss Pass worth it? Or maybe the Bernese Oberland regional pass? Which one did you guys choose? I trust your research 100%, so your answer would be much appreciated! Thank you,
We used the Swiss Travel Pass, since we also visited Zurich and Lausanne and Zermatt. It’s hard for me to answer which pass is best, because it depends on what you will do and how much you will do in the Jungfrau region. The Swiss Pass will cover you in Lucerne and Zurich, so my hunch is that this is the better pass for you. For the Berner Oberland pass, you could use this pass for the Jungfrau region and buy individual tickets for the trains between Zurich and Interlaken. I recommend pricing out both of them, with the activities that you plan to do, to see which one is better financially. Cheers, Julie