Railway steam train of Brienz Rothorn Bahn at mountain station.

© Michael Derrer Fuchs/Shutterstock

Rothorn Bahn


This is the only steam-powered cogwheel train still operating in Switzerland, climbing up to Rothorn at 2350m, from where you can set out on hikes or enjoy the long views over Brienzersee to snow-dusted 4000m peaks. Walking up from Brienz takes around five hours.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Brienz attractions

1. Schweizer Holzbildhauerei Museum


Homing in on the tradition of woodcarving in Brienz, this museum contains the prized collection of the Jobin workshop, which has been in business since…

2. Brunngasse

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In town, mosey down postcard-perfect Brunngasse, a curving lane dotted with stout wooden chalets, each seemingly trying to outdo its neighbour with window…

3. Giessbachfälle

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Illuminating the fir forest like a spotlight in the dark, the misty Giessbachfälle plummet 500m over 14 rocky ridges. Europe’s oldest funicular, dating to…

4. Ballenberg Open-Air Museum

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For a fascinating insight into the rural Switzerland of yore, visit this open-air museum, set across 80 hectares east of Brienz. Authentically…

5. Bachalpsee

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Utterly entrancing in the still of early morning, with its perfect reflection of the white pyramid of Schreckhorn (4078m), this glacial lake is less than…

6. First Cliff Walk by Tissot


Next to Berggasthaus First at around 2200m, this new lookout platform, jutting out 45m into the void, provides heart-pumping views of the valley and…

7. Sherlock Holmes Museum

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Sherlock fans won’t want to miss this museum in the basement of the English church in Meiringen. The highlight is a re-created sitting room of 221b Baker…

8. Reichenbachfälle

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Gazing over the mighty Reichenbach Falls, where the cataract plunges 250m to the ground with a deafening roar, you can see how Arthur Conan Doyle thought…