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how to get to gelmerbahn switzerland tips

Gelmerbahn is the most scenic funicular in all of Switzerland. At first, I didn’t know what to expect, so one day, I booked the tickets and drove to experience it. Let me tell you, riding the Gelmerbahn was one of the best activities I did in Switzerland. It’s thrilling, and the views are breathtaking. I loved it, and I highly recommend you experience it, too.

So, in this article, I’ll give you insights into how to get to Gelmerbahn and additional tips to plan your visit based on my experience.

Let’s have fun in Switzerland.

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How To Get To Gelmerbahn: Answered!

You can reach Gelmerbahn only by car or bus. There are no trains.

The closest towns to Gelmerbahn, where you can get by train, are Meiringen and Innertkirchen.

From Meiringen, you’ll have to take a bus B 161 to Gelmerbahn (takes 35 minutes); from Innertkirchen, you can take a bus B 171 to Gelmerbahn (takes 20 minutes).

The bus stop closest to Gelmerbahn is called Handegg Gelmerbahn. From the bus stop, it’s about a 10-minute walk to the Gelmerbahn station.

If you drive, there are a few parking lots next to the Gelmerbahn, where you can park your car for free and walk about 5 minutes to the Gelmerbahn.

🚔 GELMERBAHN PARKING: Parkplatz Gelmerbahn (we parked here), Parkplatz HandeckfallbrückeParking Handegg (use only if the first 2 options are full).

how to get to gelmerbahn switzerland
Me on the Gelmerbahn in Switzerland

What Is Gelmerbahn

Before we dive into details, you might ask, ‘ What is actually Gelmerbahn?’ Well, let me help you understand.

Gelmerbahn is the most beautiful funicular ride in Switzerland and one of the steepest in the world. Gelmer is the area where the funicular rides, and ‘Bahn‘ is a German word for ‘railway.

So its direct translation is ‘Gelmer Railway.’

Where Is Gelmerbahn Switzerland

Gelmerbahn is situated in the Bernese Oberland region in Switzerland, southeast of Interlaken (48.5km/30miles).

The closest towns to Gelmerbahn are Innertkirchen (15 km/9miles) and Meiringen (20.5km/12.7miles).

It’s also close to the breathtaking Grimsel Mountain Pass, which offers stunning views of the mountains and glaciers.

where is gelmerbahn switzerland map
Map of Gelmerbahn location in Switzerland

👉 READ ALSO: Best Of Switzerland Itinerary: 8 Days By Train

Map Of Gelmerbahn & Getting There

Here is a map of Gelmerbahn and routes you can take within Switzerland to reach it. See how to get there from Interlaken, Grindelwald, Zurich, or Lucerne.

How To Get To Gelmerbahn From Interlaken

Interlaken is the closest major city to Gelmerbahn. You can get there from Interlaken by train, bus, or car.

If you don’t have a car, take a train from Interlaken Ost to Meiringen. In Meiringen, change to a bus that takes you to Gelmerbahn. The train and a bus from Interlaken via Meiringen to Gelmerbahn takes 1 hour & 25 minutes.

There are also other train and bus connections, where you’ll have to change twice, first in Meiringen, then take a train to Innertkirchen Grimseltor, and from there, change to a bus to Gelmerbahn. This is the fastest connection, which takes 1 hour & 16 minutes, even though you must change twice.

If you have a car, you’ll take road 8 alongside Lake Brienz towards Meiringen and Innertkirchen. From Interlaken, it takes about 45 minutes to reach Gelmerbahn by car (49km/30miles).

how to get from interlaken to gelmerbahn map
Map: Getting from Interlaken to Gelmerbahn

How To Get To Gelmerbahn From Grindelwald

You’ll first have to take a train from Grindelwald to Interlaken Ost. Then, change to another train from Interlaken Ost to Meiringen. Then, change to a bus that takes you to Gelmerbahn.

The journey by train and bus from Grindelwald to Gelmerbahn takes 2 hours & 11 minutes.

If you have a car, first, drive from Grindelwald towards Interlaken. Before Interlaken (right after you pass Wilderswil), turn to road 8 and drive alongside the Brienz Lake towards Meiringen and Innertkirchen until you reach Gelmerbahn.

The drive from Grindelwald to Gelmerbahn takes approx. 1 hour & 5 minutes (66km/41miles).

how to get from grindelwald to gelmerbahn map
Map: Getting from Grindelwald to Gelmerbahn

👉 READ ALSO: 3 Days In Switzerland: 11 Itineraries For All Travelers & Seasons

How To Get To Gelmerbahn From Lucerne

Getting from Lucerne to Gelmerbahn by car and train is one of the most scenic drives.

You’ll first take the Luzern-Interlaken Express (one of the Swiss panoramic trains) and get off in Meiringen. Then, change to a bus B 161 and ride to Gelmerbahn.

The train and bus journey from Lucerne to Gelmerbahn takes 1 hour & 50 minutes.

By car, you’ll drive from Lucerne via road 2 and then 8 and the stunning Brünig Pass. Then, descend to Meiringen and drive via Innertkirchen to Gelmerbahn.

It takes about 1 hour & 10 minutes to reach Gelmerbahn from Lucerne by car (71km/44miles).

how to get from lucerne to gelmerbahn map
Map: Getting from Lucerne to Gelmerbahn

How To Get To Gelmerbahn From Zurich

The fastest way to reach Gelmerbahn from Zurich is to take a train from Zurich to Lucerne. Change to the Luzern-Interlaken Express (scenic train ride) in Lucerne and get off in Meiringen. In Meiringen, take a bus B 161 to Gelmerbahn.

The train and bus journey from Zurich to Gelmerbahn takes approx. 2 hours & 50 minutes.

If you have a car, it takes about 1 hour & 50 minutes to drive from Zurich to Gelmerbahn.

First, take road 4 and then 14 from Zurich towards Lucerne. After Lucerne, you’ll drive via roads 2 and 8 through the beautiful Brünig Pass until you descend towards Meiringen.

From Meiringen, follow road 6 via Innertkirchen until you get to Gelmerbahn.

how to get from zurich to gelmerbahn map
Map: Getting from Zurich to Gelmerbahn

How To Get To Gelmerbahn By Train

There are no trains to Gelmerbahn; you can only take a bus. The closest town to Gelmerbahn that you can reach by train is Innertkirchen. From there, you can only take a bus to Gelmerbahn.

The bus stop near Gelmerbahn is called Handegg, Gelmerbahn. Then, you’ll walk about 10 minutes to the Gelmerbahn.

How To Get To Gelmerbahn By Bus

You can reach Gelmerbahn by bus from Meiringen or Innertkirchen.

From Meiringen, you can take a bus B 161 to Gelmerbahn, which takes about 35 minutes. From Innertkirchen, take a bus B 171 to Gelmerbahn, which takes about 20 minutes.


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👉 READ ALSO: 8 Best Mountains In Switzerland You Need To Visit

Practical Tips For Visiting Gelmerbahn

I have some further tips for you to help you plan your visit to Gelmerbahn. See how much it costs to ride it, what you can do around, and where to stay.

Gelmerbahn Tickets & Opening Hours

A return ticket for Gelmerbahn costs 36 CHF. A one-way ticket costs 18 CHF. For children ( 6 – 15 years old), a return ticket costs 18 CHF, and a one-way ticket is 9 CHF.

NOTE: Book the ticket online in advance via the Gelmerbahn website. If you don’t have pre-purchased tickets, you can also come and try to get them on the spot, but the chance of getting tickets at the place is almost 0. So make sure you book them online at least 1 month before you come.

Book your tickets to Gelmerbahn here.

Gelmerbahn is only open in the summertime, from 1st June until 20th October. It’s not possible to ride the funicular in the winter.

June, September, and October, the operating hours are from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. The last ascent is at 3:48 pm, and the last descent is at 4:00 pm. I recommend arriving a bit earlier so you have time to walk around the lake and enjoy the scenery.

In July and August, it’s open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm (the last ascent is at 4:36 pm, and the last descent is at 4:48 pm).

how to get to gelmerbahn switzerland
Gelmerbahn Views

Activities To Do Around Gelmerbahn

There are a few activities you can do around the Gelmerbahn. But the highlight is, of course, the funicular ride itself. The other two main attractions are the Handdeckfall Suspension Bridge and Gelmersee Lake.

Handdeckfall Suspension Bridge

Before you get to Gelmerbahn station, you can walk through the stunning Handdeckfall suspension bridge. It’s 70 meters long (230 feet) and offers stunning views of the Handdeck waterfall and the Aare River.

The bridge connects the valley and Handeck Hotel with the Gelmerbahn.

So don’t miss it; walk through it; it’s spectacular and it’s free of charge.

Handdeckfall Suspension Bridge
Me walking on the Handdeckfall Suspension Bridge

Gelmersee Lake

After you ride the Gelmerbahn, you’ll reach the stunning Gelmersee Lake. It’s a hydroelectric reservoir, and you can walk around it.

The hike around Gelmersee Lake is 4.5 km/2.8 miles long and takes about 2 – 3 hours to complete. You can also do it with children. It’s super beautiful.

Otherwise, just walk around some parts of the lake and have a little picnic. Make sure to clean everything after.

Alternatively, you can hike from the Gelmerbahn parking lot to Gelmersee Lake. It’s about 6 km/3.7 miles long and takes approx. 1.5 hours.

how to get to gelmerbahn gelmersee Lake
Me enjoying Gelmersee Lake

Where To Eat Around Gelmerbahn

There are no restaurants at the Gelmerbahn funicular station or the Gelmersee Lake. The closest restaurants are at the Handdeck Hotel, Alpinhotel Grimsel Hospiz, or Innertkirchen.

You can bring some snacks and eat them at Gelmersee Lake. That’s what we did – we packed some sandwiches and enjoyed eating them at the lake.

Make sure to clean everything after you finish eating. Take all the rubbish with you and don’t leave it in the nature.

Where To Stay Near Gelmerbahn

The closest you can stay near Gelmerbahn is the Handdeck Hotelhistorical Alpinhotel Grimsel Hospiz, in InnertkirchenBrienzInterlaken, or Grindelwald.

I highly recommend staying at the historical Alpinhotel Grimsel Hospiz. It’s in the Grimsel Pass – one of Switzerland’s most beautiful mountain passes and offers a unique experience.

➡ Book your stay at Alpinhotel Grimsel Hospiz here.

Best Hotels In Interlaken

I recommend the following hotels in Interlaken:

Interlaken Youth Hostelhostelbook here
Salzano Hotel & Spamid-range hotelbook here
Jungfrau Victoria Grand Hotel & Spaluxury hotelbook here

Best Hotels In Grindelwald

These are the best hotels in Grindelwald based on my experience:

Hotel Belvedere Swiss Quality – mid-range hotel – book here
Sunstar Hotel & Spa – mid-range hotel – book here
Boutique Hotel Glacier – luxury hotel – book here
Bergwelt Grindelwald – luxury hotel – book here

Gelmerbahn Photos

Here are some photos I took during the Gelmerbahn ride and after walking around Gelmersee Lake. Enjoy!


I’ve also answered some frequently asked questions about Gelmerbahn. Check my answers below.

Is Gelmerbahn Covered By Swiss Travel Pass?

No, Gelmerbahn isn’t covered by Swiss Travel Pass. You have to pay in full and it’s only possible to book the tickets for Gelmerbahn online in advance.

How Long Is The Gelmerbahn Ride?

It takes 12 minutes to ride the Gelmerbahn. After you reach the summit, you can walk abround the stunning Gelmersee Lake. Then take the Gelmerbahn back to the valley, which also takes 12 minutes.

Is Gelmerbahn Worth Visiting?

Yes, Gelmerbahn is 100% worth visiting. It’s the most beautiful funicular ride in Switzerland. The ride is breathtaking and I must say it’s one of the best activities you can do in the country.

Which Is The Best Funicular Train In Switzerland?

Gelmerbahn is the best funicular train in Switzerland. It’s located close to Interlaken and Meiringen and you can reach it by car or a bus from Meiringen. After, I recommend driving via the beautiful Grimsel Mountain Pass.

WRAP-UP: How To Get To Gelmerbahn Switzerland

This is my ultimate guide for getting to Gelmerbahn in Switzerland. I highly recommend adding it to your itinerary as it’s the most spectacular funicular ride in the country. The entire area with Grimsel Mountain Pass is worth staying at least for a night. Don’t forget to check out other wonderful places in the Bernese Oberland and Jungfrau region. I think it’s the most beautiful area of Switzerland.

If you have any questions or need help planning your trip, contact me at info(at)voicesoftravel.com. I’ll gladly help you.

Happy Travels!

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

SWITZERLAND: Interested in more articles for Switzerland?
Check out my Switzerland Travel Page.

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