Schynige Platte another scenic viewpoint that I absolutely love. This is high on the ridge separating the lakes around Interlaken from the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains in the Bernese Oberland. You get to it by cogwheel train from Wilderswil, near Interlaken, and it can easily be done as a daytrip from Mürren, Wengen or Grindelwald as well. It’s an historic Belle Epoque era train, and a slow trip, taking about an hour from Wilderswil to the top… it’s not for those in a rush. The wooden benches are more historic than they are comfortable, but it’s all part of the journey. On a sunny day, Schynige Platte might be the best viewpoint in the region.
At the top, there’s a hotel and restaurant, along with an interesting alpine garden for flower lovers (if you can take your eyes from the mountains). It’s fun to walk 20 minutes to the north side of the ridge to look down at Interlaken and the lakes, where you get a beautiful birds-eye view of the two lakes.
The hike from Schynige Platte to First is good, but it’s also a deceptively tough hike, with a lot of up and down, and quite a bit of time spent on the north (non-view) side of the ridge. Honestly, there are a lot of other hikes in the region that are just as good or better and don’t require quite so much time or commitment.
Schynige Platte is open throughout the summer, from late May through late October. The trains start at 7:25 in the morning and run approximately every 40 minutes. Tickets are CHF 64 round-trip, with 50% discounts if you have a Swiss Pass or Swiss half-fare card. Seat reservations are not required, although you can make them online. If you’re hiking, it’s nice to get up there early before the crowds, but if your goal is to sit outside on the restaurant terrace taking in the view, you might want to wait until it warms up a bit later in the day.
There are also occasional steam train rides (4-6 per summer) that you can plan around if you want to experience a steam engine. For details, see the Jungfrau.ch Schynige Platte website.