Kandersteg Travel Guide

  • Oeschinenlake
    Oeschinenlake
    by iammon
  • Oeschinenlake from Unter-Oberbärgli hike
    Oeschinenlake from Unter-Oberbärgli hike
    by iammon
  • The Bärgbeizli
    The Bärgbeizli
    by travelfrosch

Kandersteg Highlights

  • Pro
    Rhondaj profile photo

    Rhondaj says…

     small enough to be cozy, big enough to explore 

  • Con
    sandysmith profile photo

    sandysmith says…

     clouds can hang around in the valley 

  • In a nutshell
    Rhondaj profile photo

    Rhondaj says…

     Great take-off point for hikes and train trekking! 

Kandersteg Things to Do

  • Oberbärgli-Unterbärgli Hike

    This is a nice easy hike in the Oeschinensee area (in the Unesco world heritage part). It is 7 km long and gives you nice panorama views of the lake and the peaks. It will take you about 3.5 hours. Height difference is 350 m. You start at the Seilbahn Oeschinensee (or walk up which adds an hour to the trip) From the station follow the signs to...

    more
  • Walk to the Oeschinensee

    This is our favorite hike if we arrive in the early afternoon, or right before a late checkout. The walk is rather steep, especially if you're not an experienced hiker, so bring good shoes and some water if it's a hot day.Your reward will be a view of a lovely lake, along with a berghaus and a berghotel, both of which serve lunches and beverages....

    more
  • Hike through the Gastern Valley

    The Gastern Valley is a very good hike, especially if it's a bit cloudy. You'll climb rather steeply at first along a torrent of water. Eventually, the trail flattens out, and you find yourself in a hanging valley with sheer cliffs and waterfalls surrounding you. Continue the walk all the way to Selden if you like, or even beyond to the hamlet of...

    more

Kandersteg Hotels

Kandersteg Restaurants

  • Lakeside Lunch on the Oeschinensee

    A very nice place to stop right on the lake. Outdoor seating allows you to sit back, relax, enjoy the lake, and have a meal (or just a drink, if you prefer).UPDATE: When we visited again in 2011, the prices had gone up and quality had gone down. It's still quite scenic and a fine place for a drink or coffee, but I wouldn't waste the money eating...

    more
  • Lunch at the Train Station

    Rain was forecast for the afternoon, so we canceled our plan to hike in the Jungfrau area and stayed a few extra hours in Kandersteg before continuing to Zurich. We decided to linger over lunch at the train station cafeteria. But this is no ordinary train station cafeteria. This is the Kandersteg train station cafeteria, with outdoor seating...

    more
  • Scenic Cafe at the Gemmipass

    One of my favorite things about Switzerland is, there seems to be a cafe at the end of every hike. The Gemmipass walk is no exception. Once you've reached the Gemmipass, there's a nice cafeteria with an extraordinarily scenic outdoor eating area. It's a great place to stop, have food and/or drink, and take in the view before making the return trip....

    more

Kandersteg Nightlife

  • If you want to dance, you came to the...

    Let's face it: Kandersteg caters to hikers, i.e. morning people. If you want nightlife, you're probably better off going to Zermatt or Interlaken (or, better yet, Amsterdam or Berlin). For those who want an after dinner drink, Restaurant Adler has a small gazebo/bar outside the main building. I've never had a drink there myself, but it seems nice.

    more
  • Kandersteg Nightlife

    The previous 2 tips say that there is no nightlife in Kandersteg. I've been there 6 times and I think there is.OK, yes there is no disco/dancefloor in the village any more. There used to be one underneath one of the hotels but it got shut down for whatever reason.These days you're left with 3 bars that will be open untill the early hours.Ski Bar/...

    more
  • Quiet nightlife

    To be honest there doesn't seem to be much nightlife in the village, so it's not the place for you if you don't come alive until 11.00 pm. However, if you prefer a good meal and a reasonably early breakfast ready for a stunning day out then it is the peace, quiet and serenity that you are looking for. Generally dress in restaurants is casual....

    more

Kandersteg Transportation

  • Gondola to the Oeschinensee

    The easy way to get to the Oeschinensee is to take the gondola. The gondola, which replaced the old chairlift (sesselbahn) in 2009, is a favorite for its lovely view of the Kandersteg area. Either take the village bus to the base station, or walk about 10 minutes down the path towards the Bluemlisalp, then follow the signs for the "seilbahn...

    more
  • Train Connections to Kandersteg

    Kandersteg is a local station on the BLS (Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon) Railway, one of the many private railways in Switzerland. (don't worry -- Eurail and Swisspass are valid!) Until 2008, it was on the main line between Bern and Brig, with most long haul trains stopping here. Now, however, nearly all of the InterCity and EuroCity trains have been...

    more
  • Gastern Valley Bus

    If hiking the Gastern Valley isn't practical for you (say, if you're with a small child), another option to enjoy the hanging valley is to take Kander Reisen's mini-bus to the village of Selden. The van crawls along a tiny one-lane road with tunnels barely large enough to fit the vehicle. Scenery is tremendous, and when you get to the end of the...

    more

Kandersteg Shopping

  • Discount grocery store

    Kandersteg has two grocery stores. The Coop is the one closest to the train station. It has all sorts of food, wine, beer, and soft drinks for sale. Remember to bring your own bag to take your groceries. Don't worry if you forget -- you can get shopping bags at the store, but you'll have to pay a small fee to buy one. Of course, you can get just...

    more
  • A small shopper's row

    Despite the fact that Kandersteg is a small town, it has considerable shopping options. If you walk along Bahnhofstrasse, you'll find a number of specialty shops of all sorts. You won't find too many bargains here, but if you're a hard-core shopaholic, you'll find just the knick-knack you need to satisfy your craving.

    more
  • Butcher Shop 2

    It's the one with the big pig outside!You can bring your recyclables to this shop-there are collection pallets outside next to the shop. Kandersteg recycles glass, paper, and plastic. Besides meat, a few other grocery items. And I bought a pair of sheepskin moccasins that I'm wearing right now! (and buying souvenirs from the butcher shop is...

    more

Kandersteg Local Customs

  • Hiking Signs

    Throughout Kandersteg (and most other places in Switzerland), you will notice many yellow trail signs indicating various destinations. Signs are marked with the amount of time it takes to hike to a location, rather than the straight-line distance. Remember that "Std." means "hours" -- for example, in the picture, you'll notice one sign says...

    more
  • Migration of the Cows

    About 5:00 AM, we awakened to what sounded like rushing water at first. As it came closer, it was clear the sound was cowbells. It happened to be the day the farmers decided to move their cows from the lower pastures around the town to the higher pastures near the Oeschinensee. They do this so the lower pastures can be harvested for hay, so the...

    more
  • Kandersteg Recycles

    Don't be wasteful! Kandersteg recycles glass (by color), paper, and tin. There's a collection center down by the train station. Also the Coop grocery store has two collection bins for plastic and milk cartons. If you're staying in a chalet, there's a good chance your landlord will provide you with a compost pail.Trash has to be put into specially...

    more

Kandersteg Warnings and Dangers

  • don't be dumb, familiarize.

    Although not too difficult to learn, glacier trekking is a technical sport. In order to do it safely and properly you may want to familiarize yourself with the standard precautions of alpine sports. Train yourself in ice axe use; make sure you know how to do self-arrest. Many of the glaciers here do not require crampon use, just an axe, so please...

    more
  • The River Can Rise Quickly!

    When you're hiking along the Kander River, remember that it's used for hydroelectric power. As a result, water can be dammed and released at short notice, causing the river's level to fluctuate widely. You'll see many multilingual signs outlining the danger. Pay attention: no matter how gentle and inviting the river looks, it can turn into a...

    more
  • the earlier, the better

    If hiking up in the snow and ice of the glaciated Bernese Alps, it is best to get as early of a start as possible. As the day progresses, the snow becomes slushy and mucky, and the ice becomes more slippery. It is wiser to trek when they are more solid.This photo was taken at midday, and many other trekkers had already walked along this same path,...

    more

Kandersteg Tourist Traps

  • The Blausee

    I debated whether to put this in a "things to do" or "tourist traps," because to call it a tourist trap is somewhat harsh. There's nothing wrong with the lake itself, and it's a nice enough downhill walk from Kandersteg... but the entrance fee is CHF 5 for access to the lake via some short paths. As I said, the lake is nice, with an impressive blue...

    more
  • downtown

    Kandersteg is not really much of a town, in fact the only reason why I love it so much is because of the proximity and easy access to Berneroberland. The town itself is pretty much a tourist hell hole because in the winter Ksteg is a popular ski resort. Although there were hardly any tourists in the summer when I was there, the mass souvenier shops...

    more
  • Blausee

    We didn't visit the Blausee this time - once is enough. This small lake and trout farm is a bit overhyped for what it is IMHO. If you must go its a ten-minute drive north of Kandersteg, just off the main valley-floor road. There is also a train stop here so its eaily reached that way. Another option is to hike for an hour or so along the valley -...

    more

Kandersteg What to Pack

  • catnl's Profile Photo

    by catnl Written Dec 27, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Take some warm, summer and easy-to-wear clothings and special climbing shoes.
    As for ski equipment u can rent anything here.

    We brought some food with us because i knew its very expensive to buy cheese and other stuff ...specially when ur with more than 2 people depending on ur budget offcourse.

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Kandersteg Off The Beaten Path

  • Oeschinensee Loop hike - Adrenalin pure!

    This is a very exposed hike(Fründschnuer) for brave people! Depending on you fitness it will take 60 to 120 minutes for the loop.For a about a kilometer you litteraly hike in the middle of a cliff. No missteps or fear of heights allowed! So it is only for very good hikers with good hiking boots. You are about 200m above the lake.However the sights...

    more
  • hike berneroberland!

    Lotschenpass Crossing - ascent 1510 metres, time - 9 hours 'Oldest glacier pass in the Bernese Alps. The trail after Selden is clearly marked, the route across the glacier is usually marked with poles. After the Lotschenpass, steep trail down to Ferden.' start/finish: Kandersteg - Selden - Lotschenpass Hut - Ferden.

    more
  • The Hohwald

    A short and pleasant hike, especially on a cloudy day, is a hike through the Hoh Forest to the Hoh Overlook. With your back to the train station, turn left down the path (downhill as though you were going to the Blausee). After about 5 minutes or so following the river, you'll emerge on the far side of town. Turn left, taking the passage under the...

    more

Kandersteg Sports & Outdoors

  • Hiking the Gemmipass

    The Gemmipass is an old roman route linking the Bernese Oberland and the Valais region. Its a popular route and an easy hike - using the cable cars at either end if you want to cut the time down and to save the legs and knees! We didn't have perfect weather for this hike - in fact near the top of the passs we had a short snow flurry! However it was...

    more
  • Looking down on Leukerbad

    After walking for about 3 hours from Sunnbuel we eventually reached the Berghotel Wildstrubel at the top of the Gemmipass. We sheltered from the short snowstorm here and ate a wonderful plate of Rosti :-)) Fortunately we enjoyed a brief view in the swirling mist , from the viewing terrace down to Leukerbad way way below. Amazingly there is a mule...

    more
  • Paragliding

    We took our first ever tandem paraglide with Ruedi Grossen, a very friendly local ex-instructor. It's a fantastic experience and not as scary as you might imagine. Trouble is that it has us hooked and we now want to train to go solo! Everything is provided but you should wear good boots as there is a pretty steep and slushy walk to the take off...

    more

Kandersteg Favorites

  • Kandersteg Kitty

    I came down to the lobby of my hotel to find a cat who was acting as if she owned the place. I took my camera out, and as it turned out, she was quite photogenic as well, even flashing a grin for me as I snapped my photo. I subsequently found her sleeping on various outdoor seats, sauntering across the street (only hurrying when vehicles forced...

    more
  • Just the Right Size

    Kandersteg can be walked end-to-end in about a half-hour stroll. It would seem quite small to people who love cities, but if you are looking for a quaint, yet not too remote village, this is the place. There are two grocery stores, a Migros and Coop. Neither are very large, but you'll find enough... A few specialty shops, a few souvenir shops, etc....

    more
  • Kanton Bern

    Kandersteg lies in the Swiss state of Kanton Bern/Canton Berne. This is the 2nd largest state of Switzerland and is home to Bern, the capital. Both German and French are official languages.Kandersteg itself lies just a couple hours south of Bern, within the Bernese Oberland region. The mountain range, the Bernese Alps, dominate the region. At...

    more

Instant Answers: Kandersteg

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

88 travelers online now

Comments (1)

  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Southbound Trains Now Split in Spiez:

    Most trains departing from Bern for Kandersteg (continuing to Goppenstein and Brig) now split in Spiez, with half of the train going to Zweisimmen. Check the signs and/or video screens onboard to confirm your car is going to Brig, not Zweisimmen.

 
Explore Deeper into Kandersteg
Cable Car to the Allmenalp
Transportation
Sunnbuel Cable Car
Transportation
AFA Bus
Transportation
Swiss Fly-Rail Baggage Service
Transportation
by bus or by car
Transportation
Hiking to the Gemmipass
Things to Do
The Heuberg Rundweg
Things to Do
Sunnbuel Bus
Transportation
Lake Thun
Things to Do
Visit Blausee
Things to Do
Lotschental Valley - A Valley Gem
Off The Beaten Path
Oeschinensee for Daytripping
Things to Do
Allmenalp
Things to Do
Remote cafe
Off The Beaten Path
Local brews
Local Customs
Cemetery
Off The Beaten Path
drive on board to go thru the Lötschbergtunnel
Transportation
THE Church
Things to Do
the soft trickling of glacial waters
Off The Beaten Path
glaciers
Warnings and Dangers
around Kandersteg
Transportation
adventure sports
Things to Do
keeping me warm
Favorites
your neighbors
Favorites
Hiking :-)
Favorites
20 Minutes
Transportation
Zermatt
Things to Do
Within Our Price Range!
Restaurants
Hiking Gemmipass Back to Kandersteg
Sports & Outdoors
Setting out on the Gemmipass
Sports & Outdoors
Schwarenbach
Sports & Outdoors
Waldlhaus
Off The Beaten Path
Detour to Balmhornhutte
Off The Beaten Path
Gasterntal -Flowers
Off The Beaten Path
Eating In
Favorites
Chalets
Favorites
A Discovery
Favorites
The Butcher Shop
Shopping
Peaceful Dorf
Favorites
At your local
Restaurants
Map of Kandersteg

View all Kandersteg hotels