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Kandersteg is a village in the Bernese Highlands in Switzerland. Located in the heart of the Alps, Kandersteg is the perfect location to explore the mountains and observe the traditional Swiss alpine lifestyle and it is also on the edge of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO world heritage site.

A small farming village with a population of 1,200 Kandersteg today relies heavily on tourism for economic support. The village is also home to Kandersteg International Scout Centre, which is open 365 days and welcomes over 12,000 Scouts and Guides from around the World each year.

In Summer, Kandersteg acts as a resort for hikers from all corners of Europe offering hundreds of kilometres of marked hiking paths. Well maintained and secure via-ferrata and multi-pitch rock climbing areas also attract many guests.

Winter offers a wide range of pisted hiking paths and is one of the biggest cross-country areas in Switzerland. The village also has snowshoe trails, sled runs and skiing areas suitable for beginner-intermediate skiers.

Get in

Public Transit Kandersteg is well served by regular train and bus connections coordinated nationally by the Swiss Federal Railways SBB. Trains to Kandersteg run from Thun in the north and Brig in the south. The public transport system is punctual, multilingual and easy to use.

By road

Most European motorways will bring you to Spiez which is 30 minutes north of the village. Travellers from the South use the Goppenstein car-train through to Kandersteg.

By air

The main international airports are located in GenevaZurichBasel and MilanZurich and Geneva have their own train stations.

Get around

In high season there is a local bus which runs from the train station to Sunnbuel Cable Car and the Oeschinen Gondola. The bus is free with a Guest Card which is available from your accommodation in Kandersteg. This service is operated by AFA Busbetrieb who have up to date timetable information.


  • The Village Museum located underneath the Tourist Office. Open the same hours as the Tourist Office
  • The spectacular Blauseeis nestled among pristine forest below the village. The crystal clear lake is home to ancient fossilised trees and delicious local trout. The downhill walk takes approximately 1.5 hours from the village and it is possible to get the bus back uphill to Kandersteg.
  • The viewpoint at the Hoh and admire the breathtaking views over the village and surrounding mountains. 35 minutes walk one way from the centre of town.
  • The Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage information point located outside the Tourist Office.


  • Ride the local cable cars and see what each one has the offer:

Oeschinen Gondola takes you a short walk from Lake Oeschinensee one of the most spectacular scenes in the Alps. During summer it is also possible to ride the Rodlebahn. Sunnbuel is the highest cable car in the village and offers spectacular views toward the southern section of the Alps. Allmenalp operates in summer only and has a small traditional alpine cheesery at the top as well as great views over the village.

  • Visit the peaceful Gasterntal Valley and see the third largest glacier in Europe perched above you. Spring, summer and autumn only.
  • Speed down the local Sled Run on a traditional wooden sled during the winter.
  • Fall serenely from the sky Paragliding with your instructor.
  • Enjoy a delicious cake in a local Tea Room.
  • Stay overnight in a Mountain Hut.


Essentials The village has three supermarkets which have a basic range. All are located within a few minutes walk from centre of the village:

  • Coop - open Monday to Saturday (with lunch break at 12:00-14:00) and has the biggest range of goods.
  • Treffpunkt - open on Sunday morning, but closed Wednesday afternoon (lunch break 12:00-13:30 on other days).
  • Volg - Monday - Saturday.

The village also has its own Post Office, Doctors Surgery as well as two banks.


  • Victorinox or Wenger 'Swiss Army Knife'
  • Piece of local alpine cheese from Hari Käsespezialitäten
  • Kandersteg 'Wanderkarte' Walking Map


The cost of food in Switzerland is very high, and this reflects in the price of eating out in local restaurants. Some favourites include:

  • 1 Hotel Des Alpes, Hauptstrasse, ☎ +41 33 675 1112. Great pizza and service.
  • 2 Hotel Ermitage, Gondelbahn Oeschinen, ☎ +41 33 675 8020. Cosy, local restaurant.
  • 3 Hotel Victoria Ritter, Hauptstrasse, ☎ +41 33 675 8000. Upmarket restaurant with delicious, local specialities.
  • 4 Tea Room Marmotte, Hauptstrasse, ☎ +41 33 675 1070. Breakfast, cakes, snacks.


Kandersteg has a vibrant array of night life, especially during high season.

  • 1 Hotel Des Alpes, Hauptstrasse, ☎ +41 33 675 1112. 10:30–00:30. Inviting local bar with good, cheap beer and carpet on the walls. Absolute must visit
  • 2 Hotel Victoria Ritter, Hauptstrasse, ☎ +41 33 675 8000. Ski Bar - popular winter hangout. Summer terrace also available for an afternoon drink
  • 3 Hotel Alfa Soleil, Hauptstrasse, ☎ +41 33 675 8484. High Moon Pub - only nightclub in town. Selected nights only, watch for posters


There are over 20 hotels in Kandersteg plus countless more Bed and Breakfasts, Holiday Apartments and the mammoth International Scout Centre who in itself has places for 1,800 people. There is an exhaustive list available from Kandersteg Tourismus

Some of the most popular include:

  • 1 Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC), Wagetiweg, ☎ +41 33 675 8282, e-mail: reception@kisc.ch.
  • 2 Bernerhof Kandersteg Hotel, Hauptstrasse, ☎ +41 33 675 8875, fax: +41 33 675 8877, e-mail: hotel@bernerhof.ch.
  • 3 Hotel Victoria Ritter, Hauptstrasse, ☎ +41 33 675 8000, fax: +41 33 675 8100, e-mail: info@hotel-victoria.ch.
  • 4 Hotel Des Alpes, Hauptstrasse, ☎ +41 33 675 1112, fax: +41 33 675 8100, e-mail: info@desalpes-kandersteg.ch.


  • Cards are rarely used at point of sale in Switzerland, especially in small villages. As there are only 2 ATMs in the town, have cash handy.
  • Remember that Switzerland takes Swiss Francs, not Euros.
  • During low-season, March-May and October-December almost all of the village is closed - most hotels, tourist information, local shops etc. If you visit during this time it is good to remember that the International Scout Centre is open 365 days and the office provides tourist information, maps, catering as well as accommodation.

Go next

Walk/Cable Car/Ski out to:Leukerbaud Lötschental Adelboden Frutigen

Swiss Bernese Oberland : A Summer Guide With Specific Trips to the Mountains, Lakes and Villages


The 3rd Edition Swiss Bernese Oberland recommends 12 specific trips and 4 excursions in the Bernese Oberland for the Independent Traveler on mountain trains, lake steamers, cable cars and selected walks and hikes. These trips are shown in graphic form with 45 color pictures and 15 maps. Information is provided for the villages of InterlakenGrindelwald, Wengen, Murren and Kandersteg, plus local Swiss food and wine. Also featured are Internet sites and links to assist in planning your trip.

Karen Brown's 2001 Switzerland: Charming Inns & Itineraries (Karen Brown's Switzerland. Charming Inns and Itineraries)

Karen Brown

Karen Brown Switzerland Inns & Itineraries

"A Pioneer and still leader in the category of high-quality small inns and bed and breakfasts." -- Gourmet"Books to dream over, but also to use." -- Washington Post

Completely updated every year, Karen Brown Guides point you to the most charming inns and B&Bs in Europe and the USA.Tons of reviews and easy-to-follow ititneraries as well as lively, personal descriptions of all inns, hotels, and B&Bs.Accommodations of all price ranges, chosen for their charm and the warmth of their welcome.Locator maps help to plan inn-to-inn itineraries.

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