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.
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 mecca 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.
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, multi-lingual and easy to use.
Road Most European motorways will bring you to Spiez - 30 minutes north of the village. Travellers from the South use the Goppenstein car-train through to Kandersteg.
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 Blausee is 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:
- Hotel Des Alpes (Great pizza, amazing service, good price), Hauptstrasse, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 1112. edit
- Hotel Ermitage (Cosy, local restaurant), Gondelbahn Oeschinen, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 8020. edit
- Hotel Victoria Ritter (Upmarket restaurant with delicious, local specialities), Hauptstrasse, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 8000. edit
- Tea Room Marmotte (Breakfast, Cakes, Snacks), Hauptstrasse, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 1070. edit
Kandersteg has a vibrant array of night life, especially during high season.
- Hotel Des Alpes (Inviting local bar with good, cheap beer and carpet on the walls. Absolute must visit), Hauptstrasse, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 1112. 10:30 - 00:30. edit
- Hotel Victoria Ritter (Ski Bar - popular winter hangout. Summer terrace also available for an afternoon drink), Hauptstrasse, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 8000. edit
- Hotel Alfa Soleil (High Moon Pub - only nightclub in town. Selected nights only, watch for posters), Hauptstrasse, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 8484. edit
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:
- Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC), Wagetiweg, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ +41-33-675-8282 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . edit
- Bernerhof Kandersteg Hotel, Hauptstrasse, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 8875 (email@example.com, fax: 033 675 8877), . edit
- Hotel Victoria Ritter, CH-3718 Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 8000 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 033 675 8100), . edit
- Hotel Des Alpes, Hauptstrasse, CH-3718, Kandersteg, ☎ 033 675 1112 (email@example.com, fax: 033 675 8100), . edit
- 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.