The Dolderbahn rack railway whisks riders from the busy streets of Zurich into the upper reaches of Adlisberg Mountain in under six minutes. First opened in 1895, the line has long provided quick and easy access to Zurich’s scenic surrounds and remains a popular city escape route for hikers, joggers, and nature lovers in the region.
The Dolderbahn operates as part of Zurich’s public transit system, so holders of tickets, Zurich Cards, or Swiss Passes can travel both ways for free. Some city tours also include a return journey, in combination with other Zurich must-dos such as a lake cruise or city tour. The line’s upper terminus, Bergstation Dolderbahn, neighbors the Dolder Grand Hotel and Adlisberg Forest, which both offer a range of seasonal activities.
Things to know before you go
- Dolderbahn is fully accessible for wheelchair users.
- Adlisberg forest is not just for active travelers–its scenic lookouts are also ideal for just sitting and enjoying the view.
- The area around the upper terminal is home to several hotels, bars, and cafes that offer dining and bathroom facilities. Bathroom facilities are also available at Dolderbahn stations.
How to get there
The Dolderbahn departs its lower terminus, Römerhof, about every ten minutes. Römerhof is located just outside central but is regularly served by trams #3, 8, and 11.
When to get there
The Dolderbahn operates daily until late. In summer, visitors flock to the Dolder Swimming Pool and Golf Course, while in winter the Ice Rink becomes a family-friendly favorite. For great views across Zurich, Adlisberg is best visited on bright, clear days.
The Polybahn and Rigiblick Funicular
It is a common misconception that the Dolderbahn is a funicular train, when in fact it is now a rack railway. Zurich’s other two mountain trains are indeed funiculars. The Polybahn zips along the Zurichberg, connecting Zurich Central and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, while the Rigiblick Funicular travels higher up the home mountain to a small hillside town. Swiss Pass and Zurich Card can also ride these trains for free.
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- Kunsthaus Zurich
- Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus Zürich)
- Botanical Garden (University of Zurich)
- Lake Zurich (Zürichsee)
- Grossmünster Church
- Fraumünster Church
- St. Peter Church (Kirche St. Peter)
- Zurich Chinese Garden (Chinagarten)
- Paradeplatz (Parade Square)
- National Museum Zurich (Landesmuseum Zürich)
- Zoo Zurich
- Museum Rietberg