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Sunrise/Sunset

As a hobbyist landscape photographer, I was hoping to get plenty of opportunities for golden hour morning/evening pictures but realized that's fairly difficult with limited cable car/lift schedules (unless you're hoofing it by foot before dawn/after dusk). We are staying up in the mountains for a few nights, but do you know if there are any places that might be easier than others to get great sunrise/sunset photos? Are there any places that have cable cars that start really early or later in the evening or do you just have to stay in mountaintop huts or hotels to get the shots?

Posted by
8070 posts

Go only during the seasons when the days are shorter (late sun rise and early sunset) and things are still running. I guess that would be the ski season.

Posted by
2597 posts

There must be websites and apps that can tell you when the good sunsets and sunrises are happening at any spot on the planet at any moment in the past, present, and future, no?

Posted by
398 posts

A lot of mountain railways/cable cars offer special sunrise/sunset trips, usually only on selected days though. Check with the tourist offices and see if they can help with dates or look online. Here, for example, are just a few ideas from tourism websites:

https://www.luzern.com/en/highlights/listicals/top-five-sunrise-locations-in-central-switzerland/
https://shop.rigi.ch/en/product/sonnenaufgangsfahrt
https://www.luzern.com/en/highlights/listicals/top-5-sunset-locations-on-lake-lucerne/
https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/harder-kulm/evening-trips/ (Interlaken)
https://www.maennlichen.ch/en/summer/experiences/barbecue.html (sunset barbecue at Männlichen above Wengen)
https://www.gornergrat.ch/en/stories/sunrise-on-gornergrat

Another great place to take panoramic photos in Luzern is the local 'hidden gem' Dreilinden Park (aka Konsipark), where the old music conservatory building is. It's an uphill walk from town (ca 20-25 min), but the views are amazing. You can also take bus 14 to the Konservatorium stop (4 min ride from train station) and then it's a shorter (direct but still uphill) walk up stairs to the park.

If you're staying in Wengen/Mürren/Zermatt/etc it is also very possible to reach spectacular photo locations just by getting up early and walking to viewpoints that overlook the valleys (no crazy hiking required). If in Zermatt, try the AHV-Weg (Pensioner's Trail) which is easily accessible from the town but offers great views of Matterhorn and the village (any time of day!). You could also look at staying overnight in some of the mountain summit hotels available in different locations (Pilatus, Rigi, Zermatt are ones I know for sure) although it could be tricky to predict the weather in advance.