The World’s Longest Staircase

Switzerland has the world’s longest staircase, not too far from the city of Bern. Mount Niesen in the Swiss Alps hosts the 11,674-step staircase, which leads visitors to the top of the 5,390-foot pyramid-shaped mountain. Found atop the mountain is a transparent glass pavilion and the Niesen Kulm mountain guesthouse, where visitors can stay and eat, all while enjoying the view. To get to the top there are two cable railways in use that have four carriages that carry passengers 30 minutes up the mountain; the railways have been in use for over 100 years and mirror the staircase to the top. However, the real attraction is the Niesen Treppenlauf, the mother of all staircase races. The actual stairs are only open to use once a year, and it’s for the race. The fact that the race has been going on for the last 10 years and no one has really known about it makes it even more unique. The 2.11-mile race isn’t something to be taken lightly. The record for men is 1 hour 2 minutes and 1 hour 9 minutes for women. The length of the race is compared to climbing the Empire State Building more than seven times in a row. Once you’ve burned the calories from the trek, which at times can be have a 68% steepness (but only averages a 55% gradient), you can see a beautiful view of the Bernese Alps and surrounding areas like Lake Thun, Kander Valley and Simmen Valley.