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Sarnen is the capital of the canton of Obwalden and sits on the shore of Lake Sarnen. Sarnen is an ideal starting point for numerous excursions by train, car or bike (including to the Bernese Oberland, Lucerne or Engelberg); a variety of sports can be practised here or in the immediate vicinity.


View across the lake towards Sarnen

The town is surrounded by mountain chains and a protected bog can be found nearby. In 2018, it was home to 10,000 people, many of whom commute to Lucerne for work.

Get in


By car


The highway A8 passes by Sarnen. It can be reached from Lucerne in just under 30 minutes and from Interlaken in around one and a half hours.

By train


Tow train lines lead to 1 Sarnen:

  • The Luzern-Interlaken Express stops hourly from Lucerne (20 min) as well as Meiringen (50 min), Brienz (1 hr 10 min) and Interlaken Ost (1 hr 30 min).
  • The S5 is a slower train to Lucerne (30 min) but with two hourly connections.

By bike


The national Veloroute 4 Alpine panorama route runs through the center of Sarnen.

Get around

Map of Sarnen


  • Sarnen is home to 10 sites that are Swiss heritage sites of national significance. These include three religious buildings; the Ossuary of St. Michael, the parish church of St. Peter and Paul, the Church of St. Martin. Two houses and a tower, the double house am Grund and Grundacher and the Hexenturm are on the list. The remainder of the list contains the Cantonal Rathaus, the musical collection of the Frauenkloster, the Landenberg armory and the State Archives of Obwalden. The entire small city of Sarnen, the hamlet of Ramersberg and the Kirchhofen area are part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.
  • 1 Museum Bruder Klaus, Dorfstrasse 4, 6072 Sachseln (One station by train or boat from Sarnen.), +41 41 660 55 83. During the summer months Tu-Sa 10:00-12:00 and 13:30-17:00, Su 11:00-17:00. This museum is dedicated to the patron saint of Switzerland Nicholas of Flüe (Brother Klaus). He was a hermit living in this area in the 15th century. After having had a vision, he left behind his wife and ten children to live in isolation. He was venerated as a man of great wisdom and is claimed to have avoided a civil war through his council. Fr. 10.
  • 2 Historisches Museum Obwalden, Brünigstrasse 127, . Mid-April to November: W-Su 14ː00-17ː00. A local history museum showcasing pieces from the canton of Obwalden. Fr. 6.
  • 3 Church St. Peter und Paul. This Catholic church was built in baroque style in the 18th century. Highlights of the church architecture are the painted ceiling and the altars. Catholic Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul (Q2322711) on Wikidata
  • 4 Sarner Jesuskind, Brünigstrasse 157. This small wooden statue from the 14th century depicting baby Jesus is an object of pilgrimage. It is located at the Kloster St. Andreas (a convent). Benedictine Monastery of St. Andrew (Q1776062) on Wikidata













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This city travel guide to Sarnen is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.