Gurten might not be a very well kept secret. Over a million people climb the green hill outside the city each year. Still, when you enter the red cable car, you will be almost exclusively accompanied by locals heading to higher grounds, whenever the weather is good enough.
Gurten is our “Hausberg”, our own little mountain, and a matter close to the heart for most Bernese. I myself have memories of countless evenings spent around campfires, nights under the stars, afternoons on the giant green meadows studying for exams, ecstatic concerts at the annual Gurtenfestival (mid-July), deer spotted and mushrooms collected in the forests, exhausting hikes from bottom to top of the hill (about 40 minutes) and fierce sleigh races in winter.
Besides that, the reasons to climb the 858m above sea level are almost endless: A spectacular view on the city and the always snowy alps; mini trains and mini scooters, Scottish highland cattle, a downhill biking trail and a summer-toboggan run, restaurants with excellent (though expensive) brunch, a giant playground, an open-air art gallery, tons of fireplaces, nice hikes and walks, fresh air to breathe and green nature wherever you look. Get up there and calm down.