Because this picturesque place offers totally different experiences depending on the seasons you visit. And since I basically do visit all the time, during all Interlaken seasons, I am happy to share with you the upsides and downsides of visiting Interlaken at certain times.
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So, regardless of the time of the year, Interlaken IS worth visiting! 100%.
BEST TIME TO VISIT INTERLAKEN
So, without further ado, here is when to go to Interlaken and the region of Jungfraujoch in general.
Why is Interlaken in Spring the Best Time to Visit?
Springtime in Interlaken: mid-March to mid-June
First of all: Spring is not my favorite season, especially not the first few weeks of spring in Interlaken, but spring has some advantages.
Spring in Interlaken is a beautiful time to visit for the following reasons:
✔️ Blooming flowers: In spring, Interlaken comes to life with blooming flowers and greenery. The town is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parks, which are perfect for picnics and leisurely walks. Visitors can also take a stroll along the Aare River or explore the nearby forests and meadows. For the blooming season, I recommend late March at the earliest. Though it can happen to be “bloomy” earlier, late March can also feel like winter.
✔️ Pleasant weather: Spring in Interlaken is mild, with comfortable temperatures that are ideal for outdoor activities. It’s also a great time to take advantage of the fresh, clean air and sunshine.
✔️ Lower prices: Compared to summer and winter, spring is a quieter season in Interlaken, which means lower prices and better deals on accommodations and activities.
✔️ Winter sports: Even though it gets warmer in the spring months, winter sports like skiing and snowboarding are popular activities near Interlaken. Places like Grindelwald First offer opportunities to ski until early/mid-April, at Jungfraujoch you can actually ski all year long but overall, winter sports is still a big thing in early spring.
✔️ Adventure activities: Spring is a great time to try out adventure activities like canyoning, white water rafting, or mountain biking. The melting snow and ice create fast-moving rivers and waterfalls, which are perfect for these activities. However, this is true for the months of May and June. At the end of March and April, this might not always be the case.
✔️ Cultural events: Interlaken hosts many cultural events in the spring, such as the Greenfield Festival, an annual music festival that takes place in June. Visitors can enjoy live music, food, and drinks while taking in the beautiful views of the Swiss Alps.
✔️ White mountain peaks and green meadows: The contrast of snow-capped mountain peaks and lush green meadows can be best be witnessed in spring.
Why Not Visit Interlaken in the Spring?
While spring is generally a lovely time to visit many places in Switzerland, Interlaken may not be the best destination during this season. Here are some reasons why:
🛑 Weather uncertainty: Spring is an unpredictable season, and the weather can be quite volatile. Visitors may experience sunny, mild days or sudden snowstorms and rain. This can make it difficult to plan outdoor activities and enjoy the surrounding areas.
🛑 Limited outdoor activities: While some outdoor activities may be available during spring, many of the popular adventure sports may still be closed or limited due to weather conditions. Additionally, some hiking trails and mountain passes may still be closed due to snow or avalanche risk.
🛑 Limited access to some attractions: Similar to winter, some attractions may still be closed or have limited access during spring. This may include the Harder Kulm, Schynigge Platte, a boat cruise on Lake Brienz, or other mountain trains that offer panoramic views of the surrounding area.
CONCLUSION: IS INTERLAKEN IN SPRING THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
So, while spring can be a beautiful time to visit many destinations in Switzerland, Interlaken may not be the best choice – at least not until mid-April as you may experience unpredictable weather, limited outdoor activities, and limited access to some attractions.
However, if you enjoy hiking or are willing to take a chance on the weather, Interlaken may still offer plenty of opportunities to explore the Swiss Alps without the crowds and with lower prices.
Why is Interlaken in the Summer the Best Time to Visit?
Summer in Interlaken: Mid-June to mid-September
Interlaken is a popular tourist destination all year round. However, summer is the best time to Interlaken visit for a few reasons:
✔️ Weather: Interlaken is known for its picturesque landscapes, with the Swiss Alps serving as a backdrop. In summer, the weather is mild and pleasant, making it perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and paragliding. The days are longer, and the sun shines for more hours, giving visitors more time to explore the area.
✔️ Outdoor activities: Summer is the perfect time to engage in outdoor activities in Interlaken. Visitors can go hiking in the Alps, take a dip in one of the many lakes, try their hand at fishing, or even go bungee jumping. The warmer weather allows for more opportunities to participate in these activities.
✔️ Festivals and events: Interlaken hosts many festivals and events during the summer months, including the Unspunnen Festival, a traditional Swiss festival that features traditional sports like wrestling and stone-throwing. There are also music festivals, cultural events, and food festivals, making it an exciting time to visit the town.
✔️ Winter sports: Fancy some winter sports even in the summer? No problem! Getting up the famous Jungfraujoch in the region will also allow you to do winter sports when it is actually summer!
All cable cars/funiculars etc. are open – while spring and fall do have their own benefits, some cable cars, etc. do not operate and not all mountain peaks are accessible, summer is heaven because everything is open, this is also true for museums, restaurants, and more.
Why Not to Visit Switzerland in Summer?
Summer is the peak season for tourism in Interlaken, and while it’s a beautiful time to visit, there are a few drawbacks that visitors should be aware of. Here are some reasons why visiting Interlaken in summer may not be the best choice:
🛑 Crowds: As mentioned earlier, summer is the busiest time of year for tourism in Interlaken. The town can be crowded, and popular attractions can have long lines. This can make it difficult to fully enjoy the experience and take in the stunning scenery.
🛑 High prices: With the increase in visitors, prices for accommodations, food, and activities tend to go up during the summer months. Visitors may have to pay a premium for everything from hotel rooms to adventure sports.
🛑 Weather uncertainty: While summer generally brings warm and sunny weather, there is still a risk of sudden thunderstorms and rain showers. These can disrupt outdoor activities and dampen the mood – you won´t believe it until you experience a rainy week in the Swiss summer months.
🛑 Limited availability: Popular accommodations and activities may book up quickly during the summer, leaving visitors with limited options. This can make it difficult to plan a trip that includes everything you want to do and see.
CONCLUSION: IS INTERLAKEN IN SUMMER THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
While summer is a beautiful time to visit Interlaken, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of. Crowds, high prices, weather uncertainty, and limited availability can all impact the overall experience.
However, with some planning and flexibility, you can still enjoy everything that Interlaken has to offer during this popular season, and summer might actually be the best time to visit Switzerland.
Why is Fall the Best Time to Visit Interlaken?
Here we are, talking about my favorite season in Interlaken: Fall. However, not all months of the fall season are equally amazing. I love late September and the first 2-3 months of October the most.
Fall in Interlaken is a beautiful time to visit for the following reasons:
✔️ Fall foliage: The trees in and around Interlaken turn brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange in the fall, creating a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery on a hike or take a scenic train ride to see the fall colors.
✔️ Fewer crowds: The peak summer season is over, and winter sports have not yet started, making fall a quieter time to visit Interlaken. Visitors can enjoy the town’s attractions without the crowds and long lines.
✔️ Mild weather: Fall weather in Interlaken is mild, with comfortable temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night. It’s a great time to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or taking a scenic drive through the Swiss Alps.
✔️ Harvest festivals: The fall season is a time for harvest festivals, and Interlaken is no exception. Visitors can experience the local culture and traditions by attending festivals like the Jungfrau Marathon, which takes place in September, or the Festival of the Alpine Cheese in October.
✔️ Lower prices: Like spring, fall is a quieter season in Interlaken, which means lower prices and better deals on accommodations and activities.
✔️ Variety of activities: In the first few weeks (until mid-October) almost all activities, cable cars, etc. are still open and you can experience Interlaken at its best without the crow and the hefty price tag.
Why Not to Visit Interlaken in Fall
Fall can be a beautiful season to visit many destinations, but there are a few drawbacks to visiting Interlaken during this time. Here are some reasons why Interlaken in the fall might not be the best time to visit:
🛑 Weather uncertainty: Similar to spring, fall weather in Interlaken can be unpredictable. Visitors may experience warm and sunny days, or sudden drops in temperature, rain, or even snow. This can make it challenging to plan outdoor activities and explore the surrounding areas.
🛑 Limited outdoor activities: Some of the adventure sports and outdoor activities may be closed or limited during fall due to weather conditions. Additionally, some of the hiking trails and mountain passes may be closed or have limited access due to snow or avalanche risk.
🛑 Limited access to some attractions: Similar to other seasons, some attractions may still be closed or have limited access during fall. This may include the Harder Kulm, Schynigge Platte, or other mountain trains that offer panoramic views of the surrounding area.
🛑 Shorter days: As fall progresses, daylight hours become shorter, which means visitors will have less time to explore Interlaken and its surroundings. This can be especially disappointing for those who want to take in the stunning Alpine scenery.
CONCLUSION: IS INTERLAKEN IN THE FALL THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
In all honesty, I am not a fan of visiting Interlaken in November as the region is not necessarily a winter wonderland yet and many activities are not even offered at that time of the month.
But Fall is a great time to visit – it is actually my favorite time of the year to visit Switzerland in general. At least September and October are my favorite travel months. Interlaken in fall means stunning fall foliage, a quieter atmosphere, mild weather, harvest festivals, and lower prices – YES, early fall is a great time to visit Interlaken.
Why is Interlaken in the Winter the Best Time to Visit?
Summer in Interlaken: Mid-December to mid-March
While summer is the peak season to visit Interlaken, winter is also extremely popular amongst Interlaken visitors. And there are many reasons for a winter trip to Interlaken.
✔️ Winter sports: Interlaken is a popular winter sports destination, with skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports available in the surrounding Alps. The town is a gateway to some of Switzerland’s most famous ski resorts, including Jungfrau, Grindelwald, and Wengen. Visitors can enjoy the slopes, take a sled ride, or even try their hand at ice skating.
✔️ Scenic beauty: Winter brings a different kind of beauty to Interlaken, with the snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps providing a stunning backdrop. Visitors can take a scenic train ride through the mountains, go on a winter hike, or take a cable car to enjoy the breathtaking views.
✔️ Festive atmosphere: Interlaken takes on a festive atmosphere during the winter months, with Christmas markets, holiday lights, and festive events taking place throughout the town. Visitors can enjoy the holiday spirit, sample Swiss specialties like fondue, and experience the charm of a Swiss winter wonderland.
✔️ Fewer crowds: While summer is the peak season in Interlaken, winter offers a quieter and more peaceful experience. I would not say it is a quiet season (unlike spring or fall) but with fewer tourists around, you can enjoy the town and its attractions without the crowds and lines.
Why Not to Visit Interlaken in the Winter
While it’s a great place to visit during the summer months, winter might not be the best time to go. Here are some reasons why:
🛑 Limited outdoor activities: Interlaken is for adventure sports enthusiasts, but many of these activities are only available during the summer months. For example, climbing, are not recommended in winter due to safety reasons. This means, fewer options for outdoor activities.
🛑 Cold weather: Switzerland is known for its cold winters, and Interlaken is no exception. Temperatures can drop below freezing, making it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities for extended periods. The cold weather may also prevent you from exploring the town and its surroundings.
🛑 Short days: During the winter, daylight hours are shorter, which means that visitors will have less time to explore Interlaken and its surroundings. This can be especially disappointing for those who want to take in the breathtaking views of the Alps.
🛑 Limited access to some attractions: Some of the attractions in Interlaken may be closed or have limited access during the winter season. For example, Harder Kulm, Interlaken´s local mountain is not accessible via funicular in the winter.
CONCLUSION: IS INTERLAKEN IN WINTER THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
While summer may be the best time to visit Interlaken for outdoor activities and festivals, winter offers a different kind of beauty and charm with winter sports, stunning scenery, festive events, and fewer crowds.
Though January and February would not be my favorite months to visit Interlaken (unless you are all about winter sports), generally speaking, Interlaken in winter is amazing.
FAQ: WHEN TO VISIT INTERLAKEN
Here are a few general travel tips for Interlaken – regardless of the time of your visit.
IS INTERLAKEN WORTH VISITING?
Yes, Interlaken is definitely worth visiting. This is heaven on earth! Interlaken must be one of the most beautiful regions in the world.
Firstly, it is situated in a picturesque location between two stunning lakes and surrounded by the Swiss Alps, making it a beautiful place to visit all year round.
Secondly, Interlaken there is a wide range of outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and paragliding, which attract adventure-seekers from all over the world.
Thirdly, the town is located near several popular Swiss attractions, such as the Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn, and the Trümmelbach Falls, which make it a convenient base for exploring the region.
Finally, Interlaken is easily accessible by public transportation, making it a popular destination for travelers looking for a convenient and scenic getaway.
WHERE TO STAY IN INTERLAKEN – REGARDLESS OF THE SEASON
I suggest staying in Interlaken because its central location allows to you get around easily.
LUXURY: VICTORIA JUNGFRAU GRAND HOTEL & SPA – The most luxurious hotel in Interlaken is Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa. I have not stayed there myself, so I can only repeat what I heard: This hotel is amazing. If you are looking for a fancy place in Interlaken, this is probably the best pick.
➡️ Book your stay at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa here
MID-RANGE: HOTEL DU NORD – For your stay in Interlaken, I recommend this hotel – Hotel du Nord – which is centrally located and is quite nice. It is one of my favorite accommodations for your 5-day Swiss itinerary.
➡️ Book your stay at Hotel du Nord here
BUDGET: BACKPACKERS VILLA SONNENHOF – If you are on a budget, I recommend staying in Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof next to the Höhenmatte. It is not the cheapest hostel but definitely worth the money and one of my all-time favorite hostels.
➡️ Book your stay at Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof here
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION / SWISS TRAVEL PASS
For your Interlaken trip, I strongly recommend that you use the Swiss Travel Pass – just because this is such a busy (and amazing) itinerary that you will be out all day. And you can still enjoy these wonderful window views while getting from one destination to the other.
There are different Swiss Travel Passes available regarding flexibility and duration. Flexible passes allow you to use the pass for a certain amount of days within one month or the regular, more affordable option, which means you have to use the pass on consecutive days of travel.
ℹ️ Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass is quite expensive but it will pay off.
ℹ️ You can use buses and trains without any extra costs.
ℹ️ Also, most boat cruises and some mountain excursions are included.
ℹ️ The Swiss Travel Pass also covers most museums and entrances to castles.
ℹ️ The great thing about it is that you never have to worry about finding parking spaces and instead use buses and trains.
ℹ️The Swiss Travel Pass is valid for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 days. You could choose the “flexi” or “consecutive” ticket.
➡️ Click here to find the rates for a Swiss Travel Pass.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON WHEN TO VISIT INTERLAKEN
Interlaken is a destination that offers a unique experience during each season of the year. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy skiing and other winter sports in the surrounding mountains, while in the summer, they can take part in a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, paragliding, and water sports on the lakes.
In the fall, the changing leaves make for beautiful hikes and drives, while in the spring, the snow melts and the flowers bloom, creating a beautiful and vibrant landscape. No matter what time of year you visit, Interlaken is sure to offer an unforgettable experience with its stunning natural beauty, thrilling activities, and welcoming atmosphere.