50 BEST THINGS TO DO IN INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND

WHAT TO DO IN INTERLAKEN

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Find out about the best things to do in Interlaken – one of Switzerland’s most beautiful places. 

Prepare for a journey filled with stunning lakes, majestic mountains, and charming villages and towns. Interlaken, nestled in the heart of Switzerland’s breathtaking landscapes, is also known as the Adventure Capital of Switzerland (or actually even in Europe). However, Interlaken is also for those who enjoy taking it more slowly and who are just about stunning scenery!

Personally, Switzerland holds a special place in my heart, with the Interlaken Region one of my all-time favorite travel destinations.

To be more precise, I will delve into two distinct regions: 1) Interlaken and 2) Jungfrau, both nestled within the enchanting Bernese Oberland of Central Switzerland. While I primarily focus on activities within these regions, I also offer valuable insights for exploring the entire canton of Bern.

So, let´s find out about the top things to do in Interlaken and the best places to visit – but before, I like to quickly introduce you to a pass, that I often buy myself when in Switzerland and Interlaken as it makes my life and travel even more fun.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

SWISS TRAVEL PASS FOR INTERLAKEN

Whenever I am in Switzerland, I make sure to get a Swiss Travel Pass (yes, even while road tripping). The Swiss Travel Pass has my back! Why?

  • The Swiss Travel Pass allows me to use trains and buses without any extra costs – so basically, I can use almost all trains and buses for free.
  • I can also do boat cruises without additional costs – including cruising Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.
  • It also gives me a 50% discount on most mountain rides which means I can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price.

It may seem like quite an investment up front – but with all those mountain rides, boat cruises, and train jaunts I get for free (or at massively discounted prices), it’s totally worth it if whenever I am in Switzerland for more than three or four days. So do the math first – it saves me big bucks, and you might also save a lot. Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass here.

BEST THINGS TO DO IN INTERLAKEN – SWITZERLAND

Okay, now we can talk about the most fun things to do in Interlaken and the most beautiful places to visit.

Get Up Harder Kulm

Of course, the region of Interlaken is all about the Swiss Alps and amazing mountain peaks. One of the most famous peaks and Interlaken´s “local house mountain” is the Harder Kulm.

Harder Kulm is a distinct mountain peak with sweeping views of Lakes Brienz and Thun – at 1,300 meters above sea level – or 4.265 feet for perspective-seekers. 

Harder Kulm in Interlaken and things to do
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The town center of Interlaken below with Lake Brienz and Lake Thun and the Swiss Alps – nature’s rooftop gem is surely Harder Kulm!

The viewing platform might be quite busy most of the time – as it is one of the most photogenic spots in Interlaken. While I also had dinner at the restaurant, I also often just bring my own snacks and drinks and sit down on a bench and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Harder Kulm is one of the easiest accessible mountain peaks in Interlaken – I love the views and the easy access, but it is also very crowded. Since I have visited a couple of times, I noticed an even bigger crowd in the afternoon/evening for the sunset. This is the downside of getting up Harder Kulm.

HOW TO GET UP: Either hike up Harder Kulm Mountain (it is a steep hike but takes less than 2 hours one way) or take a cable car. Harder Kulm is particularly popular for sunsets (so get there early to secure a good seat).

  • 40 CHF for a return ticket (adults)
  • Get a 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass. When you check out prices for the Harder Kulm cable car, you have to choose the correct ticket.
  • Free with the Jungfrau Pass
  • Open from mid-April to the end of November

Have a Picnic

Interlaken’s stunning natural setting and countless parks offer a tranquil backdrop for an unforgettable picnic experience.

From the wildlife-filled Lütschine River to picturesque Höhematte Park, from the beautiful Aare River or the Swiss Alps, there is something here to please everyone – all without breaking your budget (unless of course, you do decide on champagne and caviar!).

I often forget to bring a blanket to sit down, so I end up on a bench picnicking. A blanket would probably still be more comfortable, so be better prepared. For snacks, you can also go to supermarkets like Coop or Migro (and Denner, Lidl, and Aldi if you want to save money).

Visit Höhematte

  • Free to visit

Uncover a peaceful oasis in the center of Interlaken – Höhematte Park. Amidst the many adventures you might enjoy, take time to relax and take in some spectacular views; from here marvel at majestic Jungfrau Mountain while watching paragliders soar through the skies on clear days.

Interlaken Where to go, Höhenmmatte
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Nestled between two train/boat stations (Interlaken Ost or West) amidst Lakes Brienz and Lake Thun, this is an ideal public resting spot. But if you are up for some shopping  (including souvenir shops) or people-watching, then you might be happy to hear that Höhematte Park is also the perfect place to do so.

Besides watch and souvenir shops, there are not that many great other shops, but the park is one of my favorite places in Interlaken, though chances are small, but you might even meet me here.

Make Your Own Chocolate 

  • Prices start from around 69 CHF

Swiss chocolate is the best in the world. (Unfortunately) I am a chocolate addict and I know what I am talking about, so creating your own Swiss chocolate is a fun and unique experience. So, if you are also a chocolate lover, you´d be happy to hear that you can customize your own delicious creations in Interlaken at Funky Chocolate Club. A must-do experience!

nterlaken what to do, Chocolate Workshop
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If you are into healthy chocolate, you will be pleased to hear that you craft your chocolate treats and make them even vegan and healthy!

Spots filling up fast though, so make sure to book your spot quickly if that activity is on your Interlaken bucket list! 

Try Out High Ropes Adventure Park

  • For 3 hours at the park = around 42 CHF.

Unleash your inner Tarzan and get ready for a swinging, soaring adventure! High Ropes Adventure Park in Interlaken is the perfect place to take flight with its wooden bridges, Tarzan swings, and zip lines.

This activity is suited for total newbies or experienced fliers. You’ll receive everything necessary along with safety instructions.

Fall in Love With Lake Thun

Interlaken is home to some of Switzerland’s most captivating lakes, none more so than Lake Thun. With its mesmerizing blue hues and picturesque shoreline, a visit here will leave you truly enchanted.

Best things to see at Lake Thun, boat tour Lake Thun
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Explore this stunning lake on a boat trip – or make the most of your time with water activities such as swimming for those seeking adventure! The water here is also warmer than Lake Brienz´ – still chilly though but perfect for a hot day.

For insider tips about what else there is to do here, read my post on Lake Thun.

Cruise Lake Brienz

Let´s not forget about Lake Brienz – one of the most gorgeous lakes in the country. I am totally obsessed with this lake and you will be, too.

Best places to visit in Switzerland Lake Brienz
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With a distinctive turquoise hue that sparkles majestically on sunny days, this lake stands out among others and offers a variety of exciting activities.

Take an invigorating boat cruise around the shoreline or venture into colder depths by swimming – if you’re brave enough!

From sunbathing spots along pebble beaches to eateries laced with stunning views… Lake Brienz has never disappointed me. Check out my Lake Brienz post for more information.

Do Para – or Hang Gliding

Soar through the skies of Interlaken, taking in its picturesque surroundings from a birds-eye view! Paragliding and hang gliding are top choices for adrenaline seekers looking to enjoy some breathtaking views.

If you are around Höhenmatte you may be lucky enough to catch many colorful air-dwellers soaring high above!

Lauterbrunnen Valley is another popular destination for paragliders.

Have Coffee with a View

Interlaken and its spectacular mountain views! Despite being an eyesore from ground level, Hotel Metropol offers something special: a beautiful panorama of Interlaken and beyond!

Though the tallest building in town cannot compete with the mountain views, I think we can all agree that the views are nice, aren’t they?

Switzerland Interlaken at Lake Thun
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Enjoy a slice of tranquil Swiss life with coffee atop the rooftop restaurant; although it is not quite as majestic as gazing upon alpine peaks or glistening lakes, I surely found some peace amid city sights.

Visit Jungfraujoch

The Jungfraujoch is an iconic destination, known for its record-high train station at 3,454 meters above sea level (11.332 feet) – making it the highest railway station in Europe.

Take in panoramic views of snowfields that stretch into infinity but also of the surrounding mountains, the Altesch Glacier, plus alpine attractions such as Ice Palace, Alpine Sensation, hiking trails, and winter sports activities.

View from Eismeer Station on the way to Jungfraujoch
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Admire a captivating display from one of nature’s greatest works – the mighty Aletsch Glacier (the longest glacier in all Alps). Although it’s impossible to hike directly up this mountain peak there are nearby spots like Kleine Scheidegg or Eigergletscher station where adventurers may catch a ride on cogwheel trains en route towards the storied heights at Mt. Jungfrau summit.

Exploring the breathtaking Alps at Jungfraujoch has been an unforgettable experience that I’ve treasured – three times I have had the chance to visit! Even though it’s a beautiful adventure, I have to warn you: the price tag can put quite a dent in your wallet.

If you’re looking for more information on this alpine journey, read up on my post about a day trio to Jungfraujoch.

Check out day trips from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch here

Head To Kleine Scheidegg

For an awe-inspiring trip to the top of Europe, do not miss out on a stop at Kleine Scheidegg along your journey. At 2,000 meters (6,561 feet)  above sea level and situated between Grindelwald and Interlaken, you can reach this majestic mountain pass by either hiking or taking the train from one of these lovely towns.

  • With your Swiss Travel Pass, the ride up to Wengen is free, and then from there to Kleine Scheidegg, you get a 50% discount.
  • With a Jungfrau Pass, you can get up to Kleine Scheidegg without any extra costs.

Fallbodensee at Kleine Scheidegg
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Though it can be a bit busier during the summer months, I was still able to relax and enjoy the fantastic views of the Swiss Skyline, which includes the peaks of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. I just wished I had brought more snacks with me, so I could have enjoyed this tranquil place for much longer.

Enjoy the breathtaking panorama before continuing up towards Jungfraujoch!

Admire Oeschinensee

With its crystal clear water and breathtaking surroundings in the Swiss Alps, Lake Oeschinen is a must-visit in Interlaken, though it is actually located in the Valley of Kandersteg.

Go for an adventurous hike or take it easy with just a 20-minute stroll once you get off the cable car – either way, this mountain lake will blow you away!

  • The return ticket for the gondola is 32 CHF (a one-way ticket is 24 CHF) without any discounts.
  • With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 50% discount.

Stunning Lake Oeschinensee with Arzo Travels
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Pack some sturdy shoes though because no matter which trail you choose (gondola included), the terrain gets tricky at times. But don’t worry if walking isn’t really your thing; there are even shuttle busses available from the gondola station straight to that stunning blue beauty of a lake.

I have been to Lake Oeschinen twice (and hopefully more to come), and the highlight was surely when I did the intermediate hike to have some of the best views of the lake. Check out my Lake Oeschinen post for more detailed tips.

Explore Blausee

  • Prices for the Blausee Nature Park depend on the time of your visit and can cost up to CHF 12 (for an adult in the high season).

Let me introduce you to another gorgeous lake which is quite close to stunning Lake Oeschinensee. This lake is tiny, yet one of the most popular places near Interlaken = Lake Blausee.

Blausee in Berner Oberland, Arzo Travels
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While it’s an incredibly picturesque spot, there is not much to do besides some short walks around or a boat “cruise”!

And here comes the catch – Blausee has an entrance fee. I have been to Lake Blausee several times, and if I remember correctly there was no entrance fee when I visited the first time (or just about 5 CHF), but now fees have dramatically increased (up to 13 CHF for adults), so if you’re looking for free views of Swiss lakeside beauty then this might not be your best bet!

Check out my detailed guide on Blausee for more info.

Discover Grindelwald and Grindelwald-First

  • Tickets for the gondola ride are around 60 CHF (return trip)
  • 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass
  • Free with a Jungfrau Pass

Grindelwald – one of the most picturesque villages in Interlaken is overloaded with traditional Swiss chalets – all while being surrounded by the Swiss Alps.

Grindelwald is one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland
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Perched high atop a mountain at nearly 2,195 meters (7,200 feet) above sea level is “The Top Of Adventure,” also known as Grindelwald First.

Grindelwald First Suspension Bridge
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@shutterstock Grindelwald First 

Take in the breathtaking views and go on hikes or engage in activities like paragliding First Glider or First Flyer. There is a reason why Grindelwald is known as the Top of Adventure.

Winter brings about its own set of adventures – ski down pristine landscapes that make up some of the best winter sports experiences you can find around this region!

The price tag may be hefty, yet I visited several times so far, just for the fun and views I had from up there. Check out more about Grindelwald´s top activities.

Hike Around Lake Bachalpsee

  • Tickets are around 60 CHF for a return trip (to get up to Grindelwald First by gondola)
  • 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass
  • Free with a Jungfrau Pass

I know, I have spoken about several lakes already, but this mountain lake is another must-see in Interlaken. Bachalpsee Lake should be at the top of your Interlaken bucket list!

Bachalpsee near Grindelwald one of the most photogenic spost in Interlaken
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For an easy hike to this beautiful paradise, take Grindelwald’s cable car up to First Mountain, which is a starting point for an easy 1-hour (uphill) hike to Lake Bachalpsee. While I did not jump into the cold water, some – very few – people actually dared to jump into it. It surely makes an amazing picture and experience. So, why not try it yourself before hiking back to the Grindelwald First station?

If you’re feeling particularly fit – why not go all out by skipping the lift and hiking from Grindelwald instead?! I always used the cable car to get up, especially because the hike up/down Grindelwald First is not extremely scenic, but it helps to save money and super fit ones (not me) but appreciate the extra physical activity.

Get Up Niederhorn Mountain

  • Check the prices out here.
  • There is a discount with a Swiss Travel Pass

Step out of your daily life and climb to 1.950 meters above sea level (or take the gondola as I did), where you can be the spectator at an incredible mountain show! Soak in stunning views of Switzerland’s Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau – some of the most famous mountain tops.

Up there, enjoy the views or get ready for some thrills with a scooter bike that descends into the valley or adventure through endless natural beauty on one of many hikes.

Though I was rather unfortunate – it was a bit foggy when I visited – it was amazing once the sky cleared up a bit. So, this reminds me to always check the weather forecast before going up mountain peaks.

Enjoy Views From Niesen Mountain

  • Tickets are up to 59 CHF without any discount
  • 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass

Welcome to Switzerland! Niesen Mountain is one of the country’s most incredible peaks, shaped like a perfect pyramid rising 2,400 meters (7,874 feet) above sea level.

Best things to do around Lake Thun, Switzerland_
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Take in all its beauty by either taking a funicular ride up or embarking on an adventurous hike. Once you arrive at the top there are paragliders for those brave enough and plenty of gorgeous trails for leisurely exploration – but of course, it is also about some of the best views in Interlaken.

Plus, with family-friendly vibes and restaurants atop this majestic mountain; what more could you ask for?

Mount Niesen is actually my favorite Swiss mountain (yes, I love it more than the mighty Matterhorn) because its unique shape – which you can see from the shores of Lake Thun – just makes it stand out. Getting on top of this special mountain felt like the cherry on the cake to me.

Hike Up Männlichen Mountain

  • Tickets are up to 52 CHF – if you visit after 4 pm, there will be a huge discount
  • Free with a Jungfrau Pass
  • 50% off with a Swiss Travel Pass

There is no shortage of amazing outdoor activities in Interlaken – whether you visit in the summer or in the winter, get ready to take your breath away! If you’re in the mood for an amazing view, then Männlichen Mountain’s got you covered.

Swiss Skyline and Lauberhorn at Mannlichen Mountain
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With a majestic Swiss Skyline featuring giants like Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau all visible from its peak of 2,300 meters above sea level – it truly promises 360° panoramic views that will blow your mind.

But don’t worry if hiking up ain’t exactly how you want to spend an afternoon – just hop on board one of those convenient cable cars ’till 7’200 feet and still get treated with great sights when finishing The Royal Walk (lasting around 1 hour) or any other exciting activity such as snowshoeing before finally reaching the top at about 2347 meters above sea level (7’700 feet).

The Royal Walk was one of the easiest Swiss hikes I did that offered unparalleled views. This is what I love: an easy accessible mountain peak by cable car/gondola and then an easy hike for an even better panorama.

Get The Steam Lok and Get Up Brienzer Rothorn

  • A return ticket costs about CHF 94. This is not a cheap ride!
  • To save money, you could either hike one way or get a Swiss Travel Pass which gives you a 50% discount

Let´s talk about one of my all-time favorite Interlaken adventures. The Brienzer Rothorn — a majestic mountain soaring up at 2,350 meters (7,710 feet) above sea level.

View from Brienzer Rothorn
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Just hop aboard their charming steam rack railway instead — making sure to take in those stunning views of the course. The slow locomotive takes a full hour to reach the top, but it is a train ride to remember.

Though the train ride up Brienzer Rothorn, has been one of my all-time favorite activities in Switzerland, you can also (especially if you are on a budget) hike up all the way and enjoy the panorama this way. It was so great, I got up a second time, though the train tickets are not actually cheap.

For my next trip to Brienzer Rothorn, which is hopefully to come soon, I plan to get up via the loc, and then hike down. This is great for the wallet and my body!

Check out my full guide on getting up Brienzer Rothorn.

Visit Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge

  • The entrance fee is 10 CHF

Get ready for an unforgettable Interlaken experience! Take a hike through the Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge, part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Jungfrau-Aletsch.

Rosenlaui Waterfall
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This is THE place to be on hot days or after heavy rainfalls – you’ll pass impressive waterfalls and natural whirlpools along your gradual ascent up this stunning Swiss gorge.

Trust me, it’s worth all that effort: Rosenlaui has been voted Switzerland’s most impressive canyon by me :).

The gorge is not open in the winter months, check out when it opens/closes before you arrive there.

Explore Rosenlaui Valley

Pack your hiking boots and head to the stunning Rosenlaui Valley! Take a bus, or brave some of Switzerland’s breathtaking mountain roads – whichever strikes your fancy.

Rosenlaui Valley near Interlaken
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Once there, take in all that this gorgeous valley has to offer: explore on foot, visit glaciers galore, sip coffee with spectacular views from a restaurant balcony…or just sit back by the riverbank and soak up Mother Nature at her finest!

Though this is not really a hidden gem it kind of is and I absolutely love it here (that is why I have been there several times so far).

Head to Grindelwald Glacier Canyon

  • Prices are quite high – around 17 CHF

Get ready to explore the Grindelwald Glacier Canyon near Interlaken! Here, you’ll find a grand spectacle of nature – deep blue waters cascading through majestic mountains and into the Lütschine River. And don’t forget about a stroll as well: take advantage of educational exhibits along your path towards this stunning glacier.

When planning your trip, though–remember that it’s only open from May until October – so make sure you check out their website for more info before showing up!

Stroll Iseltwald

Iseltwald – This teeny-tiny village situated on the beautiful Lake Brienz offers plenty of traditional Swiss houses that are just begging for photo opportunities.

Arzo Travels in Iseltwald with dog
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It is so pretty, my dog and I got our fair share of pictures with some pretty chalet-style buildings with charming decorations.

In addition, water sports fans rejoice – there are lots to do here too in Iseltwald at the shores of Lake Brienz, though be warned…that lake is cold all year round!

A boat tour from this spot might also not be a bad idea either. The famous pier here was actually featured in the Korean movie “Crash Landing On You“. Since the pier became extremely popular amongst film fans, there is now an entrance fee if you want to take pictures at the pier.

Where to stay in Switzerland
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My dog Puppygak and me Iseltwald near Interlaken in the summer

I have been to Iseltwald many times, and also when there was no entrance fee for the pier (around 5 CHF). I am not sure what to think about the fee but even if you do not get on the pier for the photo, Iseltwald is still worth a trip.

Explore Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen is truly a paradise! It’s the perfect destination for outdoor lovers, who can conquer extreme activities and take in stunning views of the 72 surrounding waterfalls.

Lauterbrunnen Staubbach waterfall a top activity in Interlaken with Arzo Travels
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Plus, don’t miss out on getting that insta-worthy shot at Staubach Waterfall – just make sure to bring your crowd protection gear if you visit after some rainy days. Though you can only get behind the famous waterfall in the summer months, it is still worth a visit at any time of the year.

As much as I love Lauterbrunnen, I should warn you: In the summer months, be prepared for the crowds that flock to stunning Lauterbrunnen. Check out my Lauterbrunnen post for more information.

Visit Trümmelbachfälle

  •  The entry fee is about 14 CHF

For an unforgettable experience near Lauterbrunnen, the Trümmelbachfälle is a must-see! These ten glacier-fed waterfalls inside the mountain will give your ears (and eyes!) a loud, wet, and cool treat.

And if awesome selfies or pics of cascading waters are what you want – make sure to bring along your waterproof camera or GoPro so that all can enjoy these spectacular falls online afterward!

I visited the Trümmelbachfälle several years ago – I remember how amazed I was and also that I got quite wet because of all the water. So, dress accordingly.

The waterfalls are only open in the summer months!

Visit 007 Filming Location – Schilthorn

  • A return ticket to Schilthorn is CHF 108!
  • You can save money by hiking some parts (the hike from Grütschalp to Mürren, and is quite easy and stunning).
  • With a Swiss Travel Pass, you can use the cable car and train up to Mürren for free and then pay only about 44 CHF for a return ticket.
  • Check out ticket prices here.

Ever wanted to hang out with 007? How about getting your Bond on and taking a trip up one of Switzerland’s most iconic attractions, Schilthorn?

Sunset at Schilthorn
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This James Bond-approved spot was the backdrop for ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service‘, so take some time out from all that spy stuff to explore what else this stunning place has to offer.

From breathtaking views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountain ranges known as “The Swiss Skyline” – you’ll know why it makes such an awesome movie setting.

You can also treat yourself at Piz Gloria’s revolving restaurant while having a sneaky Spy Museum moment… Q would be proud. This is a fun thing to do in winter as well.

While I have not watched this particular James Bond, I enjoyed the 007 exhibition, I loved the 007 skywalk, and having a 007 burger (they even have vegetarian burgers) – all while enjoying the stunning panorama.

Check out my Schilthorn guide for more information.

See Mürren

  • The gondola and train from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp and then to Mürren are free with a Swiss Travel Pass

Grütschalp to Mürren, most scenic train ride
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On your way to the 007-Schilthorn mountain, don’t forget about Mürren (or Muerren/Murren in English) — an adorable car-free village situated en route. You’ll find lots of scenic views and plenty of things to do in this cute little alpine town that is worth experiencing before continuing onwards with 007!

Take your pick: hike or ride! Trekking from Grütschalp to Mürren is perfect for kids because it’s easy and the views are simply stunning.

Or if you’re feeling extra lazy (I am not blaming), hop on board Lauterbrunnen Stechelberg straight to Schilthorn with one stop at Mürren.

The gondola/train ride from Lauterbrunnen to Murren is one of the most scenic rides I have ever experienced. The downside: it is rather short (10 minutes for the gondola ride, and a 20-minute train ride), but other than that, getting up Muerren is always one of the highlights in/near Interlaken.

Check out my guide on all things magical about Mürren–you won’t regret it!

Get up Stockhorn

  • A return ticket costs 60 CHF
  • You can save money by hiking (some parts) or with a Swiss Travel Pass (50%)

If you’re looking for a unique experience, Stockhorn can give it to you. Take the cable car up and be amazed by all the stunning lakes that pass below on your way! When the summit comes in sight take a deep breath of fresh mountain air – nothing beats being 2,190 meters (7,185 feet) above sea level!

Lake Thun best things to do
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So, why is this mountain trip so special? Whether you want adventure or tranquility, there’s something for everyone at Stockhorn Mountain. And most of all, you can try out Bungee jumping from the gondola!

Though I did not jump, and I did not see any Bungee jumpers that day, the ride up was special, and the views along the ride and at the top even more special.

Try out Bungee Jumping

Ever wanted to experience the thrill of bungee jumping with an Insta-worthy view? The Stockhorn Cable Car in Interlaken is your destination! Feel like you’re on top of the world as you take that leap.

Again, I did try out this experience myself – I leave this to the braver ones but I am sure, it is pretty amazing.

Stroll Thun

  • There are entrance fees for a couple of attractions, including Thun Castle. The entrance fee is around 10 CHF – free with a Swiss Travel Pass.

If you’re looking for a picturesque town to visit in Interlaken, Thun is it! Here you have “city life” with stunning outdoor scenery combined.

Thun, most beautiful town in Interlaken
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Take a stroll down the cobblestone streets of its charming old town. Check out the multiple grand castles that dot its landscape and let your taste buds explore some delicious cafes and restaurants along beautiful riverbanks. Don’t forget to save time for taking in sights at the vibrant market square – Thun won’t disappoint!

Whenever I am in Switzerland, I always try to visit Thun. Mostly because I love the “city feeling” (though it really is a small town) and the many stunning castles nearby.

Check out my Thun guide for more tips.

Rest at Schloss Schadau & Schadau Park

  • The garden area of Schloss Schadau is free to visit

Switzerland is full of hidden gems, including Schloss Schadau – a magnificent Swiss castle to add to your Interlaken itinerary.

Switzerland attractions, things to do in Interlaken
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If you want to experience some of the beautiful landscaping that Switzerland has on offer, Schloss Schadau and its surrounding park is a great place to start! You’ll be mesmerized by views of Lake Thun plus an amazing backdrop featuring Swiss sky-high wonders. 

I love the castle for a) its color. Pink is a color I rarely see in Switzerland and b) the garden, where I could sit forever to enjoy the views.

Go Swimming

Make a splash at one of the many lakes in this region! Just remember to bring your life jacket – most lakes are TOO COLD for humans. But don’t worry, if that’s not quite up your alley then you could always visit one of the free lidos (outdoor pools), set right on the waterfront and offering showers so you can make like an Olympic swimmer whatever time it is.

You won’t have any trouble finding an equally inviting pool without an entrance fee either!

I am a chicken and swimming in the cold lakes is normally not my cup of tea, but I love the indoor pools which you will also find all over Interlaken.

  • There are also some lidos along the shores of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz – e.g. in Iseltwald.
  • TIP: Lake Thun is warmer than Lake Brienz and probably the best choice on a hot day.

Walk Over the Trift Bridge

  • The prices for the cable car are around 13 CHF (26 CHF return), and there is free parking. No discount with a Swiss Travel Pass.
  • Open: 1. Juni – 29. September 2024

For a unique adventure look no further than the amazing Trift Bridge located in Grimselwelt. Whether you love suspension bridges or hikes, this spectacular spot is perfect for all those brave enough to make it there!

Trift Bridge in Grimselwelt as a main place near Interlaken with Arzo Travels
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Your journey starts with an invigorating 90-minute hike (or 3 hours – if you’re a slow hiker like me), followed by stunning views of Switzerland from 170 meters up.

It’s time to conquer that bridge and soak in some breathtaking sights!

I admit that the hike was not the easiest as it included quite some uphill hiking (which I haaate), but it was sooo worth it. I might even come back and do it again.

Check out my detailed post on how to see the Trift Bridge.

Take Ski or Snowboard Lessons

If you are yearning for a winter sports paradise, then look no further than the Jungfrau / Interlaken region! These regions will make all your snow-loving dreams come true. With skiing, snowboarding, and even snowshoe hiking available to enjoy – plus lots of other activities throughout the year – this icy wonderland has something special for everyone who loves an adventure on ice or rock.

Check out my guide on the best ski resorts in Switzerland.

Fall in Love With Spiez

Looking for a slice of French Riviera right in the heart of Interlaken? Look no further than Spiez! It is super easy to get there via boat, train, or bus – and it’s filled with Mediterranean vibes that made me fall in love.

best places in Switzerland - Spiez
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Plus, its waterfront view offers stunning sights of Niesen Mountain (my favorite mountain) and more – meaning my dogPuppygak isn’t the only one who was smitten by this magical place! Check out my Spiez travel guide.

Spend Time at Giessbachwasserfall and Grand Giessbach Hotel 

Are you feeling that frenzied need for a change of scenery? The Giessbach Waterfalls, located in the stunning Swiss Alps, are sure to give you the ultimate relaxation experience.

Giessbach waterfall - with a view of Grandhotel Giessbach
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Take in the awe-inspiring views surrounding this romantic and peaceful location – it’s perfect if you’re looking for an escape from everyday life with various activities including boating on Lake Brienz and exploring a 19th-century Grand Hotel.

I always try to see the waterfalls – either from the boat or I get there by bus and walk even behind it. Giessbach Waterfalls is not a regular waterfall, so I definitely think, you should try to see it.

  • YGet to the area by car (the drive up is via a mountain street, so you should enjoy driving narrow mountain streets), paid parking is available.
  • Alternatively,  get there by bus (the yellow Postautos will get you here) hike here from Iseltwald, or take the boat (not in the winter).
  • The Swiss Travel Pass covers the boat tour and also public transportation.

Explore Wengen

If you’ve got a few days in Interlaken, explore Wengen—the car-free village that’s small and oh-so-charming. This picturesque spot is ideal for some breathtaking hikes and knock-your-socks-off views from the train station.

Getting there is an experience by itself – from Lauterbrunnen train station, it is just a short train ride. Unfortunately – since the views are so impressive, I am always rather sad, the ride is just about 20 minutes.

The train station has some of the best views in all of Switzerland – though Wengen is very small, this alone makes a trip to Wengen worth it.

Visit St. Beatus Caves

  • There is an entrance fee for the caves (around 19 CHF) and there is paid parking
  • Alternatively, you can get here by bus or boat (all included in the Swiss Travel Pass)

St.Beatus Caves near Lake Thun – Journey through spectacular tunnels and chambers, take in the museum filled with artifacts from ancient times, and then enjoy some of nature’s most breathtaking views – think bubbling waterfalls and a colorful array of flowers that’ll blow your mind.

What to do at St Beatus Caves in Switzerland
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Even when I do not plan to visit the actual caves (I have been there only once so far), I still visit the area – for the amazing views it offers.

Check out my detailed post on St. Beatus Caves.

Views from St Beatus Caves
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If you are at St. Beatus Caves, walk down the other way for 10-15 minutes to enjoy the view from the famous Instagram spot (see picture). People asked me whether I used a drone to take this picture, but all it takes is a short walk. 

Enjoy Views From Sigriswil

Head to Sigriswil for some of my favorite things to do – enjoying stunning views of Lake Thun. At first, it may seem hard to get there – roads may be winding and tight- but the struggle is worth it.

  • There is an “entrance fee” (yes) to cross the bridge = about 8 CHF.

Interlaken best activities
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Once in this hidden gem in Interlaken, do not miss out on its crown jewel: The 340-meter-long pedestrian suspension bridge over a gorgeous gulf with stunning views of Lake Thun & the majestic Bernese Alps.

The suspension bridge is not as scary as some other bridges in the region – making it a very family-friendly activity where you can take even the younger kids.

The only downside: There is an entrance fee of about 8 CHF. This is quite a lot for just passing a bridge, but every once in a while, I still make sure to head to Sigriswil Bridge.

  • Drive up Sigriswil and just park your car in front of the bridge at a big parking space
  • Alternatively, take a bus to get up there.

Find a Hidden Gem – Grabenmühle

Have you ever wanted to make your own Swiss fairytale? Just head on over to the enchanting Grabenmühle – a place so cute it’ll give Snow White’s dwarves serious competition. 

Grabenmühle best place to visit
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If petting alpacas and panning for gold isn’t quite your cup of tea don’t despair- its mysterious charm will still leave an impression that won’t soon be forgotten!

And even if none of the activities are appealing to you – do as I normally do, and just have a coffee/drink at the restaurant and enjoy the place.

  • The ticket for passing the above-mentioned suspension bridge in Sigriswil is about 8 CHF. With that ticket, you also have entry to Grabenmühle. Otherwise, you can consume something at the cafe in Grabenmühle which is considered your entrance fee.
  • Check out opening hours here (unfortunately, it is only in German). On Mondays, it is closed.

Get up Schynige Platte

  • A return ticket costs around 60 CHF.
  • Save money by hiking down or getting a discount with your Swiss Travel Pass.
  • It is free with your Jungfrau Pass.

Are you looking for a truly unique view? Look no further than Schynige Platte, one of the best spots in Interlaken! It stands tall at 2,076 meters – 6,811 feet – above sea level and provides two very different panoramas.

Best Places to see in Schweiz
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First up is the view of the Swiss Skyline – Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau – with views that don’t even require any hiking. Just hop aboard the funicular from Wilderswil (a short ride away) to get an amazing bird’s eye perspective!

But if you want more adventure on your journey check out what waits after a short 20-minute hike: Lake Brienz & Lake Thun together like never before…absolutely breathtaking!! Looking back, I have had some of the best views from Schynige Platte. 

  • Only open from June to the end of October

Do a Kayak Day Tour

  • Prices for kayaking with an experienced guide start from around 100 CHF.

Ready for an incredible outdoor experience in Interlaken? Get your paddle ready and set off on a kayak adventure at Lake Brienz to make the most of its beautiful surroundings! This fun activity is also very popular in Interlaken in the winter.

Go Hiking

If you’ve ever wanted to know what the hype is all about when it comes to hiking, take a trip out of Interlaken. The Grütschalp-Mürren hike offers an awe-inspiring experience – and this hike is so easy, that almost anyone could do it!

Points of Interest Interlaken, Switzerland, Mürren
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On clear days, this breathtaking route will treat you with some unbeatable views.

Once I had my first taste of adventure and success on this journey up peaks – I was officially hooked! Whether you’re totally new to hiking or ultra-experienced at hiking – there are awesome trails around each corner here waiting for you.

Experience Helicopter Skydive

If you’re looking to get your blood pumping, Interlaken is the ultimate adrenaline-filled playground! Go on an unforgettable helicopter skydive and witness nature’s beauty like never before – unless jumping out of helicopters isn’t really your thing. 

I am still battling with myself whether to do it or not – I surely will let you know once I do it but for now, I just add this as a possible activity for you.

Visit Merligen and Enjoy the Views 

Merligen (568 meters – 1863 feet – above sea level) is located on the northern shores of Lake Thun and one of the cutest places – a hidden gem tucked away in Interlaken.

Meiringen church view of Lake Thun near Interlaken
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Take a bus or car ride and admire the quaint streets, or even hop on a boat! That’s right – journey by the lake for an extra special experience of this secret spot too cute to keep under wraps any longer!

With its stunning views, you’ll want to come here every single year like I do. There is not much to do, but I just spend some time at in front of the church and enjoy the scenery!

Hop on an E-Bike

  • You can rent e-bikes at many hotels or even in the town center and discover Interlaken this way.

So you want to explore Interlaken and the Jungfrau region, huh? Well if mountains are your thing then boy do we have something for you! The best way to tackle these hills is on a trusty e-bike. Get ready for all that freedom as you cycle your heart out around this stunning area of Switzerland.

Relax at the Lucerne – Interlaken Express

Switzerland’s train system isn’t your typical, run-of-the-mill ride. It’s a treat for your eyes! And if you’re looking for the best of the best in rail journeys, hop on board from Lucerne to Interlaken.

Lake Brienz in February
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Trust me, you won’t regret it! Grab a comfy window seat for some truly stunning panoramic views.

You’ll pass countless lakes en route…and if that isn’t enough beauty for you, why not stay overnight at Lucerne – then jump back onto those same scenic rail tracks when you’re ready to roll home again?

TIP: Be at the platform 20 minutes before the departure – to make sure you will be one of the first to get on the train and get the window seat.

Do a Road Trip

Ready for an epic Swiss road trip? Interlaken is the place to be! Take it from someone who loves driving (of course, I am talking about me), despite all its challenges – navigating mountain roads and narrow streets can be fun when traversing Interlaken.

Get ready for some unforgettable views along Lake Thun – just watch out for those pesky speed cams! And if you’re more of a cautious driver, here are a few tips on how to drive in Switzerland and make sure your journey goes smoothly so that you don’t miss any breathtaking landscapes in this beautiful country. 

Visit Ballenberg Museum

Explore the incredible, iconic works of Swiss architecture at the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum! Home to over 100 original buildings transported from their various points of origin all around Switzerland, this museum provides a living history lesson.

Ballenberg Museum in Interlaken
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Step inside many houses and get an up-close look at traditional building styles ranging from chalets to barns plus learn about their unique histories – it’s a fascinating visit

The sheer size of this open-air museum baffled me and even if you are not into history or culture, it will still make a wonderful walk in the mountains.

  • There are two different entrances. If you get there by car (parking available) you probably should start and end your trip at the same entrance. If you get to Ballenberg by bus, you can also start and end your trip at the different entrances.

End the Days With These Sunsets

  • Free <3 

If you’re an admirer of a good sunset, Lake Thun is the place for you! With its lake-side boat cruises during summer months and incredible sunsets throughout year-round, catching the last rays of sunshine has never looked so good.

Switzerland Lake Thun best sunsets
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Not to be missed are Harder Kulm Station or Wengen – but if its views with bragging rights that float your boat then take on Faulhorn Mountain peak or Iseltwald – now THAT’S how to end each day like no other!

The views I got from the boat (Lake Thun) are some of the best, and I still remember this particular sunset.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR INTERLAKEN

After talking about the best activities and attractions, here are some travel tips for Interlaken, so you are well-prepared for your trip!

How to Get Around

Exploring Interlaken on four wheels can be a dream! Cruising around the well-paved roads is super safe and easy. That said, when you actually get into town we won’t sugar coat this: parking isn’t always so simple. 

Interlaken’s public transport is the way to go if you’re looking for a stress-free journey. Buses and trains come often, always on time – making sure that there are no surprises along the road! And here comes even better news: Visitors staying in official accommodation get hooked up with Interlaken Guest Cards or Thun Guesstcards (for those of us around Thun) giving free access to busses near these places.

With a Swiss Travel Pass, you will get to use all public transportation + get a discount for many activities.

If you stay in an official accommodation in Interlaken, you will get the Interlaken Guest Card – giving you free bus rides within Interlaken and close places by (like really close villages like Iseltwald). If you stay in the Thun region, you can even use your Thun Guest Card to get to Interlaken. However, they are not really useful if you rely solely on public transportation and do not have a car, because you cannot use trains.

Where to Stay in Interlaken

Interlaken is home to some amazing hotels – amazing and expensive. I have a detailed accommodation guide for Interlaken but find some tips below.

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.

Mid-Range: Grandhotel Giessbach – One of my favorite hotels – ever – is the beautiful 4* hotel  Grandhotel Giessbach. The hotel has the best location ever (sitting at the foot of the Giessbach Waterfalls) and is unique. It is not a cheap 4* hotel, but a very great one. However, it is closed in the winter months.

➡️ Book your stay at Grandhotel Giessbach 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.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST INTERLAKEN ACTIVITIES

From taking in breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps on a Luzern-Interlaken Express or E-Bike to exploring unique works of architecture at Ballenberg Open-Air Museum and catching magnificent sunsets over Lake Thun, Interlaken has something for everyone! This gem tucked away in Switzerland is brimming with activities and experiences that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

I am well aware that experiencing all the “best things to do in Interlaken” as described above would take weeks, and it would also cost a lot of money. While we cannot always do all the “top things,” I hope this has helped you find a few Interlaken activities for your budget and fitness level.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed my post. Whether you visit Interlaken in winter or summer, the post hopefully has helped you get some inspiration.

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