WHAT TO DO IN INTERLAKEN – PLACES TO VISIT AND FUN ACTIVITIES
- 1 WHAT TO DO IN INTERLAKEN – PLACES TO VISIT AND FUN ACTIVITIES
- 2 BEST INTERLAKEN ACTIVITIES
- 2.1 Get Up Harder Kulm
- 2.2 Have a Picnic
- 2.3 Visit Höhenmatte
- 2.4 Make Your Own Chocolate
- 2.5 Try Out High Ropes Adventure Park
- 2.6 Fall in Love With Lake Thun
- 2.7 Cruise Lake Brienz
- 2.8 Do Para – or Hanggliding
- 2.9 Have Coffee with a View
- 2.10 Visit Jungfraujoch
- 2.11 Head To Kleine Scheidegg
- 2.12 Admire Oeschinensee
- 2.13 Explore Blausee
- 2.14 Discover Grindelwald and Grindelwald-First
- 2.15 Hike Around Bachalpsee
- 2.16 Get Up Niederhorn Mountain
- 2.17 Enjoy Views From Niesen Mountain
- 2.18 Hike Up Männlichen Mountain
- 2.19 Get The Steam Lok and Get Up Brienzer Rothorn
- 2.20 Visit Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge
- 2.21 Head to Grindelwald Glacier Canyon
- 2.22 Explore Iseltwald
- 2.23 Explore Lauterbrunnen
- 2.24 Visit Trümmelbachfälle
- 2.25 Visit 007 Filming Location – Schilthorn
- 2.26 Hike to Mürren
- 2.27 Get up Stockhorn
- 2.28 Try out Bungee Jumping
- 2.29 Stroll Thun
- 2.30 Rest at Schloss Schadau
- 2.31 Go Swimming
- 2.32 Walk Over the Trift Bridge
- 2.33 Take Ski or Snowboard Lessons
- 2.34 Fall in Love With Spiez
- 2.35 Spend Time at Giessbachwasserfall and Grand Giessbach Hotel
- 2.36 Explore Wengen
- 2.37 Visit St. Beatus Caves
- 2.38 Enjoy Views From Sigriswil
- 2.39 Find A Hidden Gem – Grabenmühle
- 2.40 Get up Schynige Platte
- 2.41 Do a Kayak Day Tour
- 2.42 Go Hiking
- 2.43 Experience Helicopter Skydive
- 2.44 Visit Merligen and Enjoy the Views
- 2.45 Hop on an E-Bike
- 2.46 Relax at the Lucerne -Interlaken Express
- 2.47 Do a Road Trip
- 2.48 Visit Ballenberg Museum
- 2.49 End the Days With These Sunsets
- 2.50 Enjoy Interlaken
- 3 GENERAL TRAVEL TIPS FOR INTERLAKEN
Find out about the best things to do in Interlaken – one of Switzerland’s most beautiful places.
Personally, I am obsessed with Switzerland – and in particular with the region of Interlaken/Jungfrau. Gorgeous lakes, perfect mountains, stunning sceneries, and cute towns all around – this is Interlaken.
Though Interlaken isn´t geographically big, there are tons of fun things to do for people of all ages.
I should add that I will actually talk about two different regions: 1) Interlaken and 2) Jungfrau. However, sometimes it is a bit hard to differentiate between the two regions. This post is mostly about activities in both regions but also includes a couple of tips for Bernese Oberland in general.
- TIP: Many people say they would love to visit Switzerland but that it is too expensive. Yes, Switzerland is expensive. Very expensive. Very, very expensive. That is why I have listed my top tips for saving money in Switzerland.
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.
BEST INTERLAKEN ACTIVITIES
Okay, now we can talk about the most fun things to do in Interlaken.
Get Up Harder Kulm
In most countries, towns and cities have their own cinema or their own shopping street. In Switzerland, each city has its own “house mountain” – a very own mountain. Interlaken´s house mountain is Harder Kulm which gives you great views of Interlaken and the scenery in more than 1,300 meters above sea level.From the viewing platform, you can see Lake Brienz and Lake Thun (with Interlaken in the middle) at the same time. And a view of these two lakes will never disappoint – Harder Kulm as it surely is one of the top places in Interlaken.
HOW TO GET UP: Either hike up (it is a steep hike but takes less than 2 hours one way) or take a cable car. The cable car does not operate in the winter months (closed in December until the beginning of April). This place is particularly popular for sunsets (so get there early to secure a seat).
- Tip: With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 50% discount
- When you check out prices for the Harder Kulm cable car, you have to choose the correct ticket. Check out ticket prices here.
- Is free with the Jungfrau Pass.
Have a Picnic
One of the best free things to do in Interlaken is to enjoy a picnic. Okay, you have to buy your own food, but why not have lunch with a view of Interlaken?
Take some snacks and a blanket and admire the great scenery. Whether you picnic by one of the lakes, the beautiful Aare River, the wild Lütschine River, at Höhenmatte Park – there is an endless amount of nice places to picnic.
- Free activity
The Höhenmatte is located right in the heart of Interlaken. This lush and lovely park, with a view of Jungfraujoch, is a must when strolling Interlaken.From there, you can also watch all the paragliders which are numerous on clear days. This is the place to relax, watch people, and admire the stunning scenery. And all this while you can lay down!
It is located right at the main street of Interlaken (which is, however, not very big) and between the two train and boat stations (Interlaken Ost or Interlaken West). It is also between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun which you, however, will not see from Höhenmatte.
- Free to visit
Make Your Own Chocolate
While Interlaken is best known as the adventure capital, you can also do some unique things that are not about crazy outdoor sports. I had not expected to do a chocolate workshop in Interlaken, and yet I did one – right in the center of Interlaken.Making your own chocolate – e.g. at Funky Chocolate – is not only a good thing to do in Interlaken on a rainy day. It is also good activity if you want to escape the heat on a very hot day.
Plus, it is delicious. As a chocolate addict, I can say, that Swiss chocolate is the best in the world. You can even do your own vegan (and healthier) dark chocolate, too.
Spots can fill up quickly, so I would not wait for the last-minute with booking.
- Prices start from around 65€ for a workshop.
Try Out High Ropes Adventure Park
What about jumping from platforms and soaring through the air at High Ropes Adventure Park in Interlaken? It is basically a forest playground with wooden bridges, Tarzan swings, and zip lines.
Whether you are a beginner or more exciting – it will be a few hours of fun here. Of course, you will be provided with everything you need and also get safety instructions before you set off into the trees.
From Interlaken West Station you will get there after a 15-minute walk.
- For 3 hours at the park, you have to pay around 42CHF.
Fall in Love With Lake Thun
If you are in Interlaken, you will be surrounded by some of the prettiest, most stunning lakes in Switzerland. One of them is Lake Thun.This magnificent lake is impressive – its color alone will leave you speechless. You can do a boat cruise, do water activities or walk along the beautiful lake. Click here to find my tips on what to do around and on Lake Thun.
- You can buy day tickets for boat cruises on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
- The boat cruises on Lake Thun are free with a Swiss Travel Pass.
Cruise Lake Brienz
Interlaken is located between two lakes: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. We talked about the first one already and now let´s talk about my favorite lake which is Lake Brienz. Its unique turquoise color is one of a kind, and it is one of the most gorgeous and unique lakes out there (especially on a sunny day).Lake Brienz is one of the bigger lakes in the country and there are quite a few attractions close by. Hop on a boat and enjoy a boat cruise on this pretty lake – brave people also swim in the lake, but the water is quite cold, so it is not for everyone. Here are more tips on why to visit Lake Brienz and what to do around the lake.
- You can buy day tickets for boat cruises on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
- The boat cruises on Lake Brienz are free with a Swiss Travel Pass.
Do Para – or Hanggliding
Same same but different: Paragliding and hang gliding are fun. Both activities offer to see Interlaken and its surroundings from a birds-eye perspective.
There are also many other places in the region where you can do paragliding (e.g., Lauterbrunnen), but Interlaken is some of the most popular places to do so. So, if you are around Höhenmatte, do not be surprised to see all the many paragliders in the air.
Anyone volunteer to watch my dog when I am in Interlaken? Then I could finally do this bucket list activity myself.
- Prices start from around 155€. Click here for your para- and hang gliding experience.
Have Coffee with a View
If you stroll Interlaken, you will probably observe an ugly high building – Hotel Metropol is a hotel with a rooftop restaurant.
It is a good way to see Interlaken from above. The restaurant staff is not the fastest and friendliest, but the view is so worth it!However, in a region with so many mountains, it surely is not the best view of the town (and you won’t see much of the lakes).
But it is easy to get there, and you can have a coffee with a view and kill two birds with one stone.
The “At the top of Europe” – Jungfraujoch – has become one of the most popular attractions in the region.
You will find the highest train station in Europe which sits so high (3454 meters above sea level) that you can see snow throughout the year. But of course, there is more to do and see. There is also an Ice Palace, an Alpine Museum, and more to see and do (including some winter sports).
Jungfraujoch is actually located in the region of Jungfrau. For us visitors, it does not really matter, though.
You cannot hike up there, so you need to get to the top via funicular/cogwheel. However, you can hike up to Kleine Scheidegg (more on that later) and then take the cogwheel to get to the top.
I enjoyed my trip there, but I think it is quite pricy, and it was not my absolute highlight. So if you are on a budget, I would not make it a priority (honestly).
- With your Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 25-50% discount.
- Click here to book your trip to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken.
- With a Jungfrau Pass, you can get up to Kleine Scheidegg without any extra costs. From there to Jungfraujoch, you get a discount.
Head To Kleine Scheidegg
Before heading to the top of Europe (Jungfraujoch), do not forget to soak in the views at Kleine Scheidegg along the way.
The Kleine Scheidegg is a mountain pass at about 2000 meters above sea level, and it makes a great stop when getting up the Jungfraujoch. So, from Grindelwald, you can either hike up all the way to Kleine Scheidegg or you take the funicular/cogwheel from Grindelwald/Interlaken and then get out of the funicular. The views are great and you can do some hikes around the area.
If you plan to continue your journey to Jungfraujoch, you will not need an additional ticket. However, if you plan to not get up all the way to Jungfraujoch, you will need a ticket (unless you hike up).
- With your Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 50% discount.
- With a Jungfrau Pass, you can get up to Kleine Scheidegg without any extra costs.
Is not Lake Oeschinensee beyond amazing? It is so perfect that Oeschinensee should be on everybody´s bucket list. It is not officially in the region of Interlaken or Jungfrau, but in Kandersteg which is close by and thus a perfect place to visit in Interlaken.I visited Oeschinensee twice. Once it started hailing, so I left quickly. But I came back – in summer 2020, I revisited and did the Heuberg hike. This hike is a bit challenging, but with proper footwear (real hiking boots, or very good runners), most people can do it for sure.
Once you get up with the gondola, the hike starts. After a 3-4 hour hike, you will arrive at the shores of this gorgeous yet cold mountain lake.
If you are not much into hiking, you can also just get up via gondola and then do a 20-minute hike to the lake. Or take a shuttle bus from the gondola station to the lake. Check out my Lake Oeschinen post for more detailed tips.
How to get to Oeschinensee: Take a train to Kandersteg station. From there, walk for about 10 minutes before arriving at the gondola/cable car station, which takes you up. Then either walk directly to the lake (a 20-30 minute walk is needed) or do some hikes for stunning views.
- The return ticket for the gondola is CHF 30. A one-way ticket is CHF 22.
- With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 50% discount.
- The little shuttle bus, which brings you directly to the lake is 8€ one way.
Blausee is actually close to Lake Oeschinensee and too pretty to be ignored – Blausee is a tiny but gorgeous lake.
Visit Blausee Nature Park and admire the color of the Blausee (though the lake looks green to me, the name translated means Blue Lake”). There is not much to do around Blausee- you can do some short walks around the lake or do a boat “cruise”. Check out my full guide on Blausee to find out more.
There is actually an entrance fee which is why I am a bit reluctant to recommend Blausee. It is a beautiful lake but given that you can see so many stunning lakes in Switzerland for free, I am not sure it really is worth the money.
- Prices for the Blausee Nature Park have gone up – and depend on the time of your visit and can cost up to CHF 12 (for an adult in the high season).
Discover Grindelwald and Grindelwald-First
Grindelwald is one of the cutest villages and a must-see place in the region of Interlaken and should be on your list. But Grindelwald is also about adventure.
Many people assume that Grindelwald is car-free (like some other villages), but it actually isn’t. However, it is pretty small, so I would combine it with another activity like Grindelwald First (see image) and actually do a hike in that area (more on that later).
Hike Around Bachalpsee
One of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland is the Bachalpsee (Bachalp Lake). Hiking or strolling around the Bachalpsee should be on your list, so another reason to visit Grindelwald and do some hiking.
Take the cable car from Grindelwald to Grindelwald First. The hike from Grindelwald First to Bachalpsee is easy and scenic – it will take about one hour. If you are a fit hiker and want to save money, then skip the cable car and start your hike from Grindelwald. However, this part of the hike is not scenic nor nice.
Ticket prices are quite high but since Grindelwald First is also considered a top attraction, it might be worth it to you.
- There is no entry fee for the lake or the hike itself, but to get to Grindelwald Frist you need to get up via gondola
- Tickets are around 60€ for a return trip
- 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass
- Free with a Jungfrau Pass
Get Up Niederhorn Mountain
Niederhorn Mountain is another great place to visit on the shores of Lake Thun. However, it seems to be less popular amongst international visitors.
When I visited Niederhorn Mountain, it was quite cloudy, but once the cloud disappeared, the view from Niederhorn Mountain was amazing. That panorama from almost 2000 meters above sea level confirmed what I had known before: Lake Thun is just amazing, and the only thing better than being on it (boat), being in it (swim), or being next to it (drive, stroll) is to look at it from above.
You do not even have to hike up – a gondola takes you to the top. But of course, you could also hike up if you REALLY want to or just buy a one-way ticket and then hike down.
- Tickets are quite pricy – you can check them out here.
- There is a discount with a Swiss Travel Pass
Enjoy Views From Niesen Mountain
One of the most distinctive mountains at the shores of Lake Thun is the Niesen Mountain. The pyramid-shaped mountain is actually one of my favorite mountains in all of Switzerland.However, it took me a while to realize that you can get on top of the mountain (without doing a challenging hike). Yes, like many other mountain summits Niesen is also quite accessible. So, my tip – look at it first but then get up via cable car or hike up all the way (Niesen stands at almost 2400 meters above sea level).
On top, there is tons to do and see from above, including some nice hiking trails. You will see the many paragliders from there, but it is also very family-friendly and has a restaurant on top, making it a great place to spend a few hours.
- Tickets are up to CHF 59 – a 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass
Hike Up Männlichen Mountain
If you are into hiking, then get up to Männlichen Mountain which stands about 2,300 meters above sea level).
Though I have not hiked up myself, it is a popular hike in Interlaken. On a clear day, the Swiss Skyline (a panorama view consisting of the Swiss mountains Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau) is visible from many places, but from Männlichen it is said to be even more amazing (according to hear-say).
You could start your hike e.g. from Wengen or Kleine Scheidegg – depending on how difficult and long you want your hike to be.
Get The Steam Lok and Get Up Brienzer Rothorn
Probably one of my favorite mountain rides – ever – was getting up Brienzer Rothorn.If you are a hiker, you´ll enjoy the hike. But I definitely recommend– even just for a stop – hopping in the old steam rack railway as it is such a unique experience.
Visiting the Brienzer Rothorn (on a clear) day has been one of the most amazing experiences I have had in Switzerland.
Since it is one of my favorite Interlaken sightseeing attractions (find out more about the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland), it is on this list of the best things to do in Interlaken.
- 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.
Visit Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge
The Glacier Gorge Rosenlaui is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Jungfrau-Aletsch. Okay, Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge is not in Interlaken but close and should be on your bucket list as well.
Especially on hot days, walking through the gorge is amazing. But also after heavy rainfalls, as the waterfalls are stronger, it is amazing! You have to do a bit of hiking but it is a gradual ascent and you will pass waterfalls, natural whirlpools, and more.
- There is an entrance fee – about 7,5€ – (but free parking), and it is open daily. Find more information here.
Head to Grindelwald Glacier Canyon
Another glacier – this Grindelwald Glacier Canyon is also in the region of Jungfrau. Walk towards the glacier while getting information about the canyon along the way.
The canyon was formed by the lower Grindelwald glacier, which then, over time, carved its way through the rock in this area. However, while the lower glacier no longer exists, you can visit the canyon, and the water cascades freely from the mountains into the Lütschine River below.
The gorge is only open from May to October, so check out their website for more info.
- Prices are quite high (around 17€), something that you should be really interested in to enjoy fully.
Iseltwald is an adorable little village on the shores of Lake Brienz. It has many traditional Swiss wooden houses with charming decorations and makes a great walk from Giessbach Waterfalls or even Interlaken.
But you can do more than just looking at the cute houses. Enjoy some water sports at Lake Brienz (that water is cold, though) or start your boat tour from here and make sure to take pictures from the quite famous little pier that you will find here. Though it is small, Iseltwald is one of the cutest places to visit in Interlaken.
You can get here by car, boat, or walk from Interlaken or Giessbach waterfalls.
Lauterbrunnen is THE place, according to outdoor lovers who are into extreme activities. Even if you are not into outdoor sports, you´ll love Lauterbrunnen as it is such a pretty village with the most beautiful scenery.The word famous Staubach Waterfall makes it picture perfect and is one of the highlights in Interlaken.
Lauterbrunnen is full of waterfalls (it is the village of 72 waterfalls after all), so it is definitely a great place for nice walks or longer hikes. However, it is one of the busiest places in the region, so be prepared for many people.
Talking about Lauterbrunnen…Experience the powerful waterfalls very close to Lauterbrunnen: the Trümmelbachfälle. Be prepared for a loud, wet, and cool experience. They are a series of ten glacier-fed waterfalls inside the mountain accessible by a tunnel-funicular.
Luckily I did not take my DSL camera with me (I went after some hefty rain), but if you have a GoPro or waterproof camera, you are good to go and might take good pictures.
How to get there: I got there by car, but, luckily Switzerland has an amazing public transportation system (the station is Stechelberg) so you can get there by bus or have an easy walk from Lauterbrunnen (about 45 minutes one way)
- The entry fee is about 10€ ($12).
Visit 007 Filming Location – Schilthorn
Close to the Trümmelbachfälle, you will find this attraction: Schilthorn. Most of you will probably know Schilthorn from James Bond because one of the movies (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) was filmed here.
When visiting Schilthorn, you can “date “James Bond and visit the “007 “museum. You can also eat at the revolving restaurant of Piz Gloria, which was the movie location of the James Bond. They even have a (vegetarian) 007 burger. But it is not all about James Bond – you can also admire the stunning scenery, including the famous “Swiss Skyline” which consists of the mountains Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
This is actually a fun thing to do in winter as well.
How to get to Schilthorn: You can take a cable car from Lauterbrunnen or get up via Stechelberg (you can also decide to hike some stations). On the way up to Schilthorn, do the Thrill Walk and stop at Allmendhubel.
- The price depends on how much you hike – a return ticket for Stechelberg to Schilthorn is CHF 108!
- You can save money by hiking some parts (the hike from Stechelberg to Müren is quite easy and stunning).
- With a Swiss Travel Pass, you will get more than a 50% discount
Hike to Mürren
Before you get to Schilthorn (to see Piz Gloria and follow James Bond), make sure to plan some time for exploring the cute car-free village of Mürren (1,638 meters – 5,374 feet above sea level) which will be on your way up. There is not that much to do, but this mountain village is quite popular.
You can buy a ticket from Lauterbrunnen Stechelberg to Schilthorn and just get out at Mürren to explore it. But you could also hike from Stechelberg (910 meters – 3000 feet – above sea level) or Grüttschalp (1,487 meters – 4,879 feet – above sea level) to Mürren.
The hike from Grütschalp to Mürren is easy and even kids can do, and the views are breathtaking (on a clear day).
Get up Stockhorn
Stockhorn (2,190 meters – 7185 feet – above sea level) is another great mountain that you can visit. The ride up in the cable car is lovely (you pass several lakes along the way), and the view from there is great.Ah, and of course you will find them again…the paragliders that are like everywhere in the area of Interlaken.
On the mountain summit (whether you hike up or take the cable car), you can do a few more hikes or just relax and enjoy the views.
- A return ticket costs CHF60
- You can save money by hiking (some parts) or with a Swiss Travel Pass (50%)
Try out Bungee Jumping
Talking about Stockhorn… If you want to have a more exciting experience, you could bungee jump. You can do that from Stockhorn Cable Car in Interlaken. The view is probably one of the best you will ever have – when bungee jumping.
- Prices start from 200€ for a bungee jump from Stockhorn
Located at Lake Thun, Thun is one of the bigger towns in that area. Stop by at the Thun Castle- it is one main attraction but not the only great place to see in Thun.I was stunned to see how pretty the town center actually is and was smitten by the beautiful Thun Castle and the view. Thun is definitely a place in Interlaken to add to your itinerary. The old town, the castles (yes, there are several), the river with many cafes and restaurants and the pretty market square – Thun is a lively and lovely town that is well worth a visit. Check out my Thun guide for more tips.
- Most activities are free in Thun- There are entrance fees for a couple of attractions, including Thun Castle where you have a wonderful view of the town. The entrance fee is around CHF 10 – free with a Swiss Travel Pass.
Rest at Schloss Schadau
Castles are probably not the first thing that comes to most people´s minds when hearing about Switzerland. However, there are some beautiful ones, like Schloss Schadau.The interior often is not as stunning as you might know from countries like Austria or Germany, but they are beautiful to look at and are often located in a beautiful area.
If you walk behind Schloss Schadau, you have stunning views of Lake Thun and the Swiss Skyline.
- The garden area of Schloss Schadau is free to visit.
Some more castles to visit in Switzerland: Schloss Thun, Schloss Interlaken, Unspunnen Castle or Oberhofen Castle. Some castles charge for the garden area, too.
Take a dip in one of the lakes – many are very clean, and swimming is allowed in many lakes in that region (few exceptions, e.g., Blausee). Most lakes, however, are very cold – too cold for me personally.
While you could hop into the water at many places, there are a number of lidos (outdoor pools) that are free but there are also some lidos, the very fancy ones, where you have to pay an entrance fee. These lidos normally offer showers and options to change – some are directly on the shores of the lake and some have extra pools.
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
Also not directly located in Interlaken but in Grimselwelt, you will find the impressive Trift Bridge that has become a popular place to visit.If you are into suspension bridges and hikes, then this place is for you. The suspension bridge is 170 meters long and offers great views (if you dare to look around). Unlike many other attractions in the country, the cable car will not drop you off at the bridge, but you have to do a 90-minute hike (or, in my case, a 120-minute hike) to get there.
To get back to the Trift cable car, you have to hike back the same route, so it is a bit of hiking (and ascent and descent) but doable. If you are fit, you could probably skip the cable car completely. Check out my detailed post on how to see the Trift Bridge.
- Prices for the cable car are around 11€ (22€ return), and there is free parking.
Take Ski or Snowboard Lessons
There are some places you can do winter sports throughout the year (like a few activities on Jungfraujoch), but if you are crazy about winter sports, then the best time to visit is…in the winter.
There is a reason why Switzerland is one of the most popular places for winter sports – and the region of Interlaken and Jungfrau (including the area of Grindelwald) are some of the best spots to hit the slopes.
Winter sports are big here – whether you go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoe hiking or, or, or. You have quite some options to experience what an amazing winter sports vacation can look like.
- Check out my guide on the best ski resorts in Switzerland.
Fall in Love With Spiez
Oh, Spiez… I love the village and the castle at the water – and my little Puppygak also fell in love. It is one of the most beautiful places in Interlaken.Spiez has a Mediterranean flair, and its small waterfront is lovely (and it comes with great views of the Niesen Mountain). So, if you are looking for some French Riviera vibes, this is the place to be.
From Interlaken, you get there easily by public transportation or car, but why not get there by boat? That is a scenic way to arrive at this cute village on the southern shores of Lake Thun
Spend Time at Giessbachwasserfall and Grand Giessbach Hotel
While doing a boat tour on Lake Brienz, get out at the Giessbachwasserfall boat station and explore the region.
You can take a funicular to get up to the amazing Grandhotel Giessbach (a full hotel review is here) or do the easy 10-minute hike.The hotel has a unique atmosphere and some of the best views of stunning Lake Brienz. From there, you hike even further and even walk behind the stunning Giessbach Waterfalls.
- You can also get to the area by car (the drive up in via a mountain street, so you should enjoy driving narrow mountain streets).
- If you get there by ca, you have to pay around 9€ for parking – if you plan to spend more time, it is probably worth it.
- Alternatively, you can also get there by bus (the yellow Postautos will get you here) hike here from Iseltwald, or take the boat.
- The Swiss Travel Pass covers the boat tour and also public transportation (Postauto).
Wengen is another beautiful and car-free village that should be on your list when visiting this region. It is small and tiny so you might not spend a lot of time there, but it is a popular place to visit in Interlaken. From there, you can do some nice hikes and just come down and enjoy the stunning nature.
Personally, it wasn’t my favorite place, but if you are looking for typical small Swiss villages, it is a great place to see.
You cannot drive all the way to Wengen by car – you have to catch a train from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen.
Visit St. Beatus Caves
St. Beatus Caves are located on the shores of Lake Thun – it is a cave system that features lit pathways leading through tunnels & chambers and a museum. But it is also about views, views, views. And waterfalls. And flowers, but it is also a lot about views!
I was blown away by the views (have I mentioned the views before) from up there. Whether you visit the caves or just come here for the panorama – it is definitely worth a visit. Check out my detailed post on St. Beatus Caves.
If you are at beautiful St. Beatus Caves, walk down the other way for 10-15 minutes to enjoy the view from the famous Instagram spot (see picture).
- There is an entrance fee for the caves (around 16€) and there is paid parking. Alternatively, you can get here by bus or boat.
Enjoy Views From Sigriswil
Sigriswil is a hidden gem, and getting up to Sigriswil (by car) was not always easy as the streets became quite tight on some parts, but it was worth it.
It is a less busy place – the highlight in the villages is the 340-meter long Sigriswil Suspension Bridge. It is a pedestrian suspension bridge over a gorge – and you have stunning views of the Bernese Alps & Lake Thun.
The suspension bridge is not as scary as some other bridges in the region – here it is more about the views!
You can also take a bus to get up there.
- There is an “entrance fee” (yes) to cross the bridge of about 7€.
Find A Hidden Gem – Grabenmühle
Grabenmühle is probably the cutest place I have seen in Switzerland and totally unknown amongst tourists.Grabenmühle is just a few hundred meters behind Sigriswil Suspension Bridge, and I do not want to say too much. Just go there during the day and feel amazed as you have a cuteness overdose. You can also do “gold rinsing” or see alpacas and other animals. It is a weird place, but I loved it!
- The ticket for passing the above-mentioned suspension bridge in Sigriswil is about 7€. With that ticket, you also have entry to Grabenmühle. Otherwise, you can consume something at the cafe in Grabenmühle which is considered as your entrance fee.
- Check out opening hours here (unfortunately, it is only in German). On Mondays, it is closed.
Get up Schynige Platte
One of the best views in Interlaken is from Schynige Platte. It is a small mountain ridge that stands at 2,076 meters – 6811 feet – above sea level.
The great, impressive, fantastic thing about Schynige Platte is the fact that you have two great views that could not be more different.
First, you have amazing views of the Swiss Skyline (seeing the three top mountains, Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau). For that view, there is no hike needed – just take the funicular to get up.After a 20-minute hike from the funicular station, you get to see Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, two of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland, at the same time.
This makes Schynigge Plate one of the most unique viewpoints in Interlaken.
The funicular ride starts in Wilderswil (easily accessible from Interlaken). Sit back and enjoy the ride up. Alternatively, you can also hike up.
- A return ticket costs around 60€ – you can save money by hiking down or get a discount with your Swiss Travel Pass.
- It is free with your Jungfrau Pass.
Do a Kayak Day Tour
The best Interlaken activities include a lot of outdoor time: With all the beautiful lakes, a kayak tour seems to be a perfect choice for the sporty ones among you. Disclaimer: I do not consider myself a very sporty person, so I skipped that one.
Lake Brienz is a popular place to do kayaking – either bring your own kayak or book a kayak trip in Interlaken.
- Prices for kayaking with an experienced guide start from around 100€. Check out prices here.
It took me a while, but I have finally gotten what the fuss is about hiking. Hiking from Grütschalp to Mürren was one of the most rewarding and amazing things I have done.
On a clear day, the scenery is just one of a kind. After that, I started hiking each day, and if you are in Interlaken, you might never get enough of it.
The region of Interlaken and Jungfrau is one of the best areas for hikers. So whether you are a hiking novice, a more experienced hiker, or a super hiker – you will find spectacular hikes everywhere!
Experience Helicopter Skydive
I have mentioned it before, but Interlaken is known as the best place for adrenaline junkies. So a helicopter skydive is a great opportunity to experience this on your own – there are not many sceneries that beautiful when you are jumping out of a helicopter.
I enjoy some adventure – but in moderation. Everything in moderation for me! So jumping out of the helicopter is not for me.
P.s. you can justify the high price with the fact that you are actually doing two great things, a helicopter ride and a skydive at once.
Visit Merligen and Enjoy the Views
Merligen is also a small village (568 meters – 1863 feet – above sea level) located on the northern shores of Lake Thun. It is one of the cutest places in Interlaken.
There is not that much to do – but I still adore Merligen. You could go swimming or enjoy the views from the church.I tend to come here every year but haven’t really spoken about my little obsession – now, I am sharing with you guys this secret. The views are pretty stunning!
It is pretty easy to reach via bus, car, or even boat.
Though it is just a few hundred meters to drive from the main road, the streets are narrow, and it looks like a one-way street (though it isn’t). So, if you are uncomfortable driving up that short but narrow street, park it and just walk up for 5 minutes.
Hop on an E-Bike
Interlaken and the Jungfrau region are hilly – actually, it is more than that. You can also call it mountainous! An e-bike tour is a great solution to cycle your way around. It gives you more freedom when it comes to getting around.
You can rent e-bikes at many hotels or even in the town center and discover Interlaken this way.
Relax at the Lucerne -Interlaken Express
Train riding in Switzerland is not comparable with train riding in many other places. It is an experience in itself and something I sincerely recommend. One of the most beautiful rides in the ride from Lucerne to Interlaken.
This is one of the best things to do in Interlaken if you just want to sit and relax while watching beautiful surroundings.
Hop on the “Luzern-Interlaken Express”, in Interlaken Ost train station, grab a window seat and enjoy! You will pass several stunning lakes along the way. In Lucerne, you could spend a day (it is a stunning town!) and then come back later – and enjoy the same amazing window views again.
- Free with your Swiss Travel Pass
Do a Road Trip
Interlaken is one of Switzerland’s best places for a beautiful road trip (though some villages are car-free). I am not the biggest fan of driving, but I probably will never get enough of driving in Switzerland despite the many mountains and sometimes narrow streets.
Especially driving the roads along the northern shores of Lake Thun are fun and scenic!
Just be careful as there are many speed cams, but other than that, driving in Switzerland and Interlaken is fun. Here are more tips for driving in Switzerland.
Visit Ballenberg Museum
One of the most visited museums in Switzerland is the open-air museum of Ballenberg is located near the town of Brienz. You will find over 100 original buildings that have been transported from their original sites.
The buildings on display are traditional buildings and architecture from all over the country. You can enter the houses and will also learn a lot about the buildings and more.
- Free with a Swiss Travel Pass
- This museum is huge – you will need a couple of hours (at least 2) for the museum.
- 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
If you enjoy watching sunsets, plan some time at Lake Thun – it is by far the best way to end the day. There is even a sunset boat cruise on Lake Thun.Harder Kulm is also a popular place to watch the sunset – I still prefer the sunsets at Lake Thun. Check out boat tours for Lake Thun here in the evening.
More good places to enjoy the sunsets are Leissigen or Beatenberg station. I also heard about beautiful sunsets in Wengen, Faulhorn mountain peak (which comes with a hike, though), or Iseltwald at Lake Brienz.
- A Lake Thun sunset cruise is free with a Swiss Travel Pass
- You can also get a day pass for Lake Thun and Lake Brienz
Interlaken is one of a kind! So pretty…so so pretty! So my tip is to enjoy each second you are in this unique region!
GENERAL 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!
Language in Interlaken
Though Germany is the main language, most people also speak (basic) English. You should have no big problems with speaking either German or English.
How to Get Around Interlaken
Driving in Interlaken is very safe and easy. The streets are well paved, driving in the mountains might be a bit tricky, though. The main reason, I love driving here is that you can stop and just enjoy the scenery – this freedom and flexibility is priceless in a gorgeous place like Interlaken.
Public transportation in Interlaken is effortless as buses/trains go often, are punctual and reliable.
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 / Best Hotels 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.
- The most luxurious hotel in Interlaken is Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa. Since I have not started there myself, I can repeat what I heard: This hotel is supposed to be amazing. So if you are looking for a fancy place, this is probably the best pick.
- 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.
- I recently stayed in the newly renovated Hotel du Nord. I actually was very positively surprised (the reviews were not great, but since all rooms were renovated lately, it is a great place to stay). The breakfast was good, too! Click here to get the best deals.
- If you are on a budget, I recommend staying at this gorgeous hostel that I stayed at when I was not traveling with my dog. This hostel is a bit more expensive than other hostels, but one of the best I have stayed at (even though I relay missed curtains in front of my bed) and they also offer free parking. Check out the hostel here.
Safety Tips for Interlaken
Interlaken – and the region – is very safe and secure. With common sense, you should be fine.
I have always traveled solo to Interlaken (sometimes accompanied by my little dog) and never felt unsafe. Keep valuables close to you, and you should be good to go!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THINGS TO DO IN INTERLAKEN
As a regular visitor to the region of Interlaken, I have had the chance to make some incredible memories.
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 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 sport hopefully has helped you get some inspiration.
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