From paragliding, skiing, hiking, cogwheel train, tramways to gondola rides, there is plenty to do in and around Interlaken. Here is a three day itinerary with Interlaken as a base. The itinerary lists less touristy yet fascinating sites in and around interlaken, with details about the more popular ones included as well.
Day 1: In & Around Interlaken
Exploring the town on a bike
During summer, you can rent an E-bike and explore the town of Interlaken. Flying wheels is one of the popular bike rentals in the area. However, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, go for the adventure activities such as paragliding and rock climbing.
Cruise in Lake Brienz/ Thun
You can also take a cruise on either Lake Brienz or Lake Thun, which are both covered in your Swiss travel pass. Surrounded by the serene mountains, Lake Brienz with its turquoise water, will leave you mesmerized. Embark on this cruise for the town of Brienz and take a stroll through this beautiful little town. On your way back, you can board a train which takes about 20 minutes to reach Interlaken.
The cruise to Lake Thun departs from Interlaken west. The deep blue water and vastness of the lake Thun provides a feeling of relaxation and takes you to a meditative state of mind. The cruise makes several stops, and along the way you can visit Oberhofen castle and Beatus Caves.
Cable Car to Harder Kulm
If you are not exhausted yet and skies are clear, you can visit Harder Kulm, the top most point of Interlaken. A cable car that costs ~20 CHF, takes you to the viewing platform at 1,322 meters, which allows you to enjoy the gorgeous view of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains in the Bernese Alps.
The view of Alps from Interlaken
The beautiful town of Brienz.
Day 2: Schilthorn & Trummelbach falls
Primarily located in Jungfrau region, Interlaken has a lot more to offer. With its proximity to several breathtaking sites in the Alps, you will be left mystified. One such marvels is Schilthorn, located at 9,744 ft, you can access it free of cost with your Swiss travel pass. Piz Gloria, the panoramic revolving famous Schilthorn restaurant was featured in one of the James Bond films On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. There is also a James Bond exhibit at the top. So, if you are a Bond fan, this is the place to be.
How to go to Schilthorn-
The trip to Schilthorn can be a day long activity in itself and it takes multiple transportations to reach here from Interlaken.
- First, board the train from Interlaken ost to Lauterbrunnen.
- Just outside the Lauterbrunnen train station you can board the bus to Stechelberg, Schilthornbahn.
- The final leg constitutes of a series of cable cars from Stechelberg to Schilthorn ( You have to change cable car 3 times at Gimmelwald, Murren and Birg before arriving at Schilthorn)
As you reach the summit, you will be enchanted by the awe striking view of the Alps. We spent a couple of hours at the top just sitting, relaxing and meditating. We got the chance to witness the beauty of freshly fallen snow at the peaks.
- Tip– Do not forget your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of sun shining on the fresh snow, we did forget.
On your way back, you can stopover at Birg and if you are feeling adventurous do the thrill walk. Take the cable car from Birg to Murren and then you can either take the cable car or do a short 30 minute hike down from Murren to Gimmelwald before taking the final cable car from Gimmelwald to Stechelberg.
On your way back from Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen, you can explore the hidden gem called Trummelbach falls. These are 10 glacier fed falls inside the mountains carrying approximately 20,000 liters of water per second. You will be amazed by the water cutting through the rocks to make its way over the years. A tunnel-funicular takes you almost half way up and the remaining area can be accessed by the stairs. On your way back, you can take a bus from the falls to Lauterbrunnen trains station where you can board a train to Interlaken ost.
- The Budget tip- The entry to the falls is 11 CHF (Cash only).
View from Schilthorn Observatory
Looking down from the cable car to Gimmelwald on the way to Schilthorn.
Day 3: Männlichen & Jungfraujoch
Another outstanding yet non-touristy site in the Jungfrau region is Männlichen. You can access the 2,343 ft high mountain in the swiss Alps from either Wengen or Grindelwald via aerial or gondola cableways. Another option is to go one way up and then hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. With spectacular views along the way, this hike is highly recommended. Take a train from Kleine Scheidegg to Interlaken. Also, both Wengen and Grindelwald can be reached via train from Interlaken ost. A trip to Jungfraujoch can be coupled with this trip.
- The budget tip- The cost of aerial way is ~15 CHF each way with a swiss travel pass. You can go one way up and the other way down.
Junfraujoch at 3,454 m, is the highest train station in the Europe, also known as the top of Europe. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. A cogwheel train, from Kleine Scheidegg will directly take you all the way to the top. Maneuvering through the toughest of terrain, it is indeed an engineering marvel. The platform at top provides a majestic view of the snow covered Alps that will leave you enchanted.
- The budget tip- The train tickets are expensive, it will cost you a total of ~250 CHF (you can get a 25% additional discount with Swiss travel pass) but it is definitely worth a visit.
View from Mannlichen. Photo by Sushrut Rajan