Adventures in Interlaken: things to do for an epic trip
Sitting snugly in-between two awe-inspiring lakes and encompassed by snow-capped mountains sits the stunning town of Interlaken.
With emerald lakes, gushing waterfalls, endless hiking in the Alps, and dozens of adrenaline activities, the adventures in Interlaken are endless.
In this guide, you’ll find everything we managed to tick off our list when visiting for a week.
We’ll also throw in a few more suggestions on things to do in Interlaken that we’ve already scouted out for our ahead of our next trip – we honestly can’t wait to get back to this awesome mountain town and have no doubt that you’ll have an incredible time here!
Things to do in Interlaken
Explore the clear blue waters of Lake Brienz
Lake Brienz is one of the most beautiful lakes around the world; it will feel as though your eyes are fixed with an Instagram filter as this blue lake shines back at you…seriously, we have spent days of our life here and plan to spend many more.
You’ll find perfect picnic spots around the circumference coupled with classic water activities like Kayaking and Paddleboarding.
If you’re feeling slightly more energetic, hiring a bike and cycling around the lake is always super fun too.
You can cycle as far as you want, but the entire thing is just under 40 km.
Below are some of the best activities you can enjoy on Lake Brienz.
Discover Lake Thun and Oberhofen Castle
The sister lake to Lake Brienz is Lake Thun.
It’s surrounded by equally astonishing scenery, however, the water isn’t as blue as that of Lake Brienz.
You’ll find similar water sports activities to Lake Brienz, as well as quaint towns with historic landmarks such as Oberhofen Castle.
Oberhofen Castle, situated in the charming village of Oberhofen, Switzerland, is a historical treasure that combines medieval, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture.
Overlooking Lake Thun and the Swiss Alps, the castle’s picturesque setting includes meticulously maintained gardens and a museum showcasing the region’s heritage.
Take a trip on the Brienz Rothorn Bahn
There are over 600 mountains that surround the two lakes on either side of Interlaken. To get a better view, take a trip on the Brienz Rothorn Bahn – a 128-year-old steam train that zig-zags up the mountain to provide panoramic views.
Once you arrive at the top there’s a restaurant called the Berghaus Alpine Lodge where you can enjoy all the scrummy Swiss food your belly can take.
Whiz down the mountain on the Kandersteg mountain coaster
40 minutes from Interlaken is Kandersteg and it’s home to many awesome things to do, however most notably (in my ‘big kid’ opinion) the Kandersteg Mountain Coaster.
If you’re a big kid at heart like my sister I, then this mountain coaster will be the number one thing that you’ll want to tick off your list.
At just a couple of Swiss francs ago, this activity is a no-brainer.
I would highly recommend taking a GoPro to capture some insane scenery, rather than the rather awful phone-quality footage below!
Embark on a magical hiking trip in Kandersteg
Although there are many great hiking adventures in Interlaken, taking a day trip to Kandersteg is a great way to further explore the region and soak up as much of the Swiss beauty as possible.
There are over 280 different hiking routes from Kandersteg, however, we recommend the Heuberg: Kaderstef – Oeschien Route as you’ll be led past Lake Oeschinensee. Oeschinen is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this lake alone is enough to see why; it’s idyllic.
You’ll also have the opportunity to hang out with some Swiss cows along the way, although you’ll likely hear their infamous bells before you see them!
Before you set off hiking in Kandersteg, don’t forget to pack the below:
- A comfortable park of hiking pants (him/her)
- A breathable top (him/her)
- A solid pair of hiking boots (him/her)
- Hiking socks (him/her)
- A backpack
- A First Aid kit
- A water bottle
- Energy gels
Uncover the secret caves of St Beatus Hoehlen
Just outside of Interlaken is St Beatus Hoehlen.
You’ll be able to wander your way up the mountain and across bridges and through the waterfalls for free before you reach the top.
You’ll be greeted with panoramic views of Lake Thun and have the opportunity to venture into the tunnels and chambers within the caves, visit the museum and have some lunch in the restaurant which offers dishes using products from the local region.
This is a great thing to do on your adventures in Interlaken if you’re on a budget!
Tiptoe across the Panorama Bridge in Sigriswil
If you’re anything like us then you’ll be clinging on for dear life when you cross this 340-meter long suspension bridge between Sigriswell and Aeschlen! It’s an impressive site that sits above Gummischlucht Gorge and offers stunning panoramic views (as the name suggests) of Lake Thun and the surrounding mountains, including Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau to name a few.
You can either visit the bridge and surrounding villages for a bite to eat or combine it with a hike from one of the many trails leading to the area.
There’s a small fee to cross the bridge which goes towards maintenance – at least that should make you feel as though it’s safe…
See the world from the top of Europe and Jungfrau
Jungfrau is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch, and is known as ‘the top of Europe’.
There are a number of places to visit at the top of Jungfrau, with the Sphinx Observatory and Ice Palace being among the most popular with those on their adventures in Interlaken.
You can organise transport which will involve multiple trains and book each attraction separately, however, my advice is to book a tour to make things hassle-free.
Whilst it’s a tad more expensive, it ensures you experience everything there is to see.
GetYourGuide offers a great tour that will ensure you visit all the sites without the trouble of booking it all individually.
They’re also a reputable platform that will ensure you’re getting the very best service!
Discover the impressive Reichenbach Falls
If you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan you may recognise this waterfall as where his dramatic death took place.
That aside, Reichenbach Falls is a whopping 250-meter drop and actually looks far more impressive in real life than in the photo below!
You’ll be able to take an old funicular railway up to the top of the waterfall for $17 USD/£12.50 and work your way down the network of paths before attempting to take a picture in front of the falls and getting completely drenched!
Find the hidden Giessbach Falls
If you’re a real waterfall enthusiast, then you can take a boat trip around Lake Brienz and stop at Geissbach Falls.
If you want to hike up to the waterfall then it shouldn’t take any longer than 30 minutes through the forest.
If you’re strapped for time then there’s a funicular railway to chauffeur you to the top!
Marvel at Interlaken from above at the Harder Kulm viewpoint.
It can be reached in roughly 10 minutes by taking yet another funicular railway from Interlaken which operates every hour for £12.50/$15 USD.
At the top, you’ll find a whole host of hiking trails and a restaurant to sit back, relax and pinch yourself at how beautiful the view is, particularly if you get there for sunset!
Fly like a bird when you go paragliding over Interlaken
For the adrenaline junkie, this tops all of the above adventures in Interlaken!
Shortly after you arrive at the top of one of the nearby mountains, it’s simply a case of running and jumping into the distance.
It may sound scary but once you’re flying among the mountains and absorbing the beautiful views around you then you’ll soon relax and pray that a strong wind keeps you soaring through the air for as long as possible.
Tip: If you get travel sick, you’ll need to take a few tablets before you launch yourself off a mountain.
Things to know before your adventures in Interlaken
Interlaken is expensive
If you’re not already aware, Switzerland can be expensive!
And if you’re travelling for more than a few days it adds up very quickly.
However, there are some travel passes that will give you discounted/free access to transport and attractions.
- Jungfrau Travel Pass: Unlimited Transportation Ticket
This is best suited to those that are going to be exploring the Jungfrau Region for 3-8 days. A lot of the popular things to do in Interlaken involve taking some kind of railway up the mountain, and so if you want to have any fun here, then you’ll need to bite the bullet and get one of these tickets.
If you’re following this itinerary, you’ll quickly realise that ticking off just a few of the activities will be the cost of this ticket, so it’s well worth getting one ahead of your trip.
Check prices: Jungfrau Travel Pass: Unlimited Transportation Ticket
- Swiss Travel Pass: Unlimited Travel on Train, Bus & Boat
If you’re exploring a number of locations across Switzerland then you’ll want to purchase this ticket over the one above. It’s only a little bit more expensive and gives you unlimited travel on all public transport (including gondolas) for up to 15 days. In addition, you’ll also get free entry to over 500 museums and up to 50% discount on a number of excursions.
Check prices: Swiss Travel Pass: Unlimited Travel on Train, Bus & Boat
Book accommodation in advance
Interlaken is very popular in the summer as it is one of the best times to visit Switzerland.
As such, you’ll need to book accommodation at least a few months in advance.
Alplodge is a fantastic budget-friendly place to say that offers mixed dormitories and private rooms.
It’s situated on the River Aare which runs through Interlaken and is just a short walk to the town centre.
This clean, comfortable and picturesque-looking accommodation is hard to beat for a cheap stay in Interlaken.
Check prices: Alplodge
Mid-range: Hotel Du Nord
Hotel Du Nord is a 4-star hotel that’s in a prime location for exploring Interlaken and its surrounding areas.
It’s situated at the very end of the main high street in the town and is just a few minutes walk from the main train station.
It’s also directly opposite the field where the paragliders land.
The rooms are simple yet stylish with mountain views, and breakfast is also included.
Luxury: Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
The Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa is one of – if not the – best hotel in Interlaken.
It’s a 5-star hotel and is one of the grandest buildings in the town that stands out from a mile away.
Inside, the presentation doesn’t stop. Everything you see is high quality and decorated to perfection.
If you’re planning a special trip to Interlaken, then staying in this hotel is a perfect choice.
Check prices: Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
More adventures beyond Interlaken
If you’re planning a trip to Europe and enjoyed reading about all of the adventures to be had in Interlaken, then we think that you will also love the below posts:
- SCHYNIGE PLATTE: THE COMPLETE GUIDE (+FREE ACCESS)
- SCHÄFLER RIDGE HIKE IN APPENZELL: COMPLETE GUIDE
- AUGSTMATTHORN HIKE: THE COMPLETE GUIDE (4 TRAILS)
- TROODOS MOUNTAINS IN CYPRUS: A-Z GUIDE ON VENTURING OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
- 11 ROMANTIC THINGS TO DO IN STRATFORD-UPON-AVON: A LOCALS GUIDE
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