Its name reveals its nature: Interlaken, city between lakes. And yet, it’s impossible not to be surprised when you enter this small town in the Bernese Oberland for the first time.
Safe between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and dominated by the majestic massifs of the Eiger, the Mönch and the mythical Jungfrau (which must be taken by cogwheel train if you are visiting the region), Interlaken presume classic beauty and stunning natural surroundings, which makes it an ideal platform for excursions and sports of all kinds.
For decades Interlaken stations have been linked by trains and zippers to nearby mountains and valleys. In winter, a paradise for skiing and alpine crossings; in summer, an explosion of colors, flowered balconies and outdoor shows.
And, throughout the year, home to boulevards and exclusive boutiques, century-old hotels and a thousand and one walks along the banks of the River Aar or Lakes of Thun and Brienz.
What to do in Interlaken: Proposals for spring and summer
Here are some suggestions for discover Interlaken, the Swiss city between two lakes, and soak up its extraordinary natural environment.
Take the cogwheel train up the Jungfraujoch
For starters, the best excursion you can do from Interlaken is to climb the Jungfraujoch massif.
Although the train journey from Interlaken to the Jungfrau massif takes more than two hours, ride the Jungfraujoch by cogwheel train It is an essential experience. it’s about the highest station in Europe, located between the snow-capped peaks and the colossal Aletsch Glacier at 3,454 meters above sea level.
The station, with a belvedere and an ice palace, is accessible by crossing the mountain by cog railway through a tunnel built over a century ago. This extraordinary place, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, can be visited all year round, In summer the views are impressive and although in winter the snowy landscapes show all their splendor, it is also possible that the weather does not allow you to enjoy a full view.
Take a trip to a lookout point in the Interlaken Valley
Interlaken It is an excellent starting point for nature lovers: it is surrounded by trails and mountains from which one can admire the landscape.
One of the best known is the viewing platform Kulm harder, an alpine belvedere (1322 m) with dizzying views over Interlaken, the lakes of Thun and Brienz and the most famous mountains of the valley Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. To get there, take the funicular at the station Interlaken East; once at the top, you can opt for several mountain tours.
To note: The funicular that takes you to the Harder Kulm viewpoint only operates from April to November.
Take a cruise on Lakes Thun and Brienz
From April to October, and at reduced hours in winter, various boats ply the turquoise waters of the Thunersee and Brienzersee, breaking the reflections created by the mountains.
If you opt for a sunset cruise, you will see how the last reflections of the sun bathe the castles and the villages of fairy tales by the lakes. How about enjoying a leisurely dinner on board, floating in a unique natural environment?
Enjoy a free outdoor concert
From June to August, in Interlaken two nightly music festivals are organized: the Swissness and the Timeless jazz. The concerts are free and take place in the open air, next to the Kuntshaus culture center and the huge Höhematte park in the heart of the city.
Bring something to eat and enjoy a pleasant evening of music. Or arrive a little earlier and take the opportunity to stroll through the Höhematte, visit the flower clock, buy an ice cream in a kiosk and contemplate the views of the imposing Jungfrau.
Swimming in a Swiss lido
Lidos are places for outdoor swimming, which in Switzerland often results in small lagoons located on the shores of a larger lake, such as those in Brienz y Thun.
After a cold winter, as the spring sun rises to the sky, the Swiss jump into the water. From May to September, you too live the experience of swimming in a lake like Lake Geneva in the ranges of Bönigen o of Burgseeli, just minutes from Interlaken, which also has facilities with heated swimming pools, cafes and meadows for sunbathing.
Get up close to Trummelbach Falls in Lauterbrunnen
Very close to Interlaken, you can take a nice excursion to the lauterbrunnen valley whose main attraction is the waterfalls of Trummelbach. Dozens of waterfalls of glacial origin cross the mountain, creating one of the best natural spectacles in the region.
We take the funicular built in 1913 to get to the top of the mountain and we went down following the water path. On leaving, we can continue to enjoy the valley where dozens of waterfalls reaching almost 300 m in height will continue to amaze our sense of travel.
What to see in Interlaken; visit the Kursaal and the Japanese gardens
In the center of Interlaken, two magnificent gardens stand out: those surrounding the Kursaal Casino and Convention Center, majestic at the foot of the mountain; Yes the Japanese gardens in front of the Interlaken hotel, which evoke peace. If you want to continue enjoying the tranquility, surround el Kursaal At the very back you will find the Aare River, and follow the river on foot west to discover one of the less touristy areas of Interlaken.
What to see and do in Interlaken: Winter activities
If you decide to visit the Interlaken Valley in winter, be prepared, because in a country accustomed to the cold, winter activities are essential.
Take a cup of chocolate from Schuh
In a land of cold winters and chocolate tradition like Switzerland, the best remedy to combat low temperatures is a cup or a Chocolate fondue.
At the heart of Interlaken, enjoy it in the iconic Cafe Schuh, which also has a store dedicated to the food of the gods; or at the Top o’Met, the panoramic restaurant of the Métropole hotel, which also serves sweets and offers a privileged view of the city.
After your meal, try a glass of Cherry liqueur with german kirsch, very popular also in Swiss lands.
Practice your favorite winter sport
Interlaken is a paradise for winter sports. The most obvious is skiing, as the city is surrounded by more than 250 km of slopes connected by funiculars and trains.
But in the streets of Interlaken, there are companies that offer other adrenaline-charged experiences: heliskiing, sledding, glacier hikes (accessible until October)… Or, if you dare, go paragliding from the nearby rugged mountains and land in Höhematte Park after flying over the lakes and valleys as the crow flies.
Visit the surroundings of Interlaken at any time of the year
Spring, summer, fall or winter; Yes you travel to Interlaken for tourism, do not miss the opportunity to visit the remains of its medieval monastery and its baroque castle, a stone’s throw from the city center; or to stroll through the old town.
Also plan a morning to tour the lakes that connect the city and stop at the pretty little towns that you will find around.
In the idyllic Brienz, on the banks of the Brienzersee, you can take the oldest steam train in Switzerland; and in the city of elasticAlong the Thunersee, in addition to its famous castle, you will appreciate the charm of the cobbled streets of the old town.
And this is just a sample, if you visit Interlaken by car, in a few kilometers you will discover an incredible valley full of attractions to visit.