Considered by many to be an Alpine wonderland due to its breathtakingly splendid natural environment and numerous fairytale castles perched atop Regal Hills, Interlaken is a feast for the senses, both visually and culturally.
The city is located between two huge lakes and is surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the Alps, such as the towering Jungfrau.
Interlaken is a charming destination in itself, with all the temptations of a Swiss resort – such as fondue restaurants and chocolate shops.
This combination means adrenaline junkies and culture lovers flock to enjoy the atmosphere here every year.
However, the towns, canyons and canyons of the surrounding area are often the best attractions, from hiking or skydiving to cross-country skiing – easily accessible from Interlaken.
Here are some of our favorite day trips.
1. Train to Jungfraujoch
What would it be like to travel to Switzerland without visiting the highest railway station in Europe? Jungfrau is famous for ticking off at 3454 meters above sea level.
Not only is it high, but it is located between the spectacular snow-capped peaks of the Aletsch Glacier. The station has an observation deck from which you can see as far as Italy when conditions are clear.
Needless to say, the best way to soak up the jaw-dropping alpine scenery is to take the train that winds its way around the Mönch and Eiger mountains.
Recommended Tour: Jungfrau Full-Day Tour from Interlaken
Without a doubt, the capital is one of the must-see places on our list, and the more rustic Interlaken is easily accessible.
Zurich is a hotbed of stunning architecture, cultural attractions and some of the best cuisine in the country.
The Old Town is an eclectic mix of historic buildings (such as Peter’s Church) and numerous boutiques, chocolate shops and cafés.
Beyond that, you can indulge in culture at galleries like the Kunsthaus, or do some serious window shopping at Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s premier upscale shopping street.
A favorite destination for avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, Grindelwald is known as the “Glacier Village” for its extremely majestic setting and sweeping views of the majestic peaks.
Apart from paragliding, rock climbing and other extreme activities, Grindelwald is also home to the famous “First Flyers”. Named for its connection to First Mountain, the attraction consists of four side-by-side ziplines that allow four people to shoot down at the same time.
With a top speed of 84 km/h, the First Flyer is not for the faint of heart! However, these points are even more valuable than an adrenaline rush.
Less than an hour’s drive northeast of Interlaken, you’ll find the pocket-sized city of Lucerne, packed with enough tourists to keep visitors entertained for days, while still retaining its natural beauty thanks to its majestic setting .
Surrounded by gleaming peaks, the city is a historical and cultural hotspot.
You can visit the old Museggmauer – the walls that protected the city centuries ago – or walk across the Chapel Bridge and the ancient watchtower overlooking the river.
Or, if you’re more adventurous, you can visit Lake Lucerne, a jaw-dropping fjord lake that holds the title of the fourth largest lake in Switzerland.
5. Luchin River
The Lütschine River winds its way through the picturesque Grindelwald valley and is a must-see for anyone looking for a charming country getaway or an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the rapids.
Summer days along the river are mesmerizing, with elegant chalets lining its banks and alpine forests lining the mountainside.
There are plenty of places to hike and picnic, but if you’re looking for a thrill, you can start a whitewater rafting adventure with one of the many reliable tour operators, culminating in tranquil Lake Brienz.
Suggested itinerary: From Interlaken: 4-hour rafting on the Lütschine River
6. Saxony Gorge
Closer to Interlaken, you’ll find this alpine gorge on either side of the Saxony, a hotspot for climbers and adrenaline junkies.
Although challenging in some ways, the breathtaking views of the distant mountains and impressive rock faces will make for an unforgettable experience as you brave the different sections.
Choose from abseiling, rock climbing, sliding down rock slides into crisp diving pools – or all of the above! There is no limit to the number of activities you can do here; breaking a sweat in the stunning alpine setting is an unforgettable experience.
Recommended itinerary: Interlaken Canyoning
7. Chris Schlier
Embark on a highly personalized tour of the Chli Schliere Gorge, another adrenaline-pumping journey through the rocky passages of Interlaken’s most beautiful canyons.
The best tours are small groups of no more than 10 people, which means you get a personalised experience from a professional guide.
With your helmet and wetsuit on, you’ll be ready to plunge into the slippery slides and jumps that make up the thrilling canyon.
Be sure to try to pick a day with favorable weather so you can warm up quickly and enjoy the experience.
Available Tours: Chli Schliere Canyoning
8. Bagleg Snow Park
No trip to Switzerland is complete without skiing, and Snowpark Bärgelegg offers ample opportunities.
The park has runs for all skill levels and is very accessible to even the most novice skiers.
It’s also known for having stunning views of the Jungfrau region if you just want to look up and spend the day in the snow without renting any gear.
9. Chillon Castle
A fairytale castle in a fairytale setting, there is no doubt that Chillon Castle is one of Switzerland’s most popular castles, not to mention one of its most beautiful.
Less than a two-hour drive from Interlaken, Chillon Castle sits on a small island in the beautiful waters of Lake Geneva.
With the majestic Alps in the background and the castle itself reflected in the tranquil lake water, you couldn’t ask for a more impressive view.
Home to nobles and lords for centuries, the castle has a fascinating history, one highlight being the ominous dungeon!
Also conveniently located on the shores of Lake Geneva – also known as Lac Léman – Montreux is a vibrant and charming lakeside town that exudes a positive personality.
The colourful streets host regular jazz and arts festivals, although every day is fun.
Home to the Charlie Chaplin Museum, beautiful flower markets and cozy cafés, Montreux is a popular destination for those looking to escape the big city. All its attractions are within walking distance.
Be sure to explore the surrounding fields in summer, as the flowers are in full bloom, making for a spectacular spot for a picnic.
Less than a two-hour drive from Interlaken is the picturesque alpine town of Gruyères, which is over 800 years old and retains most, if not all, of its original features .
That’s part of what makes this town so delightful: the houses, churches and castles all make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time.
The castle itself is interesting, and there are other famous attractions like the Tibet Museum, which curiously displays one of the best Buddhist artifacts in Europe.
Those looking to pamper themselves will be happy to know that Gruyère is considered the cheese capital of Switzerland, so a visit to La Maison du Gruyère is almost mandatory.
12. Lake Thun
Compare that to a fast-paced thrill ride on the Lütschine River, or even a train across the Alps – for some, nothing beats the leisurely pace of a boat ride across the lake.
Lake Thun is the perfect place to do this; you can even get there by cruise ship from Interlaken.
The views from the water level are almost incomparable; the magnificence of the surrounding mountains cannot be overlooked, with the snowy peaks gleaming in the distance.
13. St. Bitus Cave
Above the majestic Lake Thun you’ll find the little-known but fascinating St. Beatus cave.
Said to be named after a monk who made his home there around 2,000 years ago, the caves are built into steep rock faces and have since been developed.
With its walkways and entire buildings built into the cliffs, it’s an interesting place to learn about the history of the area and a picturesque and unique destination.
Trümmelbachfälle is one of Switzerland’s most spectacular nature resorts, although the pronunciation can be a bit tricky.
While not the only series of waterfalls in the country, it is certainly one of the most impressive.
Due to the glacial composition of the area, it has some truly jaw-dropping waterfalls – Trummelbach Falls is one of the best.
Comprising 10 different waterfalls, you will have the opportunity to view them from behind the falling water through a series of caves and trails.
Probably the closest destination to Interlaken, half an hour drive from town, get ready to escape the city in the charming little resort of Wengen.
The resort is small and beautiful, overlooking the Lauterbrunnen valley with its low-lying pine forest and mountain backdrop.
Nestled in traditional wooden houses and surrounded by world-class hiking routes, Wengen is a must-see for those seeking peace and quiet.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Interlaken, Switzerland
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