Day 1 in Interlaken
Welcome to Interlaken,
the heart of the Bernese Oberland region!
Upon arrival, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your
hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not
give in to jet lag! There is so much for
you to see and do.
Interlaken is the perfect place to base yourself for exploring the surrounding Alps and Lakes. Situated between two lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienze, Interlaken is surrounded by some of the Alps highest peaks, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. You will find this charming traditional village, with such abundance list of things to do, is guarantee to be an enjoyable time.
Once you arrive in town, start your exploration at the Town Center. There are two sides to Interlaken`s town center, the main street and the streets north of the main street leading to the river. The Main Street boasts many neat shops and restaurants. Spend some time taking in the ambience while enjoying some local cuisine at one of the many restaurants or cafes. If you`re looking to buy some Swiss chocolate, Swiss Army Knives or souvenir type items, then pick them up while you`re here.
After you`ve finished with your shopping, head north through the small collection of streets that lead to the river. Here you will find more traditional buildings decorated with baskets of flowers and colorful window shutters. When you get to the bridge crossing the river, enjoy the view of the turquoise glacier waters moving rapidly towards the lake.
Next, spend some time at the Touristik-Museum (Museum of Tourism), the first regional tourism museum in the country. Exhibitions show the growth of tourism in the region throughout the past 2 centuries and cover everything from early transport and hotels to travel clothing and skiing. The museum is open from May to mid-October.
In the evening, enjoy an atmospheric dinner by the lake, many restaurants offer both indoor and al fresco seating when the weather is nice. If you choose to continue your evening after dinner, there are plenty of bars, pubs and nightclubs in town with something for everyone to enjoy.
Day 2 in Interlaken
Start off your
day with a cruise of the beautiful Lake Thun and Lake
Brienz. Interlaken is home to
two of the finest lakes in Switzerland. And what better way to enjoy them than
with a cruise on one or both of them. A cruise through the crystal clear glacier waters of Lake Then or Lake Brienz takes you past beautiful fishing villages and castles steeped in history. Towering mountains surround
the lake making for some of the most breathtaking scenery.
The Lake Thun cruises depart from the ferry dock near Interlaken West Station and Lake Brienz cruises depart from the ferry dock near Interlaken Ost. A ticket allows for unlimited hop on hop off on both lakes and train travel between Interlaken West and Ost stations.
Alternatively, for the best view of Interlaken, Lakes Thun and Brienz and the surrounding mountains including the big three, Eiger, Monch and Jangfrau, take the funicular up Harder Kulm. In just about eight minutes you reach 4,337 ft above sea level and from the restaurant and viewing area you are met with views that are simply jaw dropping. The viewing platform projects over the slope and has a glass floor.
Stop at the Harder Alpine Wildlife Park to see marmots and ibexes (an extinct denizen of the Alps). This park was created to re-introduce the ibex, and the breeding was so successful that within a few years they were able to begin reintroducing these beautiful creatures into the wild.
This is also a perfect place to start many great hikes through the surrounding mountains.
Day 3 in Interlaken
On your last day in Interlaken, head
to Interlaken Ost railway station for a day trip to depart for an epic
train ride on the Jungfrau
Railway, the highest rail station in Europe. Amazingly, the Interlaken
Line is more than 100 years old, and will lift you in stages through
stunning landscapes; the last part of the ride up is inside a huge tunnel
carved out of the mountains at the turn of the last century. (The train runs
the entire year.)
There are actually two routes, one via Lauterbrunnen, the other via Grindlewald. It is actually the same train from Interlaken Ost, later the train is split in two. Tickets are good for either route and you can take one route up and the other back to see more of the country. Going via either route you physically change trains twice. Once at either Lauterbrunnen or Grindlewald, and the second time at Kleine Scheidegg, where the two routes come back together. From Kleine Scheidegg you make the last leg to the Jungfraujoch. From here, you can enter the Top of Europe Building, which overlooks the permanently frozen expanse of the Aletsch Glacier in the UNESCO Natural World Heritage property of Jungrau - Aletsch - Bietschhorn. There are restaurants and attractions inside, and you can then ride the elevator to the Sphinx Observatory for breathtaking 360° indoor and outdoor views.
There are various winter sport activities available also for those so inclined.
Note: We recommend you leave as early as you can in the day as the journey from the Ost station to the top takes around two and a half hours and you want to beat the clouds that have a tendency to roll over the mountains in the afternoon. You will also have less crowding by leaving earlier.
On the way down you can make stops in any of the charming villages you passed through on the way up. We highly recommend the quant village of Wengen.
Additional Days in Interlaken
Should you be able to
spend additional days in Interlaken there is still so much to see and do. If
you are traveling in winter months, take a day to enjoy the snow
sports of the area. Interlaken is not a ski resort per se, but its
amenities, location and transport connections make it a great place for skiing
or snowboarding. The Jungfrau Ski Region
incorporates, Grindelwald First, Kleine
Scheidegg-Mannlichen and Murren-Schilthorn. Even
closer is Beatenber-Niederhorn to the north of Interlaken,
which has slopes that will suit all levels of skiers. You may also want to try
the toboggan run from the Faulhorn peak
down to Grindelwald.
During the warmer months, there are numerous hikes, look out points, bike rides, mountain peaks, waterfalls, and the list goes on. A more adventurous way to explore is by ziplining down the side of a mountain and then take a scooter bike through the mountainside down to the village of Grindelwald. Whatever you decide, we highly recommend finding an activity that lets you take in the beauty of the Alps outside the villages.
There are also many day trips around the area worth taking. One highlight in the area that is worth a day trip is Europe`s finest living history museums, The Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg. The museum spreads across 124 acres of alpine countryside in a series of village and farmstead groups representing different Swiss regions and their traditional ways of life.
Your Last Day in Interlaken
Depart your hotel for the airport for your return home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer, if so a representative will meet you at the hotel in time to take you to the airport for your flight out.