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Best 10 Things to do in Interlaken [Updated 2022 Travel]

Nov 26, 2020
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Interlaken, which literally means between two lakes, is nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and is an essential part of every Swiss itinerary. The many things to do in Interlaken offers an amazing number of attractions due to its proximity to the lakes, and the formidable Alps that surround it.

Make sure you have slotted at least 3 to 4 nights in Interlaken if you want to cover all the major attractions, which are all easily doable with your Swiss Travel Pass.

Here are the best things to in Interlaken that Swiss locals would suggest:

  1. Jungfraujoch
  2. Harder Kulm
  3. Jetboat Ride
  4. Boat rides on the lakes
  5. Adventure sports
  6. St. Beatus Caves
  7. Interlaken town
  8. Giessbach Falls
  9. Ballenberg Museum
  10. Grindelwald First

1. Jungfraujoch

Travel from Interlaken Ost station via 3 trains that take you to the highest railway station of Europe. With your Jungfraujoch tickets, make your way to the open-air platform to get the best views of the Aletsch glacier surrounded by four thousand metre peaks.

Make sure to visit the Ice Palace with its amazing ice sculptures and try some sledding if you have the time. You can either travel independently with your or take a Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe guided tour.

Travel Tip: Make sure to get out at the viewing stops that the train makes along the way. This helps you to be acclimatized to the rarer air as you go higher. Chewing on a few sour sweets also helps in case you feel a bit giddy headed.

2. Harder Kulm

Get the best view over Interlaken, its lakes and the imposing trio of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.Often called Interlaken's own mountain, the funicular to the Harder Kulm can be accessed from Brienzerstrasse just a short walk away from the Interlaken Ost station.

It takes just 10 minutes to take you to the peak at 1322 metres above sea level. The lovely Panorama restaurant offers a great selection of local cuisine, which you can enjoy whilst enjoying the breathtaking views.

Walk along the Two Lakes Bridge and take a photo with the luckiest cow in Switzerland who stands there mesmerized by the view. Visiting Harder Kulm is one of the best things to do in the Interlaken area.

3. Jetboat Ride

Enjoy 45 minutes of high-speed cruising and 360 degree spins that will have you holding on to your seats.

The ride passes by some beautiful scenery and gives you a close up view of the cascading Giessbach Falls. You will be provided with a splash coat and life jacket so all you need are your courage and your wits!

4. Boat ride on the Lakes

The best way to see the small surrounding towns around Interlaken would be via a boat cruise.

Both lakes Thun and Brienz have regularly departing boats that take you on a leisurely journey of the surrounding areas.

Get off in Thun and walk through the medieval town and visit the lakeside castle, visit Ringgenberg and take a dip in its very own little Burgseeli and walk along the wooded areas.

5. Adventure Sports

Interlaken is a mecca for adventure sports enthusiasts. There is a plethora of activities to do in Interlaken, and you will be sure to find something that caters to your level of skill and thrill.

Whether your preference is the sky or the water, you will have plenty to choose from.

White water rafting, canyoning, hang-gliding, paragliding and skydiving are some of the activities that you can opt for.

A day reserved for the thrill of sport is sure to be one of the highlights of your stay in Interlaken.

6. St. Beatus Caves

Walk through a kilometer of well-lit pathways through this geological site. Walk into the depths of the mountain and discover an ethereal world of stalactites and stalagmites formed by nature millions of years ago.

Legend has it that a dragon took residence in these caves whilst being pursued by the 6th century monk St Beat.

Nevertheless, dragon or not, the caves and the cascading waterfalls around it are definitely worth a visit.

You can take a bus, which you can travel for free with Swiss Pass, from Interlaken and then walk a short way to the caves or take a boat and climb your way up if you feel more energetic.

7. Interlaken Town

The town of Interlaken is an attraction in itself. Spend some time walking the beautiful Hoheweg, the main street that links Interlaken East and West stations and abounds with watch, jewelry and souvenir shops and plenty of cafes and restaurants that suit any taste and budget.

Walk through the Hohematte, a green centre of town spread over 14 hectares of land. The green park is also a favorite spot for the landing of hang gliders and para gliders.

Visit the Garden of Friendship, which is the first Japanese garden in Switzerland.

If you feel it's your lucky night, visit the Casino Kursaal and try your hand at table games, or blackjack - one of the most exciting things to do at night in Interlaken. Wish you luck!

8. Giessbach Falls

Giessbach falls is another attraction that will have you gasping at its beauty. Take a short boat cruise and then a funicular up to the Grand Hotel Giessbach to get a full view of these falls.

To see the falls up close you can even hike all the way. Some sections even take you behind the waterfalls where you can actually feel the spray and hear the roar of the falls as they thunder downward.

If your kids are not up to the hike, there is also a small playground nearby. Instead of taking the funicular down, you can also walk back so that you get a good view of the falls from a lower level.

9. Ballenberg Museum

A unique living history museum, the Swiss Open Air Ballenberg museum is a must visit for adults and children alike - it's a thing to do in Interlaken with family.

The museum started in 1978, with just 16 characteristic Swiss buildings. Today the museum stands over 66 hectares and houses authentic Swiss bake houses, barns, shops and residences most with their original equipment and amenities.

Since almost the last 50 years any old structures that are to be destroyed due to development are dismantled stone by stone or brick by brick and brought to the museum to be recreated.

The museum offers a unique insight into Swiss culture, traditions and rural ways of life. Added bonus: It is free with the Swiss Travel Pass, one of the many benefits of Swiss Travel Pass.

10. Grindelwald First

Last but definitely not the least is a thing to do in Interlaken in one day trip by visiting the Alpine village of Grindelwald, which can be accessed via train in just 35 minutes from Interlaken.

Once in Grindelwald, spend some time exploring the little village and then head off for some excitement to the Grindelwald First.

Reach the peak at 2166m above sea level and take in the amazing views. Then be prepared for the most exciting descent down any mountain!

Take the First Glider or the First Flyer (zip line) to Schreckfeld, then continue downwards by mountain cart and finally trottibike back down to the village.

No other mountain descent is as thrilling as this one.

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