Visit Interlaken – Harder Klum
Head to the Harder Kulm Panorama Restaurant for lunch. It’s an 8 minute funicular ride after walking 5 minutes from Interlaken Ost. The restaurant looks over the valley, the city, the lakes and the mountains. The views are fabulous on a sunny day. Even on a cloudy day, the glacial waters of Interlaken are a beautiful turquoise blue.
Interlaken and Lake Thun from Harder Kulm
Visit Interlaken – Schynige Platte
Take a 10 minute train ride from Interlaken to Wilderswil. Then board the cog train to Schynige Platte. Visit the Alpine Garden. Check the flower schedule online. Take a short hike to see the views north to Interlaken lakes and south to Grindelwald, the Lauterbrunnen valley and the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau peaks. Instead of taking the train back down, you can hike about 4 hours all the way from Schynige Platte to First and then take the gondola down to Grindelwald. The cog train trip from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte is included in a Jungfrau Pass and so is the Grindelwald-First gondola.
Schynige Platte, Erich Westendarp
Panorama Trail – Männlichen Valley
Ride the train via Interlaken – Lauterbrunnen – Wengen. Next take the gondola from near the train station in Wengen to reach Mannlichen. The views over Wengen and the Lauterbrunnen Valley on this gondola ride are fabulous. Plus this gondola has an open-air balcony option. Then take the Royal Walk up to the Mannlichen lookout or hike the Panorama Trail along the Mannlichen Valley slope for about an hour to reach Kleine Scheidegg. From Kleine Scheidegg, ride the train back to Wengen or continue by train to Grindelwald. Afterward take a train back to your original starting point. The Panorama Trail circuit through the Mannlichen Valley can be done in reverse too, but then you will be facing away from the fabulous mountain peaks as you hike toward Mannlichen.
Mannlichen, Walter Frehner
For those staying in Wengen, you can also get off the inclined railway at the Wengenwald stop between Lauterbrunnen and Wengen. Then take a very short hike through the small cliff side traditional Swiss homes until you reach the Moenchblick viewpoint for views of the Lauterbrunnen valley. This is a more secluded and pastoral hike with pleasant views, but not as spectacular as the views from the gondola ride from Wengen. Drones get great views as they climb here, because of the spectacular transition from rural forests to a complete view of the Lauterbrunnen valley below.
First Skywalk, Allyson Sarilho
Grindelwald – First
Use your Jungfrau Pass to reach Grindelwald from Interlaken or a number of other villages in the Bernese Oberland. For example, you could train through Lauterbrunnen to Wengen, take the gondola up to Mannlichen and then another gondola all the way down to Grindewald Terminal.
From Grindelwald Terminal train station, walk 10 minutes or use your Jungfrau Pass for a free short bus ride to reach the Firstbahn Gondola. The Firstbahn takes you to the Bort gondola station, the Schreckfeld gondola station and then to First. At the First gondola station you can enjoy the free First Cliff Walk and hike to the Backalpsee for a classic picture of the lake and the Alps. The trail continues all the way to Schnigye Platte, if you prefer a one way full day hike.
In First, you have the option to ride the First Flyer (Flieger) zip line back down to the Schrekfeld gondola station or take a tandem parasail ride from First back down to Grindelwald. At the Schrekfeld gondola station, you can be strapped in to the First Glider up to First and then “glide” the line back down to Schrekfeld. From Schrekfeld, rent a mountain cart on a one way ride down to the Bort gondola station. Continue your adventure on a one way trottibike rental from the Bort gondola station all the way back down to Grindelwald. Discount combination packages are available for the Flyer, Glider, Mountain Cart and Trottibike.
Grindelwald, Allyson Sarilho
Your Jungfrau Pass also allows you to ride buses from Grindelwald to Grosse Scheidegg, Bussalp, Waldspitz and the Luftseilbahn gondola station. Jungfrau Pass holders get a discount on the Luftseilbahn gondola to Pfingstegg, where you can ride the Rodelbahn summer toboggan track or the Fly Line zip line. The summer toboggan and zip line at Pfingstegg are great options for children. If you have nerves of steel, try the Canyon Swing just past downtown Gindelwald on the valley floor.
Visit Interlaken – Aare Gorge Day Trip
Take a day trip from Interlaken to the Aare Gorge, known in German as the Aareschlucht. Catch the train from the Interlaken Ost station on a half hour ride to Meiringen. Then switch trains to the line which runs toward Innertkirchen. Ride two quick stops to the Aareschlucht West station. Walk across the bridge over the Aare River and about 7 minutes further to the Aare Gorge entrance. Pay a small fee to walk up river through the gorge. Alternately you can continue one more station on the train Aareschlucht Ost, which is open only during the summer months. This station is very interesting, as the train stops in a tunnel, where you then exit the tunnel through a door. Once you get outside, you cross a foot bridge over the Aare River to the entrance for a downstream walk through the Aare Gorge.
Aare Gorge, Werner Sidler
Your 45 minute hike through the Aare Gorge uses scaffolding over the river and tunnels along the route. Colored lights illuminate the gorge on Friday and Saturday evenings. At the narrowest point in the Gorge, called the Kleinen Enge, you can touch both sides of the gorge at the same time. Surprisingly, at either end of this narrow gorge, the Aare River flows through flat, pastoral settings. When the Aareschlucht Ost station isn’t open, you have the option to return through the forest or through the gorge. Near the west entrance you can also catch a funicular to Reichenbach Falls.
You can also add on a series of cable car rides to your Aare Gorge Day Trip. Walk about 10 minutes or take the #174 bus from the Meiringen train station to the Meiringen Luftseilbahn gondola station. From there ride up to Hasliberg Reuti, Bidmi, Magisalp and finally the Alpen Tower gondola station. Enjoy the restaurants and hiking along the way. The Alpen Tower Panorama Restaurant and the Magisalp Lounge Chair Oasis are both very popular.
Eggishorn, Erich Westendarp
Visit Interlaken – Aletsch Glacier Day Trip
Ride the train 2 hours from Interlaken to Betten. Then take the Betten Talstation gondola up to Bettmeralp. Next transfer to the gondola that takes you up to Betterhorn. You don’t see the Aletsch Glacier until you reach the very top of your gondola ride. The Aletsch Glacier is the largest glacier in the Alps. If you visit the Jungfraujoch, you also see the other end of the Aletsch Glacier where it begins flowing down.
Another alternative for viewing the Aletsch Glacier is to continue past Betten to Feisch and then ride the gondolas up to the Eggishorn. The Eggishorn is farther up along the glacier than the Betterhorn. Many people debate which has the better view. Settle the matter yourself by hiking an hour between Bettmeralp and Feischeralp so that you can see both viewpoints.
Visit Interlaken – Jungfrau Pass
The Jungfrau Pass offers options from 3 – 8 consecutive days which include use of any of the following:
Jungfrau Pass – Railways
- Interlaken Ost – Wilderswil – Zweilütschinen – Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen
- Wilderswil – Schynige Platte
- Grütschalp – Winteregg – Mürren
- Lauterbrunnen – Wengen – Kleine Scheidegg – Grindelwald or Eiger Glacier
- Discount on Jungfrau Bahn from Eiger Glacier to Jungfraujoch
Jungfrau Pass – Gondolas
- Lauterbrunnen – Grütschalp
- Grindelwald – Bort – Schrekfeld – First
- Eiger Express (Grindelwald Terminal – Eiger Glacier)
- Grindelwald Terminal – Männlichen
- Wengen – Männlichen
- Interlaken – Harder Kulm
- Discount Grindelwald – Pfingstegg
Jungfrau Pass – Grindelwald Buses
- Ortsbus Grindelwald
- Grindelwald – Grosse Scheidegg, Bussalp or Waldspitz
Jungfrau Pass – Lake Thun & Lake Brienz Cruises
- included with passes of 5 days or more
Jungfrau Pass – What’s Missing
- Murren – Birg – Shilthorn Gondolas
Regional Pass – Bernese Oberland
Available for 3, 4, 6, 8 or 10 consecutive days. Covers a wider area than the Jungfrau Pass, including
- Rail access from Interlaken to Spiez, Thun, Kandersteg, Brienz, Brig, Meiringen, Bern and Lucerne
- Rides on the Brienzer Rathorn Rack Railway & to the Niederhorn, Mt Niesen, Oeschinen Lake and Pfingstegg
- Discounts on the Schilthorn, Jungfraujoch, Eggishorn and Mt Titlis
Get to Interlaken
There are no major airports servicing Interlaken. Most visitors get to Interlaken on the Swiss Rail system. The train takes about 2 hours to get to Interlaken from Zurich’s international airport. Interlaken is about 3 hours from Geneva. One of the longest tunnels in the world connects Interlaken with Visp and provides access to Zermatt. Since Interlaken is a small town, most places are within walking distance from the two main train stations – Interlaken Ost (East) and Interlaken West.
From Interlaken Ost there are a series of train and cable car gondola options to the Jungfraujoch or the Schilthorn. The geography forces you to pick one side of the valley and leave the opposite side for another day. A Swiss Travel Pass includes 50% discounts on cable cars and 25% off the Jungfrau Railway cog train. The Swiss Pass also provides free access to the buses in Interlaken and to the boats that tour Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. If you are staying more than 3 days, your best bet is a Jungfrau Pass as it includes a remarkable number of train trips and gondolas in the Bernese Oberland.
Aletsch Glacier, Klaus Stebani
Interlaken can be very cool, because it is in a glacial valley surrounded by the Alps. So, the Interlaken weather in town is not necessarily a good indication of what’s happening on the mountains. July and August are the height of summer. Expect average highs of 75 F (24 C) and average lows of 55 F (13 C). During the winter months from December – January expect average highs of 37 F (3 C) and average lows of 27 F (-3 C). Precipitation levels are higher in the summer. June or September are excellent months to avoid the height of the summer tourist season and still enjoy comfortable temperatures.
Accommodation in the Bernese Oberland
- Interlaken – the entry point to the Bernese Oberland
- Lauterbrunnen – access to Murren, Gimmelwald and Wengen
- Murren – no cars, access to the Schilthorn
- Wengen – no cars, access to Kleine Scheidegg and Lauterbrunnen
- Grindelwald – access to Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraujoch