Panoramic view of Old City and Aare River, Interlaken

Things to do in  Interlaken

Made for mountain adventure

There are few places better to find outdoor adventure in the Swiss Alps than in Interlaken, the lively alpine town known as the Adventure Capital of Switzerland. With Lake Brienz and Lake Thun at its shoulders and mountains at its head and heels, Interlaken sits within easy reach of outdoor fun in the Bernese Oberland. The outdoorsy types who flock here can get extreme kicks from activities like bungee jumping or relax with serene hikes and summertime swimming—there’s no shortage of things to do.

Top 15 attractions in Interlaken

Lucerne (Luzern)

Situated on the shores of sparkling Lake Lucerne, at the base of Mount Pilatus, the city of Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s most scenic destinations and a popular basecamp for exploring the Swiss Alps. Visit to see the city’s historic medieval center, then head into the mountains for hiking, cycling, and winter sports adventures.More

Jungfraujoch Sphinx Observatory (Sphinx-Observatorium)

Perched on a rocky precipice 11,716 feet (3,571 meters) above sea level, the Sphinx Observatory is a working lab with a large telescope. The landmark sits on Jungfraujoch peak—known as the "Top of Europe"—and offers stunning views of the Bernese Alps and beyond from its observation deck, one of the highest in Switzerland.More

Lake Thun (Thunersee)

Lake Thun—or Thunersee as it’s known locally—is a glacial lake near Interlaken. Its bright turquoise water and the surrounding mountains and valleys are pure picture-postcard Switzerland.More

Harder Kulm

High above the Swiss town of Interlaken stands Harder Kulm, a viewpoint with panoramic views of the mountains and valleys of the Berner Oberland region. Visitors can hike to the spot from town, or take a funicular railway. Once at the top, you can enjoy the views, have a refreshment, and enjoy a variety of attractions.More


Nicknamed the “Mountain of Mountains,” the Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks in Europe, reaching a mighty 14,692 feet (4,478 meters). Known for its jagged triangular shape, it’s one of Switzerland’s most famous peaks—not only for its views, but also for its appearance in the logo for Toblerone, the iconic Swiss chocolate brand.More

Lake Brienz (Brienzersee)

Lake Brienz (Brienzersee) is one of the two lakes that flank the popular resort town of Interlaken. The village of Brienz, which sits on the opposite side of the lake (and from which the lake takes its name), is a picture-perfect Swiss spot made up of traditional wooden chalets with the snow-capped Alps rising behind them.More


The Jungfrau, a sky-high saddle in the Swiss Alps and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers jaw-dropping views of the Bernese Oberland’s massive glaciers and snowy peaks. Travel by narrow cog railway to Jungfraujoch and stand on “the Top of Europe” as you gaze out at the Aletsch Glacier, the longest glacier in Europe, and far, far beyond.More

Aletsch Glacier

Covering a total area of over 45 square miles (72 square kilometers, the Great Aletsch Glacier is the largest glacial landscape in Europe. It’s located in the eastern Swiss Alps flanked by the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains.More


It might not be a household name, but with a panorama spanning some of Europe's most iconic peaks—including Jungfrau, the Eiger, and even the distant Mont Blanc—the Schilthorn summit offers one of Switzerland's most spectacular mountain views. The 9,744-foot (2,970-meter) mountain lies in the Bernese Alps and is famous for its revolving mountaintop restaurant, Piz Gloria, which was featured in the 1969 James Bond movieOn Her Majesty's Secret Service.More

St. Beatus Caves (St. Beatus-Höhlen)

Legend has it that in the 6th century, a dragon took shelter in these caves while the monk and hermit Beatus of Lungern was hunting him. The St. Beatus Caves (St. Beatus Hohlen), which sit next to the lakes of Interlaken, were formed over many centuries and are full of stunning stalagmites, stalactites, lakes, and waterfalls.More

Grindelwald First

Located just north of Grindelwald, the 7,106-foot (2,166-meter) First Mountain is one of the region’s most accessible peaks. Affording spectacular views of the neighboring Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains, it’s a scenic spot for hiking and skiing.More

Adventure Park Interlaken (Seilpark Interlaken)

Home to nine unique courses of varying difficulty level, this high ropes park in Interlaken is a nature lover and thrill seeker’s paradise. Adventurers can experience more than 120 unique physical challenges across the park’s treetop ziplines, bridges, and swings, while little ones can have a go on the family-friendly Butterfly Walk.More

Aare Gorge

A series of suspended walkways and cave tunnels make this limestone gorge easily accessible for explorers after an intimate glimpse of the Alpine landscape. Formed by Ice Age glaciation, the mile-long Aare Gorge (Aareschlucht ranges in width from three to 100 feet and flanks the Aare all the way from the Grimsel Pass to Lake Brienz.More

Grimsel Pass

The Grimsel Pass route through the Swiss Alps reaches some 6,500 feet (1981 meters above sea level—linking the canton of Bern with the canton of Valais. Wild and often treacherous, the path was once used by traders and mules to transport Swiss cheese, and holds a sacred place in Switzerland’s history.More

Schynige Platte

Step inside one of the wooden coaches of the historic cogwheel railway that trundles up to Switzerland’s Schynige Platte, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Then get out on the Alpine plateau, where sweeping views of the Eiger mountain and the Jungfrau countryside await you.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Interlaken

Tandem Paragliding Experience from Interlaken
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Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Private Tour from Interlaken
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Schilthorn (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Interlaken
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Canyoning Interlaken with OUTDOOR
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Canyoning Interlaken with OUTDOOR

Bungy Jump Stockhorn with OUTDOOR
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Bungy Jump Stockhorn with OUTDOOR

Canyon Swing with OUTDOOR
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Canyon Swing with OUTDOOR

Schilthorn - Piz Gloria Ticket

Schilthorn - Piz Gloria Ticket

Schynige Platte Admission

Schynige Platte Admission

Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe) Round-Tour from Interlaken
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All about Interlaken

When to visit

With lake and mountain appeal, Interlaken is a year-round destination. If you want to experience more of what this outdoor mecca has to offer, the summer months are best, with fewer rainy days and warmer weather for lake swimming. Music fans may want to plan for the Greenfield Festival in June and the Lake Brienz Rock Festival and Thunfest, which set the lakes abuzz in August.

Getting around

Unlike nearby Wengen, Interlaken allows cars, and you can reach the town with ease by road. However, the train journeys are easy into Interlaken, and it’s worth ditching the car and using the efficient Swiss public transportation system instead. Check out the Swiss Travel Pass, which covers unlimited journeys by train, boat, and bus in the area; the big plus for families is that children travel free.

Traveler tips

With all the adrenaline rushing around in Interlaken, you’ll be forgiven for taking a break. Those who are ready for a breather (or those who like a relaxed approach) can get some decent downtime in the spas of Interlaken’s wellness hotels, enjoying steaming hot saunas or a massage with mountain views. At Lake Brienz, there are even “hot pot” options where you can lounge with friends in a lakeside hot tub, sharing a Swiss cheese fondue.


People Also Ask

Is two days enough in Interlaken?

Yes. Nestled between lakes Brienz and Thun, Interlaken offers plenty of things to do over two days. Dedicate one day to Interlaken itself, then the second day to one of the lakes. If you have more free time, Interlaken makes a great base for a week exploring the Bernese Oberland.

Is Interlaken in Switzerland worth visiting?

Yes, most people find Interlaken well worth a visit. Fearless adventurers can get their lake-and-mountain thrills amid spectacular surroundings, while less-active visitors can get their kicks from the spas and guided tours instead. And unlike some European alpine towns, Interlaken has excellent transportation links for easy journeys in and out.

What is Interlaken known for?

Interlaken is known as an adventure sports hot spot, and most visitors have more activity options than time. Paragliding, bungee jumping, canyoning, and river rafting make up some of the summertime fun. In winter, skiers can use the town as a base to access the slopes of Mürren, Grindelwald, or Wengen.

Is Grindelwald better than Interlaken?

It depends. Grindelwald has village ambience, and serious hikers and skiers can hit the trails and pistes right away. Interlaken, with its transportation links and town facilities, is a better base for exploring the Bernese Oberland. It’s also a good choice for water sports, being close to two big lakes.

Is Interlaken walkable?

Yes, Interlaken town isn’t too big, and it’s easy enough to walk around its shops and cafés. Public transportation will get you to nearby hiking routes and attractions like the Giessbach Falls without hassle. Plus, transit options include cogwheel trains, aerial cableways, and buses, so you can choose your routes.

Is paragliding in Interlaken worth it?

Yes. Interlaken’s mountain terrain is perfect for aerial adventure and unsurpassable views. While hang gliding is seen as more extreme—flying faster, horizontal to the ground—paragliding offers an upright flight with less of the terror. Plus, many flights include photos from action cameras like GoPros to give you extra bragging rights.

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