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15 Stunning Day Trips From Interlaken to Discover the Best of Switzerland

15 Stunning Day Trips From Interlaken to Discover the Best of Switzerland

Interlaken is Switzerland’s epicentre of outdoor pursuits and lies between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Hiking, kayaking, parasailing, and skiing are all accessible activities in Interlaken.

Still, the spectacular mountain views, fairytale buildings and the thought of a cheese fondue attracted me to venture out on day trips to explore this popular area of Switzerland during my Europe Road Trip.

I will be honest when I say that the town of Interlaken wasn’t what I expected. It was much more commercialised than the picture-perfect Swiss town I had imagined, with casinos and an abundance of top-end Swiss watch shops.

But don’t let that put you off, as I loved exploring the villages and towns around Interlaken. I would say it is the perfect place to base yourself to see some of the most beautiful places in Switzerland.

In this post, you can read about 15 beautiful day trips from Interlaken that you can include in your Switzerland trip itinerary.

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Most Popular Activity in Interlaken

Harder Klum

The most popular activity in Interlaken is to take the funicular up to Harder Kulm for a fantastic viewpoint that looks back down over the town, lakes (Thunersee and Brienzersee) and across to the Bernese mountains.

A beautiful restaurant is at the top of Harder Klum, with an outdoor bar selling alcohol and snacks.

A trip to Harder Klum is the best thing to do in Interlaken, so it gets very busy. Try arriving on the first or last funicular if you want it to be less crowded at the top, or hike the steep 4km hill if you are super fit!

Make sure to have a photo taken on the walkway with the resident cow that resides on Harder Klum – it’s that must-have photo when in Interlaken!

Check out pricing and availability on for places to stay in Interlaken

The Best Ways To Travel Around Interlaken

By Public Transport

In Switzerland, the public transport connections run like clockwork but are very expensive. It is the only way to get around if you aren’t planning to drive; however, some places can only be reached by car, so remember when planning day trips.

If you will be staying in the Bernese Oberland for three days or more and are planning on getting around by public transport, purchasing the regional Berner Oberland Pass may be best.

By Car

If you are road-tripping through Europe, getting around Interlaken by car will be easy.

Ensure you have purchased a Swiss Vignette Toll Pass; otherwise, you could receive a fine.

If you haven’t got a car, you can easily hire a car in Switzerland for a few days to really get out and about and explore the Jungfrau region.

Fairytale Swiss Day Trips from Interlaken


To sum Lauterbrunnen up in a word would be hard because there are so many great things about it.

Charming Swiss chalet buildings, magnificent waterfalls, first-class restaurants and hikes that will take you through the magical Swiss countryside are just a taster of what to expect.

Lauterbrunnen is the perfect day trip from Interlaken and one of the best locations to visit the other beautiful small towns and villages in the Jungfrau region.

By rail from Interlaken, hourly trains depart from Interlaken East Train Station. Taking the 20-minute journey by train to Lauterbrunnen is very easy.

Information on train stations in the Jungfrau Region can be found here.

A view of the village, river , houses and waterfall


The tiny cliff-side, car-free village of Murren is an image of fairytale Switzerland in all its glory. It can be reached by cable car from Lauterbrunnen and is one of the best hiking spots in the Alps. Wander along trails through Swiss wildflower meadows and listen out for the sound of the cowbells ringing as the cows graze on the mountainside.

Once in Murren, the Northface Trail offers keen hikers the chance to explore the area.

A 5-minute funicular train from Murren will take you up to the mountain top of Allmendhubel. Here you will find the flower walking trail and a restaurant with uninterrupted views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains.

There are numerous hikes through the beautiful alpine scenery, including a hiking trail that leads up to the Schilthorn. 


Schilthorn is home to the Piz Gloria viewpoint and, at 2,960 metres, is one of the best views accessible by cable car from Lauterbrunnen or Murren. It is affectionately known as the “007 viewpoint” after the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Service” was filmed here.

At the top of the mountain, you will find a restaurant. Time a visit for sunset for possibly the most stunning views of the Swiss skyline that you could imagine.

Click to book this activity – Cable Car Roundtrip to Schilthorn: Piz Gloria & Bond World.

a building perched at the top of a snow covered mountain with the sun setting behind it


No surprise that Grindelwald is another beautiful Swiss town high on the list of day trips from Interlaken. You can reach the Gletscherschlucht, a stunning glacial canyon, or the mesmerising alpine lake of Bachalpsee from the main town of Grindelwald.

One of the most popular attractions in Grindelwald is taking the cable car to Mount First Cliff Walk (also known as Skywalk Grindelwald).

The walkway hangs over the side of the mountain, allowing for magnificent, if not a little scary, views!

For more adrenaline activities in Grindelwald, try the sky gliders, canyon swing, mountain carts and skiing in winter.

A 45-minute direct train from Ost station to Grindelwald will transport you to an alpine paradise.

lake with mountain in the background which is reflected onto the water.

Jungfraujoch – The Top of Europe

The most popular day trip from Interlaken is to take a trip on the cogwheel train up to Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest-altitude railway station.

The journey takes one and a half hours from the station in Lauterbrunnen, with a stop at Kleine Scheidegg.

From the moment you step aboard this charming form of transport, the views are incredible as it gently makes its ascent to the top of the mountain. It is advisable to arrive early to take this trip as there are many activities to try out at the top of Jungfraujoch.

Book your ticket online, especially during summer.

Jungfraujoch is at 3,454 metres above sea level and is a different world.

With snow at the summit, it’s hard to believe the valley below is swathed in sunshine and green pastures. Oh, and did I mention it is a Unesco World Heritage Site?

A view of the deep snow on top of the mountain.

Kleine Scheidegg

Kleine Scheidegg railway is at the foothills of the Eiger – the most treacherous mountain in the world.

It is the halfway stop for day trip visitors heading to Jungfraujoch by train and has several places to grab a bite to eat and drink before continuing up the mountain.

Kleine Scheidegg also offers visitors some excellent alpine walking trails to explore, with stunning views of the Bernese Oberland mountains.

Looking for the best place to stay in Interlaken? Check out the Hotel Interlaken.

Schynige Platte

Schynige Platte is one of the most accessible mountain locations in the Jungfrau region from Interlaken. It is lesser known than Jungfraujoch or Lauterbrunnen, so it is a tranquil destination to explore.

Like the beautiful alpine train journey to Kleine Scheidegg, this hour-long ascent up the mountain is a fantastic experience.

Step out at the top and head to the botanical alpine gardens for sensational views of the surrounding landscape. The train up to Schynige Platte departs from Wilderswill, which can be reached by car or train from Interlaken.

If you arrive in the summer season, you will undoubtedly hear the sounds of the alphorn players who entertain visitors with sounds from these traditional Swiss instruments. Afterwards, head out on the 4-mile Panorama loop trail to see why Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places in Europe.

red mountain train making its way up to the summit of Schynige Platte

Swiss Lake Day Trips from Interlaken


Medieval castles, St Beatus Caves, lakeside activities and beautiful lake cruises are all waiting to be discovered on Lake Thun.

This day trip to Lake Thun from Interlaken is one of the best. With so much to see and do around Lake Thun, you will be spoilt for choice. If you love fairytale castles in Europe, a trip here is a must, as there are five fairytale Swiss castles on Lake Thun, all with individual character and history.

Thun is picture-perfect, with cobbled streets, waterside restaurants and a stunning covered bridge spanning the River Aare.

A few small artisan shops around the town offer souvenirs alongside traditional Swiss crafts and several historic buildings, including the church and town hall dating back to the 14th century.


To the east of Interlaken is Brienzersee. Take a boat cruise on the azure waters of Lake Brienz and marvel at the mountainous scenery and charming Swiss villages.

You can purchase 1-day boat passes for Lake Thun and Lake Brienz – click here for current prices.

For thrill-seekers, a jet-boat ride from Interlaken will take you from Lake Brienz to Iseltwald. At this well-known picturesque fishing village, you will experience your first spin before heading to Giessbach Falls, a series of spectacular waterfalls.

After a thrilling ride, you will return towards Bönigen, allowing you to enjoy views of the impressive Niesen summit.

Click to book this activity – Interlaken Scenic Jet Boat Ride

Lake Brienz and the surrounding Swiss Alps

Nature Reserve Day Trips from Interlaken

Blausee Nature Reserve

Head to the beautiful nature reserve of Blausee and discover the mesmerising Blausee Lake. It is a popular attraction for visitors on day trips from Interlaken.

Take a glass-bottomed boat across the lake and wonder at the area’s tranquillity. Enjoy a walk through the enchanting forest and find a special spot for a picnic.

Blausee is easiest reached by car and is a 30-minute drive from Interlaken.

the blue waters of Lake Blausee are shadowed by the autumnal colours of the trees around the lake

Weissenau Nature Reserve

A 5k walk along the banks of the River Thun will take you through the Weissenau Nature Reserve.

This easy walk will allow you to explore the lake’s natural beauty, the nature reserve, and the ruins of a medieval fortress. It is a tranquil way to spend some time during a day trip from Interlaken.

Watch for migrating birds using this site as a breeding ground. Also, the many species of orchids growing there.

a boardwalk next to the blue waters of Lake Thun

Adventure Activities In Interlaken

Swiss City Day Trips From Interlaken


From Interlaken, it’s a 2-hour train journey to the beautiful Swiss city of Lucerne.

Unlike the alpine day trips, this one will give you a taste of city life in Switzerland. But forget high-rise buildings and over-pollution. Lucerne is an idyllic city with the River Aare running through it.

Steamboat tours allow tourists to take to the water for views of Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi – both accessible by train or gondola.

One of the leading photography hotspots in Lucerne is the 14th-century Chapel Bridge, decorated with brightly coloured flowers and spanning the river. No day trip is complete without a shot of this iconic Lucerne landmark followed by a cheese fondue at one of the great restaurants in Lucerne that line the waterfront.

You May Also Like To Read: 13 Beautiful Botanical Gardens in Europe


One of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland is Bern. It also happens to be the capital of Switzerland and a Unesco World Heritage Site. Trains from Interlaken will take 55 minutes to reach Bern and are frequent.

There are plenty of things to see and do in Bern, from a visit to revel at the Gothic architecture of Bern cathedral or to hear the chimes of Zytglogge, the iconic 13th-century astronomical clock.

Wander around the old town and stop for a bite to eat in one of the many traditional restaurants in Bern. Afterwards, head to the Einstein or Kunst museums for a burst of Swiss culture or stroll through Bern’s outdoor spaces.

The River Aare runs through Bern, offering delightful waterside trails and river cruises.


Often mistaken as the capital of Switzerland, Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and one of the most popular city break destinations. The journey takes 2 hours from Interlaken by rail and passes through Bern.

Due to its size, Zurich has something for everyone, including museums, parks, and shopping. Stroll along the cobbled streets of the historic old town and view the medieval buildings scattered around the area.

Parking in Zurich can be difficult, so arriving by train rather than car may be easier.

Please Pin for Future Travel to Switzerland

Are you looking for further travel inspiration for Switzerland? Please check out the following posts:

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland: The Best Day Trip from Interlaken

5 Most Beautiful Castles to Visit on Lake Thun, Switzerland

Want to see more of Europe? Check out the 11 Most Beautiful towns in Eastern France to Visit on a Road Trip.

Do you need to arrange travel insurance, car hire or accommodation? Please check out my resources page to help you plan your trip.

Annie H

Sunday 29th of August 2021

Just makes me want to get back to the Alps. I wouldn't bother with the city breaks - but you've added to my list of other places I want to visit next time.

Susan Pazera

Saturday 28th of August 2021

Wow, beautiful post! We are so looking forward to exploring Europe more as travel restrictions continue to ease. These towns and cities in Switzerland are high on our list, for sure!


Saturday 28th of August 2021

Beautiful country. I had no idea there was so much to do there.

Linda (LD Holland)

Saturday 28th of August 2021

We only visited Interlaken for a day trip but wished we booked more time. Now seeing all the road trips from Interlaken, I know our next visit will be much longer. The trips into the Swiss Alps surely are fairytale trips. And so many charming mountain towns.


Saturday 28th of August 2021

There is so much to do in the area and all really accessible from Interlaken. I will definitely be returning to do some hiking.


Saturday 28th of August 2021

Wow! I've never visited this part of Switzerland & not been to the country for years. You have inspired me with this as it just looks & sounds stunning. Thanks for on my list!


Saturday 28th of August 2021

Brilliant - I hope you get there in the future, it is so beautiful.