Interlaken tourist attractions, activities, sightseeing, travel guide.
The best way for going around Interlaken is on foot. You can either walk carelessly around or choose a more systematic way of sightseeing. From the tourist office you can get a copy of What to Do in Interlaken which will give you some specific information.
You should visit the Höheweg Park which covers a territory of 14 hectares and is located right in the centre of the town. The land was first property of the Augustinian monks and then was bought by the hoteliers in the area. From Höhenpromenade you can even see the Jungfrau Mountain. One should also see the flower clock on the Kursaal casino. Your walk will be surrounded by hotels, cafes and gardens and you will certainly see fiacres (cabs, drawn by horses).
Across the Aare River you can visit Unterseen, built by Berthold von Eschenbach in 1280. There you can see a parish church with a tower dating back to 1471. This is a very popular place in Oberland and from there you can see the Jungfrau and the Mönch.
In Interlaken you can visit the Touristik-Museum der Jungfrau-Region which shows the tourist development of the place through the last two centuries. The museum is open from May till October.
From the West train station you can get a fiacre with which to tour around Interlaken, Matten and Unterseen. The charge is for half an hour.
You can also visit various animal parks, concerts and travel across the Brienz and Thun Lakes.
Jungfraujoch & Eispalast (Ice Palace)
You can take a train to Jungfraujoch, which is a popular spot at 3,400 meters elevation – the highest station in Europe. On arrival, take time to get used to the air and keep in mind that because of the altitude you may get easily tired.
From there you can easily visit the Eispalast (Ice Palace) which consists of caverns carved in the slowest-moving part of the glacier. The carving (19 meters below the surface of the glacier) began in 1934 and later the caverns were even decorated with sculptures. Everything is from ice, even the real-sized cars and chaplains.
From the station you can go through the Sphinx Tunnel from where an elevator will rise you yet another 107 meters to the Sphinx Terraces. They are a perfect observation point to the Mönch and Jungfrau peaks. From there you can also admire the longest glacier in Europe – the Aletsch Glacier (23 kilometers).
There is also a meteorological and astronomical research station where you can see an exhibition and a presentation.
These are caves above the Thun Lake, said to be a dragon’s den. But in the 6th century came the missionary Beatus who killed the dragon and turned the cave into a residence. The caves are calle Grottes de St-Béat in French and St. Beatus-Höhlen in German. You can get there by bus, boat and car or on foot.
You can’t reach more than 990 meters inside the caves which is also a long trip. You will go along a lit path and will see a reproduction of a prehistoric settlement. You can also see the cell of St. Beatus, plus some amazing stalactites and stalagmites. You can visit it from April till October and there are also guided tours.
You can have a delicious lunch in the restaurant just after the way in the cave or out on a terrace.
You can go to the caves by bus number 21 from the Interlaken bus station (15 minutes trip). By car you should take N8 to Thun and follow the signs. You can also travel by boat for half an hour and walk to the caves for 20 more minutes.
Wilderswil is a famous summer resort only 3 kilometers from Interlaken, between the Brienz and Thun Lakes. It is just at the foot of the Jungfrau Mountains and has various options for accommodation. However people prefer staying in Interlaken and going to Wilderswil only for the trip to the Schynige Platte.
From Interlaken you can get a train (six minutes) to Wilderswil and from there take a cogwheel to the Schynige Platte. It is located at 1 936 meters elevation and the railway to it is rather steep and slow. The journey is available from June till October.
On the Schynige Platte you can visit an alpine garden with around 500 kinds of plants. Near it you can admire the gorgeous view of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
Lake Thun (Thunersee) lies in an old glacier basin and used to be part of the Brienz Lake (Brienzersee). The two lakes separated due to the sediments, deposited by the Lutschine River. Lake Thun is 21 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide. From Bern to it (27 kilometers) there is a rail connection, reaching also to Interlaken.
The lake is very popular in the Oberland and offers water sports like yachting and windsurfing. Around the lake you will find nice swimming pools, golf and tennis courts and even caves.
Near the lake there is the Thun resort, which is now the economical, political and administrative center of Bernese Oberland.
Lake Brienz is smaller (14 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide) and often neglected by the Americans, but definitely preferred by the Europeans. There is also a resort on its shore (Brienz), which faces the Giessbach Falls. There are many master woodcarvers and violin makers there, popular all over Switzerland. You can easily get to the place by train from Interlaken.
The Giessbach Falls can be reached from the Brienz Lake by a funicular and are really famous in the Bernese Oberland. There is a boat from the centre of Brienz to the funicular.
Aare Gorge a place full of caves, grottoes and arches, made by the waters of the Aare River. The gorge is 1 371 meters long and 195 meters deep, carved into the Kirchet – a barrier from the ice age. In some places the walls of the gorge are really narrow and the unique nature phenomenon can be reached only by car. It is open from May till October and you should drive through the Grimsel-Susten road along the Kirchet.
Other places of interest include Harder Kulm, Heimwehfluh, Meiringen, Rosenlaui Valley, Reichenbach Falls and more.