Interlaken means “Between Lakes” is located between the two beautiful lakes of Switzerland: Lake Thun in West and Lake Brienz in East. Interlaken is a beautiful lakeside resort town that also serves as a fantastic base to visit the breathtaking scenery of the central Switzerland. There are many famous attractions all around Interlaken. The popular activities involve boat tours on the Lake Thun and lake Brienz, thrilling funicular and train rides to the marvelous mountain peaks.
Interlaken has been a famous tourist destination since long. The visitors are flocking to this place since the 17th century. Switzerland has improved the transport facilities around Interlaken to boost the tourism activities around it. The town is so well connected with so many attractions and places that it has become the first choice of stay for majority of the tourists. They stay in Interlaken and enjoy the day trips all around it. There are endless possibilities to enjoy in Interlaken ranging from sports activities, walks, climbs, horse riding and relaxation. The town is ideally located at the base of three world-famous mountains, The Monch, The Eiger and the Jungfrau mountain.
You can read in detail about Lake Thun and 9 Wonders around it by clicking Here
History of Interlaken Switzerland
The Interlaken Monastery was built around 1133 and the village around it started to grow. A mill was built on the left bank of the river Aare. The mill is mentioned as Amuli in the books from 1365. Some swords from the Bonze Age and coins from the Roman era have been found near the Interlaken indicating some historical presence of a community around it. The tourism to Interlaken was disturbed during the World War I and II. In 1955, Interlaken rebranded itself with great interconnected transportation system between the top attraction sites around it. The town also got famous as a conference and convention center.
11 Attractions in Interlaken Switzerland
The Harder Kulm
The Harder Kulm is one of the top tourist attractions in Interlaken. You can hike or take a funicular to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Lake Thun, Lake Brienz and the three magnificent mountains peaks in the region. The viewpoint is at 1322 meters above sea level and has a wonderful glass floor. Hiking to the top is one of the best experiences in Interlaken that can take up to 3 hours. On the other hand, the funicular only takes 10 minutes to take you up. There is also a romantic and panoramic restaurant at the top where you can enjoy a nice meal and a drink.
Schynige Platte is an amazing ridge at a height of 2000 meters on the Schwarzhorn mountain near Interlaken. Interlaken town looks very tiny from the top. The other amazing views are of the Schreckhorn mountain which is a northernmost peak. There is also a beautiful Alpine garden with a beautiful variety of around 650 flowering plants. You can further hike around to see more wonderful views of the 3 famous mountains Eiger, Jungfrau and Monach around Interlaken.
To reach Schynige Platte, you can take a railway from Wilderswil. Wilderwils is just a 5 five minutes’ walk from the Interlaken OST railway station. The interesting thing about the Schynige Platte railway is that it is a 19th century old rack railway that has been carrying tourists to the top since 1893. The one-hour railway ride is itself a blessing for the eyes as you can see the amazing views of the alps among the way.
Lake Brienz is a wonderful lake near Interlaken town with turquoise water and lovely views of the mountains around it. The lake has been famous for boat tours since the 19th century. There is a fleet of 5 vessels that can take you to different destinations around the lake. The famous sites around the lake are the 500 meters waterfall and a grand hotel Giessbach.
The boats also offer food and dining experience during the cruise. You can also explore the lake by yourself and hire kayaks, row boats and pedal boats for the purpose. The bike ride around the lake is also a wonderful experience many tourists like to enjoy. The walking around the lake is like a meditation with such wonderful calming views of lake and mountains.
The Jungfraujoch near Interlaken Switzerland
You cannot miss this attraction while staying in Interlaken. Jungfraujoch railway station is the highest train station in Europe. To reach here, you will take a train from the Interlaken OST train station. The Interlaken train is more than 100 years old and you will definitely enjoy the unbelievable views during your journey. There is a 7 kilometers tunnels at the end, and after the tunnel you will reach the Jungfraujoch railway station. There is an amazing observatory which serves breathtaking views of the alps. From Top of Europe building you can see the frozen Aletch Glacier which is the UNESO World Heritage Site. There are also restaurants and some attractions available to increase your enjoyment time.
St Beatus Caves and Waterfall
St Beatus caves are named after the 6-th century Irish monk, Beatus. It is believed that he overthrew a dragon and moved here to live. This karst cave system is located above the northeastern side of Lake Thun. These hillside caves have more than one-kilometer walkways that lead you through impressive chambers and passageways. You will see many interesting objects, columns, pillars, small lakes and underground waterfalls.
There is a cave museum on the site where you can learn about the history of these caves in detail. The museum displays objects and information about how the caves were discovered and their geology.
Unterseen near West Interlaken Switzerland
This small and pretty old village is one of the many small villages that form Interlaken. Unterseen is a great escape from crowd as it is quieter and less busy than Interlaken. It is located near the West Train station of Interlaken on the shore of Lake Thun. This place is ideal to get the feeling of a traditional Swiss village with farms and animals that you will see around. There are small restaurants in the village that serve traditional Swiss dishes.
In the old market area, there is a 13th century church with a Gothic tower. You will also see a restaurant called Stadthaus, which started as an inn for cattle hoarders and then turned into a town hall and then again turned into a restaurant. You will also see an old museum which displays the information about the Interlaken and its development.
Höheweg in Interlaken Switzerland
Höheweg is a major street in Interlaken which runs parallel to the River Aare. The street is famous for the high-class hotels. If you are walking towards the Unterseen, you will see a variety of boutiques, bars, cafes and luxury hotels. The Interlaken Casino is also located here.
Interestingly the left side of the street has no construction, but a line of beautiful flower gardens and parks. This provides an amazing view of the Alps from all the hotels, cafes and bars on the right side.
Höhematte Park in Interlaken Switzerland
Höhematte Park is located at the left side of the Höheweg street if you are facing towards Unterseen. A group of 37 hotel owners combined to acquire this 14 hectares of land in 1860 and left it open. This was one of the best examples of a wonderful town planning vision by the residents of the town. There is a small Garden of Friendship near the park which is the first Japanese garden in Switzerland. In winters the park hosts an ice rink. The park is also famous and favorite spot for the landing of hang gliders.
Weissenau Nature Reserve
Just like Unterseen, Weissenau Nature Reserve is also one of the best places to enjoy the views in a calm and quite place. This wetland site is less busy and provide excellent views of the Eiger, Monach and Jungfrau mountains. This is a great place for walk especially in summer, when you can enjoy the beautiful presence of birds, flowers and lake during your walk on the wooden walkway. You will also see Weissanau Castle which is mostly ruins. This is a Swiss National Heritage Site which dates back to the 1200s.
Spiez near Interlaken Switzerland
Speiz is also a wonderfully beautiful town located just a few minutes away from the Interlaken West station. You can reach here by train, car or boat as your desire. The town is highly picturesque and a joy for the eyes as the town is wrapped in vineyards. The town has a museum about the history of winemaking in Spiez. There is also a beautiful 1000 years old Romanesque church in Speiz.
This is one of the most admired and best spots in Interlaken to enjoy the beautiful views of the surroundings. This is one of the 3 bridges that are constructed to enhance the experience of the visitors of Lake Thun. The plan is to create total 7 bridges but so far Panoramabrücke Sigriswil is considered as the best one out of the current three. The bridge leads to the town of Oberhofen which is a wonderful site for the tourists. Oberhofen has a beautiful castle and beach along the Lake Thun. The view of the alps from the bridge on top of the deep blue waters is simply amazing.
Famous Activities in Interlaken
Now that we know about some of the best attractions of Interlaken, Lets also talk about the wonderful and famous activities in Interlaken.
Paragliding and Hot Air Balloon
Paragliding is one of the best or we can say must activity while visiting Interlaken. The views around Interlaken are so amazing, so wonderful and Paragliding gives us the chance to enhance our experience to another level. Paragliding is safe for the beginners and an expert instructor assists you during your flight. As we know the Interlaken is centered between the two amazing lakes and Swiss mountains, so this experience is going to be one of the best ones of your life.
You can also experience the same wonderful views through a Hot Air Balloon ride. There are also other similar activities, like hang gliding, parachute jumping and a helicopter ride over the town that will give you similar experiences.
Kayak trip in Interlaken Switzerland
Another famous activity in Interlaken is the kayak tour. The tour is a good way to take some time out to explore the lakes and the views in a very calm environment. There are very nice and professional guides to assist you during your trip. The majority of the tourists come in Interlaken for the views, and amazing views are what you are going to get from this trip as well. The canyoning in Interlaken is also a very popular choice among the tourists.