This blogpost is all about the place which we fondly call “Heaven on Earth” - well no points for guessing that I am referring to Switzerland which undoubtedly charms me every time I visit this country. Today I will share my experience of spending some quality time in Interlaken and the surrounding regions which are nothing less than a picture postcard coming to life!!

1. Scratch the map

Interlaken is a beautiful town in the Bernese Oberland region of central Switzerland and is named so because it is situated between two beautiful lakes namely Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. Being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland, it is surely crowded but that does not dampen its beauty at all!

On the way to Interlaken

Mesmerizing beauty at every turn of the road!!

2. How to reach

The nearest airport for Interlaken is Bern, which is 45 minutes away from Interlaken. However, Interlaken can be easily reached from Zurich via train in approximately 2 hours (91 km from Zurich). There are 2 stations at Interlaken, East & West, West being closer to the city centre, though most trains stop at both stations. You can also drive from Zurich to Interlaken, and you will realize very soon that it is the best possible option as you pass through the amazing green landscapes and beautiful mountainous terrains.

3. Our Tour Highlights

3.a Lake Brienz cruise

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful lakes that I have seen, the turquoise water of Lake Brienz is sure to blow away your mind!! Jump on to a cruise and enjoy the scenic boat ride on Lake Brienz while sipping a glass of Champagne. The boat jetty is located just behind the Interlaken Ost railway station. The boat ride from Interlaken to Brienz village takes one hour with stops at some beautiful villages on the way. If you don’t wish to get off, you can take the same boat back to Interlaken. One can also get a glimpse of the Giessbach waterfalls cascading down into Lake Brienz. You can get down at this stop and take a funicular ride upto the Giessbach Grand Hotel from where you will get a good view of the waterfalls. Tickets for the ferry can be bought at the ticket counter just in front of the jetty. We had bought a 3-day Jungfrau pass which already included cruise tickets for the second class. We had some free time in Brienz village where we also enjoyed some quiet time on the lake in a paddle boat!

Cruise on Lake Brienz

I am simply in love with the colour of this lake !!!

Geissbach Waterfalls

Brienz village

3.b Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe)

Jungfraujoch, also known as ‘Top of Europe’ is a very popular tourist attraction in Switzerland. It has the highest railway station of Europe at an altitude of 3,454 meters. Although very expensive, I would still recommend visiting Jungfraujoch at least once when you are in Switzerland. The beautiful train ride, panoramic views, and a chance to play with snow at one of the highest points in Swiss alps is definitely worth a visit. In order to reach Jungfraujoch from Interlaken, you will need to take a series of trains or gondola. The gondola (also known as Eiger Express) is faster compared to covering the entire journey by trains. First, we took a train from Interlaken to Grindelwald terminal (around 35 minutes) from where we rode the gondola to Eigergletscher station in just 15 minutes. The gondola or cable cars have around 26 seats and are very comfortable for senior citizens as well. The cable cars keep on arriving at the boarding area one after another, so even if there is a queue you can board one quite quickly. The final leg of the journey from Eigergletscher to Jungfraujoch takes approx. 30 minutes via a funicular train ride (this part of the journey is completely through the tunnels). You can also take a different route via Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg using trains but this will take longer time (almost 45-50 minutes more than the gondola ride).

It's better to plan for atleast 2-3 hours at Jungfraujoch since you would hardly like to leave the beautiful snowy surroundings earlier than that!! There is quite a lot to do at the top such as visiting the Ice Palace (walls and sculptures made of ice!), viewing the breathtaking glacier valley from the Sphinx and above all enjoying and playing with the snow at the flag point. Be careful at the flag point since it can be quite slippery due to the thick ice blanket all around. We stayed there for around 3 hours and every moment out in the snow was so much fun- it was undoubtedly one of the main highlights of our Interlaken trip!!

We start with Green.....

We slowly transition to White!!

The Eiger Express

Amidst the snow-clad mountains !!

3.c Stroll along River Aare

Aare River is the longest river flowing completely in Switzerland. A casual walk along this river is the best way to soak in the beauty of the surroundings. The colour of this river is so unique that I could not stop myself from clicking pictures non-stop!! If you want to spend a calm and peaceful evening, find a spot along the riverbank to just sit back and relax. It will be a truly serene experience!!

The beautiful Aare River

View from our balcony- pure bliss!!

3.d Wengen and Männlichen

If you have additional time, I would definitely recommend visiting Wengen. Direct trains are available from Lauterbrunnen to this pretty car-free mountain village in the Swiss Alps. We drove from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen (a very scenic ride again!). However, there are direct trains available from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen as well. From Wengen we took the cable car to Männlichen. The cable car also has an open-air cabin where one can stand and enjoy the unique feel of getting more closer to the beautiful mountains!! We also did a short hike at Männlichen for 1 km (called the Royal Walk) from the top station to the summit viewpoint. The surrounding views at Männlichen are already superb but if you are craving for more, then the Royal walk is definitely worth adding to your to-do list. The breathtaking views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks from the viewpoint is undoubtedly an amazing experience.


View from Cable car (on the way to Mannlichen)

Posing for the shutterbugs!

Hiking to the summit( Royal Walk)

View from the top

Views along the Royal Walk

3.e Harder Kulm

Located at height of 1,322 m above sea level, Harder Kulm Mountain is popular for the marvelous top views of Interlaken along with the two lakes Brienz and Thun. It is easily accessible from Interlaken via a funicular ride of 10 minutes. The station is situated within 5 minutes of walking distance from Interlaken Ost railway station. The Panorama restaurant at the top offers delicious cuisine with the added advantage of amazing views all around. Next to the restaurant is the Zwei-Seen-Steg, or Two Lakes Bridge. The viewing platform is ideal for clicking awesome pictures and gives you a view of both the lakes together with very different colours (on the left is the turquoise Lake Brienz while on the right is the deep blue Lake Thun).

The red funicular peeping through the trees!!

View of Lake Brienz from the top

On the way to the restaurant

The Panorama restaurant

4. Useful Tips

  • Number of days: Spend at least 3-4 nights in Interlaken since there are a lot of things to be done in and around Interlaken.

  • Sturdy shoes: Wear comfortable walking shoes since walking is the best way to enjoy the beauty of this place.

  • Best time to visit: Summer is surely the best time to visit (May- July) but also be aware that there will be a lot of crowd during this time.

  • Travel pass: Switzerland is an expensive destination. So it’s better to check and purchase a travel pass suited to your needs. We had bought the 3-day Jungfrau pass since we wanted to visit Jungfrau and this pass allowed us the flexibility to choose the day (out of 3 consecutive days) as per our wish. Please note that the last leg of the Jungfrau journey is not included in this pass and must be bought separately. However, all other train rides and cruise were included in this pass.

  • Weather: Always check the weather and book the tickets for the mountain summits since nothing is better than a clear sunny day to get the best mountain views!

5. Personal recommendations

  • Accommodation: We stayed in Unterseen (along the Aare river) in Aparthotel Goldey. The location was awesome with amazing views of the river and the mountains. The hotel is also close to the Interlaken Ost railway station (10 minutes walk) which was useful.

  • Hikes: There are multiple hiking trails in this region and one of the best is the Panorama walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. Unfortunately, it was closed when we were there. But do consider adding this hike to your bucket list to get some of the most spectacular views of this region.

  • Paragliding: Interlaken is known for paragliding – so if you are up for some adventure, then definitely consider soaring high among the mountains in a paragliding flight.

6. Goodbye Notes

As I sign-off today, I still feel that words or pictures can’t do enough justice to the beauty of Interlaken. The picturesque landscape of this place is nothing less than pure bliss and a vacation in Interlaken is the perfect way to unwind in the midst of nature. And mark my words--once you visit Interlaken, you will want to go there more often!!