Things to Do in Interlaken, Switzerland
Many travellers use Interlaken as a base to explore the surrounding region; indeed, it’s easy to reach places like Lauterbrunnen, Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald and Kandersteg via train. Some claim there isn’t much to do in Interlaken otherwise – we beg to differ! Granted that it might not be packed with activity when compared to other parts of Switzerland, but Interlaken still has some attractions that are well worth seeing.
Here are my top 3 picks:
Enjoy the panoramic view from Harder Kulm
Travel to the ‘Top of Interlaken’ to Harder Kulm, which stands tall at a height of 1, 322 metres.
Gaze upon unparalleled views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, as well as the majestic mountain peaks of Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger. If you get lucky, you might even spot a rainbow!
The platform juts out into the air and, for the daring, boasts a clear glass panel in the middle of the floor.
Besides this commemorative sign, Harder Kulm is also home to multiple benches, a souvenir shop and a restaurant.
It’s easy to get to Harder Kulm – a short 10-minute funicular ride will take you right to the top. The funicular station is also a short 5-minute walk from the main train station. A round trip ticket will set you back around CHF34 (~SGD49).
Upon disembarking the funicular, simply make your way up a short and slightly inclined path to the viewpoint!
Wander around Unterseen
Comprising a charming old town reminiscent of medieval times, Unterseen can be reached from the Harder Kulm funicular station via a lovely 20-minute stroll along the Aare River.
Unlike other old towns, Unterseen is a blissful bubble of peace and quiet. Time seems to stand still here, with nostalgia steeped deep in the cracks between the buildings. Grab a cuppa at one of the cafés, tour the archaeological cellar or simply take in the ornate building facades.
Stroll down Bahnhofstrasse
Interlaken has two train stations – Interlaken OST and Interlaken West, with a long shopping street connecting them both. You can reach either train station within a 20-minute walk; although this would probably require a longer duration as there’s simply so much to see!
This long shopping street is colloquially known as Interlaken’s ‘Bahnhofstrasse’ and is filled to the brim with countless shops and restaurants. You’ll find the usual souvenir and antique shops as well as high-end fashion and watch retailers.
You’ll find all sorts of cuisine here – dig into some steaming Rosti or indulge in a hearty plate of pasta.
However, I do recommend using Lauterbrunnen as a base instead of Interlaken. If you’re looking for the quintessential Swiss experience, Lauterbrunnen will put you right in the middle of a gorgeous valley, where you’ll feel as if you’re living in the countryside. Interlaken, although charming in its own way, does pale in comparison. If you choose to stay in Lauterbrunnen, do allocate around half a day (or even a full day!) to enjoy Interlaken before moving on to your next destination.