Whilst many of the big cities in Europe are undeniably beautiful, sometimes they aren’t filled with the freshest of air. If you’re looking for a spot on your European itinerary where you can go in touch with the outdoors and take a break from bustling cities, Interlaken in Switzerland is one of the perfect spots in which to do so. With breath-taking views of the Alps and so much to do here, you’ll be wondering if you ever want to return to busy city life again. Here is our list of things to do in Interlaken.
Take a hike
As one of the most accessible towns situated right next to the Alps, Interlaken is the perfect place for you to get some hiking done. The town has many different routes you can take that are either right next to Interlaken, or not too far away. The mountain of Harder Kulm is one of the most popular of these, and is just a short 8-minute cable car ride away. Up here you’ll find a viewing platform where you can look over Interlaken and to the mountains beyond. The views looks exactly as you would imagine a Swiss postcard looks like, with rolling hills and snow-capped mountains in the distance, making a hike well worth while.
If you’re interested to learn a bit more about Swiss culture and what it was like to live a rural life in this country, there are few better places in the whole of Switzerland than the Ballenberg Museum to do just that. This open-air museum is an area of grounds filled with authentic traditional buildings such as houses and barns, which were relocated from across the country and reconstructed here. There are also animals to be seen, and different kinds of workshops, such as cheese-making and weaving. All of these things put together create a picture of rural Swiss life from centuries ago, making the Ballenberg Museum a great day out for a good picture of Swiss life through the ages.
Take a trip to Jungfrau (Top of Europe)
If you want to get further into the mountains and really get in touch with the Alps here, a journey to Jungfrau is the easiest way to do just that. The mountain pass of Jungfraujoch has a railway station – the highest railway station in Europe at around 3,400m above sea level – making it easy to get to. Once you arrive, you’ll be right up in the Alps, and here you can go hiking, biking, or get involved with plenty of other outdoor activities. Alternatively, you can simply breathe in the fresh air and grab a bite to eat and drink in the beautiful mountain scenery. There is no better place in this area to go deep into the Alps.
The chocolate in Switzerland is reason alone to visit this country. In Interlaken, you can not only sample plenty of delicious chocolate treats from Switzerland, you can also see a chocolate show that will show you how the chocolate is made, by the masters who certainly know how to make it. The Grand Restaurant Schuh in Interlaken puts on a daily chocolate show with their fantastic chefs, who will tell you everything you need to know about the Swiss tradition of chocolate, and you’ll even get the chance to get involved in the process yourself.
Even though the show is almost always stolen by the mountains surrounding Interlaken, let’s not completely ignore the beautiful lakes and rivers you find in this region too. Alpin Raft have river rafting excursions daily, and even if you don’t usually consider yourself brave enough to do something like that normally, it really is a fun activity to get involved with here. Get your blood pumping and adrenaline flowing as you fly through the river rapids, and enjoy the natural beauty of the place all at the same time. There are different levels of intensity you can try here, from calm yet fast flowing rivers, to the serious river rapids for the more adventurous crowd.
Visit the Alpine Garden
Schynige Platte is a mountain range close to Interlaken that has a beautiful Alpine Garden on it, with over 500 kinds of flora. You can take a train up to the garden, which lies at nearly 2,000m above sea level, and here you can enjoy beautiful views of the surroundings, as well as the stunning nature and plant life right below your feet. It’s a great spot to do some hiking, and Panoramaweg is an easy 2-hour circuit that fits well into an afternoon outing from Interlaken.
Practice even more adventure sports
So we know we’ve mentioned hiking and rafting earlier, but there really are so many different kinds of adventure sports you can get involved with here. Whether you’re a serious adrenaline junkie or just looking to push yourself a little bit, there’s plenty here for all kind of outdoorsy folk. Take to the skies and go paragliding, giving you another perspective on the beautiful views here as you glide through the mountains. Skiing is obviously another activity that you’re sure to find here in winter, and of course activities like glacier and ice hikes. If you’re feeling particularly daring, there are a number of companies which run skydiving and bungee jumping, as well.
Have a meal and just take in the views
If you’re just in Interlaken to relax and you’re not into the thought of throwing yourself out of a plane or clambering your way up the mountainside, you can still visit the town and enjoy a calm stay. There are quite a few great restaurants in Interlaken where you can pull up a chair, get a nice glass of wine, and take in the view of the gorgeous mountains.
All those adventure sports aren’t for everyone, but it’s perfectly possible to visit Interlaken and choose to opt out of them. This spot is great for those who love to get active, and travelers who just enjoy relaxing and simply breathing in the fresh air.
For more information on these activities and many more visit www.interlaken.ch