Holidays to Interlaken

The adventure capital of Switzerland and gateway to the Jungfrau region

Interlaken makes adventure easy. Sprawled out between the turquoise lakes of Thun and Brienz, this town launches you into the great outdoors in an array of memorable of ways – from mountain hikes to sunset cruises. But for all the adventure on its doorstep, Interlaken is a relaxed home base. Sip a kafi crème at a sun-trap café or stroll downriver to the timber buildings of the old quarter. Interlaken is also the start of some of the most scenic rail journeys in Europe, all easily voyaged thanks to the expansive and reliable train network.

Choose your adventure

Rafting, canyoning, kayaking, stand-up paddling, zip lines, via ferrata – you name it, and Interlaken has probably got it. Interlaken is also one of the top places in Switzerland for paragliding; watching adventurous souls land in Hohematte Park is practically tradition here (popcorn optional). A lake cruise is a must - boats with panoramic picture windows glide between towns, passing vineyards and fairy-tale castles en route.

Explore Interlaken

Interlaken might have an adventurous spirit, but it remains a laid-back base. Picnic by the chilly waters of the River Aare, where only the daring dip their toes, before meandering on to Unterseen. This is the oldest neighbourhood in Interlaken, with a cobbled town square and houses laden with flowers. Restaurants gather here too, including chalet inns with röstis and rieslings on the menu.

For a deeper dive into local cuisine, go for a tour and tasting at the Rugenbräu Brewery, which has been making alpine ales in the Bernese Oberland for decades. Or book a workshop at the Funky Chocolate Club to learn exactly what it takes to become a master chocolatier.

Gateway to the Bernese Oberland

Variety is the order of the day when it comes to hiking Interlaken and the Bernese Highlands. Easy waterside paths circuit Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. There are hill climbs – up Kleiner Rugen, perhaps, or to the hair-raising glass viewing platform at Harder Kulm (take the funicular one or both ways, depending on how lively you’re feeling). Worthwhile day trips include Grindelwald, where you can wander through meadows to the distant chimes of cowbells, or the alpine botanical garden of the Schynige Platte near Wilderswil.

Trails by train

Trains sweep through the countryside around Interlaken, journeying up some of the highest mountains in the region. It’s easy to connect to the Jungfrau Railway, which chugs up to Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe. Even in summer, the sure-footed can walk on the vast snowy glacier. Some of the most beautiful walks start from the village stations here – Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren included. Elsewhere, the Brienz Rothorn Railway quite literally heats things up, serving passengers sausages cooked in the steam train’s engine.

Half price travel around Switzerland

Why book a summer holiday in Interlaken with Inghams?

At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of the Bernese Oberland's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.

With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Interlaken include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team overseas can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.

Added value

Half price rail, bus and boat travel with the Swiss Half Fare Card (worth over £100 per person)

Free 'Interlaken Guest Card' with unlimited use of local buses and trains

Free travel on the Swiss Transport Network for children up to 15yrs incl.

Walking around Interlaken

On an Inghams walking holiday, you have the freedom to explore the area at your own pace. Make each day a new adventure, with as much or as little walking as you like.

Why we love walking in Interlaken

There's an excellent selection of walking for all abilities in and around Interlaken and its lakes. With around 500 kilometres of marked walking trails and some of the most spectacular scenery the Alps has to offer, there's lots of reasons to love Interlaken but it's the variety we love the most. From easy rambles along the lakefront, to more challenging ridge walks or long adventures into the mountains.

There's some incredible viewpoints in easy access too, like the Harder Kulm or Schynige Platte, which is the starting point for several lovely walks, and has a stunning alpine garden. Wherever you choose, the views are jaw-dropping, the walking trails are varied and with the excellent network of trains, mountain railways and lifts, reaching the best viewpoints is a breeze.

Getting around Interlaken and the Jungfrau

Interlaken and the surrounding Jungfrau region has a fantastic network of trains, boats, mountain railways and lifts that make getting around the area really easy.

Trains and mountain railways

Trains are what make Switzerland such a pleasure to explore and Interlaken benefits from two train stations, Interlaken Ost (East) and West. From here, getting to surrounding villages, and further afield is really easy.

Mountain trains run from Interlaken up to the Harder Kulm for an impressive view of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and there's the Brienzer Rothorn steam train which chugs its way from Brienz (at the opposite side of Lake Brienz to Interlaken) high into the mountains. From Wilderswil, you can catch the historic cog railway to the Schynige Platte where there's great views, plenty of walking opportunities and an Alpine Garden with over 800 species of Alpine Flora.

Further into the Jungfrau Region, mountains trains run from Grindelwald up the Kleine Scheidegg side of the valley, linking the village to Kleine Scheidegg, Eiger Gletscher, and Wengen. You can even take the train all the way up to the Jungfraujoch - the highest railway station in Europe. Alternatively, head to Lauterbrunnen and taken the funicular up towards Mürren, a pretty traffic-free village that's only accessible by lift and is the gateway to the lifts up to the Schilthorn.

Routes and timetables are available locally. The best way to enjoy the trains is to pre-book a travel pass - see the Cards & Passes tab for more information (supplements may apply locally for some routes).


Taking to the water is one of the must-do's when visiting Interlaken, and boat trips are available on both of the two lakes thanks to a fleet of 14 boats, including two paddle steamers. On Lake Brienz, the nostalgic Lötschberg paddle steamer links all the little places around the lake, including Brienz - at the far end, and the Giessbach Waterfalls. A lake cruise is the perfect way to discover more of Lake Thun, from pretty villages like Spiez, fairytale castles and the larger city of Thun. Gourmet cruises are also bookable locally. 


In addition to the boats and mountain trains, cable cars and gondolas open up lots of walking possibilities, fun activities and stunning viewpoints, including:

In Grindelwald:

  • Grindelwald First
  • Männlichen
  • Eiger Express
  • Pfingstegg

In Wengen:

  • Männlichen

In Mürren:

  • Stechelberg
  • Schilthorn


There is a network of local buses helping you to explore the area surrounding Interlaken and the two lakes - Thun and Brienz. Buses within zones one and three are included with your Interlaken Guest Card that you receive from your hotel. Journeys outside this area require an additional ticket. Routes and timetables are available locally.

Our favourite walks

There's so many fantastic routes and view points around Interlaken, it's tricky to pick favourites, but here are a few that we love:

Lake Thun to Lake Brienz

  • Easy walk
  • 7 km which is predominantly flat
  • Expect to take around 2 hours
  • Can be completed in either direction

A great walk along the Aare River from Lake Thun to Lake Brienz passing the Weissenau ruin and many beautiful bridges on the way. The Aareburg café roughly half way has delicious cakes, coffee, breakfast and lunch. Towards the end of the walk there's the option to head up the Harder Kulm funicular - from the top there's a fantastic view of both lakes.

Wilderswil to Interlaken West

  • Easy walk
  • 3.5 km which is predominantly flat
  • Expect to take at least 1 hour
  • Can be completed in either direction (there is some height gain from Interlaken West to Wilderswil but it is still an easy walk)

A lovely short stroll from the quiet centre of Wilderswil back to Interlaken West station - perfect for a sunny morning. The route passes green fields of cows, a little forested area, old ruins and the Rugenbräu brewery.

Iseltwald to Giessbach

  • Moderate walk
  • 6.5 km, with little height gain mostly at the waterfalls
  • Height gain between 220 and 676 metres depending on your route choice
  • Expect to take at least 1.5-2 hours

Enjoy a peaceful walk from Iseltwald along the edge of Lake Brienz to the thunderous Giessbach waterfalls which drop an amazing 14 levels down from the high mountains into Lake Brienz. At the falls a short circular walk offers amazing views - the route that takes you behind one of the falls is particularly impressive. Hop on a steam boat from Giessbach back to Interlaken at the end of the day.

Schynige Platte to Grindelwald First

  • Challenging hike
  • 16km with 690 - 860 metres of height gain depending which direction you walk in
  • Expect to take at least six hours
  • Can be completed in either direction
  • Best from beg-Jul to mid-Oct (Schynige cog railway open from 1 Jul)

A stunning, panoramic point-to-point hike via the Faulhorn, the Bachalpsee mirror lake and the First Cliff Walk - you'll have incredible views every step of the way. The route can be completed in either direction and goes between the top station of the Grindelwald First gondola and the top of the Schynige Platte cog railway. You'll need to use the lift/public transport at either end so make sure to allow yourself enough time to not miss the last lift/train down.

The direction Schynige Plate to Grindelwald First has the most height gain but arguably the best views of the Jungfrau. 

More great walking route ideas

You can view plenty more great ideas from Interlaken Tourism, and your reps in resort can provide lots of recommendations.

Useful information & guidelines

Recommended equipment

Comfy walking boots, waterproofs, rucksacks and walking poles are useful for hiking around Interlaken. There's plenty of places to buy walking equipment if you don't have everything to take with you.

Walking maps and apps

For Interlaken we recommend picking up a walking map from the tourist office. Maps will have a key to help you understand the nature of the walk before you begin. 

You can view lots more recommended routes from Interlaken Tourism.

Hiking guidelines

The mountains are a natural paradise, with lots to explore and discover. To help it stay that way, and remain an enjoyable and safe place for everyone, we recommend following our little list of do's and don'ts:

  • Plan your route well and don't overestimate yourself
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Tell someone where you're planning to walk and what time you're expecting to be back
  • Take all the recommended equipment
  • Make a note of emergency numbers:
    • Swiss Emergency Services: 144
  • Don't leave the marked trails or go onto a glacier without a guide
  • Let nature stay wild by not picking alpine flowers (it's illegal in some places) or getting close to/making contact with wild animals
  • Always leave gates as you found them
  • Leave no trace

Hotels in Interlaken

  • from£839pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 96 rooms
Reception Area 2

A high-rise hotel offering stunning views from every room. The hotel is situated in the centre of Interlaken and offers everything you'd expect from a city hotel, with a 24hr fitness room, excellent restaurants, and a great bar. Close to the train station and an easy walk to the Harder Kulm funicular, accessing the mountains is easy.

  • from£779pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    3 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 40 rooms
Seehotel Bonigen, Interlaken, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland - hotel exterior.jpg

In the quiet lakeside village of Bönigen and just ten minutes from Interlaken is the Seehotel. A pretty chalet-style hotel with excellent family facilities, and easy access to the town, mountains, and lake. The public pool and lake swimming area are just a five-minute walk away, and there are several lovely walking trails in and around Bönigen and the lake to enjoy.

  • from£819pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 30 rooms
Hotel Stella Interlaken front exterior.jpg

This popular family-run hotel is the only four-star hotel in Interlaken with an indoor swimming pool. Just a few minutes from the centre of Interlaken you'll have easy access to public transport links, making it easy to explore all this beautiful region and its extensive network of walking trails.

  • from£859pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 42 rooms
Hotel Seiler au Lac, Interlaken, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland - exterior.jpg (1)

Set on the edge of Lake Brienz in front of the boat landing stage and with a bus stop to nearby providing easy access to Interlaken. This traditional hotel enjoys a stunning lakeside location - make the most of the views and enjoy al fresco meals on the terrace.

  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    2 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 38 rooms
Hotel Alpina, Interlaken, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland - exterior.jpg

A lovely hotel offering basic but comfortable accommodation in the quiet 'Matten' district, just outside Interlaken centre. Interlaken centre is within easy reach either on foot or using public transport. You'll enjoy excellent hospitality and walking trails on your doorstep.

Swiss Half Fare Card - included

The Swiss transport network is an excellent combination of trains, mountain railways, cable-cars, boats and buses that make it a pleasure to get around and explore at your own pace. 

Swiss Half Fare Card included for all Inghams guests

The Swiss Half Fare Card is included in the price of your holiday and is sent to you as part of your rail transfer tickets. This card can be used around Switzerland for up to 50% discount on various modes of transport - so make sure you keep it with you. It also gives free travel to children from 6 to 15 years old, when accompanied by a parent with the Family Card.

Jungfrau Travel Pass - pre-bookable

In addition to the Half Fare card you may wish to purchase other travel passes depending on your holiday plans, such as the Jungfrau Travel Pass or the Bernese Oberland Pass - you can add this to your holiday at the time of booking.

Jungfrau Travel Pass

Enjoy three to eight consecutive days travel on trains, cable-cars, gondolas and boats within the Jungfrau region including:

  • Grindelwald First gondola
  • Männlichen gondola (Grindelwald Terminus to Männlichen and Männlichen to Wengen)
  • Jungfrau Railway (Kleine Scheidegg to Eigergletscher)
  • Wengeneralp Railway (Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg and Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen)
  • Lauterbrunnen to Mürren railway (Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp and Grütschalp to Winteregg and Mürren)
  • Schynige Platte Railway (Wilderswil to Schynige Platte)
  • Harder Kulm Railway (Interlaken to Harder Kulm)
  • Trains between Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken Ost
  • Passes from 5 days validity onward include boats on Lakes Thun & Lake Brienz and trains between Interlaken Ost, Interlaken West and Brienz allowing for round trips by boat and train on Lake Brienz.

A supplement applies for going up to the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe and the Schilthorn. The Jungfrau Travel Pass will get you a discount on the Jungfraujoch fee.

Please note that Family Cards are not valid with the Jungfrau Travel Pass and children must have the Jungfrau Junior Travel Card. 

Pass inclusions are subject to change. Pre-book prices include Swiss Half Fare Card discount. Please note that we act at all times as selling agent for the suppliers of travel passes.

Things to do

Enchanting towns and villages

Interlaken may be the adventure capital of Europe, but that doesn't mean there aren't some wonderful towns and villages to leisurely wander through. Interlaken has it's fair share of great shops, bars and experiences including the Funky Chocolate Club where you can make your own Swiss chocolate.

A cruise along Lake Thun will take you to Thun itself, a bustling city with impressive architecture. The shores of Lake Thun are home to villages like Spiez which is known for its castle and rich history. Wine lovers will enjoy the vineyards in this stunning area.

Just ten minutes from Interlaken is Bönigen - a small village on the edge of Lake Brienz, where traditional wooden houses, rural life and natural beauty combine to create a picture-perfect and peaceful lakeside setting.

Relaxing lake cruises

One of the best places to relax around Interlaken is undoubtedly aboard one of the cruises - book a culinary cruise for an extra special treat, and gaze at the view while you enjoy lunch on board. The shores of Lake Thun, with castles, vineyards and the St. Beatus caves invite you to hop off and explore along your route.

On Lake Brienz, take a boat to the impressive Giessbach waterfalls, or all the way to Brienz, at the opposite end of the lake to Bönigen. Here you'll fine the Brienzer Rothorn steam train which takes you high into the mountains, for - you guessed it - more incredible views.

Spectacular view points

Unsurprisingly, there's no shortage of these in the area. The funicular up Harder Kulm takes you to a viewing platform overlooking Interlaken and both its lakes while the Schynige Platte's historic steam cog railway from nearby Wilderswil takes you to an impressive Alpine Garden and a hut with daily alphorn performances.

Head further into the Jungrau region with ease on the Swiss Transport Network to visit some of Switzerland's most famous destinations - the Jungfraujoch and the Schilthorn plus the villages of Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren.

Grindelwald is famous for the iconic Eiger mountain, while Wengen overlooks the incredible Lauterbrunnen valley. Between the two, the Jungraujoch is a col between two mountain peaks, and a staggering feat of engineering means you can visit easily - via a train through the Eiger mountain itself - to enjoy unrivalled views and visit the Ice Palace for an inside look at the glacier.

Mürren is a chocolate-box village, well worthy of exploring - head up the Schilthorn for a brunch in the revolving restaurant, visit the James Bond museum or try the exciting Thrill Walk at Birg.

Unique experiences

Interlaken itself is quite a unique place, with its blend of adventure, culture and pristine nature, but there are still some things that - even for Interlaken - are quite unique. The Ballenberg open-air museum is like going back in time and is Switzerland's only open-air museum. The historic buildings and traditional crafts showcase rural life as it once was, and covering an area of 66 hectares, there's plenty to see. 

Sticking with the historic theme, the Brienzer Rothorn steam train is a real highlight to an Interlaken holiday, chugging from Brienz up into the mountains, where you can walk through alpine meadows, explore lush forests, and admire the view. The sausage train is a particular highlight - at the end of the journey on selected departures, you can enjoy a sausage that's been cooked in the steam engine itself along the route.

Adventure and water sports

There's no shortage of adventure and water sports on offer in Interlaken, from paragliding and bungee jumping, to speed boats and canyoning. There's something for everyone, regardless of how full-throttle you want your adventure - head out for a relaxing afternoon on a paddleboard or kayak, or jump full-swing into the canyon on the canyon-swing. For the water-lovers, there's rafting too, and of course, plenty of opportunities to swim. And, if you prefer your adventures up high, try the high ropes or some rock climbing and via ferrata, the opportunities are endless.


Pre-book your excursions and travel passes online or give us a call

Great value travel passes

The Swiss transport network is an excellent combination of trains, mountain railways, cable-cars, boats and buses that make it a pleasure to get around and explore at your own pace. See the Cards & Passes tab for further information on what travel passes are available from Interlaken.


All pre-bookable train excursions commence from Interlaken Ost.

Schynige Platte, plus Alpine garden

Take the charming cogwheel railway up to Schynige Platte at 2000 metres and visit the wonderful Alpine garden with some 600 different Swiss alpine plants including Edelweiss and Enzian (Schynige Platte railway opens 1 July).

Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe

A must-see for all visitors is the ultimate rail journey through the Eiger mountain and up to Europe’s highest railway station at 3,454m, for breath-taking views including the 14km-long Aletsch glacier and the Ice Palace.

James Bond’s Schilthorn

A trip up the spectacular Schilthorn peak above Mürren, famous for being the set of James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. Visit the museum and enjoy the fantastic views of the surrounding snow-clad peaks. If you have a good head for heights, the Thrill Walk at Birg is an exhilarating metal walkway that clings to the mountain edge, providing an exciting walk and some unbeatable photo opportunities.

Day on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz

Spend a day cruising with this ticket, valid for one day on your choice of either of the lakes, Thun or Brienz. Upgrade to 1st class for seats on the top deck!

Harder Kulm funicular

A 15-minute funicular to the spectacular viewing platform - a sight not to be missed - look down on Interlaken, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

Bookable locally

Many more options available locally through your Representative including:

Fun Package: First Flyer / Glider & Trottibike / Mountain Cart

*Pre-book prices include Swiss Half Fare Card discount. Please note that we act at all times as selling agent for the suppliers of activities & excursions.

Bernina Express.jpg

This 9 night tour is an excellent overview of Switzerland's special highlights, designed for those seeking a true taste of this stunning country, including unforgettable experiences on two of the most spectacular panoramic journeys in the world, the ‘Bernina’ and ‘Glacier Express’.


Combining stays in three contrasting areas of Switzerland, this 3 centre independent rail holiday gives you a fantastic overview of Switzerland’s varied scenery and also includes a journey on one of the most famous train lines in the world – the dramatic ‘Glacier Express’.

Good to know

Walking trails: Over 500km of walking trails and easy access to neighbouring villages and lifts

Terrain: Diverse terrain from flat valley floors and lakeside walks to towering 4000m peaks of the Jungfrau

Best time to go: end of May to mid October. It can get hot in July and August but heading up the lifts is a great way to cool off

Recommended for: Walkers of all abilities, families with teens, nature, sightseeing, activities, food and drink

Fly into: Geneva or Zurich (approx. 2 hours)

Transfer time: approx. 2 hours 30 mins (from Zurich) or 3 hour (from Geneva) by train (journey may require changes of train)

Rep service: In resort

Resort card: Swiss Half Fare Card included for all hotels - a range of travel passes are available to pre-book

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