Switzerland means breathtaking landscapes, fresh ozonized air, outdoor sports and endless hiking trails. There are, of course, other things Switzerland is renowned for – such as the delicious Swiss cheeses, the famous and expensive Swiss watches or one of the oldest banking systems in the world – but we’re here to talk about the natural beauties of this country. Therefore, this article is dedicated to Interlaken, a city ideally located – as indicated by its name – between two lakes (Lake Brienz to the east, Lake Thun to the west) and crossed by the Aare River that connects the two lakes.
The city is situated at 570 meters above sea level and the heights of the surrounding mountains are really impressive. Jungfrau – 4158 m high – is one of the highest summits of the Swiss Alps and also the main local tourist attraction.
Interlaken is located about an hour away by train from Bern, but you can reach the city by car, bus and even plane. Plus, there is a scheduled boat service on both surrounding lakes and two funicular railways (Harderbahn and Heimwehfluhbahn) that offer striking views from the heights of Harder Kulm Mountain and Heimwehfluh Hill.
Interlaken is the city of sports and outdoor activities. Whether it is winter or summer, you definitely can not get bored here.
During summer, you can go on a biking trip or hike the mountain trails – there are lots of brochures and maps that you can rely on to make the best out of your experience –, you can opt for a river rafting trip on the Lütschine river, if you want to add a little excitement to your holiday, or you can go swimming in one of the specially designed areas of Lake Thun, if you just want to relax and enjoy the sun.
You can also practice volleyball, football, badminton, golf and tennis, water sports (fishing, kayaking and canoeing) or, if you’re an adrenaline junkie and not afraid of heights, you can try sky diving, bungee jumping or paragliding.
Skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, hockey and snowboarding are just some of the sports and activities you can practice in Interlaken during winter.
If you feel exhausted after so many physical activities and you just want to take it easy for one day, there are quite a few things to do and places to hang out on a relaxing afternoon too: look for souvenir shops (you might find them a bit expensive, though), take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city or take a few hours to visit the Tourist Museum – with exhibits that speak about the evolution of tourism in the Interlaken and Jungfrau region – and Ballenberg Museum – an open air museum, exhibiting old houses and traditional crafts specific to Switzerland’s rural life.