Looking for things to do in Interlaken? Welcome to the European Sports capital in Switzerland! Why capital? We hear you ask. In the area you can join endless activities – from adrenaline-kicking things to do like skydiving, gliding like a bird over Interlaken or calm, relaxing experiences like hiking and boat tours.
Summer and winter you have so many things to do and explore! This list focuses on the warmer month of the year. Here is a list of all the winter activities in Interlaken.
What are some awesome things to do in Interlaken?
- Falling out of the sky
- climbing next to James Bond
- kayaking through turquoise-colored lakes
- and gliding like a bird…
When you cannot decide which adrenaline kick you’d like to experience first, you are visiting Interlaken. We stopped by and traveled to the center of Switzerland.
Fun things to do in Interlaken Switzerland
We brought back the best hostels Interlaken has for you and this big list of AMAZING things to do in Interlaken, including day trips. Here we show you different activities in and around the town.
On the menu:
- Canyoning safely
- Hang-gliding like a bee
- Kayaking in the Brienzer lake
- Skydiving – pure Adrenaline rush
- Schilthorn with James Bond
- Jungfraujoch – The Highest Railway Station in Europe
- Scenic helicopter flight over Jungfrau
- Go for a drink with your new adrenaline-junky-friends
- Japanese Garden
- Schnyge Platte – panorama trail
- Mini Golf and Public Swimming Pool
- Funky Chocolate Club
- Play at the Casino
- Thuner Lake
- Cruise around Brienzer See
- Night sledding in the Alps
- St. Beatus Caves
- Harder Klum
- Oberhofen Castle
- Sigriswill suspension bridge
- Canyon Swing
- EXTRA: Free things to do in Interlaken
To make it even easier for you, we created a map with all our recommended activities and highlights to see in Interlaken.
Who are we? We are Hostelgeeks, your independent website awarding hostels as 5 Star Hostels all over the world. Interlaken is the home of Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof, the 5 Star Hostel in town.
We visited the hostel and naturally, we were tempted to see how far we can go challenging our sense of adventure. I recommend to read our comparison guide to top hostels in Interlaken. We share which hostel is best for each type of traveler.
Let’s get the adventure started with some fresh water.
1. Canyoning in Interlaken
Ever heard of Canyoning? You are wearing a wet suit and climb, jump, swim, and walk down a wild river in the canyon.
The professional guides of Outdoor Interlaken will guide you through the canyon. So you know where to jump and to stay safe.
Good to know: In total, the Canyoning lasts around 1 and a half hours. Time loaded with lots of adrenaline, smiles, laughter, challenges, and adventure.
There are different levels of Canyoning. Just ask the team at Outdoor Interlaken. They will share their professional opinion, because after all: safety first. They want you to enjoy the trip and not be afraid of the total experience.
Fun Factor: 100%!
- tiny-bit adventurous travelers
Our day started with a bit of rain, but as you are going to get wet in the canyon river itself anyway, that is totally fine. Right from the start, you get your adrenaline pumping.
The guides help you to rappel down a 50-meter steep wall down the canyon. From there the fun continues with swimming, jumping several meters, and taking a zip line.
PURE FUN to experience and to share with friends. There are several points where you can climb up extra high.
The highest peak to jump into the water is around 9 meters!
Our group was international and from all over the world, and it was really easy to connect. At night we went with 3 more fellow adrenaline fans for a drink.
2. Hang-gliding like a Bee
Let us fly like a bird! A very special thing to do in Interlaken is hang-gliding!
Hang-gliding is as close as you can get of feeling like a bird. You will be flying over the town with an incredible view of the two lakes aside and the snow-covered mountains behind.
Good to know: Hang-gliding is a super fun experience.
If you’re not sure about this experience, let us tell you: Once your feet left the ground, you will like on the top of the world, and all nervousness will have gone!
Matt also had his doubts, and now he cannot stop talking about it.
Fun Factor: 100%
Recommended for: For everyone who’s looking for an enjoyable, lasting experience!
The Bumble Bee team picked us up from Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof. And be assured: You cannot miss them! Their name is the concept, and their concept is their name. The bus is kept in a black-yellow bumblebee design.
Even the hang gliders, helmets, and outfits themselves are kept this way – FUN!
The team of Tobias, Peter, and more the professional guides behind Bumble Bee. You can ask them anything. They are happy to share their experience and insights to hang-gliding itself.
Once your feet leave the ground you feel like a bird. We were flying over Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof with a breath-taking view over the Brienzer See and Thuner See with their turquoise-colored water. On a clear day, you get a nice view over the Bernese Alps.
During the flight itself, the guide showed how to handle and fly the hang-glider. It looks incredibly easy to accelerate, slow down, and navigate. But well, it’s not.
Towards the end the guides showed us another trick with their hang-glider, overflying the town, making a u-turn and getting us back to the ground – safely and gently.
Tip: try to choose one day with few clouds to get the best views.
3. Kayaking the beautiful Interlaken Lake
The two lakes around Interlaken are both beautiful. Just have a look at our photos, they don’t even capture half of its beauty. We joined the Kayaking tour with High Tide.
Good to know: The Brienzer See is the place to be. The High Tide picks you up at your accommodation and brings you here. You will meet your guide and chat a bit. Share what you’re interested in.
Kayaking is a cool thing to do, recommended for the ones into water sport.
Fun Factor: 100%
Recommended for: Everyone.
It is not hard to kayak along the lake. It is completely safe and you will get a proper introduction on kayaking and safety.
It was a cloudy morning and it didn’t look very promising. But we got lucky.
The sky cleared up from the moment our kayaks touched water. With the sun shining, the color of the lake turned even more turquoise. After a safety-introduction, we hopped into our kayaks.
Scenic views, beautiful turquoise water, and good company.
Stop in the castle, lots of background information and legends and stories. Great explanation to get the right Kayak technique.
4. Skydiving – Pure adrenaline kick
Pure Adrenalin-Kick with stunning views and an extreme feeling of nothing but fresh air.
Scenic flight overlooking Interlaken, Jungfraujoch, Mönch, and even you could spot Montblanc.
Professional guide and introduction to secure skydiving. Possibility to get a video of your skydive experience. It’s not just about the jump. An interview beforehand, the jump, then interview afterward. A pack of the different emotions puts into a couple of HD-minutes.
Good to know: You will receive a skydive diploma as a part of your experience.
Fun Factor: Adrenaline kick-ass 100%
Recommended for: Adrenaline junkies
Anna jumped on a beautiful, sunny day. The clear skies made Anna enjoy the scenic flight, full of interesting factors coming from the instructor. She felt safe 100% and was so nervous and full of joy that she looked like a child the whole day.
Paying for the video might sound expensive, but: how many times would you jump in your life?
I am glad I have the experience recorded (partner included in the video) so I can remember it all my life.
Scenic drive up to the first cable car. Different cable cars to get to the top of Schilthorn.
That James Bond sounds come from Speakers.
James Bond Museum, there is always some snow. Bear in mind to bring proper warm clothing, it was -2° in October, and you are almost 3000m above sea level.
Walk of Fame, perfect for beautiful photo shoots!
Walk over Cliffs (search for the name)
Good to know: It is cold on the top. Even if it looks like a sunny day, bring warm clothes.
Fun Factor: 100%
Recommended for: Everyone
Scenic walk back from Mürren to the latest cable car stop in Gimmelwald takes around 30 minutes, and you will pass a typical Swiss mountain village.
6. The Highest Railway Station in Europe: Jungfraujoch
Switzerland is a beautiful country to explore by train! You have seen already those scenic train rides around Switzerland? It is so easy to fall in love with those. Check out this video:
Another attraction is the highest railway station in Europe.
The Jungfraujoch is more than 3000 meters above sea level. Bring your jacket!
Even in the warmest summer, it will be cold up here. Make sure you bring as well your camera, because, well, you know:
The views are stunning!
Not to mention the many activities you can do while you’re there.
There are many restaurants to choose from. There’s also an Ice Palace with different kinds of ice sculptures. And when you visit during the Summer, you can go sledging, skiing or snowboarding in the Snow Fun Park.
Good to know: Taking this adventure is not cheap but it very worth the experience. Always check the weather before you go.
7. Panorama view over Jungfrau
Wanna a different point of view to Jungraujoch?
You can have an helicopter ride over the tree magical peaks in Interlaken:
- Mönch and
Impressive views and magical experience.
Good to know: there are helicopter rides and mini plane rides. Choose your favorite.
Fun Factor: 100%
Recommended for: all those who are not afraid of heights.
8. Go for a drink with your new adrenalin-junky-friends
This one is actually not an activity you can book – obviously. We got to know many cool new friends while canyoning. So we head over to a local bar and had some drinks.
Interlaken is really laid-back and it’s easy to mingle.
It’s also the perfect way to get more ideas on activities and things to do here.
Read also: best hostels in Interlaken
9. Japanese Garden
If you want to teleport to Japan, make your way to Interlaken’s Japanese Garden.
You can find the garden close to the old monastery, Interlaken castle, and the Catholic Church.
There are a pond and pavilion that makes it more relaxing. Each element in the garden represents and symbolizes Japanese tradition.
Good to know: Visiting the garden would be best during the spring. Fishing in the pond is not allowed.
Fun Factor: 100%
Recommended for: Everyone.
10. Schynige Platte – Panorama trail
A great day trip to one of the most scenic trekking trails in the area!
Schynige Platte is a mountain south of Interlaken, in the Jungrau Region. To get there, you will have to take a coghweel train in the Interlaken West station.
The train is a nostalgic train with wooden benches that will translate you to the “Belle Epoque”.
Enjoy a wonderful view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungrafrau.
More info and timetable here.
Good to know: Wear many different layers – including a waterproof jacket. You could experience all 4 seasons in just one day.
Fun Factor: 80%
Recommended for: Almost everyone. This hike is not a stroll, even though it is quite an easy hike.
11. Mini Golf and Public Swimming Pool
Well, okay, from hang-gliding and canyoning to Mini Golf is quite a step!
Yeah, we know. Most of the travelers might never consider mini-golf or visiting the swimming pool.
Fair enough, okay, we get it.
However, we love Mini Golf just for fun. As we stayed at the Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof, both the mini-golf and swimming pool came for free. You will get some freebies when staying at the Backpackers villa. An we all love free things, right?
Good to know: Make sure you get your free pass in the Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof reception.
Fun Factor: 70%
Recommended for: families with kids.
12. Funky Chocolate Club
Switzerland and Chocolate, a perfect match!
They are one of the best producers of chocolate in the world.
In and around Interlaken you can find plenty of opportunities to have your very own chocolate tastings.
Actually, we did not visit any of the chocolate tastings. One of our hostel friends told us about it.
But we ran out of time, unfortunately.
Visiting a chocolate factory is the prefect thing to do in Interlaken on a rainy day.
Recommended for: chocolate lovers.
Located between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, you will find Casino Interlaken. It’s just a few minutes’ walks from Kursaal Park.
So not only do you enjoy different kinds of games like American Roulette – Black Jack – Poker, but you also enjoy the wonderful view of the place.
Now, they are launching online games so you can just sit comfortably in your home.
However, these games are only for residents of Switzerland. Check them out at this link.
14. Thuner Lake
We mentioned it already. You can go for the kayak-experience here. And we highly recommend it.
You can also enjoy the lake by walking/ hiking.
Plus, the lake reflects its nearby mountains which makes it more dramatic and relaxing. It’s like looking at postcards with your own eyes. And the diversity of the lake in Interlaken leads you to many activities and many beautiful scenes to see.
15. Brienzer See
The same goes for the Brienzer See, another Interlaken lake. This lake is best for a starting point for your hiking and mountain trips.
It is also in the eastern part of the lake that you will find Switzerland’s woodcarving village.
Another site to visit in Lake Brienze is Giessbach Falls which is immediately beside Grand Hotel Giessbach. You can also join a cruise.
Good to know: Choose a sunny day to experience the lake cruise at the fullest.
Fun Factor: 60%
Recommended for: Everyone wo wants a chilled cruise around the lake.
I think it is clear that Interlaken and adrenaline couple quite good.
Paragliding is one of the most requested activities, as it is one of the most affordable in Interlaken.
It consists of a glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. You will sit in a harness suspended in the air. It is more comfortable than it sounds.
In Interlaken, you can get a tandem paragliding experience with an expert. You will just have o focus on enjoying the postcard-perfect birds from the top.
Good to know: Paragliding is the most requested experience in Interlaken.
If you’re not sure about this experience, let us tell you: it is quite easy to fly with your tandem teacher.
Fun Factor: 100%
Recommended for: For everyone who’s looking for an enjoyable bird views of Interlaken.
We did not try this experience personally in Interlaken, as we could not fit it on our busy schedule. Paragliding is the economical version of hang-gliding. We can assure you, the views are stunning!
Normally paragliding lasts less than hang-gliding. Still, it is a great activity and we totally recommend it.
If you are on a tight budget and wanna fly over the sky this is the activity you should book here.
17. Night sledding in the Swiss Alps
Night sledding is the perfect way to enjoy the trill of the mountains in a unique experience. Travel from Interlaken to the Swiss Alps and zip down the 1-hour long sled run!
The trail winds itself through the woods, crosses alpine meadows and passes majestic frozen waterfalls.
Good to know: you need waterproof clothes and hiking boots. there is a rental shop that can provide everything you need in case you don’t have them with you.
Fun Factor: 100%
Recommended for: For everyone who’s looking for activities to do in Interlaken at night.
Traveling to Interlaken with kids? Then include this adventure park to your plans.
A forest playground with zip lines, Tarzan swings, wooden bridges…
Good to know: There are more than 120 challenges!
Fun Factor: 90%
Recommended for: families with kids.
19. St. Beatus Caves
Hidden between Thun and Interlaken, you will find the majestic beauty of St. Beatus Caves.
It offers overlooking views of Lake Thun and Alps as the background.
Go into the mountain and along the river as you discover the beauty of St. Beatus Caves. This natural attraction features cave hiking, a museum, a panoramic restaurant, and the amazing waterfalls.
And if you are a fan of Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, you will recognize its similarity with JRR Tolkien’s vision for Rivendell (the Elven realm in Middle Earth).
Good to know: Before you come to the waterfalls, the cave, and restaurant, you will need to hike for 15 minutes. Hiking is open all-year-round. Although the restaurant and museum are only open from March to November.
Fun Factor: 100%
Recommended for: Hikers, Nature Lovers
20. Harder kulm
The Harder Kulm is a scenic bridge where you will have a panoramic view over the mountains in Interlaken.
Good to know: The easiest way to get to Harder Kulm is by the funicular, but there is also a free way to get there!
You can get to Harder Kulm for free if you hike. We know, you might have not lot of energy after all the activities we mentioned, so remember, there is also the Funicular.
Fun Factor: 90%
Recommended for: Everybody
21. Oberhofen Castle
Are you a castle lover? Then you should include this stop on your Interlaken holidays. Oberhofen is a 13th century castle sitting on the banks of Lake Thun.
A true fairytale castle surrounded by deep blue waters.
Good to know: The sunset light is quite stunning here!
Fun Factor: low
Recommended for: Castle and photography lovers
22. Panorama bridge – Sigriswil
Around 30 minutes by car, you will find the stunning Sigriswil suspension bridge.
Surrounded by stunning nature, small waterfalls and streams, walking around the Sigriswil is a unique experience.
Good to know: There is an entrance fee.
Fun Factor: 70%
Recommended for: Everybody who is not afraid of heights.
23. Canyon Swing
Scream your lungs out and feel the adrenaline rush from your head to toe as you fall 90-meter below and swing 120 km/hr in Grindelwald.
Seriously, this adventure will make your knees tremble and your body shake but after you have jumped off, it will be the best feeling ever. The thrill is all worth it.
This is not recommended for people who have a fear of heights. However, if you want to step up and conquer that fear, this might be the perfect chance to do it. One time, big time.
Good to know: Standing on the platform above the canyon is on its own enough to make your legs weak. Don’t let fear conquer you.
Fun Factor: 100%!
- adventurous travelers
24. EXTRA: Free things to do in Interlaken
Who does not like free stuff? Especially in the Switzerland, a very expensive country, free things to do are the creme de la creme, the golden nugget, the most beautiful…well, you see my point.
Here I am listing a bunch of the best and coolest free things to do in Interlaken.
Free walking tour
An activity that we love to do in every place we get to visit. A free walking tour is the perfect introduction to the place. You get to know fun facts, how the city is organized, and meet new fellow travelers.
Check the Interlaken free walking tour here.
Did you know that the water coming from the Aletsch region is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage? The water in Interlaken meets the most stringent standards for drinking water.
To discover all about this famous water, you can check the fountain trail.
Even in the summer time… You won’t be thirsty!
Swimming in the lakes
What is better than admiring the beautiful Interlaken lakes? Swim on them! I must admit, in our visit, as it was in October, I did not dare to get in.
But I would definitely do it if we visit Interlaken in Summer again.
There are plenty of trails around Interlaken that offers beautiful views. If you are on a low budget and want to stay many days in the area, bring a tent with you and your camping gear. There is many amazing blogs covering beautiful hiking trails in the area.
We mentioned this before. As we stayed at the Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof, both the mini-golf and swimming pool came for free. You will get some freebies when staying at the Backpackers villa. So that is another big reason why it’s worth it to choose this hostel instead of an apartment or Airbnb.
Personally, I love maps. They just help me to plan a trip in a more visual way. Therefore, I created a map with all activities in Interlaken.
I hope it helps you as well.
You can open the map in a new tab here.
Where to stay in Interlaken
Looking for a place to stay in Interlaken?
Lucky for you, not only us went to Interlaken in our circle. Also some of our friends and family visited the city. Here you have different accommodations for low budget, mid range and luxury travelers:
Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof
The Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof is a cheap place to stay and the 5 Star Hostel in Interlaken!
It has two different buildings where modern meets tradition. It has also has apartments and private rooms, so no need to stay in a dorm!
When staying at Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof, you will receive plenty of travel tips and discounts.
You will get for free:
- train rides,
- activities, and so on.
Make sure you use those because you can save plenty of money here!
Talking about saving money, we at Hostelgeeks got you a 5% discount when staying at Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof.
You can get a 5% hostel discount, your first ride from the train station to the hostel is for free plus you get the best price guaranteed. All that just by booking directly at Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof. To apply this hostel discount, all you need to do is booking Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof through this specific link:
The discount will be added here automatically!
In case Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof is fully booked, we have written a full article with the best hostels in Interlaken.
As a fast summary:
- Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof – The 5 Star Hostel in Interlaken
- Balmers Hostel – party vibes for backpackers
- Alplodge – great for solo travelers
Boutique B&B Maison Bergdorf
Wanna splurge and/or surprise your partner?
Boutique B&B Maison Bergdorf is a charming chalet residence in garden setting, with partial view of Jungfraujock and the Alp. This beautiful traditional house has luxurious decor and many places to relax in nurturing surroundings.
It is also just ten minutes walk from town center, fifteen from station.
Note: Breakfast is simple, croissants and coffee.
Swiss Inn Hotel & Apartments
Just 5 minutes walk from the Interlaken West train station, you will find Swiss Inn Hotel & Apartments.
The hotel is located in a beautifully appointed historic building in a great location.
Rooms have been recently renovated and they are sparkling clean. And the staff is simply super kind!
Note: there is free parking for the guests.
Good to know: Make sure you stop in the Interlaken West station if you go by train. The Interlaken Ost train station is 20 minutes by walk.
Fun Facts about Interlaken
The name comes from „inter“ and „lacus“, meaning between the lakes. It is 566 meters above sea level.
Interlaken is known as the European sports capital due to the numerous activities you can join. You don’t have to be an adventurer and adrenaline-junky. Even for the calm traveler, Interlaken is a paradise.
From boat trips to stand-up paddle surf, kayaking, hiking, chocolate tasting…
there is plenty to do in Interlaken!
Discounts for Activities
At the moment, we do not have any valid discounts for activities in Interlaken. they already expired. However, we usually receive good discounts for our readers for different tours in Interlaken, Switzerland and Europe.
We always share them immediately in our newsletters. Simply leave your email here, if interested. We never sent spam or non-sense.
Well, we have provided you plenty of activities that Interlaken has to offer so we are sure that you already have your favorite in mind! Below we list all the frequently asked questions.
How many days do you need in Interlaken?
Stay at least 2-3 days to get to know the place, walk around and include some adventures. If you want to include hikes around, add some more days to it.
Is interlaken worth visiting?
Yes, it is worth it. Interlaken is not only a great place for adrenaline lovers. You can simply walk around the town and the lakes (Interlaken is between 2 lakes) or stroll in some of the nearby mountains with great views.
What is the best time to visit Interlaken? Summer or Winter?
If you want to do get the fullest of the place, go in summer. Some attractions don't operate in winter, for example canyoning.
Also, hiking in winter will only be for experienced snow hikers. Of course, if your priority is ski and snowboard... then winter will be your perfect season!
How far is Lake Brienz from Interlaken?
The distance between Lake Brienz and the town of Interlaken is just 15 km.
How far is Thun from Interlaken?
The distance between Lake Thun and the town of Interlaken is just 19 km.
Which is better Lake Thun or Lake Brienz?
Both lakes are worth to see as they are different. Lake Brienz is very picturesque. Lake Thun has interesting castles.
Why is the water in Interlaken turquoise?
The color of the lakes in Interlaken are so turquoise because they have tiny particles that come from the glacial waters (from the Lütschine and the Aare) sedimented washed into the lake.
Why is Interlaken famous?
Interlaken is the sports capital in Europe. Adrenaline junkies and adventurous backpackers love it there as you can do plenty of activities such as bungee jumping, para-gliding, skydiving...
Summary: 23 Things to do in Interlaken
Interlaken, you are amazing! There is only one other destination where you can do more sports activities. And guess what, it is at the other end of the world, in New Zealand.
Therefore, if you happen to be in Europe, do not hesitate to add Interlaken in your bucket list and tick some of these adrenaline experiences.
You think it is scary but really…. You will love it!
Smart and Simple Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality accommodation, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries