You may have heard people say that the town of Interlaken is not very spectacular.
Not true! Its old town is super charming, and Interlaken's best USP is the superb location at the foot of the Bernese Alps, nested in between two gorgeous lakes. We were about to find out just how many exciting things can be done from Interlaken when we spent a weekend there recently.
Brienz is a short train ride away and is a great little town with an exquisite lake view of the surrounding mountains.
Get off at "Brienz West" and take a stroll along the lake promenade. You could walk all the way back to Interlaken, but the many cutesy houses prevented us from ever leaving the town. In fact, we took quite a long nap on one of the lakeside park benches and finally returned to the same train station we got off from...
Off to Grindelwald
Over the years, Interlaken has differentiated itself as Europe's Adrenaline Capital. Adventure sports abound, but we went the conservative route and spent a day on Grindelwald's slopes instead!
Plan on a two hour transfer from your Interlaken hotel to the top of the Grindelwald First ski resort. We had sent our skiing equipment to Grindelwald ahead of time, taking advantage of a convenient and inexpensive service by SBB: For only 12 francs, a huge bag filled with two pairs of skies, boots, and helmets was shipped from our home to the destination.
Needless to say, the views of surrounding mountains (and most of all, Eiger's North Face) were exquisite!
The following day, we hopped on the train again and went deep into the valley to the town of Lauterbrunnen.
This excursion would turn out to be the best bang for the buck. As we boarded the cable car to Grütschalp, we noticed a teaser waterfall in the distance: it felt like a teaser because this is just one of the 10 Trümmelbach waterfalls in this valley, and we definitively want to see them all some day!
Once at the top, a romantic little train would take us to the village of Mürren, which is probably one of the most picturesque places we have seen in a while.
After you have strolled around enough, you really want to swing by Hotel Bellevue. Both overlooking the town and looking out to Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, this is the outdoor restaurant to be at! I truly enjoyed the free use of a giant pair of binoculars, which revealed dozens of deep blue glaciers, a rising moon next to Eiger, and possibly even a couple of mountain climbers.
After all those mountain vistas, Switzerland's de facto capital of Bern is just 40 minutes from Interlaken. It has a beautiful medieval town center and is well known for its arcade shopping streets...
What are your favorite things to do in or around Interlaken?