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Bern, a beautiful city with many attractions, is certainly worth a visit for those who enjoy history, art, animals, or simply relaxing in a beautiful setting as it offers a variety of attractions to cater to all tastes. As the federal city of Switzerland, this city along the banks of the Aare River has so much going on.
Although Bern has so many activities to offer, those who spend several days there might still want to take day trips from the city. Below are some suggestions for the best day trips from Bern for those based there.
Typically, these day trips are located one to two hours away from Bern by train.
This article discusses the 10 best day trips from Bern. Let’s go!
10 Best Day Trips from Bern
Interlaken, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and two crystal-clear lakes, is an exciting day trip destination. This place is ideal for thrill-seekers since it offers paragliding, skydiving, and many other activities. It takes just one hour to drive from Bern to Interlaken.
Interlaken, Switzerland is a trendy tourist hub in the Bernese Oberland. In Interlaken, you will find walking trails along the River Aare, many souvenir shops, a Japanese garden, and the local mountain Harder Kulm for spectacular views. A red funicular takes you from Interlaken to Harder Kulm in 10 minutes, with one departure every half hour.
If you would like to learn more about Interlaken, check out our article Interlaken: 8 Reasons Why You Should Visit.
As one of Switzerland’s most popular tourist spots, Interlaken is also a hot spot for outdoor sports enthusiasts. It is also conveniently located between two beautiful lakes – Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
For those who are into fun adventures, below are some of the most popular outdoor activities in Interlaken:
- Tandem Paragliding (GetYourGuide): Experience pure serenity as you float weightlessly alongside an experienced pilot and witness the breathtaking beauty of the Jungfrau region from the sky.
- Adventure Park (GetYourGuide): Conquer 9 thrilling rope courses and zip lines soaring up to 23 meters above the ground, with the assurance of a comprehensive safety briefing and top-notch safety gear.
- Kayak Tour of Lake Brienz (GetYourGuide): Paddle through the crystal-clear waters of Lake Brienz with the guidance of an experienced coach, as you soak in the stunning views, including the picturesque Rinngenberg Castle. You may also book this activity in winter (GetYourGuide).
- Canyoning (GetYourGuide): Dive into the ultimate adrenaline rush with a canyoning expedition in Chli Schilere, featuring challenging rappelling, high jumps, fast slides, and an unforgettable adventure in one of the region’s top canyons.
- Scenic Jetboat Ride (GetYourGuide): Experience an exhilarating 45 to 50-minute jetboat ride on Lake Brienz near Interlaken, culminating at Giessbach Falls.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Interlaken|
|* Harder Kulm|
* Interlaken-Harder Alpine Game Park
* Lake Thun
* Lake Brienz
How do you get from Bern to Interlaken?
Two direct trains run hourly from Bern to Interlaken Ost, with a travel time of approximately 54 minutes between the two destinations.
Lucerne, just 68 kilometers away from Bern, is a great choice for a day trip. A must-see destination for travelers, Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful cities, boasting breathtaking views of the lake and mountains, a fascinating history, and a wealth of cultural attractions.
The city of Lucerne is one of the most popular tourist spots in Switzerland. In Lucerne, you’ll find everything you’d want in a typical Swiss city. The beauty of its fjord-like blue lake, charming old town, and mountains are unbeatable. For those who want to spend some time in Lucerne city, there’s so much to see: the Transport Museum, the Lion Monument, the Rosengart Collection, and Chapel Bridge, just to name a few.
You can get around Lake Lucerne with the Lake Lucerne ship company. Various basins and bays provide exhilarating and changing views of the landscape on the lake – Stansstaad, Weggis, Buochs, Gersau, and Uri.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Lucerne|
|* Lion Monument|
* Chapel Bridge
* Transport Museum (Verkehrshaus)
* Rosengart Collection
* Glacier Garden
You can read more about other stunning places to visit near Lucerne such as Bürgenstock, Engelberg, Vitznau, and Weggis in this article 10 Beautiful Places Near Lucerne. And for those who wish to visit the mountains near Lucerne, you can find out about the Closest Mountains To Visit From Lucerne.
How do you get from Bern to Lucerne?
There are two direct trains per hour between Lucerne and Bern. It takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to travel from Bern to Lucerne by direct train.
The drive to Montreux from Bern takes 1 hour and 15 minutes with 82 kilometers covered. With its nearby vineyards and more laid-back lifestyle, Montreux will always be an interesting contrast to Bern.
Montreux is a charming town on the northeastern shores of Lake Geneva in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Known for its mild climate, gorgeous views, and Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux has a lot to offer.
A stretch of eight kilometers runs from Clarens, through Chillon Castle, and up to Villeneuve. Together with Vevey-Montreux, it has an estimated population of 85,000. Atop the Rochers-de-Naye mountain, you can enjoy amazing views of Montreux, the lake, as well as the Swiss Alps.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Montreux|
|* Chillon Castle|
* Montreux Promenade
* Queen Studio Experience
If you would like to plan a day in Montreux, you can read our article How to Spend 1 Day in Montreux, Switzerland.
How do you get from Bern to Montreux?
From Bern, take the Intercity train to Lausanne. In Lausanne, change to the connecting train that will bring you to Montreux. It takes approximately 1 hour and 36 minutes to travel from Bern to Montreux via Lausanne.
Lauterbrunnen, a picturesque Swiss village renowned for its beautiful valley, waterfalls, and outdoor activities, is one of the most picturesque day trips you can take from Bern.
Lauterbrunnen is an idyllic village in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland surrounded by waterfalls. As a matter of fact, the entire area is best described as a valley with 72 waterfalls. Lauterbrunnen is a great place to start exploring the Jungfrau Region.
Lauterbrunnen village is situated at the valley bottom of this magnificent U-shaped valley in Switzerland. Most of the residents of this valley are actually from Lötschental, the adjacent valley located in Valais. A road was said to have passed between the Eiger and Mönch on the way to Valais. It is said that the heights used to be much milder and more fertile.
By taking the train from Lauterbrunnen, you can reach the sunny car-free terrace of Wengen as well as Kleine Scheidegg. From Kleine Scheidegg, you can change trains to go to Jungfraujoch. You may access Mürren through Lauterbrunnen itself or via Stechelberg on the other side of Lauterbrunnen. In addition, if you keep ascending, you’ll reach Piz Gloria – the summit of Schilthorn at 2,971 meters above sea level.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Lauterbrunnen|
|* Trümmelbach Waterfalls|
* Staubbach Waterfall
* Mürrenbach Waterfall
* Kleine Scheidegg
If you would like to plan a day in Lauterbrunnen, you can check out our article How to Spend 1 Day in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland.
How do you get from Bern to Lauterbrunnen?
From Bern, take the Interregio train to Interlaken Ost. In Interlaken Ost, change to the connecting train that will bring you to Lauterbrunnen. It takes approximately 1 hour and 21 minutes to travel from Bern to Lauterbrunnen via Interlaken Ost.
There is no way you can miss Switzerland’s most famous mountain, the Matterhorn, and the town of Zermatt. It’s an excellent day trip from Bern. The journey will take longer than 2 hours, but it will be well worth it.
As the home of the Matterhorn, Zermatt is one of Switzerland’s best-known mountain resorts. From Zermatt, you can easily reach Gornergrat with its spectacular views of the Matterhorn and other 28 four-thousand-meter-high peaks.
In Gornergrat, there is also a view of the Gorner Glacier, the third-largest glacier in the Alps. In addition, it is accessible 365 days a year, departing near the Zermatt train station.
Zermatt is also the second biggest ski resort in Switzerland. It is one of the most popular and best-developed ski resorts in the world. With endless runs and a spectacular backdrop, it’s also the highest winter sports area in the Alps. Zermatt has 360 kilometers of ski slopes with varying levels of difficulty.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Zermatt|
* Gorner Gorge
* Matterhorn Museum
* Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
* Trockener Steg
* Randa Suspension Bridge
If you would like to spend a day in Zermatt, you can check out our article How to Spend 1 Day in Zermatt, Switzerland.
How do you get from Bern to Zermatt?
From Bern, take the Intercity train to Visp. In Visp, change to the connecting train that will bring you to Zermatt. It takes approximately 2 hours and 7 minutes to travel from Bern to Zermatt via Visp.
Grindelwald, an ideal destination for an easy day trip from Bern, offers breathtaking views of the Bernese Alps. It is located approximately one hour away from the city.
Grindelwald is a famous mountain village in the Bernese Oberland, located at the foot of the Eiger (3,970 meters) and Wetterhorn (3,701 meters). Grindelwald is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Bernese Oberland.
The Grindelwald Valley is characterized by soft green meadows and mountain forests on one side, and rocky walls and icy peaks of the Eiger, Schreckhorn, and Wetterhorn on the other. The alpine summer here is short, and as with many other alpine villages, they mow the grass and dry it for use as hay in winter. Due to rainfall, the north-facing slopes have abundant grass.
As recently as 1860, the Grindelwald Glacier reached the outskirts of the village. Between 1860 and 1914, glacier ice was mined and exported commercially. In this way, Grindelwald gained its second name “Glacier Village”. Unfortunately, millions of cubic meters of glacier ice have melted away in Grindelwald.
There are many places to visit in and around Grindelwald. Some of the highlights of the Grindelwald region include Grindelwald First, Bachalpsee Lake, Schynige Platte, Grindelwald Glaciers, Grosse Scheidegg, First Cliff Walk, Männlichen, Eiger Glacier, and Jungfraujoch.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Grindelwald|
|* Grindelwald First|
* First Cliff Walk
* Eiger Glacier
* Bachalpsee Lake
* Grindelwald Glaciers
* Grosse Scheidegg
How do you get from Bern to Grindelwald?
From Bern, take the Interregio train to Interlaken Ost. In Interlaken Ost, change to the connecting train that will bring you to Grindelwald. It takes approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes to travel from Bern to Grindelwald via Interlaken Ost.
Zurich’s numerous museums, shops, and activities make it one of the most vibrant day trips from Bern. In less than an hour, you can reach Zurich from Bern.
As Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich offers plenty of restaurants, bars, museums, and shops. Here you will also find beautiful churches such as Grossmünster and Fraumünster. My favorite family outing here is the Zoo, which, in my opinion, is the best zoo in the country.
There are many things that you can do in Zurich so if you would like to visit somewhere larger and livelier than Bern, I highly recommend that you give it a try.
If you would like to plan a day in Zurich, you can read our article 25 Best Things To Do In Zurich, Switzerland.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Zurich|
|* Landesmuseum Zurich|
* Grossmünster Church
* Uetliberg Mountain
* Lake Zurich
* Bahnhofstrasse for shopping
How do you get from Bern to Zurich?
There are two direct trains per hour between Bern and Zurich. It takes approximately 57 to 81 minutes to travel from Bern to Zurich by direct train.
8. Aare Gorge
With steep rock walls, rushing water, and stunning natural scenery, visiting the Aare Gorge makes for an interesting day trip from Bern. It takes less than 2 hours to get there from Bern.
Known for its limestone formations, Aare Gorge is a large piece of bedrock. It stretches 1,400 meters long and 200 meters deep between Innertkirchen and Meiringen. With a system of safe paths and tunnels, you can walk through the gorgeous gorge to experience nature uniquely.
Access to Aare Gorge has been possible for more than a century. It has been open to the public since 1888. Restaurants, a winter-covered terrace, and a playground have expanded the tourist appeal over the years. Throughout the years, they have also made continuous efforts to make the gallery safer.
If you would like to read more about Aare Gorge, you can check out our article The Aare Gorge Canyon Walk in Haslital, Switzerland.
How do you get from Bern to Aare Gorge?
Take the Intercity train from Bern to Interlaken Ost. In Interlaken Ost, take the Lucerne-Interlaken Express train to Meiringen. In Meiringen, take the connecting train to Aareschlucht Ost or Aareschlucht West. It takes approximately 1 hour 46 minutes to 1 hour 49 minutes to travel from Bern to Aare Gorge train station via Meiringen. The Aare Gorge entrance is a few minutes walk from the train station.
Blausee is worth visiting for its crystal-clear blue waters, tranquil natural surroundings, and picturesque alpine scenery, which together create a magical and unforgettable experience. If you want to see a place that looks like something out of a fairytale, Blausee is the ideal day trip from Bern.
Lake Blausee is worth a visit any time of year. Hiking, picnicking, and boating are a couple of things you can do at Blausee. Blausee is a stunning pearl in Kandergrund, one of the most famous lakes in Switzerland. Anyone who wants to relax will get their money’s worth.
You can visit it at any time of the year since it is open all year long. It is owned by Blausee Corporation, which also owns the hotel, restaurant, organic trout farm, and nearby shop. For dining, there is a Gault Millau restaurant that serves fresh trout. Or you can grill your food.
Guests are provided with a boat ride as part of the fee. There’s no extra charge to ride the boat around the lake.
The area is not suitable for swimming and fishing. Nevertheless, they hold one fishing and one swimming event each year in autumn and winter, respectively.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Blausee|
|* Blausee Lake|
* Boat Trip
* Alpine Trout Farm
If you would like to read more about Blausee, you can check out our article Breathtaking Blausee Lake – A Day Trip In Kandergrund.
How do you get from Bern to Blausee?
Take the regional train from Bern to Frütigen. Take the bus from Frütigen to Blausee BE. The journey from Bern to Blausee by train and bus typically takes an hour in total.
It’s worth a day trip from Bern to Lausanne, one of the most picturesque cities in Switzerland because of its history, beauty, and amazing views. You will reach Lausanne in about one hour if you drive there from Bern.
The eponymous capital of Vaud canton, Lausanne is a beautiful city. This city has everything – a beach on Lake Geneva, pools, a gorgeous old town, museums, shops, restaurants, an aquarium/vivarium, and views of the surrounding mountains. In addition, with varying altitudes, you have parts of the city with great views.
Lausanne’s old town and Cathedral give it a rich history. The city was once ruled by Celts and Romans. Today, Lausanne is the fifth-largest city in Switzerland and the second-largest city in French-speaking Switzerland.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Lausanne|
|* Lausanne Cathedral|
* Lausanne’s Old Town
* Sauvabelin Tower
* Olympic Museum and Park
* Plateforme 10
* Aquatis Vivarium Lausanne
* Palais de Rumine
If you would like to plan a day in Lausanne, you can read our article How to Spend 1 Day in Lausanne, Switzerland.
How do you get from Bern to Lausanne?
There are two direct trains per hour between Bern and Lausanne. It takes approximately 66 to 72 minutes to travel from Bern to Lausanne by direct train.
Summary: Best Day Trips from Bern
For those who are staying for a couple of days in Bern, Switzerland, and wish to venture out to other places, we hope that this list was helpful.
To summarize, if you are looking for large cities with lots of activities, Zurich and Lausanne are great choices. Montreux and the Lucerne region are for those who want something a bit smaller and more laid back. Interlaken is the perfect destination for adventure enthusiasts seeking thrilling activities in the air or on the water.
Blausee, Lauterbrunnen, and Aare Gorge offer some of the most picturesque landscapes for photographers. Lastly, Zermatt and Grindelwald are the most suitable choices for those who want to visit the mountains.
- Zurich to Bern Train: All You Need To Know
- Basel to Bern Train: All You Need To Know
- When Is the Best Time to Visit Bern, Switzerland?
- 10 Beautiful Towns Near Bern, Switzerland
- Zurich to Bern Day Trip: A Complete Guide
- Bern Historical Museum: What to Expect
- Visiting Gurten? 8 Reasons To Love It
- 7 Top Things To Do in Bern When It Rains
- Bern or Berne: What is the Difference?
- 9 Best Cities To Visit In Switzerland
- The Medieval City of Burgdorf, Switzerland
- Swiss Alps – The Ultimate Guide
Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.