Interlaken is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. It is a real treasure with its high winter peaks, gorgeous scenery, sailing on Lake Thun or Brienz, walking, and biking. Though Interlaken has so many activities to offer, those who spend several days there might still want to take day trips from the town. Below are some suggestions for the best day trips from Interlaken for those based there.
These day trips are typically two hours away from Interlaken by train. If you would rather stay closer to Interlaken, check out our other article on the must-see places to visit near Interlaken: Top 12 Stunning Places Near Interlaken. Alternatively, if you prefer visiting beautiful towns, you can check out this article: 8 Beautiful Towns Near Interlaken, Switzerland.
This article discusses the 10 best day trips from Interlaken. Among these are mountain peaks, cities, and other mountain resorts. Let’s go!
With its incomparable views of the glacier and mountain peaks, Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe) is one of the top day trips you can take in Switzerland from Interlaken.
Jungfraujoch – It is often referred to as the saddle between Jungfrau and Mönch. The word Joch in German means “ridge between two peaks.”
The railway station at Jungfraujoch, on the other hand, is the highest in Europe and never fails to market itself as such. The statement is true. With an elevation of 3,454 meters (or 11,332 feet), it is the highest railway in Europe.
Rail construction began in 1896. In 1912, the railway was officially opened after sixteen years of construction. As a tourist destination with easy train access, Jungfraujoch was given the nickname Top of Europe. This station lies just below Sphinx station and is connected to the Top of Europe building.
The Top of Europe building houses panoramic restaurants, shops, and a post office. From the outside, you can also see the surrounding mountain peaks and the Aletsch Glacier.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Jungfraujoch
|* Views of the Bernese Alps and Aletsch Glacier
* Ice Palace
* Alpine Sensation
* Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven
* Jungfrau Panorama
* Snow Park
How do you get from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch?
There are several ways to get from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch. Check out our other article to learn more about it – How to Get From Interlaken to Jungfraujoch: Your Options.
For fans of James Bond films, Schilthorn is a must-see location. Located less than two hours away from Interlaken, you can enjoy awesome views of the entire Jungfrau region on this day trip.
Schilthorn is a summit in Bernese Oberland, Switzerland. The mountain can be accessed via Mürren and overlooks the Lauterbrunnen Valley below. Although Schilthorn is administered and located in Lauterbrunnen, the western slope belongs to Kander Valley.
Schilthorn was made famous by the spy film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service featuring James Bond. Therefore, you can enjoy Bond World (an interactive exhibit about Bond), Bond Cinema (a cinema showing clips from Bond classics), and 007 Walk of Fame (15 information boards on the mountaintop).
Also on the peak is the Piz Gloria restaurant, located 1,300 meters above Mürren. From the top, there are awesome views of the Jungfrau region, Beni Flue, and Blümlisalp. The video above is courtesy of Schilthorn on YouTube.
Schilthorn is also a winter ski resort that has 50 kilometers of slopes between 1,600 and 3,000 meters. It’s open until the end of April. Part of the Jungfrau Ski Region, Schilthorn has the steepest slope in the region (88% steep).
|Don’t miss these attractions in Schilthorn
|* Bond World
* Bond Cinema
* 007 Walk of Fame
* Piz Gloria Restaurant
How do you get from Interlaken to Schilthorn?
From Interlaken Ost, travel by train to Lauterbrunnen. From Lauterbrunnen, transfer to Stechelberg, Schilthornbahn. Thereafter, you will take the cable car in four succeeding sections: Gimmelwald, Mürren, Birg, and then lastly Schilthorn.
In case you noticed, there are many cable car changes leading up to Schilthorn. This was considered one of the most difficult airways to be built in Switzerland.
Lucerne, just 68 kilometers away from Interlaken, is a great choice for a day trip. A more memorable experience is to take the Golden Pass train and marvel at the picturesque lakes as you cross the Brünig Pass.
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 Interlaken to Lucerne?
The following article provides a more detailed overview of traveling between Lucerne and Interlaken: Lucerne to Interlaken Train: All You Need To Know.
With 57 kilometers to cover, Bern is just 45 minutes away by car from Interlaken. A day trip to Bern, Switzerland’s de facto capital, is probably one of the most important day trips you can do from Interlaken.
Nestled along the banks of the Aare River, Bern offers a variety of attractions for all tastes, whether you enjoy history, art, animals, or simply relaxing in a beautiful setting. It is the federal city of Switzerland. There is much more to discover when you take the time to explore this charming city.
There is no better place in Bern to start your day than the Old Town, located across the Aare River. The Old Town of Bern, which consists of several well-preserved buildings from the medieval era, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. A famous symbol of Bern, which dates back to 1218-1220, can be seen right at the entrance to the Old Town: the Zytglogge.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Bern
|* UNESCO World Heritage Old City of Bern
* Parliament Building
* Bern Minster Cathedral
* Historic Museum
* Bern Bear Pit (Bärengraben)
* Bern Zoo (Tierpark Dählhölzli)
* Zentrum Paul Klee
* Museum of Communication
If you would like to plan a day in Bern, you can check out our article How to Spend 1 Day in Bern, Switzerland.
How do you get from Interlaken to Bern?
Every hour, Interlaken and Bern are served by two direct trains. It takes 52 to 54 minutes to travel from Interlaken to Bern. Bern is 56.5 kilometers away from Interlaken by car.
The drive to Montreux from Interlaken takes 1 hour and 40 minutes with 148 kilometers covered. With its nearby vineyards and more laid-back lifestyle, Montreux will always be an interesting contrast to Interlaken. There is also a Golden Pass train that will take you there.
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 Interlaken to Montreux?
The GoldenPass connects Interlaken and Montreux. Take this train connection if you can. It is also possible to travel to Montreux by train via Spiez and Zweisimmen. This trip may take between three and four hours.
Known for its art scene, the Rhine River, and quaint old town, Basel makes a wonderful day trip from Interlaken. Getting there won’t take more than 2 hours, and there are many activities to enjoy.
The city of Basel, along the Rhine River, is situated in northwest Switzerland, quite close to France and Germany. A highly cultural city, it also enjoys excellent weather year-round. It has also been included time and again in the list of most livable cities in the world.
Basel is also known as Switzerland’s cultural capital. It has more than 40 museums, including the Kunstmuseum, the Fondation Beyeler, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Additionally, it hosts Art Basel, an international art fair that attracts thousands of artists, art collectors, and art enthusiasts from Europe, the US, and Asia.
One tradition that you might want to observe is the Basel Carnival Festival. Sometime during the months of February and March, the country’s largest festival starts with what’s called the Morgestraich. It lasts a good 72 hours. As a highly anticipated and important tradition, the Basel Carnival was inscribed in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage back in 2017.
There’s more to Basel than just culture. Also in Basel are world-renowned institutions, like the University of Basel, the Bank of International Settlements, and FC Basel. Some of the biggest pharma companies are based in Basel, like Roche, Novartis, Lonza, and Actelion.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Basel
* Fondation Beyeler
* Museum of Contemporary Art
* Art Basel
* Basel Carnival and Morgestraich (UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage)
* Zoo Basel
If you would like to plan a day in Basel, you can read our article How to Spend 1 Day in Basel, Switzerland.
How do you get from Interlaken to Basel?
Every hour, Interlaken and Basel are served by one to two direct trains. It takes 2 hours to travel from Interlaken to Basel. Basel is 153 kilometers away from Interlaken by car.
It’s definitely worth a day trip from Interlaken to Lausanne, one of the most picturesque cities in Switzerland because of its history, beauty, and amazing views. You will reach Lausanne in about two hours if you drive there from Interlaken.
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 Interlaken to Lausanne?
Lausanne can be reached by train from Interlaken via Bern. It takes 2 hours and 16 minutes to travel from Interlaken to Lausanne via Bern. Lausanne is 166 kilometers away from Interlaken by car.
In just two hours, you can drive 100 kilometers to the lovely city of Sion from Interlaken. With its sunshine, unique landscape, history, and wine culture, Sion is one of the best day trips from Interlaken.
The city of Sion is the capital of the Swiss canton of Valais, located in the southwest region of the country. The region is known for its wine, fruits, sun, and proximity to some of Switzerland’s highest mountains. Sion’s history goes back to the first century when the Romans called it Sedunum.
The Sion plateau lies north of the Rhone, dominated by the Valeria and Tourbillon hills. The old town with cobblestone streets is filled with markets, shops, and restaurants. Many historical buildings in Sion can be explored on foot. Weather permitting, visitors and locals often eat outside and sip wine.
The underground lake of St. Leonard is a wonderful gem near Sion that I highly recommend visiting.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Sion
|* Chateau de Tourbillon
* Valère Basilica
* Old Town of Sion
* Musée cantonal d’histoire
* Musée cantonal des beaux-arts
* Musée cantonal d’archéologie
* Sion Cathedral
* Tour des Sorciers
* St. Leonard Underground Lake
How do you get from Interlaken to Sion?
Sion can be reached by train from Interlaken via Spiez and Visp. It takes 90 minutes to travel from Interlaken to Sion. Sion is 153 kilometers away from Interlaken by car.
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 Interlaken. 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 Interlaken to Zermatt?
Zermatt can be reached by train from Interlaken via Spiez and Visp. It takes from 2 hours 14 minutes to 2 hours 21 minutes to travel from Interlaken to Zermatt. As Zermatt is car-free, I highly recommend leaving your car in Interlaken and taking the train to Zermatt.
10. Lenk im Simmental
With its waterfalls, mountain peaks, and unspoiled nature, Lenk in Simmental is a fantastic day trip from Interlaken. A one-hour drive from Interlaken, it is a place of relaxation and serenity.
An incredibly unspoiled landscape, a modern wellness center, and waterfalls make Lenk im Simmental an ideal day trip from Interlaken. It is located in Simmen Valley which has other tourist spots such as Stockhorn, Mittagfluh, and Rinderberg.
Sibe Brünne, as shown above, is a magical waterfall and the source of the River Simme.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Lenk im Simmental
|* Sibe Brünne
* Lenkerseeli Lake
* Leiterli Lake
* Erlebnisbad Wallbach
How do you get from Interlaken to Lenk im Simmental?
Lenk im Simmental can be reached by train from Interlaken via Spiez and Zweisimmen. It takes less than two hours to travel from Interlaken to Lenk im Simmental. Lenk im Simmental is 67 kilometers away from Interlaken by car.
Summary: 10 Best Day Trips from Interlaken
For those who are staying for a couple of days in Interlaken, 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, Bern, Lucerne, Lausanne, and Basel are great choices. Montreux and Sion are for those who want something a bit smaller and more laid back.
Jungfraujoch, Zermatt, and Schilthorn are suitable choices for those who want to visit the mountains. Experience Lenk im Simmental’s scenic beauty and capture some unforgettable photographs.
Considering all the options at your disposal, I hope you will be able to find something from this list that you will enjoy and have a great day trip from Interlaken.
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- How to Get From Interlaken to Jungfraujoch: Your Options
- Lucerne to Interlaken Train: All You Need To Know
- How to Spend 1 Day in Bern, Switzerland
- How to Spend 1 Day in Montreux, Switzerland
- How to Spend 1 Day in Basel, Switzerland
- How to Spend 1 Day in Lausanne, Switzerland
- Is Gornergrat Worth Visiting?
- Sibe Brünne Springs: Everything You Need to Know
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.