Things to do in Interlaken

Vacationers looking for a long docket of things to do in Interlaken will certainly be pleased with the list we’ve compiled below.

  • Bowling
  • Canyon jump
  • Curling
  • Ice skating
  • Glacier trekking excursions
  • Winter hiking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Winter paragliding and hang gliding
  • Tobogganing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Winter sky dying
  • Snow tubing
  • Tennis/squash

Interlaken Beginner Skiing

As a small, lake-locked city, Interlaken doesn’t have any of its own skiing. However many skiers and snowboarders will stay in Interlaken to experience city amenities and ski at the nearby resorts of Grindelwald and Wengen. Here are a few examples of the best areas for beginners on an Interlaken ski vacation:

Beginners and families with young children just learning will be delighted with the Grindelwald beginner skiing. The Bodmi Nursery slopes offer beginners the perfect setting for learning to ski, two small chairlifts and some surface lifts (magic carpets) Parents can rest assured that there aren’t any speedsters bombing through the area. The Bodmi area is also home to Grindelwald’s ski school, and it’s easily accesed by bus from the village, making it a convenient place to learn to ski.

First timers will especially love the Wengen beginner skiing. The resort offers an exceptional and conveniently located “learn to ski” zone in the center of the village. The area gets plenty of afternoon sun making it an enjoyable first experience. If you’re a little more practiced and looking to experience high alpine views, take the cogwheel train up to Wengernalp and enjoy the views. At Wengernalp you’ll find some great beginner terrain. Klein Scheidegg also provides a beginner chairlift. If you’re looking for some more Wengen beginner terrain to explore head to Grindelwald ski area, which is accessible from the Kleine Scheidegg area.

Interlaken Budget Hotels

Interlaken is considered to be a moderately priced ski destination, so skiers and snowboarders looking to travel to the resort on a budget can certainly do so.

Three-star Hotel Oberland is conveniently located the heart of Interlaken and is only a few minutes walking distance from the Interlaken West railway station. A stay at one of the hotel’s 160 rooms provide access to several restaurants and bars, shops and complimentary breakfast.

Interlaken Restaurants

Boasting nearly 100 dining experience, culinary choices abound at Interlaken restaurants. Of course, you’ll find plenty of incredible Swiss “haute” fare, but there’s also much more to taste.

  • For fresh, authentic Italian, it’s got to be Citta Vecchia, Untere Gasse or La Tarantella on Blumenstrasse.
  • Goldener Anker on Marktgasse and Restaurant Aarburg in Unterseen serve up Interlaken’s favorite Swiss cuisine. Don’t miss the fondue at Aarburg.
  • Thai-food-lovers have not one, but two topnotch choices, Tuk Tuk Thai on Unionsgasse, and Little Thai on Hauptstrasse.

Interlaken Expert Skiing

Interlaken doesn’t have any of its own terrain per se, rather it’s the sprawling, gorgeous lake-locked city at the base of Grindelwald and Wengen ski areas and the famed Eiger peak. Many ski vacationers prefer staying in Interlaken to access the attractions, dining and culture and take the free train from Interlaken Ost (East), with the purchase of the Jungfrau Top Ski pass, to access skiing. Once you're up on the mountain, there is plenty of world-class expert skiing, especially at Grindelwald ski area.

With 20 percent of the terrain designated expert, challenge-seekers have plenty of Grindelwald expert skiing terrain to choose from. For on-piste exploits, experts should place a run down Wengen’s legendary Lauberhorn World cup downhill at the top of their list. First ski area also has a couple of on-piste black runs, as does the Schilt chairlift. If you’re looking to explore Grindelwald off-piste areas and the Lauberhorn—for that matter—you’ll need to make your way to Wengen’s Klein Scheidegg area via Wengernalpbahn (train). From here skiers can drop into the Lauberhorn’s famed steeps or make their way to the Jungfraujoch. Skiers then must hop on one more train, the Jungfraubahn to access the Top of Europe and a lifetime’s worth of off-piste and glacier skiing.

Aside from the Lauberhorn World Cup Downhill, there is only a handful of challenging black runs. The best Wengen expert skiing can be found off piste—specifically in the Jungfraujoch zone under the north face of the Eiger. If you travel an hour to sister resort, Murren heli-skiing and backcountry excursions are more readily available.

Interlaken Family Lodging

Families will appreciate the three-star Hotel Oberland’s “center of it all” locale. The hotel sits right in the heart of Interlaken and is just a few minutes’ walk from the Interlaken West railway station. Featuring 160 rooms, Hotel Oberland offers guest an onsite Swiss-style restaurant and a complimentary breakfast.

Families who'd prefer to stay in Gindelwald will delight in four-star Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof’s charming, chalet-style exterior and interior décor. Located close to the village center of Grindelwald, the hotel offers exquisite views of Eiger and Lauberhorn peaks. Friendly service and a confectionery serving fresh cakes and pastries are a game-changer for families. Plus, the onsite Swiss and Alpenländischer kitchen not only take the guesswork out of a Grindelwald family ski vacation, but it also provides many opportunities for memorable family dinners. The whole family can relax and recreate at the wellness spa, indoor heated pool and saunas.

For those who opt for basing their vacation out of Wengen, the centrally located, Sunstar Hotel Wengen is close to the train station and in the direct vicinity of the cable-car up to the Männlicher Mountain—making it an ideal accommodation for a family who wants a simple, easy ski vacation. The Sunstar Hotel Wengen has a very friendly, cozy atmosphere. The pool makes for a fun après-ski activity the whole family can enjoy.

Interlaken Intermediate Skiing

Interlaken doesn’t technically have any of its own slopes, rather it’s the small, beautiful city at the base of the Jungfrau Top Ski resort, providing access to Grindelwald, Wengen and other local ski areas. Intermediates have the most options at the Jungfrau Top Ski resort, making the entire region a mecca for blue and red trail skiers.

Intermediates truly have their run of Grindelwald ski area with 30 percent intermediate terrain and 50 percent advanced intermediate terrain. Enjoy cruising down the five-mile long trail from the 8,200-plus foot Oberjoch ski area back to Grindelwald base area at 3,400 feet. Intermediates will also enjoy all the blue and red runs scattered between the Schilt and Hohwald chairlifts. Intermediates can even enjoy the open powder fields of the Eiger glacier.

With 17 percent intermediate terrain and 68 percent advanced, intermediates and more advanced intermediates have their pick of Wengen’s famed cruisers. Nearly 60 percent of the resort’s 70 miles boasts snowmaking capacity so you’re guaranteed world-class snow conditions. The best intermediate terrain can be found at Wengen and Grindelwald of the three Jungfrau resorts—Grindelwald, Murren and Wengen—so basing your ski vacation out of Wengen is the best option of you’re looking for the most convenient access to intermediate terrain. Intermediates will find exceptional, sustained blue and easier red runs scattered throughout both ski areas—it’s truly an intermediate skier’s paradise. More advanced intermediates will enjoy the more challenging pistes of the Kleine Scheidegg area. Here advanced intermediates can test their mettle on the famed steeps of Lauberhorn downhill course run.

Interlaken Hotels

This beautiful, lake-locked mountain city provides an alternative for the skier who is looking to experience urban attractions, dining and culture, as well as a wider variety of affordable lodging options. Many vacationers will opt to stay in Interlaken and take the free train via Interlaken OST, which is included in purchase of a Jungfrau Top Ski pass, to the ski areas.

Located on the shuttle route to the chairlifts and right in the heart of Interlaken, the three-star Hotel Oberland is an ideal choice for any ski vacationer looking for topnotch convenience. The hotel offers guests 160 rooms, a great chalet-style, onsite restaurant and complimentary breakfast.

Those seeking a luxury Interlaken getaway will love staying at the Royal St Georges Hotel. The four-star hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from Interlaken’s shopping and main pedestrian thoroughfare.  Well-appointed, spacious rooms provide the perfect setting to base your luxury pursuits out of. Guest can enjoy an onsite restaurant and cocktail bar.

Interlaken Luxury Hotels

Interlaken may namely cater to families and ski vacationers seeking moderately priced lodging accommodations, but that doesn’t mean the village is without its frills

Four-star Royal St. George's Hotel will meet and exceed any expectations. This well-appointed hotel is located just a couple minutes’ walk from Interlaken’s shopping. The hotel’s elegant, spacious rooms provide incredible views of Jungfrau Peak—some rooms even have balconies. Guest can enjoy the benefits of an exceptional, onsite restaurant and cocktail bar.

Interlaken Apres-Ski & Bars

With several lake villages to bounce between—or you can check out a new one every night—the Interlaken nightlife is a popular attraction.

  • Open until the sunrise some nights, Brassiere 17 is the place to mingle and catch live music (on Thursdays).
  • For dancing Johnny Carlton’s Club, in the Hotel Carlton, is where you want to be.
  • Casino Kursaal for cocktails and some late-night gambling.