As part of our Spring month of travel, we spent our Easter long weekend in the town of Interlaken, Switzerland. While the town is exquisite in its own right, we used it as a base for a few superb day trips. We’ll list out our day trip itineraries and descriptions of the specific places we visited.
Our daytrip itineraries
Interlaken – Lauterbrunnen – Schilthorn – Murren – Interlaken
Interlaken – Lucerne – Brienz – Interlaken
Interlaken – Brienz – Interlaken (Repeat for a reason)
Our favourite places
The Interlaken – Lucerne train journey has superb views throughout the journey but when we passed Lake Brienz just outside Interlaken for the 1st time, we knew we had to get off. It has a street that was voted Europe’s prettiest, has an incredibly picturesque lakefront & chapel and, best of all, sells King Cornetto!!! In the summer, it is also the base for the Brienz-Rothorn railway (a steam powered joy ride up the slope). We’re tempted to call this village unmissable for an Interlaken trip.
Getting in: The Brienz main railway station is served by both the Inter Regional (IR) & the Regional (R) trains. Takes less than 20 minutes. We took the regional train to Brienz West (close to the pictured chapel) and walked along the lake to Brienz main station.
You can also a cruise on Lake Brienz that takes just over an hour to reach. Costs either 38 or 50 CHF full fare, can’t remember. Check the BLS website.
Fare: Free!!! Train travel to Brienz is covered under the Interlaken Guest pass provided by your hotel. It’s also valid for buses to more destinations we wanted to cover like Thun.
2. Schilthorn cable car + Murren + Lauterbrunnen
Blogpost: Schilthorn daytrip
We wrote up a detailed account of our day trip to the top of Schilthorn (10K feet) via Lauterbrunnen in our blogpost above. We got some fantastic Alpine scenery just before the clouds rolled in spoiling the view. However, this is a must-do on a summer’s day if you’re on a budget because it costs less than half of what a ride on the Jungfraujoch from Interlaken costs.
The Lauterbrunnen valley is magnificent and is lined with 72 waterfalls! (looked a bit like Yosemite) We ambled across the scenic towns of Lauterbrunnen & Murren on this day as well. Wengen & Grustchalp are another two villages worth your time if you’re in this area.
Getting in: As described in our Schilthorn blogpost in detail, getting a Rail & Away ticket from Wildersvil to Schilthron is the cheapest way to enjoy the cable-car daytrip (103 CHF round trip). The Interlaken Guess Pass is valid for train / bus rides to Wildersvil and you can take the train to Lauterbrunnen / Grindelwald from here. From Lauterbrunnen you can take the bus towards Schetelberg to get to the base of the cable car.
Fare: 103 CHF round trip to Schilthorn from Wildersvil. 13 CHF one way to Lauterbrunnen from Wildersvil. Free from Interlaken West / Ost to Wildersvil with Interlaken Guest Card.
3. Lucerne (Easter Sunday)
Our daytrip to Lucerne turned out to be a bit of a damp squib because, well, it was damp. But we cannot fault the scenery on the train journey on the Interlaken – Lucerne IR train one bit, it is spectacular. In Lucerne, we would have liked to go on a boat trip around Lake Lucerne (but it was raining) or visit the Art Museum (closed). Instead we walked around the beautiful old town, visited cathedrals and even drank some beer (with the crazy Swiss pricetag). But the rain did keep us forced to staying indoors a lot.
Getting in: As mentioned, the IR train from Interlaken to Lucerne takes just under 2 hours 1-way.
4. Bonus: Interlaken itself
And of course, our base of Interlaken itself is a picturesque town in its own right. We didn’t spend much time in here, just spent an evening walking. However, the view from our bedroom and dining room were really nice 🙂 We highly recommend our hotel Beausite Budget, a short walk from Interlaken West, great breakfast and the rooms are small with a shared shower but quite affordable for Swiss standards (100 CHF per night).
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