I don’t have words to describe how amazing Switzerland is! Swiss Alps blew our mind like never before. Snow covered Alps, frozen and other stunning lakes, streams and their melody mixed with birds chirping, waterfalls, picture postcard scenery and fresh spring air made our trip more than memorable. Since we only had 3 days, we decided to explore Interlaken. But trust me when I say, 3 days is not even enough to explore Interlaken as there is so much to do here. Here is our itinerary and suggested spots for 3 amazing days in Interlaken, Switzerland.
How to reach Interlaken
Switzerland is a small country, about half the size of Ireland in comparison. Traveling from one end to other won’t take long. You can fly to any of the major airport like Zurich, Geneva, Bern or Basel and either rent a car or take a train to Interlaken. Interlaken is a small town in between lake Brienz and lake Thunersee, but that’s not where you should aim to go. By Interlaken, we mean the alps in this region which are gorgeous and should be where you spend all your time.
We flew to Zurich and it took us about 2 hours to reach Grindelwald. Grindelwald is a small village in Interlaken region and a popular spot for various activities. See more details below.
How to Travel within Interlaken and Switzerland
Public transportation is amazing in Switzerland, but super expensive. If you don’t have an international driving licence or prefer trains, by all means go for the Swiss rail pass. This pass will set you back by 232 CHF / 205 Euro per person for 3 days but will cover all modes of transportation from i.e. train, bus and boat anywhere in the country.
However, if you are like us, who prefer some flexibility and don’t want to spend a bomb on your train pass, we would highly recommend renting a car. Driving in Switzerland is similar to any other European country and you will have to drive on the right-hand side of the road. You will reach from one spot to another much faster with a car as won’t have to change multiple trains. We spent approximately half of this on our car rental i.e. around 200 Euro total (including a full insurance and fuel cost). Please be vary of the very strict speed restrictions in Switzerland. You are allowed only 3 kms over the posted speed limit and anything over that would certainly attract a traffic ticket. To rub salt to the wounds, the rental company would charge $50 to provide details about your reservation to the traffic police. Hence, be extremely careful and religiously obey those speed limits. Using the cruise control in the car would certainly come in handy.
Where to stay during your 3 amazing days in Interlaken:
While you can stay anywhere, and closer to one of the lakes near Interlaken, we highly recommend staying closer to the Alps. The charm and beauty of the alps deserve more than a quick day trip. We stayed in Grindelwald in a beautiful Chalet with our own private patio facing Mt. Eiger. Grindelwald in itself is a very pretty town and base to either Jungfrau or First.
We stayed at Spillstatthus. It is a studio with a small kitchenette which was perfect for us. We saved quite a bit of money, by making our own meals most of the days. We had so many meals while enjoying the view of Mt. Eiger. They also provided free parking which helped as well. We can’t recommend this place enough.
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How to spend 3 amazing days in Interlaken, Switzerland:
Switzerland offers a lot of things that could keep you busy for weeks. We choose to explore only a small region i.e. Interlaken in 3 days during spring. Here is our top favorite things to do for your 3 amazing days in Interlaken..
Grindelwald is a very pretty village in the Bernese alps. It’s a popular ski resort destination in winter and a base for hiking in summer. Expect super stunning views of Eiger North Face and a typical Swiss country side. You can do loads of stuff here to keep you busy for days, but below are the popular ones:
We highly recommend taking a cable car up to First for some stunning views of Grindelwald and Eiger North face. However, First is more than just views. You can do the popular First Cliff walk (which is free of cost) and other adrenaline rush activities with First Flyer i.e. glider, zipline, mountain cart and Trottibike scooter. When you buy the cable car tickets to First, you can choose between zero and four of these above activities for your journey down. We did the Zipline and Trottibike scooter (mountain cart was still closed due to slow) and I can’t tell you how FUN it was!
You can also choose to paraglide from First and trust us, it looked very exciting. But keep in mind it’s weather dependant and booking in advance would be helpful to secure a spot. We missed out on spot and the weather wasn’t great for rest of the time.
This is one of the most popular summer hikes in Switzerland and from the photos, it does look super stunning. However, hiking trail only opens in June. If you are planning a trip in Summer, we highly recommend doing this. Lake Bachalpsee can be reached from First on foot in less than one hour and there are live notice boards in First which provides weather update. Still bummed that we couldn’t do this hike because the glacial lake looks so stunning.
Jungfrau – top of Europe:
One of the most popular locations in Europe! The journey to top itself is supposed to be super stunning and you can get a train from Grindelwald. However, the tickets are super expensive, i.e. around 200 euro per person. Jungfrau boasts the highest railway in the world and an entry into ice palace, if that is our thing.
Lauterbrunnen is a pretty little Swiss village in a Lauterbrunnen valley created by glacial activities. It is surrounded by snowclad mountains, waterfalls, little stream and green fields dotted with Chalet style houses. In summer, expect to see loads of Swiss cows with those iconic bells which definitely adds much more charm to the entire valley. We suggest going on an easy walk till Trummelbach Falls which will allow you to explore this village and nearby villages even more. There are trails and well-marked sign posts that you can follow till Trummelbach or even till the next village Stechelberg. Stabbauch Falls, located at the village entrance and right behind the church is one of the iconic spots in Lauterbrunnen and Europe’s highest free-falling waterfall. Make sure that you definitely include Lauterbrunnen in your itinerary of 3 amazing days in Interlaken, Switzerland.
Another iconic waterfall in Lauterbrunnen valley which is created by glacial activities. The waterfall is inside a cave and consists of 10 waterfalls. Trummelbach Falls are open daily from April until November but please note that the falls is only open from 9am to 5pm. Also, there is an entry fee to take the cable car up.
Murren & Wanger:
These are super pretty car free Swiss villages that you can consider visiting while you are in Lauterbrunnen. Some of the most popular things to do in Murren is to take a cable car Birg and the Schilthorn, and other hiking trails. Wanger is on the other side of the cliff and offers equally stunning views and some great dinning options. Check this Trip Advisor thread if you want to choose between the two. However, make sure that you take a note of cable car timings. We couldn’t go to either of the two villages as the cable car stops operating around 5pm in the evening.
If you ask us, a hike up to this frozen lake was our favourite memory of Swiss trip. The lake was surrounded by huge snow-clad alps and gave a very unique charm to it. However, it’s not just the lake but the hike up to the lake that made it so special for us. It’s not an easy hike, if hiking is not your thing as you have to climb quite a bit of elevation. But, the reward is so worth it. We hiked through beautiful alps, waterfalls, forest, stunning view, snow & ice to reach this frozen lake (it was frozen in end of April).
If you are not into hiking, you can take the cable car from Kandersteg to the lake. The cable car opens in May and operates from 9:00 to 17:00 (longer during peak season). Once at the lake, you can do a short easy walk around the lake as well. Our suggestion is to pack a picnic and enjoy few hours of calmness and serenity at the lake.
Again, lake Oeschinensee should definitely be in the itinerary of your 3 amazing days in Interlaken, Switzerland!
This Instagram famous lake is 10 mins car drive from Lake Oeschinensee and is known for its clear greenish blue water. The best way to enjoy a few peaceful moments at this lake is early in the morning, as it gets quite crowded later in the day with loads of people picnicking and barbecuing. Expect to pay an entry fee, but probably worth a visit for those pretty Instagram photos.
As you drive to or from Interlaken to Zurich, it would be hard to miss this lake and the stunning blue color. Our recommendation would be to spare an hour or two towards the end of the trip before heading back to the airport for a leisurely walk along the shore. Lake Brienz offers really stunning views and is a perfect picnic spot on a warm summer day.