Nestled between the pristine waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and surrounded by mountains, Interlaken is a stunning Swiss destination that transforms into a winter wonderland each year. This idyllic setting offers a plethora of winter activities, making it a must-visit locale for those looking to experience the best of Switzerland during the colder months. From skiing down the slopes of the surrounding Alps to enjoying a hot cup of Swiss cocoa by a roaring fire, Interlaken offers something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the various “Things to Do in İnterlaken in Winter,” ensuring your trip to this Swiss paradise is nothing short of magical.
The Mesmerizing Beauty of Interlaken in Winter
Interlaken in winter is nothing short of a fairy tale come to life. The town itself is a spectacle, with its charming Swiss architecture blanketed in snow, and the surrounding mountains providing a dramatic backdrop that captures the essence of winter in Switzerland. The lakes, usually a vibrant blue, turn into vast icy plains, offering stunning views that are unique to the winter months.
The crisp winter air is invigorating, and the town is quieter than during the peak summer months, giving you the sense of having this winter wonderland almost to yourself. Whether it’s the snow-capped peaks of the Jungfrau region or the twinkling lights of the town reflecting off the icy lakes, the views in Interlaken during winter are unparalleled.
Moreover, the winter season brings with it a host of activities that make Interlaken a unique destination. From winter hiking trails to snow sports and even ice diving for the adventurous, the town is a hub of winter activities that cater to all kinds of travelers.
So, if you’re looking for a destination that offers more than just stunning views, Interlaken in winter is the place to be. Its awe-inspiring natural beauty combined with a plethora of activities makes it a winter destination that you won’t soon forget.
Top Winter Attractions in Interlaken
When it comes to winter attractions, Interlaken has a wealth of options that cater to a variety of interests. Here are some of the top places to visit in Interlaken in winter, based on popular travel guides and reviews:
- Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe: Known as the “Top of Europe,” Jungfraujoch is a must-visit. The cogwheel train journey to reach this high-altitude saddle is an experience in itself, offering breathtaking views of the Aletsch Glacier.
- Schilthorn and Piz Gloria: Another stunning mountain peak, Schilthorn offers panoramic views and is home to Piz Gloria, a revolving restaurant where scenes from the James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” were filmed.
- Harder Kulm: For those who prefer a less strenuous activity, a trip to Harder Kulm offers spectacular views of Interlaken and the surrounding peaks. The winter months provide a snowy landscape that is picture-perfect.
- Ice Magic Interlaken: This is a winter wonderland in the heart of Interlaken, featuring ice-skating rinks, curling, and other winter sports activities. It’s a family-friendly attraction that shouldn’t be missed.
- Lauterbrunnen Valley: Known for its 72 waterfalls, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is a sight to behold in winter. The frozen waterfalls and snow-covered cliffs are mesmerizing.
- Winter Kayaking on Lake Brienz: For the more adventurous, winter kayaking offers a unique perspective of the snow-covered landscapes surrounding the lake.
- Trümmelbach Falls: These are a series of impressive waterfalls inside a mountain in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. During winter, parts of the falls freeze, creating an otherworldly spectacle.
- Höhematte Park: This central park in Interlaken is a great place for a winter stroll. The snow-covered lawns and views of the Jungfrau mountain make it a peaceful retreat.
- Aare River: A winter walk along the Aare River offers serene views and is a less crowded option for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.
- Skiing and Snowboarding: Last but not least, the Jungfrau region offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding opportunities in Switzerland.
Each of these attractions offers a unique experience, making Interlaken a diverse and exciting winter destination.
Adventure Awaits: Outdoor Winter Activities in Interlaken
Interlaken is a haven for adventure seekers, particularly during the winter months when the landscape transforms into an outdoor playground. If you’re wondering about the variety of things to do in Interlaken in winter, you’ll be pleased to know that the options are plentiful and cater to all levels of adventure enthusiasts.
Skiing and Snowboarding
The Jungfrau region surrounding Interlaken is a hotspot for skiing and snowboarding. With a range of slopes catering to both beginners and experts, these winter sports are a must-try when visiting. The well-groomed trails and state-of-the-art facilities make for an unforgettable experience on the slopes.
For those who prefer a less intense winter activity, ice skating is a delightful option. Interlaken offers several ice-skating rinks, both indoor and outdoor, where you can glide gracefully or perhaps learn the basics if you’re a beginner. It’s a fun and engaging way to enjoy the winter atmosphere.
Snowshoeing and Winter Hiking
If you’re looking to explore the natural beauty of Interlaken at a slower pace, snowshoeing and winter hiking are excellent options. The trails take you through scenic landscapes, offering panoramic views of the snow-covered mountains and frozen lakes. It’s a serene way to connect with nature and enjoy the winter scenery.
For the ultimate winter adventure, consider paragliding over the icy landscapes. The experience offers a bird’s-eye view of Interlaken’s stunning winter scenery, making it a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for thrill-seekers.
Cultural and Historical Sites to Visit in Winter
While Interlaken is often celebrated for its natural beauty and outdoor activities, it’s also rich in culture and history, offering a well-rounded experience for visitors even in the winter months. Here are some cultural and historical sites that you shouldn’t miss when exploring Interlaken during winter.
Interlaken Monastery and Castle
The Interlaken Monastery and Castle are historical landmarks that stand as a testament to the town’s rich past. The castle houses a museum that remains open during the winter, offering insights into the history and culture of the region.
Traditional Swiss Villages
Winter is a magical time to visit the traditional Swiss villages surrounding Interlaken. The snow-covered chalets and the warm glow of the streetlights create a picturesque setting that feels like stepping back in time. Villages like Iseltwald and Brienz offer a quaint, peaceful atmosphere and are easily accessible even in winter.
The Aare Gorge
While not a man-made historical site, the Aare Gorge has a history that dates back millions of years. This natural wonder is accessible in winter and offers a unique perspective on the region’s geological history.
Art Museums and Galleries
For art enthusiasts, Interlaken has several museums and galleries that showcase both Swiss and international art. These indoor venues offer a warm escape from the winter chill and provide a cultural enrichment to your trip.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit local workshops where you can observe traditional Swiss craftsmanship. From watchmaking to cheese production, these experiences offer a cultural deep-dive into Swiss heritage.
Scenic Winter Trails and Nature Walks
Interlaken’s winter landscape transforms its trails into magical pathways, offering a unique hiking experience that’s different from any other season. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or someone who simply enjoys a leisurely walk, Interlaken has a variety of winter trails that allow you to explore its stunning natural beauty. Here are some of the best trails and nature walks to consider during your winter visit.
The trail to Harder Kulm is a winter favorite, offering panoramic views of Interlaken and the surrounding Alps. The path is well-maintained during the winter months, making it accessible for hikers of all levels.
Schynige Platte Winter Walk
This is a relatively easy winter walk that offers breathtaking views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains. The trail is about 4 km long and is perfect for families and those looking for a less strenuous hike.
Known as the valley of 72 waterfalls, Lauterbrunnen offers some of the most scenic winter walks. The valley is less crowded during the winter, giving you a more peaceful experience as you explore the frozen waterfalls and snow-covered cliffs.
Grindelwald-First Cliff Walk
For the more adventurous, the Grindelwald-First Cliff Walk offers a thrilling experience. This high-altitude trail provides stunning views and is a must-visit for those looking to add a bit of adrenaline to their winter hiking experience.
Lake Brienz Shoreline Trail
For those who prefer flatter terrain, the Lake Brienz Shoreline Trail offers a serene winter walk. The trail runs along the lake, providing beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the icy lake itself.
FAQs about Interlaken in Winter
Is Interlaken worth visiting in the winter?
Absolutely, Interlaken is a winter wonderland that offers a unique blend of stunning natural beauty and a wide range of outdoor activities. From skiing and snowboarding to winter hiking and ice skating, there’s no shortage of things to do. The town itself is quieter than in the summer, providing a more peaceful experience.
What to do in Interlaken when snowing?
Snowfall in Interlaken transforms the town into a magical setting. This is the perfect time for snow sports like skiing and snowboarding. If you’re not into winter sports, you can enjoy a scenic cable car ride, visit the snow-covered castles, or simply take a walk through the winter landscape.
What is Interlaken like in December?
December in Interlaken is festive and vibrant. The town is beautifully decorated for the holiday season, and there’s a palpable sense of excitement in the air. Snow is likely, making it a great time for winter sports and other snowy activities. Plus, the Christmas markets add a special charm to your visit.
How many days do you need in Interlaken?
The number of days you should spend in Interlaken depends on what you want to do. However, a typical recommendation would be at least 3-4 days to explore the major attractions and perhaps indulge in some winter sports.
Interlaken in winter is a destination that truly has it all—breathtaking natural beauty, a wide array of outdoor activities, and a rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to hit the slopes or a nature lover wanting to explore serene winter trails, Interlaken offers an unforgettable experience. The town itself, with its charming Swiss architecture and festive atmosphere, serves as the perfect base for all your winter adventures.
Don’t miss out on the unique attractions like the snow-covered castles and the vibrant Christmas markets. With so much to see and do, Interlaken in winter is not just a trip; it’s an experience that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.
So, pack your winter gear and set off for this Swiss winter wonderland. Interlaken is waiting to show you the best it has to offer during the colder months. Come and discover why winter in Interlaken is a season of pure magic.