As I was visiting Switzerland by train last month, my boyfriend and I took a day trip to Interlaken. Interlaken means two lakes, and it is situated between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the center of Switzerland. I learned that Interlaken is considered the adventure capital of Switzerland.
Thanks to the amazing train system in Europe, we have traveled through various cities & countries. Each destinations has unique characteristics and amazing scenery worth experiencing. But despite all of our travels, there is one train journey in particular that continues to stand out in my mind as my favorite. The train ride from Lucerne to Interlaken is by far the most breathtaking journey I have experienced to date. Once aboard the panoramic cars, we found ourselves a quiet area and sat across an older couple who seems very excited as well. The journey took us through jaw-dropping views of steep alpine landscape with cascading waterfalls, through lush green, rolling hills with grazing cows, sheep and horses. In addition, manicured landscapes, turquoise water, charming Swiss chalets, and fields of Alpine flowers abound.
After about two and a half hour later, we arrived in Interlaken. Near the train station are gift shops, groceries stores etc. We grabbed some coffee and snacks and got ready to explore the charming town of Interlaken. This picturesque resort town is definitely worth visiting.
As we strolled through the town, it was hard to miss the many paragliders and hand gliders in the air. We walked along River Aare and found ourselves in a historic town called Unterseen. Here we saw farm animals, beautiful wooden chalets, and restaurants.
St. Beatus Caves and Waterfalls
We hopped on a bus and made a stop at a gorgeous cave in Beatenberg. It was on my list of things to do and it exceeded my expectations. It is a hidden gem! Less touristy than Interlaken. A gushing waterfall and beautiful views the whole way up and there is restaurant/cafeteria with magnificent view. There are tours, or you can go through at your own pace by getting a token. The cave is so much bigger and you couldn’t tell it from outside. Fulsome pools, grottos, stalagmites/stalactites and sufficient labelling in both English and German throughout the cave, and an app you can download before you enter, this cave is not to be missed.
At an elevation of 1322 meters/4337 ft high, a jaw-dropping scene awaits you, from Lake Brienz and Lake Thun to the nearby Emmental Alps and the Bernese Alps like Jungfrau and Eiger in the distance. To get up to the top is a quick, 10-minute train ride via funicular or a hike. At the top is also the Panorama Restaurant Harder Kulm serving food and drinks.
On the west side of Interlaken is Lake Thun and is situated amongst spectacular mountains and pastures. The best way to explore the lake is on one of the cruise boats that operate from Interlaken year-round or in the summer on the restored historic paddle steamer. At the western end of the lake, you can stop in Thun with explore its medieval Old Town and lakeside castle. It was built in 1191 and enlarged in 1492 and today it is a museum. To the south, Schadau Park has the Thun Panorama, a 19th-century 360-degree painting of the town. Farther south to explore is Spiez Castle, with furnished 15th-century courtrooms.
Eat at Husi Bierhaus
We met up with friends who was visiting Switzerland and they suggested to have dinner at Husi Bierhaus. I was pleasantly surprised how good the atmosphere, food and drinks was. The portions of food were enormous and delicious. I got their Pork Knuckle and it was huge! They had a huge selection of beers from domestic to international. The only beers they had on tap were Swiss beers, but you could get anything you wanted in a bottle/jar. The atmosphere was lively and fun with American music. The staffs were very friendly and attentive. It’s a restaurant but definitely has a bar vibe starting later in the day so if you’re looking for a quiet, intimate dinner, this probably is not the place.
Other places to see and things to do
Explore Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen and Gimmelwald
White Water Rafting on Lütschine River
A boat ride or more scenic Thurnersee cruise from Interlaken to Oberhofen Castle
Thanks so much for reminiscing my vacation with me!