Mountains Around Interlaken: 10 Awesome Interlaken Day Trips

mountain day trips interlaken
Last updated: June 14th, 2023

Interlaken is a spectacular Swiss town and one of the best places in the country for travelers who want to explore the Alps of Switzerland. It is a popular holiday region nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and surrounded by tall mountain peaks that offer stunning panoramic views. And with Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald so close, what can you lose?

Which mountains are the closest, which offer the best views, and which are the easiest to reach from Interlaken are just some of the topics covered in this guide to the best mountains around Interlaken. Keep reading to learn more about the fabulous summits around Interlaken and how you can reach them!

Mountain Day Trips from Interlaken

Jungfraujoch

Jungfrau

Jungfrau is one of the 4,000+-meter tall summits in the Bernese Alps and the best mountain to visit on a day trip from Interlaken. Most people who decide to visit Jungfraujoch will go to either Kleine Scheidegg or Jungfraujoch – the two are connected with the Jungfraujoch Railway and easily accessible by train from the Interlaken Ost station.

Jungfraujoch is the best place to visit in the Jungfrau region if this is your first time discovering the mountains in the Bernese Oberland. The mountain plateau is home to Top of Europe, which houses an ice palace, a restaurant, and an observation deck that offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and the iconic Aletsch Glacier.

Kleine Scheidegg is a mountain pass with great hiking trails in the summer and even better ski pistes in the winter. It’s also the end point of the Jungfrau Marathon, which is an annual mountain race that usually takes place in late September.

If you do choose to do a day trip up to the Jungfraujoch it is worth checking out these pass options as they specifically cover the area around and offer some great benefits:

Schilthorn

Schilthorn

Schilthorn is a mountain summit of more than 2,950 meters, which offers some of the most spectacular views of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. The village of Mürren lies at the foot of the mountain, and that’s where you will find the cable car that will transport you to the summit.

That’s precisely what made the location so attractive to the producers of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the iconic James Bond movie that featured this mountain. Piz Gloria, the revolving restaurant atop Schilthorn, was heavily featured in the film, and today it’s one of the best places to visit for James Bond fans in Switzerland.

To get to the Schilthorn, you must take a train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, then ride the bus from Lauterbrunnen to Mürren. It takes about an hour in total to travel from Interlaken to Schilthorn mountain, and it’s worth noting that the summit can only be accessed by cable car. Unless you hike up that is!

If you have any of the regional passes or Swiss Travel Pass just be aware that the Schilthorn is one of the rare mountain gondolas that offers no discounts at all. So, it is going to be more expensive than heading to say First or Kleine Scheidegg, but many will say that the views are worth it.

Harder Kulm

Harder Kulm

Harder Kulm is the closest mountain to Interlaken and provides epic views of the Interlaken valley and the 4000m peaks in the distance. Sure, it is not as impressive as heading up the Jungfraujoch, but it offers a quicker and cheaper journey with impressive vistas. It is also a good taste of what the region has to offer.

Situated just north of the Interlaken, the mountain is connected to the town with the Harderbahn funicular. It takes about 10 minutes to travel from the bottom station in Interlaken to the top of Harder Kulm, and then it’s only a five-minute walk to an observation deck that offers magnificent views of lakes Thun and Brienz.

It’s also possible to reach Harder Kulm on foot if you’re in the mood for a bit of a challenge. Start at the bottom station of Harderbahn and follow the switchbacks to the top of the mountain. It’s important to note that this is quite an ascent and not for the unfit. However, if you have time and are reasonably fit, it is worth it as a day hike from town.

It takes about two hours to get to the top of the mountain from Interlaken, where you can enjoy the breathtaking views and grab a bite to eat at the mountaintop restaurant. To get back to Interlaken, you can either just hike back down or ride the funicular back into town.

Brienzer Rothorn

Brienzer Rothorn
Brienzer Rothorn

Brienz Rothorn is a summit towering over Lake Brienz at the end of the lake. It is quite unique because to get to the top you have to take a cogwheel steam train from the bottom. So, not only do you get a fun ride with great views, you also get a bit of nostalgia thrown in for the price!

This summit boasts an elevation of 2,350 meters above sea level, and it is the tallest in the mountain range. The views from the top are out of this world – to the north you can see Waldemme valley, while on the south you get beautiful views of Lake Brienz and the distant 4000m peaks that the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau are part of.

To get there from Interlaken, you can take the train to Brienz, on the eastern shore of the lake. The train station in Brienz is just a couple of minutes away from the bottom station of Brienz Rotorhorn Bahn, which will take you to the mountain summit.

In addition to fabulous panoramic views, the summit also boasts a hotel, a restaurant, and a plethora of hiking trails. Whether you’re a casual hiker or a seasoned trekker, the Brienzer Rothorn mountain offers plenty of opportunities to discover to beautiful landscapes of central Switzerland.

There are also some epic Instagrammable hikes around here. One of the most famous is the Harder Kulm Grat which weaves its way along the ridge from (or to) Brienzer Rothorn. The problem is that is a challenging hike that is also a little bit dangerous. If you are quite experienced and have a head for heights it might be something you want to tackle!

Niesen

Niesen
Niesen

Niesen is a mountain you almost can’t miss on your way to Interlaken from Bern. It is a distinctly pyramid-shaped mountain peak south of Lake Thun. The summit is known for its spectacular views of the Bernese Alps and Lake Thun, but also for the world’s longest stairway! With 11674 steps, the stairway along the railway line is open to the public only once a year, when the annual race to the mountaintop is held.

At the summit, don’t miss out on the famous glass pavilion. It’s a restaurant with glass walls, where you can enjoy the local delicacies while admiring the magical views from the summit. There’s also a sun terrace, for those who prefer completely unobstructed views.

To get to this wonderful peak from Interlaken, you will need to ride the train to Spiez for about 20 minutes. Then change trains and head to the village of Mülenen, where you’ll find the bottom station of the inclined railway that transports passengers to Niesen. In total, it takes about an hour and a half to travel from Interlaken to Niesen.

Those of you with the Swiss Travel Pass you get 50% off the ride up the Niesen. With the Bernese Oberland Regional Pass it is free.

Stockhorn

Stockhorn in the distance
Stockhorn in the distance – image via Wikimedia

The Stockhorn is situated near the Niesen just up the Simmental valley south of Lake Thun. It’s locally known as a hiker’s paradise, with lots of options for walking. The trails around Stockhorn range in difficulty from casual strolls to grueling uphill treks, so there’s something suitable for everyone, regardless of how much hiking experience you have!

The top of the mountain boasts an observation deck with amazing views, a panoramic restaurant, and an abundance of hiking trails. Whether you want to hike, go fishing, or ride Trotti bikes, you’ll find plenty of ways to stay busy at Stockhorn. There is also a mind-blowing bungee jump available at Stockhorn. You launch yourself straight off the gondola into the abyss!

Stockhorn
Hiking below Stockhorn

To reach this mountain from Interlaken, you must first take a train to Spiez, where you should change trains to get to Erlenbach im Simmental. The bottom station of the Stockhornbahn is in this village, and it takes about 20 minutes to transport passengers to the top of the mountain.

There is a range of discounts available to get you up the Stockhorn from 50% off with the Swiss Travel Pass, a free ride with the Bernese Oberland Pass to 20% off with many regional cards from Interlaken, Gstaad, Meiringe, Kandersteg & Simmental.

Niederhorn

Niederhorn
Niederhorn

Situated near the northern shore of Lake Thun, the Niederhorn is a popular mountain summit known for wildlife, beautiful views, hiking trails, and easy cable car access. The Beatenberg cable car transports passengers to the top of the mountain, and the ride is just under 20 minutes.

The observation deck at Niederhorn is just a couple of minutes away from the cable car station, so you can experience the beautiful views as soon as you arrive. Then either go and explore the hiking trails, head to Berghaus Niederhorn for a lunch with a view, or just do whatever you like. I hiked down from here many years ago to the lake. It only takes a few hours and you get insane views all the way down!

The quickest way of traveling from Interlaken to the Beatenberg station is by bus from Interlaken West. The ride is some 30 minutes long, and you’ll get out directly at the cable car station. It’s worth noting that you can also travel by bus from Interlaken to Beatenbucht and then ride the funicular to Beatenberg – this takes longer, but it’s the more scenic route since the bus travels along the northern shore of Lake Thun.

There are few discounts available for a ride up the Niederhorn, only holders of the PanoramaCard, Magic Card or Interlaken Guest Card get good deals. However, often with other passes like the Swiss Travel Pass the ride to the base of the mountain is at least included.

Schynige Platte

Schynige Platte
Schynige Platte

Technically speaking, Schynige Platte isn’t a mountain but a mountain ridge in the Bernese Highlands. It’s situated at an elevation of 2,099 meters above sea level and it offers stunning views of the surrounding summits. Schynige Platte is also easily accessible by the mountain railway, so it’s one of the best places in the mountains to visit on a day trip from Interlaken.

Schynige Platte is known for beautiful views, exciting hiking trails, and very rich flora. Visit the Schynige Platte Alpine Garden to discover flora native to this Alpine region – it’s an interesting garden, but certainly not the highlight of the visit.

Hiking is the most popular thing to do at Schynige Platte, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. There are various trails to explore and they all feature spectacular scenic views. The difficulty and length of trails differ, so there’s something suitable for everyone, regardless of experience level.

Ride the train from Interlaken Ost to Wilderswil, and at Wilderswil get on the mountain train to Schynige Platte. The entire journey takes about an hour, and it’s one of the most scenic train rides you’ll experience in the region.

Most passes in the area like the Bernese Oberland, Jungfrau Travel Pass and the Top of Europe pass (in summer) include the trip free. Others may get you some discounts

(Grindelwald) First

Grindelwald First
Grindelwald First

First is a minor summit of the Schwarzhorn and a very popular ski resort near Grindelwald. It’s a fabulous ski resort in the winter, but there’s also merit to visiting the place during the summer, especially if you enjoy an adrenaline rush. The summit boasts a variety of exciting things to do, including hiking trails, a large-scale zip line, and a walkway suspended from the mountainside.

And that’s not even half of it. First Glider is an eagle paraglider for four people that makes passengers “fly” at speeds of up to 83 km/h. It’s also possible to ride Trotti bikes and mountain carts, for travelers who prefer to have fun on the wheels! There’s even a restaurant at First, for people who prefer to enjoy the views without risking their lives.

There’s no direct transport from Interlaken to First. You must travel to Grindelwald, which you can do on a train from Interlaken Ost. From the Grindelwald train station, you can either walk or ride the bus to Grindelwald Firstbahn – it’s a 10-minute walk, so you might as well just go on foot and enjoy the views along the way. The cable car ride from Grindelwald to First takes about 25 minutes, and it is remarkably scenic.

A trip up First is included in all the regional pass (Jungfrau, Bernese Oberland, Top of Europe) with discounts using the Swiss Travel Pass too.

Faulhorn

Faulhorn
Faulhorn

Faulhorn summit is situated in the Bernese Alps, between Grindelwald and Lake Brienz. It can only be reached by hiking and the most popular trail to the summit is the one from First. So, if you decide to visit the ski resort above Grindelwald, don’t miss out on this exciting hike opportunity!

The hike is around 11.5 kilometers for the out-and-back trip, with an elevation gain of 513 meters. It is a moderately challenging hike that can usually be completed in about five hours. Parts of the trail are very steep, but for the most part, the terrain is not extremely difficult. A good chunk of the hike is over flat dirt paths.

In between First and Faulhorn is Bachalpsee, a stunning alpine lake. It’s a worthy stop on the trail, especially on a clear day when you can see the snow-covered peaks of Schreckhorn reflected in the lake waters.

Famous Mountains Near Interlaken

Interlaken Mountains
Interlaken Mountains

There are a few more very famous mountains near Interlaken worth mentioning. They’re popular with seasoned alpinists and adventurers, but they are not easily accessible by public transport.

Weisshorn

Weisshorn
Weisshorn

Weisshorn is the sixth tallest mountain in Switzerland and is worth a visit if you’re looking for a proper challenge. Most ascents on the mountain are attempted from Zermatt, a lovely village that’s about two and a half hours away from Interlaken.

It’s worth noting that the ascent on Weisshorn is extremely difficult and can only be done with guides. It’s usually a two-day trek, and it’s suitable only for seasoned hikers.

Eiger

Eiger

Eiger is a magnificent mountain in the Bernese Alps and another great option for experienced climbers who love a challenge. The mountain boasts some very challenging climba, the most famous of which is the climb up its north face.

If you want to get up close and personal with the Eiger, the best way is via the Eiger Trail hike above Grindelwald. From Interlaken, you must travel to Grindelwald first, then catch the Eiger Express gondola to Eigergletscher, which is the ideal starting point of the Eiger Trail.

Mönch

Mönch

Mönch mountain is 4,110 meters tall, and it’s one of the most recognizable mountains in the Jungfrau region. Situated right on the border between Bern and Valais cantons, this majestic mountain is most easily accessible from the Jungfraujoch summit.

The route from Jungfrau goes over the southeast ridge and it is the most popular trail for ascents on Mönch. The trail can sometimes be crowded because the hike is generally not too difficult, but all that depends on the weather and trail conditions.

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