Jungfrau Region Itinerary: 4 Days in Interlaken on a Budget

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After exploring Switzerland, I can confidently say that a trip to this wonderful country is not complete without visiting the heart of the Swiss Alpsthe Jungfrau Region.

Yes, spending one day in Bern (taking in the views and visiting architectural marvels) is great; two days in Lucerne (exploring the Old Town and visiting Mount Pilatus) is amazing; and undoubtedly, a few days in Zermatt, Montreux, or Gruyeres are fantastic. But without the Jungfrau Region, it might feel like you’ve missed half of the awe-inspiring experiences in the country.

This region has almost every natural spectacle you can find in the mountains. There are the unreal turquoise lakes with castles, thousand-foot graceful waterfalls, gigantic glaciers, rustic alpine villages, and of course, valleys that are straight out of our favorite fantasy novel movies. Let’s not forget the adventures. The Jungfrau Region offers plenty of adventures, and they happen amidst breathtaking natural scenery. They are unforgettable experiences — moments when you’ll truly feel so alive!

With so much to do, to go, and to see, planning a trip to the Jungfrau Region can be a bit overwhelming. Particularly, when you aim to experience the best without spending a fortune. If that’s your case, don’t worry. You can conveniently use my 4-day Jungfrau Region itinerary.

Honestly, four days in the Jungfrau Region may not be enough, especially if you want to explore at a leisurely pace. However, in my opinion, four days should allow you to experience every aspect of why people visit the Jungfrau Region. These aspects include the stunning scenery, adventure, a fairytale-like experience, and a relaxing day by a lake.

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4-pic summary of your Jungfrau Region trip

Alpine villages, castles, and little gems in the Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Alpine villages, castles, and little gems in the Jungfrau Region
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Good to know: The itinerary is focused on the free-to-visit places and destinations with small admission fees. The itinerary includes some of the most beautiful places around Interlaken and the unmissable experiences in the Jungfrau Region. Just prepare your budget for transportation and food, and I have taken care of the rest. I suggest making Interlaken your home base. Centrally located and conveniently connected to the top attractions in the region, Interlaken is the most practical town to find a hotel or place to stay for the entire trip.

Getting to Interlaken from other cities in Switzerland and starting your journey in the Jungfrau Region is a breeze. If you’re flying into Switzerland, it’s best to start in Zurich, where you can catch a 2-hour direct train to Interlaken. Other train schedules may take longer due to a transfer in Bern. If you’re driving, the travel duration is shorter (1.5 hours) if you take the route passing through Lucerne. Traveling in a group? A private transfer is a more convenient option—it takes you directly from the airport to your hotel!

The Jungfrau Travel Pass or Berner Oberland Pass is highly recommended for a 4-day visit to the Jungfrau Region. It covers all public transportation in the Jungfrau Region and offers significant discounts on special experiences, should you want to make your trip more memorable. An alternative is the Swiss Travel Pass, which offers the same benefits as the Jungfrau Travel Pass but for the entire country. It’s very handy for a trip to Switzerland lasting a week, 6 days, or even 4 days.

As an overview, during your 4-day stay in the Jungfrau Region, you will be visiting one of the areas surrounding Interlaken each day. These areas are the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Grindelwald, Lake Thun, or Lake Brienz. Here is the summary of each area:

  1. Lauterbrunnen Valley: Lauterbrunnen (village), Wengen, Mürren, and Gimmelwald
  2. Grindelwald: Grindelwald (village), Grindelwald-First, Bachalpsee, and Männlichen
  3. Lake Thun: Thun (town), Oberhofen Castle, Spiez
  4. Lake Brienz: Brienz (village), Iseltwald, Harder Kulm
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Destinations on a 3 to 4 day Jungfrau Region Trip, Switzerland
Destinations on a 3 to 4 day Jungfrau Region Trip
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IMPORTANT TIPS (Please read)

You can visit these places in any sequence you want. However, it would be better to make the weather your basis in deciding which destination you should go for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.  Below are the destinations in the Jungfrau Region, arranged from “which place needs clear skies the most to enjoy” to “which is okay to visit even if there’s an overcast.”

  1. Grindelwald. As much as possible, you should visit Grindelwald when the skies are clear. Most places of interest in Grindelwald are on a mountaintop, and they offer stunning views of the Jungfrau Region only if no clouds are blocking the view.
  2. Lauterbrunnen. The villages in the Lauterbrunnen have high altitude, and the scenery from these villages look perfect if there’s no fog covering the mountains in the backdrop of the quaint streets and buildings of these villages.
  3. Lake Brienz. Lake Brienz has impressive turquoise water that looks magical when the sun shines. However, the overall experience of visiting lakeshore villages wouldn’t be entirely affected by the weather.
  4. Lake Thun. You’ll usually be in a castle or town during a day in Lake Thun. Unless you’re into photography, the cloudy skies should not matter much.
Beautiful weather in Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lake Brienz, and Lake Thun, Switzerland
Beautiful weather in Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lake Brienz, and Lake Thun

If the weather forecast says it’ll be sunny for your entire Jungfrau Region trip, you can follow the sequence I set: Lauterbrunnen Valley —> Grindelwald —> Lake Thun —> Lake Brienz. It’s also a priority if you want to shorten your trip to three days instead of four. Let’s assume and hope that the weather forecast during your trip is excellent. So, I’ll discuss the itinerary following the sequence I just mentioned. 

Important. If you use this itinerary as a guide for your Jungfrau Region Trip, please note the following:

  • A visit to the Jungfrau Region is incomplete without hiking, especially with the views you’ll find along the trails. There will be hikes, but it’ll be easy. Bring comfortable hiking shoes and apply sunblock if the UV measurement is high. 
  • There are several destinations on top of the mountains, 2000+ meters high. The climate is colder up there, so please bring warm clothing even if it is summer (if you are not used to a cold environment)
Hiking trails (Mannlichen) in the Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Hiking trails (Mannlichen) in the Jungfrau Region

Day 1 – Lauterbrunnen Valley

Among the beautiful places in the Jungfrau Region, Lauterbrunnen Valley is the most beautiful, and it’s a sight you simply can’t miss! For me, it’s the most awe-inspiring, and I think J.R.R. Tolkien would have said the same… Did you know that Lauterbrunnen Valley was one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s inspirations for his novel, The Lord of The Rings? Rivendell, the home of the elves, was based on Lauterbrunnen Valley, and it’s apparent in Tolkien’s depiction of the elven vale in his books.

Lauterbrunnen is so beautiful that it is often depicted as the closest place to heaven on earth. It has inspired me since the day I discovered it.

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Lauterbrunnen Valley is the area south of Interlaken, and it has 4 beautiful villages that you can all visit within a day. Three of the villages (Wengen, Gimmelwald, and, Mürren) are perched above the valley, and only Lauterbrunnen Valley is located at the base. Public transportation is the primary way of moving around the valley. The villages in Lauterbrunnen valley are connected by cable cars, trains, and buses. We’ll discuss the details later as we discuss each village.

But if you have a car, you can only drive at the base of Lauterbrunnen Valley. You must leave your car either in Lauterbrunnen Village or Stechelberg before you can visit Wengen, Mürren, or Gimmelwald. 

Here’s the summary (estimated timestamps):

  • 8:00 am — Ride the train to Lauterbrunnen
  • 8:30 am — Arrival in Lauterbrunnen. Explore the village.
  • 9:30 am — Take the funicular to Wengwald and hike to Lauterbrunnen Valley’s viewpoint. Continue hiking to Wengen.
  • 11:30 am — Arrival in Wengen. Lunch.
  • 1:30 pm — Ride the funicular back to Lauterbrunnen
  • 1:45 pm — Ride the bus to Stechelberg (#141)
  • 2:15 pm — Ride the Schilthornbahn cable car from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald
  • 2:30 pm — Arrival in Gimmelwald. Explore the village.
  • 3:30 pm — Ride the Cable Car to Mürren
  • 3:45 pm — Arrival in Mürren. Explore the village
  • 5:00 pm — Ride the Funicular to Allmendhubel or Birg. Dinner time
  • 7:00 pm — Go back to Interlaken (Allmendhubel or Birg—> Mürren —> Stechelberg —> Lauterbrunnen —> Interlaken)
1st Highlight: Lauterbrunnen

On a 20-minute train distance, Lauterbrunnen village is definitely the nearest beautiful village you can reach from Interlaken. This is why it’s where we’ll start your Jungfrau Region trip. Whether you arrive by train or by car, a few steps into the village should already give you a good lasting impression of the Jungfrau Region. The stunning views should bless your eyes with the valley’s angelic beauty, especially when you start strolling along Auf der Fuhren – the village’s main street.

The view of Lauterbrunnen from the wooden chair beside Chalet Pironnet, Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
The view of Lauterbrunnen from the wooden chair beside Chalet Pironnet
Day 1 Destination 1, Lauterbrunnen Village, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 1 Destination 1, Lauterbrunnen Village

There isn’t much to do in the village except for exploring and enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Although it may appear to be a dull activity, it is not! You can anticipate some incredibly peaceful views and the ambiance of nature. You can just imagine the sound of Staubbach Waterfall that lies beside the village. It jumps down from the cliff, 300 meters tall.

If you like, grab a coffee at the shops along Auf der Fuhren. Some coffee shops with an alfresco area where you can get a nice view of the valley and Staubbach Waterfalls are Airtime Cafebar, Hotel Schützen, and Hotel Jungfrau (the nearest to Staubbach Waterfalls).

Views of Staubbach Waterfall from Lauterbrunnen Village, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Views of Staubbach Waterfall from Lauterbrunnen Village

Aside from Auf der Fuhren, there are more spots in Lauterbrunnen village you must visit for more awe-inspiring views. You should see them for picture-perfect scenes you can share with friends and family. Below are the locations where they are:

  • In Front of Chalet Pironnet
  • Kirche Lauterbrunnen
  • Along Stocki Road
  • Staubbach waterfall
  • Wengwald
  • Hiking trail between Lauterbrunnen and Wengen
  • Hiking trail between Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg

If you want to learn more about them, please check my Lauterbrunnen Map showing Lauterbrunnen’s 7 Viewpoints and Photo Spots.

Chalet Pironnet and Wengwald are the two I would recommend you must not miss. Chalet Pironnet is very easy to reach, as it’s only a few steps away from Auf der Fuhren. On the other hand, Wengwald has the best view of the Lauterbrunnen valley. Here’s the view from Chalet Pironnet and Wengwald:

View of Lauterbrunnen from Chalet Pironnet, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
View of Lauterbrunnen from Chalet Pironnet
View of Lauterbrunnen from Wengwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
View of Lauterbrunnen from Wengwald

To get to Wengwald, you must take the funicular to Wengen from Lauterbrunnen. Wengwald has its own train station, which is a 10-minute hike from the viewpoint. After visiting the viewpoint of Lauterbrunnen in Wengen, proceed to Wengen. It’s your next destination. Wengen is already a hiking distance from Wengwald. And it should not take you more than 30 minutes to reach Wengen from Lauterbrunnen’s viewpoint in Wengwald.

2nd Highlight: Wengen

If you want to go straight to Wengen from Lauterbrunnen and skip Wengwald, it’ll only be a 15-minute journey on a funicular.

Wengen is your second destination for your first day on your Jungfrau Region trip. I am bringing you here because Wengen is the best place to eat lunch. Wengen has wider dining and shopping options compared to other villages in the Lauterbrunnen valley. Most importantly, perched on a sunny terrace, Wengen also offers a scenic view of the Lauterbrunnen valley. You can go to the Reformed Evangelical Church of Wengen for an unobstructed panorama of the valley. 

Day 1 Destination 2, Wengen above Lauterbrunnen Valley, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 1 Destination 2, Wengen above Lauterbrunnen valley

The view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley is the main reason why you must visit Wengen. You can see more beautiful scenery in Wengen from my post: Should You Visit Wengen: Best Reasons & 10 Things to Do.

Beautiful scenes in the village of Wengen, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Beautiful scenes in the village of Wengen

Wengen has a few supermarkets where you can buy really affordable sandwiches for lunch. Coop is only a few steps away from the train station. You can buy food there and have a breathtaking picnic on the benches outside the Reformed Evangelical Church of Wengen. Wengen also has countryside scenery beside Saint Bernard’s Anglican Church. If it’s summer, you can find some cows grazing in the meadows, and all that you can hear is the cowbells chiming and the breeze of the air to your ears. 

Countryside views in Wengen, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Countryside views in Wengen

You can drop by the church of Wengen for some idyllic views, but I would not recommend spending too much time in the village. Because Gimmelwald, your next destination after Wengen, is the place to be for another glimpse-of-heaven scenery.

To get to Gimmelwald from Wengen, you can follow these steps:

  1. Take the Funicular to Lauterbrunnen from Wengen.
  2. Ride the bus (#141) from Lauterbrunnen to Schilthornbahn in Stechelberg.
  3. Hop on a cable car from Schilthornbahn in Stechelberg.
  4. Alight to Gimmelwald (the first cable car station after Schilthornbahn valley station in Stechelberg).
3rd Highlight: Gimmelwald

Jungfrau Region offers different experiences. One of them is an authentic experience of the Swiss countryside. Where’s the best place where you can find it? Gimmelwald. It’s in Gimmelwald because it is the smallest village in Lauterbrunnen, far away from the busy tourist-packed attractions in the Jungfrau Region. 

Day 1 Destination 3, Rustic views in Gimmelwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 1 Destination 3, Rustic views in Gimmelwald

Although Gimmelwald already has a thriving tourism industry, commercialism barely exists on its streets. Take a stroll in the village, and you’ll mostly see meadows dotted by charming chalets, cute cheese storage houses, barns, and more quaint buildings. If you’re like me (I love to do introspection while I travel), you’ll love the tranquility in Gimmelwald. It’s all nature that you can hear — the chirping of birds and the roaring of waterfalls from afar — they’ll surely give you peace of mind!

Cute little things in Gimmelwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Cute little things in Gimmelwald

I suggest spending at least an hour in Gimmelwald to explore the village. It has little gems to offer. You can read my article, 5 Things To Do In Gimmelwald (Beautiful Reasons To Visit), to guide you where you can find them.

Mürren is your next destination after Gimmelwald. It is the village that neighbors Gimmelwald to the north, and getting to Mürren is a breeze with just a single 5-minute cable car ride.

4th Highlight: Mürren

Your first day in the Jungfrau Region ends in Mürren. This village, perched on the top of the cliff above Lauterbrunnen Valley, has an altitude of 1638 meters. It is the most elevated village in the Canton of Bern. I bring you to Mürren because it has an awe-inspiring and unique view of the Jungfrau massif, featuring Schwarzmönch and its craggy mountain face. For me, it’s a spectacular view in the background of the charming Swiss chalets in this village, which you would love to explore.

For more information about Mürren, read my article explaining in detail the activities and attractions in Mürren.

Day 1 Destination 4, Views in Mürren, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 1 Destination 4, Views in Mürren

As you explore, go to the village’s viewpoint of the Lauterbrunnen Valley near Café LIV. It’s the best place to take a selfie or photo souvenir; you’ll see the entire face of Schwarzmönch down to the base of the Lauterbrunnen Valley from the viewpoint. If you have time until the last descent of the cable cars, try the tourist attractions above Mürren. They are:

  • Allmendhubel
  • Birg
  • Schilthorn
Allmendhubel, Birg, Schilthorn - attractions in Mürren, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Allmendhubel, Birg, Schilthorn – attractions in Mürren

Allmendhubel is the hill above Mürren, linked to the village by a funicular. It’s free to visit, though you need to pay a small amount for the funicular if you don’t want to hike. Among the three tourist attractions from Mürren, it is the nicest spot for family travelers. It features a scenic restaurant and an expansive flower-themed playground. While adults relax with the eye-pleasing views, kids have fun in the playground.

Allmendhubel, Mürren, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Allmendhubel

On the other hand, Schilthorn is the top tourist attraction you can visit from Mürren. It is a summit reached by cable car from Mürren, where you can find Piz Gloria — the revolving restaurant. Piz Gloria was the filming location of James Bond’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service movie. If you’re a fan or you like to have a fancy dinner, I think you would like to spend time in Piz Gloria.

Schilthorn, Mürren, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Schilthorn

Lastly, Birg is the cable car middle station between Mürren and Schilthorn. It’s the place to be if you want a thrilling experience. Birg has a steel pathway attached to the cliff of the mountain. The walkway features an open-air tunnel made of metal mesh and a tightrope path (protected with a metal net), which has nothing but hollowness below. It lets you have an exhilarating moment to help you conquer your fear of heights.

Birg, Mürren, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Birg

The three places I mentioned have restaurants. If you like, you can eat your dinner in them. However, to avoid inconvenience, make sure you are aware of the last cable car descent from each station before you stay in the evening.  Schilthornbahn timetable is linked at the resources section of this post.

Day 2 – Grindelwald

Grindelwald is the village north of the Jungfrau massif, a 35-minute train ride from Interlaken. I call it the adventure hub of the Jungfrau Region for its numerous outdoor activities. It’s also in Grindelwald that we can find the destination offering 360-degrees panoramic views of the Junfrau Region and picture-perfect sights.

What’s so nice about these beautiful destinations in Grindelwald? They are free to visit! Those places will be our priority for this budget Interlaken/Jungfrau Region Itinerary.

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However, like most free-to-visit tourist attractions in the Jungfrau Region, these travel destinations in Grindelwald aren’t totally free because you still need to pay for cable car/train tickets. But if you already have a Jungfrau Travel Pass, you no longer have to worry about buying tickets for your 3 to 4-day Jungfrau Region trip. It covers unlimited use for almost all public transportation in the Jungfrau Region (Schilthornbahn excluded). With Jungfrau Travel Pass, you’ll virtually have a free travel day in Grindelwald.

So what are the free and breathtaking places you can visit in Grindelwald? They are First Cliff Walk, Bachalpsee, and Männlichen. Here is the summary of your second day in the Jungfrau Region, visiting these tourist attractions in Grindelwald:

  • 7:00 am — Depart to Grindelwald from Interlaken
  • 8:00 am — Ride the Cable Car to First
  • 8:30 am — First Cliff Walk
  • 9:00 am — Start hike to Bachalpsee
  • 10:00 am — Relax, take pictures, and go on a picnic in Bachalpsee
  • 11:00 am — Hike back to First
  • 12:00 pm — Cable Car down to Grindelwald
  • 12:30 pm — Lunch time!
  • 2:00 pm — Cable Car to Männlichen
  • 2:30 pm — Royal Walk and explore Männlichen
  • 3:30 pm — Start Panorama Trail
  • 5:30 pm — Train Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald Grund 
  • 6:00 pm – Explore the village

I have a separate post for this itinerary. It’s where I discussed all the details about how you can spend a day in Grindelwald on a budget. You can read it from my post, Free Things to Do in Grindelwald: One Day Budget Itinerary. Below is the shorter version.

1st Highlight: First Cliff Walk

In Grindelwald, the early bird gets the worm — it is the moment alone (or at least with very few people) on the tip of the elevated viewing platform of First Cliff Walk.

So, what is the First Cliff Walk?  First Cliff Walk is one of Grindelwald’s landmarks and free tourist attractions, a metal walkway attached to the cliff side of Mount First’s summit. Together with First Flyer, Glider, Trottibike, and Mountain Cart, they form the interconnected outdoor activities in Mount First. 

Day 2 Destination 1 – First Cliff Walk in Grindelwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 2 Destination 1 – First Cliff Walk in Grindelwald

Visiting First Cliff Walk while there are no or there are only very few other tourists around is the best way to experience it. Being alone at the tip of Cliff Walk’s elevated walkway is like flying above Grindelwald. Above the abyss, while taking in a bird’s eye view of Grindelwald, there’s no doubt!

The experience will be slightly similar in Birg Thrill Walk above Mürren, but you’ll have panoramic views of the spectacular north faces of the Jungfrau Region’s mountains instead. It spans from Mittelhorn to Mättenberg and to Eiger.

View from First Cliff Walk, Grindelwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
View from First Cliff Walk

And indeed to have that memorable experience, it’s important to start your day in Grindelwald early. For the best experience, catch the first cable car ascent to Grindelwald First. Tourists swarm First Cliff Walk during midday—that’s what we want to avoid. 

Getting to First Cliff Walk is easy. The Firstbahn cable cars bring visitors to First in a 25-minute breathtaking ride straight from Grindelwald Village. The valley station is located just along Dorfstrasse or the village’s main street.

2nd Highlight: Bachalpsee

Don’t go down back to Grindelwald after sightseeing on First Cliff Walk. Because one of the most beautiful lakes in the Alps is only a hiking distance away. That lake is called Bachalpsee, and it’s an unmissable hiking destination during your Jungfrau Region trip.

Day 2 Destination 2 – Bachalpsee in Grindelwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 2 Destination 2 – Bachalpsee in Grindelwald

If you like taking photos of nature, Bachalpsee is the lake you would want to have on your itinerary. It’s the most picturesque lake in the mountains in the Jungfrau Region. When lucky, you can see the peaks of the mountains reflected by Bachalpsee’s surface. Usually, it happens when the weather is calm, and no strong wind can disturb the lake’s surface. 

Bachalpsee has two parts, separated by an isthmus. Go to the isthmus and face the smaller lake facing the mountains. It’s the part with the best view where the photographers go to take the otherworldly photos of Bachalpsee.

Beautiful view of Bachalpsee, Grindelwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Beautiful view of Bachalpsee

From First Cliff Walk, going to Bachalpsee is only an hour away on foot. It’s an easy hike; most parts of the trail are flat. Only the first thirds of it from First will be ascending. If you want, you can buy food from the village’s supermarkets before you go to First or Bachalpsee. Bachalpsee is a beautiful place for a lunch picnic. It’s another great way to save money during your visit to Grindelwald.

Usually, a trip to Bachalpsee takes about three hours. That includes the back-and-forth hike and sightseeing around Bachalpsee. 

3rd Highlight: Mannlichen

Destinations with panoramic views surround Grindelwald. Aside from First Cliff Walk and Bachalpsee, another is Männlichen. For me, it has the best view of the Jungfrau Region, and that’s for one good reason. Männlichen has a 360-degree view of the Jungfrau Region, and you can literally see every beautiful part of it from Männlichen.

Day 2 Destination 3 – Panorama of the Jungfrau Region in Männlichen from Grindelwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 2 Destination 3 – Panorama of the Jungfrau Region in Männlichen from Grindelwald

The panoramic scenery from Männlichen includes an overlooking view of Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Interlaken. The three famous mountains of the Jungfrau Region, Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, look like sleeping giants from Männlichen. Männlichen is a 2343-meter tall mountain peak at the heart of the Jungfrau Region, and that basically explains how it offers panoramic views. It lies west of Grindelwald, which gives this mountain a stunning viewing angle for the notorious north face of Eiger.

Apparently, Männlichen is your next destination after Grindelwald First and Bachalpsee. Getting there is as easy as going to First from Grindelwald — it’s just a 20-minute cable car ride from the village. You can already see the stunning scenery of the Jungfrau Region by the time you arrive at the cable car station in Männlichen. However, you still have to hike (approximately 30 minutes one way) to reach the summit, where the 360-degree views await.

Panorama Trail from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Panorama Trail from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg

To get back to Grindelwald from Männlichen, there are two ways. The first is a cable car ride return trip. Another is hiking the panorama trail to Kleine Scheidegg and a train ride back to Grindelwald.

Learn more about Männlichen by reading my post, How to Reach Männlichen and Make The Most of Your Trip.

Day 3 – Lake Thun

While staying in Interlaken during a Jungfrau Region trip, one can’t simply ignore the beautiful destinations around Lake Thun. From fairytale castles to charming towns and breathtaking viewpoints, there are many to choose from.

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I even call Lake Thun the Fairytale Lake of Switzerland because of the 5 castles which overlook Lake Thun. Not to mention the charming town of Thun perched on the lake’s northern tip. With the several beautiful destinations around Lake Thun, it’s easy to understand why spending a day in Lake Thun during your stay in Interlaken is worth it. It is packed with magical experiences, scenic scenery, and time-transporting encounters.

Check out my best picks: 10 Beautiful Places To Visit In Lake Thun — this explains why Lake Thun is worth visiting. 

With the 10 epic tourist attractions mentioned, it’s obvious that you’ll need more than a day to see every one of Lake Thun’s travel destinations. However, you don’t need to see all of them to enjoy the lake. All that you need to do is to visit the lake’s unmissable tourist attractions: Thun (town), Oberhofen Castle, Spiez, and Saint Beatus Caves. 

Here’s the full article on how you can spend a day in Lake Thun visiting its unmissable attractions, Lake Thun Itinerary: How To Spend One Day (Detailed Guide). In brief summary:

  • 7:00 am — Thun (Town)
  • 10:00 am — Oberhofen Castle
  • 12:00 pm — Spiez
  • 2:30 pm — Saint Beatus Caves

Note: in my Lake Thun itinerary linked above, I recommended staying in Thun before making this day trip to Lake Thun. But for this Jungfrau Region trip, you don’t need to do that, as you can also start exploring Lake Thun from Interlaken. You just have to wake up earlier so you can arrive in Thun while it’s early morning when it’s usually nicer to wander around. 

1st Highlight: The Town of Thun

We start your Lake Thun trip from Interlaken at Thun early in the morning. This small city, 30 minutes from Interlaken by train or 50 minutes by bus, is the Gateway to the Bernese Oberland. It is an unmissable destination from Interlaken for its charming old town and its overlooking scenery of Lake Thun and Bernese Oberland from Thun Castle.

Technically, Thun is outside the Jungfrau Region. But we can still consider visiting Thun as part of the trip to the Jungfrau Region because this city has picture-perfect streets and landmarks offering beautiful views of the Jungfrau Region.

Day 3, Destination 1 – Thun Old Town, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 3, Destination 1 – Thun Old Town

Arriving in Thun, the first thing I suggest doing is exploring its old town. It’s plenty of time-transporting and picture-perfect spots to give you a unique experience in your overall stay in the Jungfrau Region. Here are the beautiful landmarks and picture-perfect spots you must see when exploring Thun Old Town: Thun Stadtkirche, Thun Castle, Kirchtreppe, Bällizbrücke, Obere Schleuse, and Untere Schleuse, Rathausplatz, and Obere Hauptgasse. 

Obere Hauptgasse, Rathausplatz, Kirchtreppe, Obere Schleuse in Thun, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Obere Hauptgasse, Rathausplatz, Kirchtreppe, Obere Schleuse in Thun

You can refer to my posts below to learn more about the must-see places in Thun Old Town:

But if you love history or taking in breathtaking views, Thun Castle is the must-visit landmark you just can’t miss! 

Thun Castle has exhibits to give you insights into the local history of Bernese Oberland. And most importantly, it’s where you can find time-transporting and stunning overlooking views of Thun, Lake Thun, and Bernese Oberland

Thun Castle and Thun Panorama in Thun, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Thun Castle and Thun Panorama in Thun,

Check my post, Thun Castle: View Points, What to Expect & How to Visit, to learn more about this great place. 

Tip: You can buy a ticket in Thun Castle which bundles a visit to Thun Panorama — the world’s oldest surviving 360-degrees painting. Discover Thun Panorama here, Thun Panorama: Why You Must See It & How to Visit.

If you like a one-day itinerary that is focused on exploring Thun and nearby attractions, I suggest you check my post, Best Way To Spend One Day In Thun — a day trip itinerary. Here, I included a stop to Schadau Castle, which is another Lake Thun’s fairytale castle. 

2nd Highlight: Oberhofen Castle

After exploring Thun, Oberhofen Castle is the place to visit. It’s a castle that sits on the shores of Lake Thun, 15 minutes away from Thun. Oberhofen Castle should be your next destination after Thun, not only because it’s a stone’s throw away from Thun but because it’s also hours before lunch Oberhofen Castle is best to visit.

The castle gates open at 9:00 am (the castle museum opens at 11:00 am). During those hours, the castle still has fewer tourists; you have more opportunities to enjoy its magical castle grounds and tranquil gardens.

Day 3, Destination 2 – Oberhofen Castle, Thun, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Day 3, Destination 2 – Oberhofen Castle

So, what’s Oberhofen Castle all about? Oberhofen Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Switzerland, famous for its photogenic water tower, which can be photographed with the snowy peaks of the Bernese Oberland in the background. It’s the Chillon Castle of Bern, the castle to turn your magical fantasies into reality.

The picture-perfect appearance of Oberhofen Castle and its proximity to Thun can already justify why you must see it when traveling around Lake Thun. However, it’s only just the tip of the iceberg. This 13th-century castle gives visitors a mixed nature-history-culture experience, which explains that it’s a destination like no other in Bernese Oberland.

Beautiful things to see inside Oberhofen Castle, Thun, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Beautiful things to see inside Oberhofen Castle

The views of Lake Thun from its beautiful garden and the time-transporting exhibits inside its elegant rooms can surely satisfy a traveler’s wanderlust.

During your visit, you can stroll in Oberhofen Castle’s garden, discover the exotic trees, and take eye-pleasing photos. If you have children, you can let them play in the playground.  You can spend 2 to 3 hours in the castle, but make sure you don’t miss seeing Oberhofen Castle’s museum. Inside, you’ll find artworks and artifacts straight from medieval times.

The best part of Oberhofen Castle’s museum is no other than the Oriental Smoking Room. It features middle-eastern architecture, which was added to the castle by its commissioner (a Prussian ambassador to Istanbul).

Artworks, artifacts, and interiors of Oberhofen Castle, Thun, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Artworks, artifacts, and interiors of Oberhofen Castle

There’s a lot more I want to share with you about Oberhofen Castle so you can make the most of your visit. But I can’t mention them all here. Here’s where you can check it, Oberhofen Castle: Why You Should Visit & How to Visit.

Oberhofen Castle has a fancy restaurant overlooking Lake Thun — a nice place for lunch! But if you like cheaper alternatives, you can take the short boat ride to Spiez. You can also try lunch in Saint Beatus Caves, which has a restaurant that also has an overlooking view of Lake Thun.

3rd Highlight: Spiez

Several towns sit around Lake Thun. One of them is Spiez — the town that feels so Mediterranean! Its harbor, filled with palm trees, surrounding hills, and vineyards, should give you that vibe.

I included Spiez in this itinerary because of its unique flair and beautiful view of Lake Thun from the town’s castle. Since Spiez is located opposite Oberhofen across Lake Thun, you can see different scenery of Lake Thun compared to the previous destinations mentioned. For your Lake Thun trip from Interlaken, though, I suggest spending only a little time in Spiez.

Day 3, Destination 3 – Spiez skyline from Lake Thun, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Day 3, Destination 3 – Spiez skyline from Lake Thun

You can find Spiez at the southwestern shore of Lake Thun, easily reached by means of a boat ride from Oberhofen Castle. It has an iconic skyline dominated by Spiez Castle — the main landmark of the town. After arriving in the town, go straight to the castle, which is only a stone’s throw away from the harbor.

Spiez Castle in Spiez, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Spiez Castle in Spiez

The castle has a restaurant where you can eat your lunch. It’s a nice alternative to Oberhofen Castle’s restaurant, thanks to the alfresco seats with a nice view of the castle grounds.  Before or after you eat in the castle’s restaurant, wander around the castle for a nice view of Mount Niesen looming above Spiez. You can check the chapel and go behind it for a sweeping view of Lake Thun.

Scenery from Spiez Castle in Spiez, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Scenery from Spiez Castle

If you want, you can come inside Spiez Castle to see the exhibits and join the programs offered by the castle’s staff. However, I recommend skipping Spiez Castle museum for this trip as the experience may be quite redundant to that from Oberhofen Castle.

I linked the official website of Spiez Castle in the resources section of this post if you want to learn more about the castle. Lake Thun boat schedule is also in the resources to help you plan your trip in Lake Thun during your stay in Interlaken.

4th Highlight: Saint Beatus Caves

Saint Beatus Caves is the last destination for this Lake Thun day trip during your stay in Interlaken. It’s one of the most popular destinations from Interlaken to give you a more diversified travel experience during your trip.  Needless to say, it’s a cave, and thus, it offers an experience like no other top destination in the area. But, aside from that, I included Saint Beatus Caves in this itinerary for several more reasons. 

Day 3, Destination 4 – Saint Beatus Caves, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 3, Destination 4 – Saint Beatus Caves

It’s a nice destination even if the weather isn’t so great.

  1. There’s even a museum where you can learn about caves, Karstology, and wildlife as you wait for the bad weather to go away.
  2. In Saint Beatus Caves, you can discover the otherworldly scenery underneath the spectacular Bernese Oberland mountains.
  3. It is also simply a beautiful place with its fantasy-movie-like waterfalls and breathtaking views of Lake Thun.
  4. Like Oberhofen Castle, Saint Beatus Caves also has a restaurant with a view of Lake Thun and Mount Niesen. If you want, you can have your lunch here instead. 

What’s so nice about Saint Beatus Caves is its modern electric lighting letting visitors clearly see the fascinating limestone rock formations, stalagmites, stalactites, and grottos inside the cave. What’s better? There are also 25 information boards to give you an insightful 45-minute tour inside the caves.

Things to see in Saint Beatus Caves, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Things to see in Saint Beatus Caves,

Are you visiting during the summer or peak season? Make sure to reserve yourself a table so that you can surely eat in the restaurant when you visit Saint Beatus Caves. For any reservations, you can check Saint Beatus Caves’ official website, linked in the resources section. Visiting information is also indicated on their website.

Are you going to Saint Beatus Caves? There are several ways you can reach Saint Beatus Caves. But the shortest possible way can either be a single ferry ride, a single bus ride, or a combination of a ferry ride and a bus ride.

  • The most scenic way is by riding a ferry. You can find ferries stopping by Beatushöhlen Sundlauenen (ferry station of Saint Beatus Caves) from any town around Lake Thun. It’s not very frequent, though. So, you might like to check other ways to reach Saint Beatus Caves.
  • If you’re from Oberhofen Castle, you can easily reach Saint Beatus Caves by taking a single 25-minute bus ride (#21) heading to Interlaken.
  • On the other hand, if you’re from Spiez, you first need to get a ferry ride to the towns/ferry stations along the northern shores of Lake Thun (Merligen, Gunten, Beatenbucht). From there, you can wait for the bus (#21) to bring you to Saint Beatus Caves’ bus stop.

By the way, Spiez and Saint Beatus Caves aren’t the only two places you can visit during the afternoon of your Lake Thun trip from Interlaken. Here are more options: 10 Beautiful Places Around Lake Thun

Day 4 – Lake Brienz

One of the most spectacular lakes in Switzerland also lies beside (east of) Interlaken. It is called Lake Brienz, and its turquoise water is, if not the brightest, one of the brightest in Switzerland.

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Lake Brienz’s turquoise water is so bright that you can easily spot it from space. You can check Google Earth for yourself as proof. But you know what? Lake Brienz is more than just visually spectacular.

Like Lake Thun, Lake Brienz is surrounded by picture-perfect villages. Also, it has some adventurous and nostalgic culture-packed tourist attractions. That simply explains why Lake Brienz is also worth visiting during your stay in Interlaken. Check out my 7 worthwhile destinations and activities to do in Lake Brienz

Aside from the cute villages, you can also find an open-air museum, gorgeous waterfalls, and nostalgic train rides. However, there are only two places I would suggest you visit in Lake Brienz: Iseltwald and Brienz. 

Here’s how I think you can spend a day in Lake Brienz during your Jungfrau Region trip:

  • 9:00 am — Harder Kulm
  • 11:30 am — Interlaken (Lunch) 
  • 1:30 pm (rest of the afternoon) — Iseltwald and Brienz

Let’s discuss the details of each place mentioned above.

1st Highlight: Harder Kulm

We start your Lake Brienz trip from Interlaken at Harder Kulm. It is the viewpoint above Interlaken, which I consider one of the best viewing points of the Jungfrau Region.  From Harder Kulm, visitors behold a panoramic view of the Jungfrau Region that includes an overlooking view of Interlaken, Jungfrau Massif, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz.

Day 4, Destination 1 – View from Harder Kulm, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 4, Destination 1 – View from Harder Kulm

The varying landforms visible from Harder Kulm (Interlaken’s flat alluvial, lakes, valleys, and snow-capped mountain peaks) are simply stunning. Harder Kulm isn’t exactly located around Lake Brienz, but it’s one of the best places to appreciate the bright turquoise water of Lake Brienz. Overlooking Lake Brienz and seeing its spectacular hue should spark excitement to see Lake Brienz up close in the villages.

View of Lake Brienz from Harder Kulm, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
View of Lake Brienz from Harder Kulm

What makes Harder Kulm special is its viewing deck that extends a few meters from the mountains. It’s called the Two Lakes Bridge, where you can take a 180 degrees panorama of the Jungfrau Region from Lake Brienz to Lake Thun while there’s nothing but the abyss underneath you.

Do you want to go now to Harder Kulm? Good news! Going to Harder Kulm from Interlaken is a breeze. Visitors can get to Harder Kulm within 10 minutes using a funicular train ride from Interlaken. Harderbahn’s valley station is within walking distance from Interlaken OST across the Aare River. It’s approximately a 5 to 7-minute walk to get to the station.

If you want to learn more about Harder Kulm, here’s the article where I discuss everything that you need to know about this destination: Here’s What You Can Expect To See In Visiting Harder Kulm.

I recommend catching the first ascent to Harder Kulm. That way, you can really enjoy this destination. It’s absolutely nicer to hang around Harder Kulm with fewer travelers around.

2nd Highlight: Iseltwald

Among the villages and towns around Lake Brienz, I am confident that Iseltwald is unmissable. This small village, perched in the middle of Lake Brienz’ southern shoreline, has the most picture-perfect scenery of Lake Brienz.

Day 4, Destination 2 — View of Lake Brienz from Iseltwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 4, Destination 2 — View of Lake Brienz from Iseltwald

From Iseltwald, visitors behold a 180-degree panoramic view of Lake Brienz with the craggy mountain ridge above it and along its length. The bright turquoise view of the lake makes it a scenery like no other.  Yes, wandering in Iseltwald will leave you in awe. Try exploring the shoreline because it’s where the nicest view and cutest chalets in the village are. Most importantly, don’t miss the harbor!

View of Lake Brienz from the harbor of Iseltwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
View of Lake Brienz from the harbor of Iseltwald

It’s on the harbor where the best view of Iseltwald is found, with Seeburg Castle included in the picture. Seeburg Castle is Iseltwald’s main landmark, built on the tip of the village’s peninsula, and it’s straight out of a fairytale when observed from the harbor. When the wind is barely blowing the surface of Lake Brienz, the scenery you can see from Iseltwald becomes gorgeously indescribable. Lake Brienz turns into a big turquoise mirror, reflecting the Seeburg Castle and the craggy mountains on the other side of the lake.

Seeburg Castle and Lake Brienz from Iseltwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Seeburg Castle and Lake Brienz from Iseltwald

If you like taking photos, it’s definitely the scenery that you wouldn’t want to miss. There are two options to get to Iseltwald from Interlaken OST. By bus (#103), it’s a 15- to 20-minute journey. By ferry, it’s a 45-minute voyage. You can also get to Iseltwald by driving your car. 

Here’s my article about Iseltwald (Why Visit Iseltwald and How to Get to This Beautiful Village) where you can find more things to do in Iseltwald, tips, and more visiting information about the village.

3rd Highlight: Brienz

Brienz may be the last in this Jungfrau Region itinerary, but definitely, it is not the least when it comes to the beautiful experiences travelers can have. This village sitting on the northernmost tip of Lake Brienz is the destination to discover the culture in the Swiss Alps. And yes, as you might have been thinking, Brienz is the place to be to further diversify your travel experience during your Jungfrau Region trip. 

Day 4, Destination 3 – The beautiful village of Brienz, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 4, Destination 3 – The beautiful village of Brienz

Brienz, famous for its wood carving tradition, offers fascinating little discoveries that perfectly satisfy wanderlust. 

There are many you can find in Brienz, from charming, colorful centuries-old chalets to cute dog-like plant boxes to funny wooden sculptures. It seems there’s always to take pictures of, especially in Brunngasse, which is Brienz’s most beautiful street. And yes, you should not miss Brunngasse! This street in Brienz was once awarded the title of “the most beautiful street in Europe.” Quaint picture-perfect scenes await you there!

The view of Brunngasse in Brienz, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
The view of Brunngasse in Brienz

If you have spare time, visit the Ballenberg Swiss Open Air Museum. It is a museum in Brienz where you can give yourself a glimpse of the scenes of the settlements within the Swiss Alps and Switzerland 300 years ago. The Ballenberg Swiss Open Air Museum showcases Switzerland’s traditional buildings and architecture. The quaint and intricately designed houses are a feast for the eye. You’ll really like it if we’re the same – architecture & history enthusiasts!

Scenes inside Ballenberg Swiss Open Air Museum in Brienz, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Scenes inside Ballenberg Swiss Open Air Museum in Brienz

To get to Ballenberg Swiss Open Air Museum, ride bus #151 from either of the train stations in Brienz. Travel time should be less than 10 minutes. Ballenberg Swiss Open Air Museum’s visiting information is linked in the resources section of this post. 

Other Attractions & Activities

So, that’s it! That’s how I think you can spend 4 days in Interlaken on a budget. If you want to extend for a few days (but you might already spend bucks), I can suggest three activities/attractions you would also like to experience/visit. Here’s where you can find the full list of activities you can have in the Jungfrau Region.

Trummelbach Waterfall

Aside from Saint Beatus Caves, Trummelbach is another travel destination in the Jungfrau Region to visit when the sky doesn’t look so sunny in the mountains. 

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Trummelbach Waterfall in Lauterbrunnen Valley, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Trummelbach Waterfall in Lauterbrunnen
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Trummelbach Waterfall is Europe’s largest underwater waterfall, where 20,000 liters of meltwater cascade from Jungfrau. It’s a huge place to witness the incredible power of nature, which can keep you fascinated for a couple of hours.

Inside there are 10 levels and viewpoints showing the earth carved by the water; some offer overlooking views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Worry not if you think you’ll not climb lengthy stairs. The viewpoints are linked with lifts and funiculars.

Getting to Trummelbach Waterfall is a breeze from Lauterbrunnen. Take bus #141 from Lauterbrunnen, and you should arrive at Trummelbach Waterfall within 10 minutes. Trummelbach Falls’ visiting information is linked in the sources section.

Jungfraujoch

If you want to extend for a whole day in the Jungfrau Region, Jungfraujoch is the place to be. For me, it’s the ultimate destination in the Jungfrau Region which gives many experiences that make it so worth visiting.

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Experiences and attractions in Jungfraujoch, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland Switzerland
Experiences and attractions in Jungfraujoch
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Mainly, Jungfraujoch offers a unique experience of standing on top of Europe’s highest-altitude railway station at 3454 meters above sea level. The train ride to Jungfraujoch is also an experience in itself as it passes through tunnels and offers stunning views of the Swiss Alps.

It’s also from Jungfraujoch that you can have a look at the longest glacier in the Alps, the Aletsch Glacier. Aside from that, you can also enjoy a variety of activities, such as the ice palace and sightseeing in the Sphinx Observatory.

Jungfraujoch is a day trip from Interlaken which you can do in several ways:

  1. Train round trip
  2. Train + cable car round trip
  3. Jungfraujoch day tour from Interlaken

More information about Jungfraujoch at the resources section of this post.

Tandem Paragliding

Are you looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience? You should try Tandem Paragliding. The bird’s eye view of the Jungfrau Region’s spectacular landscape is definitely an experience like no other!

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Paragliding in Interlaken, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Paragliding in Interlaken
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You’ll be flying 800 meters above Interlaken, slightly descending mid-air During a 10 to 20-minute flight. You will land softly in the center of Interlaken, within walking distance of all hotels and train stations.

If you are interested in Tandem Paragliding, you can learn more about the activity here.

Resources

As promised, here are the links to websites where you can delve deeper into the destinations I mentioned in the post. I’ve also included links to pages that provide essential travel information for the Jungfrau Region, like the live mountain views and public transportation schedules.

That would be all! I hope you had a great time exploring the beautiful Swiss Alps and all the fantastic activities that Interlaken has to offer. Wishing you safe travels and many more adventures in the future!🌍✈️

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Where to go after Switzerland? Check out Salzburg. It’s an alpine city in Austria offering unique blend of mountains, music, history, architecture, and so much more. You can spend one day, two days, or even three days in Salzburg! Don’t forget to check it out.

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