10 Unmissable Things To Do In Interlaken Jungfrau Region

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I have to tell you, planning a trip to the Jungfrau Region can be overwhelming. Despite being just a small part of Switzerland, the range of experiences you can have here is unbelievable.

In my estimate, you’d need at least a week just to see the most beautiful places in the Jungfrau Region. And note, that’s only the beautiful places. It does not yet include some of the unmissable experiences in the Jungfrau Region, which I highly recommend for a truly unforgettable trip. These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences! From a valley that looks like heaven to the otherworldly glacial scenery, I believe these must-see places are experiences you’ll cherish for life. Let me share with you the attractions and experiences that I think you should not miss during your trip.

But here’s the important thing: While I suggest these as ‘unmissable,’ it does not mean that you have to try everything. One or two of these should be enough, considering their similarities and how expensive some of them can be. Not all are expensive, though, don’t worry. In fact, some of them are free!

If you have the time and money to visit as many unmissable attractions or experiences in the Jungfrau Region as possible, Interlaken should be the best town to serve as your base. Interlaken is centrally located and offers convenient access to the destinations in the region. If you only plan to try select activities, you may find other villages in the Jungfrau Region like Wengen or Mürren to be good alternatives as a home base.

If you do not have a hotel for your Jungfrau Region trip yet, you can find the best accommodation deals in the Jungfrau Region (or Bernese Oberland) with this hotel browser. It has a map that helps you locate the most convenient places to stay.

Visual summary of the unmissable things to do in the Jungfrau Region
Must-see places in the Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Must-see places in the Jungfrau Region
Must-do activities in the Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Must-do activities in the Jungfrau Region

Note: The resources section of this post contains link to help you plan your visit to the Jungfrau Region. Read until the end! 🙂

1. See the Gateway to Jungfrau Region from Harder Kulm

Arriving in Interlaken, you are literally minutes away from Harder Kulm — the unmissable tourist attraction you can visit right after arriving in the Jungfrau Region’s transportation hub. I think Harder Kulm is an unmissable place to visit in the Jungfrau Region because it’s one of the best viewpoints of this spectacular region. In Harder Kulm, you get a sweeping view starting from the turquoise lake Brienz all the way across Interlaken to Lake Thun.

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Harder Kulm short summary + how to visit.

Harder Kulm is a 1321-meter-high mountain in the Emmental Alps north of Interlaken that is also a viewpoint overlooking alluvial land called Bödeli, comprising Interlaken, Unterseen, and Bönigen. It is also known as the Top of Interlaken for having that view of these towns. On a clear day with the sun shining, the view from Harder Kulm is breathtaking. You can see the three famous mountains of the Jungfrau Region — Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau — in all their glory. Standing at the tip of the viewing deck that extends from the mountain is an exhilarating experience.

Getting to Harder Kulm from Interlaken is a breeze with a 10-minute funicular train ride. The funicular valley station, situated on the northern banks of River Aare, is just a quick 5- to 7-minute walk from Interlaken OST.

Here’s my guide to Harder Kulm: Visiting Harder Kulm: Here’s What to See, What’s to Expect

2. Explore the Heaven On Earth Lauterbrunnen

Did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien found inspiration for Rivendell, the home of the elves in his fantasy novel, in the Jungfrau Region? The place is called Lauterbrunnen, and it’s a must-visit destination in the Jungfrau Region that is free to visit.

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Lauterbrunnen short summary + how to get there.

For me, Lauterbrunnen is the most beautiful village in the Jungfrau region. This picture-perfect village is located in a trough-shaped valley, also called Lauterbrunnen — a name used to describe the valley. In direct English translation, Lauterbrunnen means “many springs.” Believe it or not, there are 72 waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen valley!

One of the waterfalls plunges beside Lauterbrunnen village. It is called Staubbach Waterfall and appears angelic behind the quaint buildings in the village. Exploring Lauterbrunnen, specifically the outskirts of the village, should feel like a fantasy come to life. The valley floor is covered in lush green meadows, with barns and cows scattered throughout. The area is overflowing with rustic charm, enhanced by the soothing sound of cowbells.

Getting to Lauterbrunnen is as simple as a single 25-minute train ride from Interlaken.

YOU MUST SEE THIS: 7 Lauterbrunnen Viewpoints & Photo Spots (With a Map)

3. Visit Wengen and Behold the View from Wengwald

The village of Lauterbrunnen is only one of the places you can go to admire the awe-inspiring Lauterbrunnen Valley. For more breathtaking views, visit Wengen and Wengwald. These places are located northeast of Lauterbrunnen village and are a must-visit as they offer the best views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Elevated and overlooking the valley where it begins, Wengen and Wengwald provide a scenery like no other.

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My thoughts about the view of Lauterbrunnen from Wengen or Wengwald

The Lauterbrunnen valley has a unique appearance, with two spectacular mountain faces that enclose it. Waterfalls cascade down onto the flat valley floor, creating a one-of-a-kind spectacle that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It is a stunning and unforgettable scenery to witness, and its appearance can make you forget all your problems and ignite your creativity!

Can you imagine the awe-struck expression of J.R.R. Tolkien when he laid his eyes on this sublime place? You, too, can experience that awesome feeling! I can picture you marveling with your eyes moistened by awe.

More Information about Wengwald and Wengen + how to get there

These views are the main reason why I think Everyone Should Visit Wengen even for a quick stop.

Most importantly, Wengwald — it has the perfect elevation and viewing angle to take in the appearance of the entire Lauterbrunnen Valley. In Wengwald, you can see a straight view of Lauterbrunnen Valley from its mouth to its farthest corner near Tanzbödeli. The valley’s length is visible in parallel, allowing you to witness both dramatic faces of the mountains that form the valley’s walls.

You can check again my post, 7 Best Views of Lauterbrunnen, to see how you can get to Wengwald. But to explain quickly, reaching Wengwald requires taking two train rides from Interlaken with a transfer to Lauterbrunnen. The same applies if you want to go to Wengen; Wengwald is a train stop located between Wengen and Lauterbrunnen.

4. Take in the Jungfrau Region’s 360 Degrees View from Männlichen

When it comes to places with marvelous mountain views, the Jungfrau Region offers plenty of choices. But among them, Männlichen is my favorite, and I think it is also one of the Jungfrau Region’s unmissable places to visit. For me, Männlichen is a must-see place in the Jungfrau Region because it gives the most panoramic views of the Jungfrau Region. A 360 degrees view.

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Short summary of what you can expect to see in Mannlichen + how to get there

So, what is Männlichen all about? Männlichen is a 2343-meter-high peak on a mountain ridge that separates the valleys of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. It is also located above Wengen and provides a stunning view of the valley where the black and white Lütchine Rivers merge before flowing out of the Jungfrau Region.

Most importantly, it’s only in Männlichen where you can see the whole region from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald. On a clear day at Männlichen, you can also see the famous peaks of the Jungfrau Region from Wetterhorn to Schilthorn and, of course, Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. The view extends as far as Lake Thun and the Swiss Plateau region. Can you imagine yourself taking in such panoramic views? It’s phenomenal. 

In Männlichen, you are very close to the Jungfrau Massif, and Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau look like sleeping giants. The north face of Eiger, which is notoriously challenging for alpinists, is facing you in Männlichen.

Getting to Männlichen from Interlaken is easy although it takes a few steps:

  1. Grindelwald Route = Ride the train to Grindelwald from Interlaken, then hop on Grindelwald-Männlichen Gondola Cable Car.
  2. Wengen Route = Ride the trains to Wengen from Interlaken (with a transfer in Lauterbrunnen). Then, ride the Wengen-Männlichen Aerial Cableway.

Read my guide: How to Reach Männlichen and Make the Most of Your Trip

5. Marvel at the Otherworldly Scenery in Jungfraujoch

Jungfraujoch is an unmissable place because it’s the ultimate destination in the Jungfrau Region. It offers several experiences, and a few of the most remarkable things in the Jungfrau Region are found here: train ride to the highest station in Europe, Aletsch Glacier, and Ice Palace (tunnel inside a glacier).

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Summary of what you can expect in visiting Jungfraujoch

In summary, Jungfraujoch is the highest destination in the Jungfrau Region. It sits at the saddle between Mönch and Jungfrau, at an impressive altitude of 3466 meters above sea level. Its name comes from its location, as “Joch” translates to “saddle” in English.

Jungfraujoch is also called the Top of Europe because it is the highest place in Europe reached by railway. The wonderful experience of visiting Jungfraujoch begins even before arriving there. It all starts with the Jungfrau Railway, which is one of the most picturesque railways in Switzerland.

As an engineer, I believe that the Jungfrau Railway is a remarkable feat of engineering, especially considering the technology available during the early 20th century when it was constructed.

Usually, visitors take about 4 to 6 hours to fully experience what Jungfraujoch offers. One whole day is needed if you’re from Interlaken.

Among the attractions and activities in Jungfraujoch, the highlights are undoubtedly the Ice Palace and Sphinx Observatory. These two attractions in Jungfraujoch provide an extraordinary experience with glaciers. Sphinx Observatory is one of the highest observatories in Europe, and it’s here where you can see the tip of the Aletsch Glacier — the longest glacier in Europe. An otherworldly icy realm awaits you there.

On the other hand, the Ice Palace is a man-made cave inside a glacier below the Jungfrau Observation deck. It’s a whole new world inside, where you can see artworks and sculptures made of ice.

There are two ways you can get to Jungfraujoch, either by Jungfrau Railway from Kleine Scheidegg or by cable car from Eiger. Learn more and check the ticket prices below.

6. Once-in-a-Lifetime Lunch at Piz Gloria in Schilthorn

Jungfraujoch isn’t the only unique mountaintop attraction you can visit in the Jungfrau Region. Another is Piz Gloria, a revolving restaurant perched at the summit of Schilthorn — a 2970-meter-tall mountain overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the western portion of the Jungfrau Region. It’s easy to understand why Piz Gloria is an unmissable tourist attraction in the Jungfrau Region: dining in a revolving restaurant on a mountaintop is an absolutely unique experience! 

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What to expect in Piz Gloria?

The best thing about Piz Gloria is the large, transparent windows that create a breathtaking atmosphere in the restaurant. As the restaurant rotates slowly, guests can enjoy a panoramic view of over 200 peaks while they dine. Located west of the Jungfrau massif, you can expect unique views of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau from Piz Gloria. Sometimes, you can even witness a sea of clouds from Piz Gloria when the air condenses in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Can you imagine yourself taking in that beauty while savoring the food and the moment in a revolving restaurant? Piz Gloria is definitely the place to be if you are looking for a fancy date in the Alps, right? Well, YES! By the way, Piz Gloria is only one of the attractions near Mürren. If you want to learn more about Piz Gloria and the tourist attractions that you can visit after dining here, check my post, 10 Things to Do in Mürren.

Getting to Piz Gloria from Interlaken involves several steps.

  1. From Interlaken, take the train to Lauterbrunnen.
  2. In Lauterbrunnen, you can find buses (#141) going to Stechtelberg. Ride that bus and alight at Schilthornbahn in Stechelberg.
  3. In Schilthornbahn, hop on a cable car to Schilthorn, passing Gimmelwald, Mürren, and Birg. Piz Gloria is the last station.

Here’s where you can check the prices of the tickets and tours to Piz Gloria or Schilthorn.

7. Discover Jungfrau Region’s Most Idyllic Village: Gimmelwald

If we are alike — the type of traveler who loves to wander, introspect, and find beautiful little gems of a destination — Gimmelwald is undoubtedly the destination for you. It’s the perfect place to discover authentic Swiss countryside in the Jungfrau Region.  

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Summary of the experience in Gimmelwald + how to go there

Gimmelwald is the smallest yet the most idyllic village in the Jungfrau Region, located on the farthest corner of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Believe it or not, Gimmelwald only has approximately one hundred residents, and they still have livestock as their livelihood. Strolling in the village will make you think that there are probably more animals in the village than the people staying in it!

The lush green meadows dotted with quaint chalets, barns, and cheese huts you’ll see while exploring Gimmelwald will satisfy your wanderlust, absolutely! It’s a surreal experience, especially with the sound of the waterfalls down the valley, chiming cowbells, and the chirping birds dominating the ambiance in the village.

Getting to Gimmelwald from Interlaken is pretty much the same as going to Schilthorn. The first cable car station of Schilthornbahn from Stechelberg is Gimmelwald. 

Don’t miss this: 5 Things To Do In Gimmelwald (Beautiful Reasons To Visit)

8. Experience Adrenaline Rush Adventures In Grindelwald

What’s the unmissable place in the Jungfrau Region for some crazy fun outdoor activities? Well, it’s no other than Grindelwald — a famous mountain resort village in Switzerland, north of the Jungfrau massif. It is known for outdoor activities in all seasons, which make it a must-visit destination in the Jungfrau Region. 

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Amazing things you can experience in Grindelwald

In Grindelwald, a wide range of outdoor fun awaits, from themed zip lines to thrilling jumps down the canyon’s abyss. The most adrenaline-pumping activity I can recommend: Grindelwald Canyon Swing.

Grindelwald even has a mountain dedicated to fun! It’s called First, and it’s very accessible from the village using cable cars.  Grindelwald-First cable car has three stations (Bort, Schreckfeld, and First) where you can try the adventures offered in the mountain. These adventures are First Flyer, First Glider, First Mountain Cart, First Trottibike, and First Cliff Walk. You can learn more about these activities from the official website of the Jungfrau region, linked at the end of this post.

If you are expecting that these activities cost something, you are definitely correct. You can expect to pay from 70+ to 120+ CHF (unlimited use of cable cars included), depending on how many activities you want to try.

Outdoor activities aren’t the only reason why you’d like to visit Grindelwald-First. It also has free tourist attractions, which is worth it if you simply want to see breathtaking scenery. They are First Cliff Walk and Bachalpsee, which we’ll discuss next. 

Bookmark this (or read): Free Things To Do In Grindelwald (1-Day Budget Itinerary) — Thank me later!

9. Photograph a Famous Lake, Bachalpsee

Do you have wallpaper-downloading apps on your smartphone too?  I used to have them on my phone and would often come across a breathtaking picture of a lake that perfectly reflected the mountains above it. Every time I saw it, I was amazed and wondered where the photographer had found such a beautiful spot. Years passed, and I developed a passion for mountains. And it was only during that time I discovered that Bachalpsee was one of those places where the photographers create those masterpieces.

Yes, Bachalpsee is an unmissable destination in the Jungfrau Region simply because it’s one of the most picturesque lakes in Switzerland.

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Do you want to see Bachalpsee? Getting to Bachalpsee from Interlaken is simple although it requires an hour of a hike. 

  1. Take the train to Grindelwald (40 minutes)
  2. Hop on the cable car to First (25 minutes)
  3. Hike to Bachalpsee (60 minutes)
Photography and visiting tips for Bachalpsee

So, where exactly is Bachalpsee? As you may have read in my discussion, Bachalpsee is within Grindelwald, and it’s a hiking distance (approximately 1 hour) from Grindelwald First. 

Situated on a slope of the mountains (2,265 meters above sea level), Bachalpsee is the perfect location for incredible photo opportunities with the 3000-to-4000-meter peaks on the other side of the Grindelwald Valley. When the wind is barely blowing, and no low-lying clouds cover the view, you can photograph Bachalpsee like a mirror. Find an angle, and you can photograph the mountains south of Grindelwald, like Wetterhorn inverted on Bachalpsee’s surface. 

But before you go to Bachalpsee, don’t forget to check my One Day Grindelwald Budget Itinerary for more details about visiting Bachalpsee. 

10. Spend A Day In A Beautiful Lake

Jungfrau Region and Bernese Oberland have several beautiful lakes which you can reach from Interlaken within a day, like Bachalpsee, Grauseeli, Blausee, and Oeschinensee. Some of these lakes are picture-perfect and absolutely worth seeing. But again, there’s a caveat: it takes hours and effort to reach them from Interlaken. However, you don’t have to look far to find beautiful lakes if you’re in Interlaken.

The name of the town suggests that there are lakes beside it. Directly translating ‘Interlaken’ to English, it means ‘between lakes.’ If you visit Harder Kulm and take in the breathtaking panorama of the Jungfrau Region, you’ll see that Interlaken is really sandwiched between two lakes! What are the lakes that sandwich Interlaken? They are Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and they’re two unmissable places to visit from Interlaken.

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The first reason why I think Lake Thun and Lake Brienz are must-see places is that they’re gorgeous lakes and very accessible from Interlaken. You wouldn’t want to miss a beautiful opportunity to see calming and magical scenery that virtually needs no effort to do.

My second reason why these lakes are unmissable is that they offer a mixed and unique experience for your Jungfrau Region trip. The area surrounding Interlaken is mostly mountains, but they aren’t about the beautiful scenery and epic adventures only. They have been the home of millions for centuries, and there’s fascinating history and culture you can discover. There are many beautiful little things to uncover!

More Information about Lake Thun and Lake Brienz

Lake Thun is a must-see for tourists looking for a fairytale-ish experience with the mountains. Along its shores, 1 charming town and 5 fairytale castles await you. I really like Thun Castle for the view of the Bernese Alps, Oberhofen Castle for its picture-perfect appearance, and Thun Old Town for its charming streets.

Thun Castle, Oberhofen Castle, Thun Old Town, around Lake Thun, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Thun Castle, Oberhofen Castle, Thun Old Town, around Lake Thun

On the other hand, Lake Brienz is a must-visit for travelers wanting to discover life in the Jungfrau Region and a few hundred years ago. Another fascinating thing about Lake Brienz is its bright turquoise water, which looks so magical and best observed from Iseltwald.

Iseltwald and Lake Brienz in the Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Iseltwald and Lake Brienz

You can use the trains, buses, and boats to travel around Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. If you have a Swiss Travel Pass or this One-Day Unlimited Boat Pass, you no longer need to worry about buying multiple tickets to use public transportation. 

Resources

I hope this list helped you find the must-see places in the Jungfrau Region and must-do activities from Interlaken that suit your preferences. Below you can find the links which you can use to plan your day(s) in the Jungfrau Region.

  • Grindelwald-First adventures – Here’s where you can learn more about Grindelwald First Flyer, Glider, Trottibike, and Mountain Cart. 
  • Webcams in Jungfrau Region – Before you come to different unmissable mountaintop destinations in the Jungfrau Region (Harder Kulm, Piz Gloria, Mannlichen, and Jungfraujoch), make sure to check first the live view. It’ll help you decide whether it is currently worth it to visit these tourist attractions or not.
  • Jungfrau Region Cable Car and Funicular Operating information & Schilthorn Cable Car Schedule – Not all funiculars and cable cars operate the whole year in the Jungfrau Region. Also, the cable cars’ and funiculars’ first and last ascend and descend vary per season. Before you travel to unmissable places, double-check the public transportation schedule.
  • Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Boat Timetable – If you plan to explore Lake Thun or Lake Brienz by boat, here’s where you can check the boat schedule.
  • List of Hiking Trails (with status) – In case you will be hiking in the Jungfrau Region, I recommend you check the status of the hiking trails before going. Example: Grindelwald First to Bachalpsee. The website indicates whether the path is open or not. Most importantly, all the details about a hiking trail (elevation profile, turn-by-turn instructions, etc.) are found on this website. 
  • Train and bus schedule checker (sbb.ch) – Traveling outside Jungfrau Region? Check the timetables here.

Do you need more ideas about what to do or where to go from Interlaken? Check this complete list of things to do in the Jungfrau Region. It has day trips, guided tours, skip-the-line passes, and more outdoor activities to choose from.

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Besides the Jungfrau Region, Bern and Lucerne are two destinations you must also visit during your trip to Switzerland. Lucerne is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, and Bern undoubtedly offers the best city views. You should see the Chapel Bridge and Zytglogge, which are among Switzerland’s most recognizable landmarks and are located in these cities. If you have extra days in Switzerland, this 4-day itinerary focused on Lucerne and Bern could be helpful to you.

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