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15 Best Hikes near Interlaken

The most beautiful hikes near Interlaken including ridges, waterfalls, and fun trails for kids. Plus a map, directions and practical tips.

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Interlaken and the Bernese Oberland region are one of the nicest places for hiking in Switzerland. From the main Interlaken train station, you have easy access by car or train to spectacular hikes in every direction.

Based on our experience living and hiking in Switzerland since 2005, we’ve selected the very best hikes near Interlaken for all ages and abilities, including families.

See also our favorite hikes in the Jungfrau Region

Map of Interlaken Hikes

This map shows the location of the hikes suggested below. For an interactive map, get my Swiss Summer Guide (via the Rexby app).

Most hikes on this list are free with the Bernese Oberland Pass, a multiday pass covering public transport and mountain railways in this region. We find this pass a convenient and cost-effective way to explore this region.

Our favorite trails near Interlaken

I’ve selected hikes of varying difficulty so there’s something for everyone.

Please select hikes that match your fitness, experience and comfort level. In the linked articles, I typically have shorter and longer alternatives.

As always, check the weather and trail conditions and operating times before heading out. (Unsure? See our Swiss Hiking 101 posts).

1. Schynige Platte Ridge Trail

This spectacular ridge trail overlooks the bright blue lakes surrounding Interlaken as well countless mountain peaks in all directions, including the famous Eiger peak and its neighbors.  It’s a moderate 6km loop, suitable for casual hikers and families.

Though technically part of the Jungfrau Region, this mountain is so close to Interlaken, you can walk to the base of it in 30 mins (or 5 mins by train or car). A vintage mountain train carries you to the top, where you’ll find the trail head, alpine garden, and restaurant with panorama terrace.

Trail: moderate • 2.5 h • 5.6 k • 150m up/down

Location: Schynige Platte mountain railway – Hauptstrasse 10, 3812 Wilderswil

Open: July to mid October

Discounts: mountain train free with Bernese Oberland Pass and Jungfrau Travel Pass. Discount with Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card and Interlaken Guest Card.

See details for Schynige Platte Ridge Trail

2. Niederhorn Ridge Trail

This tall mountain is just north of Interlaken, with steep cliffs dropping off one side and lush alpine meadows rolling down the other.

We love the trail along the “Güggisgrat” ridge, visiting the Burgfeldstand and Gemmenalphorn viewpoints along the way.

You can customize the trail length from 4 to 11 km to suit your group’s abilities. If time permits, you can add a scooter ride down the mountain or the nearby Beatus caves at the base of mountain.

Trail: Moderate • 1.5 h • 4.5 k • 110m up and down (longer version in my post)

Location: Beatenbuch-Beatenberg funicular train – Beatenbucht, 3658 Sigriswil. From Interlaken, 15 mins by car, 20 mins by bus.

Open: July to mid October

Discounts: funicular and cable car free with Bernese Oberland Pass. Discount with Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card.

See details for Niederhorn Ridge Trail

3. Oeschinensee Panorama Trail

This gorgeous alpine lake is a great day trip from Interlaken. It’s an easy direct train to the Kandersteg village and short walk to the cable car.

Our favorite hike here is the panorama trail that loops high above the lake, where you can get fantastic views and photos of the bright blue water. Along the way you’ll pass by waterfalls and through alpine meadows with grazing sheep and cows.

Best for experienced hikers with good fitness level and sturdy hiking shoes. Alternatively, non-hikers can walk directly to the lake on the service road in about 40 mins.

Trail: Moderate • 3.5 h • 8.5 km • 430m up and down

Location: Oeschinensee gondola – Oeschistrasse 50, 3718 Kandersteg. From Interlaken, 1h15 by train and 40 mins by car.

Open: usually late May thru October

Discounts: gondola free with Bernese Oberland Pass. Discount with Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card.

See details for Oeschinensee Panorama Trail

4. Mt Niesen Panorama Trail

Nicknamed the “Swiss Pyramid,” this mountain west of Interlaken is famous for its distinct triangle shape. You can easily reach the viewpoint at the top with a series of funicular trains, a popular destination for tourists.

But for more peace and quiet, we like to enjoy the views along the mountain trail connecting the top to the middle station.

view of Interlaken Switzerland and Thunersee from Mt Niesen panorama hike

With the kids, we hike downhill to minimize complaints. But if you’d like more fitness, hike uphill instead and reward yourself with refreshments at the restaurant on the top.

Trail: 2h • 5k one way • 40m up, 690m down

Location: Niesen funicular – Heustrichstrasse 12, 3711 Mülenen. From Interlaken, 52 mins by train, 25 mins by car

Open: trail open usually mid June through mid October

Discounts: free with Bernese Oberland Pass. Half fare with Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card.

See details for Mt Niesen hike

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5. Brienz Rothorn Ridge Trail

This gorgeous trail starts at the Brienz Rothorn peak and hikes along a dramatic ridge, with steep cliffs, bright green hillsides covered in wildflowers, and unforgettable views.

It’s one of my all-time favorite hikes in Switzerland, one I try to repeat every couple years.

The path has lots of uneven terrain and steep sides, so best for confident hikers with sturdy shoes and a head for heights. I would only take older children and teens if they have experience.

It’s a one way hike with a cogwheel train on one side and cable car on the other. The Lucerne-Interlaken Express connects the two ends, making for a beautiful journey all the around.

Best to reserve seats on the cogwheel train in advance as they do sell out.

Trail: challenging • 11.8km • 6 hours • 330m up, 1060m down

Location: Brienzer Rothorn mountain train – Hauptstrasse 149, 3855 Brienz. From Interlaken, 17 mins by train, 25 mins by car.

Open: July to mid October

Discounts: free with Bernese Oberland Pass and Lucerne Tell Pass. Discount with Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card.

See details for Brienzer Rothorn ridge trail

6. Hasliberg Skyline Trail

We adore the Hasliberg mountain resort east of Interlaken, with so many beautiful hikes.

For the best views, we like the Skyline Trail (aka Horizontweg), which starts at the Alpen Tower viewpoint. The trail traverses the mountains and lovely ridge, leading to lovely alpine lakes at Melchsee Frutt and Engstlenalp.

After the hike, you ride a mountain bus back to your starting point. It takes a little pre-planning, but absolutely worth the effort.

With kids, you’ll prefer the fun Muggestutz and Marble Run activity trails, which I describe below.

Trail: Moderate • 3.5 h • 10.2 k • 150m up, 490m down

Location: Meiringen cable car. From Interlaken, 42 mins by train and 30 mins by car.

Open: usually June to mid October

Discounts: cable cars free with Bernese Oberland Pass and Lucerne Tell Pass. Half fare with Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card. No discount on private bus at trail end.

See details for Hasliberg Skyline Trail

7. Trift Glacier & Suspension Bridge

This steep rocky trail leads to a viewpoint of the quickly disappearing Trift glacier as well as a 170m long suspension bridge hanging 100m above the river below.

Trift Suspension Bridge

The terrain is rough, with some steep slopes that may make some feel queasy. But we love the thrill of the bouncy bridge and think the glacier is a special sight.

On the way back, you can take a detour to the Windegg mountain hut for a simple lunch with local cheese and meat and freshly baked desserts.

The cable car is small, so best to book in advance to avoid a long wait or disappointment.

Trail: moderate • 2h40 round trip • 2.75 km each way • 360m up & down

Location: Trift cable car – Sustenstrasse, 3863 Gadmen. From Interlaken, about 45 mins by car, 1h10 by train/bus.

Open: usually June to mid October (in 2024, only until end of September)

Discounts: no discount on the cable car with travel passes. Bus to reach the cable car is covered by the Bernese Oberland Pass and Swiss Travel Pass, discounted with Swiss Half Fare Card

Learn more about Trift Glacier Trail

8. Harder Kulm to Augstmatthorn (Hardergrat ridge)

The most infamous trail in Switzerland is the Hardergrat, which is along the mountain range just north of Interlaken. It is notoriously dangerous with a few tragic deaths in recent years. It’s also very long, with many hikers starting before sunrise. See more reasons why we do not recommend it.

However, the Augstmatthorn is a good alternative, hiking a safer part of the Hardergrat. You get still lots of the drama and same views, but a more reasonable distance and less risk.

Augstmatthorn trail. Photo by Barbara Steinemann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It starts at Harder Kulm and hikes up through the forest to the ridge. It leads to the Augstmatthorn peak, then down to an alpine village where you can catch a bus back to your starting point.

It’s still a long challenging mountain trail, only suitable for experienced hikers with proper equipment and only attempted in good weather. I haven’t done it myself yet, but it’s been warmly recommended by a few trusted friends.

Trail: challenging • 5h • 11.6km • 1089m up, 833m down

Location: Harderbahn funicular in Interlaken

Discounts: funicular free with Bernese Oberland Pass and Jungfrau Travel Pass. Discount with Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card, Interlaken Guest Card.

Open: typically July through early October. Do not attempt in wet or icy conditions.

See Augstmatthorn trail details.

9. Pfingstegg Bäregg Hut

This mountain trail near Grindelwald traverses the mountain high above a narrow river gorge. It leads to the Bäregg mountain hut, which has a terrace overlooking the stunning Ischmeer glacier.

It has a lot of steep slopes to the side, which may bother those who are afraid of heights. But the trail is well built, with fences on the most exposed areas. In my opinion, it didn’t feel as dangerous as other similar trails in Switzerland. In any case, best done in dry weather by those with good fitness and proper hiking shoes.

If you ride the Pfingstegg cable car, this is a rather short hike, only 5.4 km there and back. For a longer hike, you can skip the cable car and hike straight up from the valley.

Trail: Moderate • 2h45 • 5.4k round trip • 370m up and down

Location: Pfingstegg cable car – near Grabenstrasse 17 Grindelwald. From Interlaken, 47 mins by train & bus, 35 mins by car.

Discounts: cable car free with Bernese Oberland Pass. Discount with Jungfrau Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card.

Open: usually mid June through early October.

See details for Pfingstegg Bäregg hike.

10. Mürren North Face Trail

On this beautiful mountain trail near Mürren, you’ll enjoy spectacular mountain views while walking through lush alpine meadows. For more fun, we suggest a detour to the Sprutz waterfall, where you can walk directly under the raging water.

Along the way, you’ll pass mountain huts where the dairy farmers tend to their cattle and make cheese during summer. A few huts have cafes, where you can eat traditional mountain food with some of the best views you can get in this region.

Trail: Moderate • 2h45 • 5.4k round trip • 370m up and down

Location: Lauterbrunnen-Grütschalp cable car – Bahnhofplatz 477 Lauterbrunnen. From Interlaken, 22 mins by train, 18 mins by car.

Discounts: mountain railways (via Grütschalp) free with Bernese Oberland Pass, Jungfrau Travel Pass, and Swiss Travel Pass. Discount with Swiss Half Fare Card.

Open: usually mid June through mid October

See details for Mürren Northface Trail

Hike for kids near Interlaken

Here are our favorite hikes near Interlaken families with kids under 12. These trails have entertaining extras like fun activities along the path, treasure hunts, playgrounds, go carts, and other amusements.

11. Hasliberg Muggestutz Activity Trail & Marble Run

Hasliberg has two great trails for kids, with fun activities scattered along the way. The Muggestutz trail has activities related to a storybook about the dwarfs live in the area. It has play houses like the one shown here, a labyrinth, swings, picnic areas, and alpine dairies selling cheese. 

This path leads to a big playground with a view and picnic area next to a little pond. From here, you can continue hiking on the Marble Run trail, that has 11 elaborate marble runs built by local carpenters. As you hike down the mountain, kids will enjoy running to each station and rolling their big wooden ball down the tracks.

Trail: easy • 2-4 hours depending on which trails you do

Location: Meiringen cable car. From Interlaken, 42 mins by train and 30 mins by car.

Open: usually late May to mid October

Discounts: cable cars free with Bernese Oberland Pass and Lucerne Tell Pass. Half fare with Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card. 

Details for Hasliberg Muggestutz trail and Marble Run trail

12. Schynige Platte Flower Trail

On this cute trail, kids wander through an alpine garden, solving little puzzles and recording the answers in their activity booklet. After figuring out the code word, they can show it at the restaurant to choose a small prize from the treasure chest.

There’s a little playground at the start and beautiful views all around. Nearby, there is a picnic area with a grill or the restaurant with a panorama terrace and kids menu.

Location: Schynige Platte mountain railway – Hauptstrasse 10, 3812 Wilderswil

Open: July to mid October

Discounts: mountain train free with Bernese Oberland Pass and Jungfrau Travel Pass. Discount with Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card and Interlaken Guest Card.

Learn more about Scyhnige Platte Flower Trail

13. Lieselotte Activity Trail

If you have children aged about 5-10 that need a little motivation to keep walking, you might try the Lieselotte theme trail. From Grindelwald, you ride a gondola up to Männlichen, where you’ll find a nice playground with a view and restaurants.

Then you hike down the mountain about an hour, visiting 13 stations along the way, including playing an alphorn and “milking” a cow. 

Hike: Easy • 1h30 • 3.5 km • 600 m down

Location: Männlichen gondola at Grindelwald Terminal station – Grundstrasse 54, 3818 Grindelwald. From Interlaken, 30 mins by train, 25 mins by car.

Discount: gondola free with Bernese Oberland Pass and Jungfrau Travel Pass. Discount with Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card.

See details for the Lieselotte theme trail.

14. Grindelwald First + Bachalpsee lake hike

The Grindelwald First mountain area is a great choice for families, with easy hikes and has lots of exciting amusements. As a reward for good hiking, kids can enjoy the First Cliff Walk, epic zip lines, mountain go-carts and kick scooters, and a big alpine playground with fantastic views. 

Bachalpsee Lake

For the hike, our first choice for families is the short trail from Grindelwald First to the Bachalpsee alpine lake. The path is safe and mostly a wide dirt service road, even possible with an all-terrain stroller. Although it’s mostly uphill to the lake, it’s downhill on the way back.

Note that some of the amusements at First have minimum age (most 10+) and heights, so check that before making any promises. Younger kids can always run around the playground, while the older ones fly through the air.

Trail: moderate • 2h • 6k • 150m up and down

Location: Grindelwald First gondola – Dorfstrasse 187, 3818 Grindelwald. From Interlaken, 45 mins by public transport, 35 mins by car.

Open: usually late May through mid October

Discounts: gondola free with Bernese Oberland Pass and Jungfrau Travel Pass. Discount with Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card.

See details for Grindelwald Bachalpsee hike

15. Allmendhubel Playground + Mürren Mountain View trail

If your kids are learning to hike harder trails, I suggest the Mürren Mountain View trail. It leads to the fantastic Allmendhubel flower park playground, which is a fun reward for good hiking.

Allmendhubel playground at the end of the Mürren Mountain View Trail

Starting at Grütschalp, the trail is a proper mountain trail, with narrow footpaths and uphill switchbacks, good training ground for kids learning to hike. But the trail isn’t too long and the play time at the end ensures that the day ends on a happy note.

If you prefer a shorter trail, you could start at the playground and hike down the Blumental “Flower Valley” trail to Mürren.

Trail: moderate • 2h • 5k • 400m up, 40m down 

Open: usually mid June through mid October

Location: Lauterbrunnen-Grütschalp cable car – Bahnhofplatz 477 Lauterbrunnen. From Interlaken, 22 mins by train, 18 mins by car.

Discounts: mountain railways (via Grütschalp) free with Bernese Oberland Pass, Jungfrau Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass. Discount with Swiss Half Fare Card.

More info for Allmendhubel playground and Mürren Mountain view trail

Popular Interlaken tours

 

Tips for Interlaken hiking

How to get to Interlaken

Interlaken is located in the center of Switzerland. You can easily reach it by car or train from any city in Switzerland. The main train station is Interlaken Ost (see on Google Maps). You can see the train schedule on SBB.ch or the SBB mobile app.

From by train by car
Bern 1h 45mins
Lucerne 1hr50 1h
Zürich airport 2h10 1h40
Basel airport 2h25 1hr40
Zermatt 2h15 2h30
Geneva airport 2h 2h10

How much does hiking cost in Interlaken

To access the hikes on this list, you’ll need to ride mountain transport, like a cable car or funicular. The prices for these vary, but range between CHF 25-80 per person. Children aged 6-15 are 50%. Children under 6 are free.

Dogs are welcome on most mountain transport. Large dogs often need a dog ticket.

Discounts with Travel Passes

To save money, we suggest getting a travel pass for Switzerland. Most of these hikes are free with the Bernese Oberland Pass, a multiday travel pass for this region.

If you have a Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card, the mountain transport is often discounted 50%.

 

See our budget tips for more info about making Swiss travel more affordable.

What to bring on your hike

Most hikes on this list are relatively short and close to a mountain hut or cable car station where you can get food, drinks, shelter and help in an emergency. But it’s best to be prepared.

For all hikes in Switzerland, we suggest bringing a day pack with water, snacks, warm layers and basic first aid kit. If you are hiking with children, see our Hiking Pack List for Kids

What to wear on a Swiss hike

Weather in Switzerland can be unpredictable. Even on a hot summer day, a storm can move in quickly, with wind and rain that leave you cold and wet.

So best to bring layers so you can easily add and remove clothing to adjust for the current conditions. In summer, we suggest bringing a medium weight fleece and good quality rain jacket. 

For more detail, see What wear for hiking in Switzerland

Tips for exploring this popular mountain area in the Berner Oberland, from epic ridge hikes to wanders suitable for kids and strollers, as well as alpine playgrounds with big views and other fun activities for families.

Popular Tours

Comments

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8 Responses

  1. Hi! Thanks so much for sharing your experience! Would you recommend travelling in this region with a 6-7 month old baby? Thank you!

    1. It would be easy to travel here with a baby if you are carrying them in a child carrier backpack or front carrier. But this area is not very accessible for strollers.

  2. Hi, I came across your site and loved the details of the walks. What a labour of love! Some of the walks we know quite well, after many years of coming to Switzerland to walk, but some are new to us and it’s good to get an in-depth feel for them.

    I tried to buy your e-book, which sounds fun. However, the website insists that your country of residence is Switzerland, while mine is Scotland. So obviously the credit card is refused. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Fiona, So sorry about this problem with the eBook. I had to adjust the settings to allow purchase outside Switzerland. Please try again 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for all information given! I´ve once been to Grindewald. Next summer I´m thinking of staying in Interlaken and do some of the trails you suggest here. 🙂

  4. I am LOVING your website! It has been so helpful in planning our trip to Switzerland. Question – we would love to do the Schynige Platte Hike on our way from Lauterbrunnen station to Lucerne. We would be driving and leaving our car parked in the near the hike. Is it safe to have our luggage in the car? Or should we instead do the Mannlichen hike to Kleine Schedegg (we are staying in Wengen) that morning, then drive to Lucerne in the afternoon and do the Lake Brienz trip as a day trip from Wengen???

    1. I can’t say absolutely that your luggage will be safe. But I wouldn’t worry too much. Switzerland is generally pretty safe in this regard. But if you are worried, you could use the lockers at the train station.

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Welcome

Hi! I’m Tanya and our family has been living & hiking in Switzerland since 2005, collecting dozens of fun hikes and activities for all ages and abilities. More about us…

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