Interlaken Winter Activities – Switzerland Travel Guide

There is no shortage of Interlaken winter activities. This city is a natural beauty filled with enchanting landscapes made up of mountains, lakes and snow. Interlaken is perfect for all types of travellers especially for the adventurous at heart. Even though some activities are only available in Summer, the colder months bring about some unique activities to try.

Interlaken, which means between two lakes,  forms part of the Jungfrau Region. The Jungfrau also consists of the Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Unterseen and Wengen villages.

In this Interlaken travel guide, I’ve included tips for your stay in Interlaken. I also know that everyone is different so I’ve included must-do activities for the different ‘types’ of travellers.

Basics to learn before leaving for Interlaken

An infographic that helps readers understand the basics before travelling to Interlaken in Switzerland

An infographic that helps readers understand the basics before travelling to Interlaken in Switzerland

Interlaken Winter Activities for the Adventurous Traveller

Snow Sports

An absolute must-do activity is Interlaken. Outdoor Interlaken offers a 1-day beginner ski package which will set you back a hefty CHF 159 but, in my opinion, it is worth every penny.

Interlaken instructors are informative and patient and the price includes the gear hire (ski, boots and helmet) so you don’t have to worry about renting or buying the gear. Your ski clothing, however, is for your own pocket. Outdoor Interlakens’ fabulous service includes collection and drop-off from your hotel.

A little, useful tip I can give, that I discovered the hard way, is layering clothing.  After skiing for a few minutes I found that I began to cook under the layers of protective kit – it’s useful to be able to remove a layer or two.  And don’t forget to bring the sunscreen.

I learnt how to ski with Interlaken by doing the full-day lesson and by falling down A LOT! I really love every moment of it.  I’m not particularly good at skiing, as I’m generally bad at all outdoor activities, so if you believe you need some special kind of physical coordination to manoeuvre on the slopes – you can use me as your example that you don’t.  Regardless of all the falling, it was a great experience and I love that I learnt to ski in the Swiss Alps. Yes, it was the baby slopes, but still!

Paragliding

If you’re thinking of gliding over frozen lakes and snowy mountains then paragliding could be a great activity for you. The awesome thing about paragliding is that the experience can be ‘tailor-made’ to suit you. If you prefer lots of turns and tricks then the instructor will give you an adrenaline-filled ride. If you want to enjoy the scenery and have a relaxed flight then that will be arranged as well.

  • Price: CHF 170 excluding extras. If you book with 10 people or more than it’ll cost CHF 150.
  • Altitude: 1350m above sea level.
  • Transport: Pick up from your hotel in Interlaken.
  • Duration: The whole trip should take 75 minutes. Being in mid-air will take 10-20 minutes.
  • Extras: The video and photos will cost an extra CHF 40.
  • Limitations: There is a weight limit of 100kg.
  • What to bring: warm clothing.

You can book this paragliding adventure here.

Skydiving

Why not throw yourself out of a perfectly working plane while you’re in Interlaken? Interlaken is known as an adrenaline-filled town so it’s the perfect place to do something adventurous. Here are more details of the skydiving options in Interlaken:

Outdoor Interlaken

  • Price: CHF 395 excluding extras.
  • Altitude: You’ll exit the plane at 4000m but it is possible to upgrade to a higher altitude of 4600m for an extra CHF 35.
  • Transport: Pick up from the Reichenbach Airport or your hotel in Interlaken.
  • Duration: 3.5 hours round-trip. The free fall lasts 45 seconds and the plane ride is 10-15 mins.
  • Extras: You can buy photos and videos. See more details about this here.
  • Limitations: There’s a weight limit of 105kg.
  • What to bring: Closed shoes and warm clothing. (windbreaker recommended)

Helicopter Skydiving

  • Price: CHF 475 excluding extras.
  • Altitude: Fall from an altitude of 4600m (15 000 ft).
  • Transport: Pick-up at the hotel or Interlaken Ost train station. The meeting point is in Wilderswil. Open in Google Maps.
  • Duration: Approximately 2 hours.
  • Extras: Video and pictures available on request
  • Limitations: 105kg weight limit.
  • What to bring: Wear a windbreaker, gloves and warm clothing

You’ll get to pull the opening handle of your own parachute. Book for this experience here.

Night Sledding (includes fondue)

This is a great combo activity as it includes a fun evening of sledding as well as warming up by enjoying some traditional Swiss cheese fondue for dinner. Sled past frozen waterfalls and experience winter like a true Swiss local.

  • Price: CHF 94 but if you don’t want to have the Swiss cheese fondue dinner then it’ll cost CHF 71,
  • Transport: Hotel pickup or meet at the Outdoor Interlaken Winter Base. You’ll then take a Gondola ride to Sulwald.
  • Duration: 1-hour sled.
  • Limitations: None.
  • What to bring: Waterproof clothing which is also available to rent.

Book for the night sledding here.

 

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Interlaken Winter Activities for the Foodie Traveller

Swiss Chocolate Making

If you love getting #chocolatewasted, which I’m sure you do, then you need to check out the Funky Chocolate Club. Book the workshop in advance, because it gets really popular. People must really love Swiss chocolate – who would have thought huh?

The workshop takes 60 -75 minutes in total and you’ll get to taste the ingredients (as much as you want), learn about tempering the chocolate and then finally decorating the amazing chocolate you’re going to take home.

The cost of getting chocolate wasted is CHF 69 and you’ll take home 400g of high-quality Swiss milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Allow for another 60 minutes of waiting for the chocolate to cool down after the workshop. So maybe go buy some Swiss trinkets next door or have some coffee while you wait. The Funky Chocolate Club claims it’s the best coffee in Interlaken so you should test if it’s true, while you’re in town.

interlaken-switzerland

Swiss Food and Culture Tour

Is there anything Outdoor Interlaken doesn’t do? If you’re keen on learning more about the Swiss culture and the wonderful food, then this tour would be perfect for you. You’ll visit a farm, watch a traditional wood-carver and taste the fresh cheese at the Chäs Fritz which is a local cheese store. You’ll also visit a farm, play with some cows and taste some milk.

The tour is 2.5 hours long and costs CHF 45. This is a walking tour so bring some comfy walking shoes and enjoy exploring and learning about Interlaken on foot.

Interlaken Winter Activities for the Relaxed Traveller

Top of Europe

This is an experience that will stick with you for life. Being on top of Europe is an incredible experience that I wish I could do again. The exquisite snow-topped mountains, the fun snowball fights and exploring the Ice Palace are just some of the things you can do at the top of  Jungfraujoch.

You’ll be standing at 3454 metres above sea level which is the Top of Europe! The train ride from Interlaken is 2 hours to the top and you’ll see the most beautiful views on the way up, so get your cameras ready.

Start at the Interlaken Ost station and head to Lauterbrunnen. Change to the Wengernalp rack railway and go to Kleine Scheidegg. From there on out, it’s straight up to Jungfraujoch. There are multiple passes on offer but a return trip will cost CHF 184.00. You can find the cost of all the passes here.

Activities:

So what you do at the Top of Europe? Well, I’m glad you asked! Firstly, there’s the Sphinx Observation Deck which has unparalleled views of the scenic mountains. From there you’ll make your way to Alpine Sensation which is a giant musical snow globe. The corridor pays tribute to the miners who made the Jungfraujoch open to the railway. Pose with the snow globe and move ahead to the Ice Palace.

Somewhat slippery and magical, the Ice Palace has beautiful artwork/sculptures for you to admire. Once inside, it’s like you’ve entered a snowy cavern.

Make your way to the Mönchsjochhütte. It’s a 45-minute walk to the hut but on the way, you’ll pass through alpine glaciers which form part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch. Once inside the hut, you’ll have access to the views of the Valais mountains. You can stay overnight at the Mönchsjochhütte but reservation in advance is required.

A multitude of activities can be arranged at the top of Jungfraujoch. Hire the equipment at the top and go skiing or snowboarding on the snowy slopes. Try snow tubbing on an inflated tyre or spend some time in the air on the Flying Fox rope slide.

  • Access to all the mentioned activities cost CHF 45. This price includes rental gear too.
  • The price for just snowboarding/skiing is CHF 35.
  • If you’re only interested in either ziplining or tubbing then it will cost CHF 20.

There are plenty of shops and restaurants at the top of the mountain plus a heavenly Lindt shop. Hello to more chocolate!

Tips for your Top of Europe Experience:

Want some tips to make your Jungfrau experience even more memorable? Of course, you do.

  • Travelling to the top of Europe is expensive! There are a few tricks to get discounts for your Jungfrau trip. Travel in low season (November to early December) which will significantly lower the price you pay.
  • Also, Eurail Pass and Interrail pass holders will receive 25% discount on all trains past Interlaken.
  • Booking through a tour group means group discounts will apply.
  • The most important thing you need to take with you is your sunglasses! I forgot my sunglasses in the hotel and regretted this bitterly. The sun reflects off the snow and it can harm your eyesight if you’re not wearing the proper protection.
  • Sunscreen is important too. It is winter but you will still burn.
  • I had altitude sickness at the top which put a little damper on my experience. Which is why I need to go back! Perhaps consider taking some altitude sickness tablets with you if you suspect that you might get sick. The effects of altitude sickness include feeling dizzy and nauseous.
  • Keeping hydrated is also important in avoiding altitude sickness.

Snowshoeing

If you enjoy being away from the crowds and exploring nature then a snowshoe tour would be perfect for you. Snowshoeing is essentially a hike but you’ll be provided with special shoes to make it easier to hike in the snow.

  • Price: The cost of this is CHF 139 and you can book it here. Food and drink are included in the price.
  • Transport: Pick-up at the hotel or meet at the Outdoor Interlaken Winter base.
  • Duration: Approximately 2 – 2.5 hours.
  • What to bring: Warm clothing, water, sunscreen and sunscreen.

Interlaken Winter Activities for the Budget Traveller

Free Walking Tour

Interlaken is expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Outdoor Interlaken offers a free walking tour so you’ll learn about the history, the hidden gems and explore Interlaken like a local would. The tour is 2 hours long. The schedule for the free walking tours can be found here.

Hike to Harder Kulm

It’s two hours to hike up and witness the incredible views. Harder Kulm 1322 m above sea level and offers the best views of Interlaken as well as views of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The hike is not difficult but it is steep. If you don’t want to hike, you can take a cable car which costs CHF 30 to get to the top.

Activity Packages

You’ll save up to CHF 100 if you pay for adventure packages. It includes two winter activities on offer for a lower price. This is the best option for those who want to try it all but save some money too. Check out some winter activity packages here.

Wrapping up the Interlaken Activity Guide

There is so much to do in Interlaken during the winter and not enough time. I hope this activity guide helps you make the most of your Interlaken adventure. If you need some help deciding what to pack for winter in Europe then, look at my packing for winter guide for some tips. Please share this post if you enjoyed it and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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