Ways To Spend 3 Days In Interlaken & Jungfrau Region

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The Jungfrau Region is a hub of extraordinary adventures, stunning natural wonders, and remarkable engineering achievements.

If you’re wondering where to begin your journey through the region’s top attractions, Interlaken is the place to start. Positioned at the entrance to the Jungfrau Region and easily reachable from major cities, Interlaken is a favored base for many visitors touring the area.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Interlaken, you might be asking: how many days should you allocate?

I would suggest three days. This duration allows you to fully immerse yourself in the best that the Jungfrau Region has to offer: exhilarating outdoor activities in Grindelwald, a tranquil boat tour on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz, and visits to the captivating locales of Lauterbrunnen and Jungfraujoch.

In this post, I’ll share some ideas on how to spend three days in Interlaken, exploring the diverse attractions of the Jungfrau region.

But first, you might want to learn more about the places you can visit in this area. The Jungfrau region has so much to offer, from scenic mountains and lakes to charming villages and historic sites.

That’s why I’ve divided the discussion of Jungfrau region’s destinations and points of interest into three:

  1. Interlaken (10 reasons to visit) — this post discusses the tourist attractions near the town of Interlaken. Also, the places to see in Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
  2. Grindelwald (10 best things to do) — in this article, you can find most of the adventurous activities in the Jungfrau region, which are accessible from the village center.
  3. Lauterbrunnen (10 reasons to visit) — here, you can learn more about the quaint villages of the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the unmissable attractions in the Jungfrau region.

They’ll give you the complete picture of what you can experience in the Jungfrau region. Of course, they’ll also help you decide if 3 days in Interlaken/the Jungfrau region are enough for you.

Alternatively, you can check my 7-day Interlaken Itinerary to see a “list summary” of the top attractions in the Jungfrau Region. Visiting information is also included in the post. 

I also have a 3-to-14-day Switzerland Itinerary Itinerary. Check that out to get an idea of how you can visit the Jungfrau Region with other beautiful places in Switzerland. The entire itinerary starts with Zurich and ends with Geneva.

Aside from the Jungfrau region, you can also find some cities near the Swiss Alps (Sion, Brig, Thun, Lucerne, and Montreux) and other beautiful villages in the Swiss Alps in my Switzerland itinerary.

Let’s begin the discussion by further knowing if 3 days are really enough to visit Interlaken or the Jungfrau Region.


3 Days in Interlaken – Is It Enough?

While the Jungfrau Region has enough attractions to fill a week, you can still have a fulfilling experience with just three days in Interlaken.

This is because you can cover the top highlights of the Jungfrau Region within this timeframe, and it also allows you to balance your itinerary considering the duration of your overall trip to Switzerland and the other attractions you plan to visit.

Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Duration of your Switzerland trip: If your entire trip to Switzerland is only a week long, it wouldn’t be practical to spend all seven days in the Jungfrau Region. You’ll want to explore other beautiful parts of Switzerland as well. A suggested itinerary could be two days in the cities, two days in Zermatt, and three days in the Jungfrau Region. This would also give you the opportunity to discover charming places like Kandersteg and Gruyeres.
  2. Other Swiss attractions on your itinerary: For instance, if you’re planning to visit Lucerne and take boat tours on Lake Lucerne, you could consider skipping the boat tours on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the Jungfrau Region. This not only diversifies your experiences but also effectively reduces the ideal seven-day stay in the Jungfrau Region.

Learn more about the places previously mentioned:

  1. Zermatt: 10 Reasons To Visit Zermatt & 10 Best Views In Zermatt
  2. Kandersteg: 10 Best Things To Do In Kandersteg & How To Visit
  3. Gruyeres: 10 Best Reasons Why You Should Visit Gruyères

When planning your trip to Interlaken, the season of your visit is an important factor to consider. Certain attractions may not be open to the public during specific times of the year, such as winter. This could potentially shorten your stay, as there would be fewer tourist attractions to visit.

In my post about “How Many Days You Should Spend In Interlaken And Jungfrau Region”, I delve into why a full week is needed to truly experience the Jungfrau Region.

This includes a comprehensive discussion on various factors that can help you decide the duration of your stay in Interlaken.

While it’s certainly possible to spend just a day or two in the Jungfrau Region or Interlaken, you might miss out on some of the fun, breathtaking views, and incredible attractions.

So, while a short visit is doable, a longer stay allows for a more enriching experience.

3-Day Interlaken (and Jungfrau Region) Itinerary

In this section, you’ll find a suggested three-day itinerary for visiting Interlaken and exploring the Jungfrau Region.

This itinerary highlights the must-see destinations in the Jungfrau region, demonstrating that a three-day trip to Interlaken can be quite fulfilling.

Here are the ultimate destinations in the Jungfrau Region:

  1. For adventure: Grindelwald (Grindelwald First and Short hike to Bachalpsee)
  2. For nature: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz
  3. For unique attraction: Lauterbrunnen (village of Lauterbrunnen and Jungfraujoch)

In this 3-Day Interlaken Itinerary, your home base is the town of Interlaken. You can find a place to stay in Interlaken from this link. Why Interlaken?

  1. Quick and easy access (walking distance) to Lake Thun/Lake Brienz’s port, just outside Interlaken Ost.
  2. Grindelwald is only one train ride away from Interlaken.
  3. Lauterbrunnen is also only one train ride away from Interlaken.
  4. Most day trips start in Interlaken (a common meeting point).

Day 1: Lauterbrunnen & Jungfraujoch

The first day of this three-day itinerary in Interlaken offers you the opportunity to explore the unique aspects of the Jungfrau Region, specifically Lauterbrunnen and Jungfraujoch.


To put it simply, here’s why these places are a must-visit:

  1. Lauterbrunnen — it’s the village located in the “heaven on earth” valley of Switzerland.
  2. Jungfraujoch — a marvel of engineering that’s the highest railway station in Europe. Here you can find an ice cave, see the largest glacier in the alps, and more. 

I set Lauterbrunnen and Jungfraujoch together on Day 1 of this Interlaken Itinerary because:

  1. Seeing Lauterbrunnen would only require a short time
  2. Jungfraujoch almost takes a day to finish visiting
  3. It’s simple to visit Jungfraujoch from Lauterbrunnen (route: Lauterbrunnen-Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch)

Here are the details:

  • 6:00 am — Leave Interlaken
  • 6:30 am — Arrival at Lauterbrunnen. Have a nice stroll and eat breakfast.
  • 8:30 am — Depart Lauterbrunnen for Jungfraujoch
  • 9:30 am — Arrival at Kleine Scheidegg, switch to Jungfrau Railway
  • 10:00 am — Arrival at Jungfraujoch. Enjoy!
  • 4:00 pm — Depart Jungfraujoch for Interlaken.
  • 6:00 pm — Back to Interlaken. Stroll and explore the town.

The timestamps are only approximated.

You might need these for day 1:

  1. Jungfrau Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass
  2. Jungfraujoch Train Round Trip Tickets

Note: Some passes/tickets have overlapping coverage.

Learn more about these attractions from my post about Lauterbrunnen (10 reasons to visit)

If you are interested in visiting the Lauterbrunnen Valley, check these out:

  1. Lauterbrunnen Itinerary: How To Spend 1 to 3 Days In Lauterbrunnen
  2. How To Visit Lauterbrunnen And Make Your Own Itinerary

Day 2: Adventure in Grindelwald First & Bachalpsee Hike

On the second day of this three-day itinerary in Interlaken, you’ll get to experience the best adventures that the Jungfrau Region has to offer.

Grindelwald First

Your adventure will take you to Grindelwald, where you can visit Bachalpsee.

This stunning lake mirrors the peaks of the Jungfrau massif, creating a breathtakingly beautiful scene.

Here are the details: 

  • 6:00 am — Leave Interlaken 
  • 6:30 am — Arrival at Grindelwald. Have a nice stroll and eat breakfast.
  • 8:30 am — Depart Grindelwald village to Grindelwald-First (via cable car)
  • 9:00 am — Enjoy the activities in Grindelwald First (Flieger, Cliff Walk), Schreckfeld (Glider, Mountain Cart), and Bort (Trottibike).
  • 2:30 pm — Back to Grindelwald First station and start the hike to Bachalpsee.
  • 3:30 pm — Arrival at Bachalpsee Sightsee and relax in Bachalpsee.
  • 4:00 pm — Leave Bachalpsee back to Grindelwald First station.
  • 5:00 pm — Return to Grindelwald village from Grindelwald First station.
  • 6:00 pm — Back to Interlaken. Go to Lake Thun and watch the sunset.

The aim of setting off early from Interlaken is to ensure an early arrival in Grindelwald.

The queues for the attractions and activities at Grindelwald First and its stations can get quite long, particularly during peak season.

Arriving early helps you avoid wasting time in line.

Don’t forget: Double-check the first and last cable car ride to and from Grindelwald First. 

You might need this for day 2: Jungfrau Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass.

Learn more about these adventures and outdoor activities from my post about Grindelwald (10 Best Things To Do).

Day 3: Relaxation Day Boat Rides & Sightseeing

After an exhilarating second day, the third day of this three-day itinerary in Interlaken is designed for relaxation.

Lake Brienz

You’ll start the day at Harder Kulm, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the lakes you’ll be visiting later in the day.

It’s the perfect way to unwind and take in the beauty of the region.

Here are the details:

  • 7:30 am — breakfast at the hotel
  • 9:10 am — Funicular to Harder Kulm
  • 9:30 am — Sightseeing. Eat snacks in the castle-like restaurant
  • 11:30 am — Back to Interlaken
  • 12:00 pm — Hop on a boat/cruise (Interlaken Ost or Interlaken West) to start the sightseeing in Lake Thun/Lake Brienz.
    • Disembark the boat at Oberhofen to visit Oberhofen Castle beside lake Thun.
    • Or alight at Iseltwald for a stroll in its lovely village beside lake Brienz.

In the afternoon of this day, you have the option to spend your time sightseeing on a boat or indulging in a wine tasting cruise.

Both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz offer stunning mountain scenery and shimmering turquoise waters.

The choice of which lake to visit is entirely up to you.

You might need these for Day 3:

  1. Boat pass (Unlimited boat rides in Lake Thun & Lake Brienz) or Jungfrau Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass
  2. Harder Kulm skip-the-line round trip ticket

Note: Some passes/tickets have overlapping coverage.

Discover more about Harder Kulm, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz from my post about Interlaken (10 Reasons To Visit).

More Ways to Spend 3 Days in Interlaken (and Jungfrau Region)

The Jungfrau Region has much more to offer beyond Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz.

If you refer to my Interlaken Itinerary (for 1 day to 1 week), you’ll discover that the fun in the Jungfrau Region extends beyond these five locations. This opens up a multitude of ways to experience Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region. If you’re looking for additional ideas on how to explore this beautiful area within three days, here are my suggestions tailored to different travel preferences:

  1. Have Unique Mountaintop Experiences
  2. See The Bests Of Lake Thun And Brienz
  3. Discover Culture In The Jungfrau Region
  4. Visit The Most Instagrammable Spots
  5. Experience Fun And Adventure

For items 1 to 4, my suggested home base is in Interlaken. You can find the best hotel deals in Interlaken here.

3-day Interlaken Itinerary: Have Unique Mountaintop Experiences

As you may have discovered from the list of things to do in Interlaken, the mountain peaks in the Jungfrau region are not ordinary.

View from Harder Kulm

From the top, you not only see stunning views but also rare wonders and impressive engineering marvels. One of the ways you can spend 3 days in Interlaken or in the Jungfrau region is to get to these mountain peaks and marvel at the most incredible works of man and nature.

In this case, I suggest you include Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn, Harder Kulm, and Mannlichen. 

Day 1

  • Morning: Harder Kulm
  • Afternoon: Mannlichen + hike to Kleine Scheidegg

Day 2: Schilthorn and Birg + a short stroll in Murren or Gimmelwald

Day 3: Jungfraujoch + a quick stop in Lauterbrunnen

You might need the following passes/skip-the-line tickets:

  1. Harder Kulm
  2. Jungfrau Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass
  3. Jungfraujoch train tickets
  4. Schilthorn Cable Car round-trip ticket

Note: Some passes/tickets have overlapping coverage.

3-day Interlaken Itinerary: See The Bests Of Lake Thun And Brienz

The mountain peaks in the Jungfrau region are indeed spectacular, but the lakes offer their own unique charm.

Saint Beatus Caves

If you’re looking for a more relaxing trip or vacation, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz on sides of Interlaken could provide the perfect setting for a rejuvenating getaway.

How so?

Most of your time will be spent leisurely sightseeing from a boat, sipping on beers or cocktails, and lounging comfortably in your seat. There’s no need for long commutes on trains or cable car rides. It’s all about taking it easy and soaking in the serene beauty of the lakes.

So, how can you spend 3-days in Interlaken, mainly visiting the lakes? Check these out:

Day 1: Cruising in Lake Thun

  • Morning: Saint Beatus Caves
  • Afternoon: Oberhofen Castle

Day 2: Cruising in Lake Brienz

  • Morning: Iseltwald
  • Afternoon: Brienz

Day 3: Sightseeing the lakes

  • Morning: Harder Kulm to see the stunning overlooking views of the two lakes you visited
  • Afternoon: Schynige Platte to see another breathtaking view of Interlaken and the lakes

You might need the following passes/skip-the-line tickets:

  1. Boat pass (Unlimited boat rides in Lake Thun & Lake Brienz) or Jungfrau Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass
  2. Harder Kulm skip-the-line round trip ticket

Note: Some passes/tickets have overlapping coverage.

3-day Interlaken Itinerary: Discover Culture In The Jungfrau Region

While the Jungfrau region is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and adventurous activities, there’s so much more to discover.

Schynige Platte

The local culture and the daily lives of the people residing in the region can offer a unique and enriching experience. Trust me, if you have an interest in these aspects, they could turn out to be the most memorable part of your time in the Jungfrau region or Interlaken.

If you’re interested, I suggest that you use this 3-day Interlaken Itinerary below:

  • Day 1
    • Morning until lunch: Schynige Platte. Ride the nostalgic train and watch the alphorn performance in front of the hotel.
    • Afternoon: Grindelwald. Visit the museum to learn about the alpinists and the things used by the locals in their daily lives.
  • Day 2: Lake Brienz
    • Morning: Iseltwald
    • Afternoon: Brienz
  • Day 3: Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Gimmelwald. 

You might need the following passes/skip-the-line tickets: A boat pass (Unlimited boat rides in Lake Thun & Lake Brienz), Jungfrau Travel Pass, or the Swiss Travel Pass.

Note: Some passes/tickets have overlapping coverage.

3-day Interlaken Itinerary: Visit The Most Instagrammable Spots

The Jungfrau region is brimming with picturesque scenery that’s perfect for filling your digital storage with stunning photos and videos.

Bachalpsee – Most picturesque lake in the Jungfrau Region

A three-day photography trip to Interlaken could provide enough material for a month-long Instagram feed, with new pictures and videos posted every day. Based on the accounts and photos I’ve seen on Instagram, the following places in the Jungfrau region are home to some of the most Instagram-worthy spots.

I’ve arranged them into an itinerary, with each destination located close to the next:

Day 1 

  • Morning: Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mannlichen. As much as possible, catch the sunrise in either Evangelical Church in Wengen, or Staubbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen village.
  • Afternoon: Grindelwald, Bachalpsee

Day 2

  • Morning: Lake Brienz and Iseltwald
  • Lunch: Harder Kulm
  • Afternoon: Lake Thun and Oberhofen Castle

Day 3: Schilthorn (Piz Gloria) and Brig (Thrill Walk), viewpoint in Murren and Gimmelwald (Centuries-old chalets)

You might need the following passes/skip-the-line tickets:

  1. Harder Kulm
  2. Jungfrau Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass
  3. Boat pass (Unlimited boat rides in Lake Thun & Lake Brienz)
  4. Schilthorn Cable Car round-trip ticket

Note: Some passes/tickets have overlapping coverage.

3-day Interlaken Itinerary: Experience Fun And Adventure

Interlaken is known as the adventure capital of Switzerland, and one of the main reasons to visit is to experience the thrill and adrenaline rush it offers.

Lake Thun

If that’s what you’re looking for, here are my suggestions for your three-day stay in Interlaken or the Jungfrau region:

Day 1

  • Morning: Watersports in Lake Thun or Lake Brienz
  • Afternoon: Paragliding from mount Niesen

Day 2

  • Morning: Canyon Swing in Grindelwald Glacier Canyon
  • Afternoon: Grindelwald First-Trottibike, First-Glider, First-Flieger, Mountain Cart, Cliff-Walk.
  • Night: Stay in Berggasthaus First to catch the sunrise in Bachalpsee (next day)

Day 3:

  • Early morning: Start the First-Schynige Platte hike
  • Late afternoon: Harder Kulm

See all the adventurous things to do in the Jungfrau Region from this link.

In each of the suggested three-day itineraries for Interlaken, the home base is typically in Interlaken itself, with the exception of the adventure itinerary. For that, you’ll need to book accommodation at Berggasthaus First for one night in order to start your hike at Schynige Platte early the next day. The sunrise at Bachalpsee promises to be a spectacular sight.

Where to Stay in Interlaken

Interlaken offers a wide range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. But if you like having shops and restaurants close by, consider booking a hotel on Bahnhofstrasse or Höheweg.

If you’re after the best views in town, try to find a hotel with rooms facing south or southeast, preferably around the Höhematte. Some hotels also offer lovely views of the Aare river.

Still looking for a place to stay in Interlaken? Check out this hotel browser for the best deals. It features a map to help you easily locate a hotel that’s convenient for you, or one with a great view.

How to Get to Interlaken

The closest airport to Interlaken is in Berne (BRN).

However, a more convenient option might be to fly into Zurich and then take a Swiss Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS) train from Zurich Airport to Interlaken West, which runs every four hours.

If you’re driving, Interlaken is well signposted from the Swiss autobahn network, which has excellent connections to major European cities.

Interlaken is well-connected with national and international transport links. Trains from Bern, Zurich, Geneva, and Basel arrive in Interlaken every half hour. The journey from Zurich to Interlaken by train takes about two hours. Interlaken has two train stations: Interlaken West and Interlaken Ost (East).

If you have a choice, Interlaken West is slightly more centrally located and might be more convenient.

Getting Around Interlaken and Jungfrau Region

Sure, navigating around Interlaken is a breeze thanks to its compact size and excellent public transportation. Here’s how you can get around:

  1. Walking: The town center is small enough that you can easily explore it on foot.
  2. Bus: Buses connect the two train stations, Interlaken Ost and West, and they also run to all the villages around Interlaken.
  3. Train: The train stations, Interlaken Ost and West, are your gateways to all the day trips you might want to take. They’re just a 20-minute walk apart.
  4. Boat: If you’re headed to Lake Brienz, boats depart near the Interlaken Ost station. For Lake Thun, boats leave from Interlaken West.

And here’s a bonus tip: Hotels usually provide their guests with a free guest card that lets you travel for free on all local transport.

If you’re planning to venture into the mountains or farther afield, it might be worth getting a rail pass.

While you certainly have the option to rent a car in Interlaken, it’s not really necessary for getting around and seeing the sights. Interlaken is pretty compact and most places are easily accessible on foot. Plus, the public transportation system is top-notch and can get you just about anywhere you want to go.

Renting a car isn’t really necessary, especially if you’re planning to visit Lauterbrunnen.

It’s important to note that parts of the Jungfrau region, including some villages in Lauterbrunnen, are car-free zones. But if you like the idea of having your own set of wheels, there are car rental services available. Ultimately, it’s all about what works best for you.

Parking Lots in Interlaken

If you’re planning to hit the road in Interlaken, here’s the list on some parking spots you might want to consider.

I’ve thrown in some pros and cons to help you make your pick.

  • Bärenparking and Park Zentrum Interlaken: These are smack dab in the middle of town and cap the day’s parking at 25 Swiss francs. But heads up, they can get pretty packed and pricey during the busy season.
  • Migros Parking: This is the biggest parking garage in town, right next to the Interlaken West train station. Super convenient for catching a train or doing some shopping. Just keep in mind, spots can fill up fast and it might cost you a bit.
  • Neuhaus am See: This spot is right by the Neuhaus hotel and restaurant, near Lake Thun. You’ll get some great views and a chill vibe. But it’s a bit out of the way from the town center and they’ll charge you a few francs depending on how long you park.
  • City Parking Interlaken AG: Located at Rosenstrasse 3, this lot is a stone’s throw from the main street and Höhematte park. But be warned, space might be limited and it could be a little pricey.
  • Tourist Bus Parking: Over at Waldeggstrasse 82, this lot is perfect for tour buses. So if you’re rolling with a big group, this is your spot. But if you’re in a car or smaller vehicle, this might not be an option for you.

Remember, parking rules and fees can change, so it’s always a good idea to check out the specifics for each lot.

When to Visit Interlaken

The best time to visit Interlaken depends on your plans and preferences. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Summer (June to August): This is when Interlaken is buzzing. The weather’s great, with temps hanging around the 18 to 20 degress Celsius. It’s prime time for outdoor stuff like hiking, climbing, and other adventures. Plus, the lakes are just right for a swim. Just keep in mind, it can get a bit crowded and you might run into some rain.
  • Late Spring and Early Fall (Late May, Early September): These times are a bit more chill crowd-wise and the weather’s still good for getting out and about.
  • Winter (October to March): This is when Interlaken turns into a winter wonderland. If you’re into winter sports, this is your season.

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Best Ways To Spend 3 Days In Interlaken And Jungfrau Region
Best Ways To Spend 3 Days In Interlaken And Jungfrau Region

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