Surrounded by spectacular natural and marvelous man-made attractions, there’s no wonder Interlaken is one of the best destinations in Switzerland. Picture-perfect villages, adrenaline pumping-adventures, and once-in-a-lifetime destinations are only a few kilometers away from Interlaken!
From Interlaken, you can already quickly reach most of the Jungfrau Region’s best tourist attractions. So let’s say you want to see everything worth seeing in the Jungfrau region from Interlaken. Here’s my answer if you ask me: how long should you visit Interlaken?
You will need 7 days to fully experience the Jungfrau region from Interlaken. The whole experience of the Jungfrau Region includes the attractions around Interlaken, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz. Also, the destinations/adventures in Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald—Interlaken’s nearby villages.
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Let me explain further how long you should stay in Interlaken…
How Many Days Should You Spend In Interlaken And The Jungfrau Region?
You will need a week or 7 days in Interlaken because a day is for each of the 7 best destinations in the Jungfrau Region. These destinations in the Jungfrau Region are Lake Thun, Lake Brienz, Grindelwald, Schynige Platte (Hike), Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn & Birg, and Lauterbrunnen & nearby small villages.
Do you want to know how?
I have an Interlaken Itinerary to explain how. It can show you how you can visit all the highlights of the Jungfrau region in 7 days. You’ll also know what the attractions in the Jungfrau Region are all about. Visiting information is included.
Here’s the summary of my Interlaken itinerary:
- Day 1: Harder Kulm, Saint Beatus Caves, Oberhofen Castle (Attractions in Lake Thun)
- Day 2: Murren, Schilthorn, Birg, Gimmelwald
- Day 3: Lauterbrunnen, Trummelbach falls, Mount Niesen
- Day 4: Jungfraujoch
- Day 5: Mannlichen, Kleine Scheidegg, Grindelwald
- Day 6: Schynige Platte
- Day 7: Iseltwald, Brienz, Cruise in Lake Brienz
Click here to see my Interlaken Itinerary (full post). You can use the itinerary for any length of a visit to Interlaken, up to 7 days.
Learn more about these places of interest in Jungfraujoch from my posts about Interlaken, Grindelwald, and Interlaken. They are the towns/villages closest to the top attractions in the Jungfrau Region:
- 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Interlaken
- 10 Things To Do in Grindelwald (Is It Worth Visiting?)
- 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lauterbrunnen
Tip. You can save money by using the Jungfrau Travel Pass when visiting the Jungfrau Region for 3 to 8 days. Basically, it’ll give you unlimited access to all modes of transportation in the Jungfrau Region.
Considerations: How Long You Should Visit Interlaken and Jungfrau Region
Staying in Interlaken to explore the Jungfrau region does not have to be 7 days or longer, although it’s the ideal length. Before you visit, you must consider the season, the entire length of your stay in Switzerland, and other places you want to see.
At the same time, you might also want to exclude attractions that give redundant experiences. And most importantly, you might consider visiting only the places that satisfy your travel desires.
Let’s talk about these considerations further.
Consideration 1. Season
The season is the first thing you must consider when visiting Interlaken or Jungfrau Region.
We all know that Interlaken’s attractions are mostly about nature and the outdoors. Most are accessible only during the spring, summer, and autumn months. Opening hours are also longer during the summer.
Definitely, the season is a factor that will affect the length of your stay in Interlaken.
You might also want to consider the holidays and the preventive maintenance schedules of the trains, funiculars (i.e., Harder Kulm and Nostalgic Train in Wilderswil), and cable cars (i.e., in Männlichen).
However, this does not mean you must not visit Interlaken during winter and off-peak season. Jungfrau Region has places of interest open to the public all year. Two good examples are Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn.
Consideration 2. Length Of Your Switzerland Trip
The second thing you should consider when planning a visit to Interlaken is the length of your Switzerland trip.
Let’s say you only want to visit Switzerland for a week. I suggest not spending all your time in Interlaken or the Jungfrau Region. In my opinion, it’s okay to spend time in the Jungfrau region for a week if your Switzerland trip is 2 weeks long (or longer).
Switzerland may be a small country, but it is packed with places worth seeing! I think you’d also like to spend time in these places.
Suppose you’re like me, who loves the mountains. In that case, you will not miss the opportunity of seeing other beautiful alpine villages/small towns in the Swiss Alps.
They have rustic appearances, matched with the stunning alpine scenery. When you visit, you should feel like you’re transported to paradise!
And don’t worry about how you can reach them. Unlike in other countries, the alpine villages in Switzerland are very accessible. Most of them are linked to the cities, which are only an hour to two-hour scenic train ride away.
They are not only strategic home bases for visiting different attractions in the Swiss Alps. These cities also have their own fascinating tourist attractions. Come to them for a varied experience like learning about alpine culture, seeing charming structures, and visiting historical sites.
Consideration 3. Other Attractions In Switzerland
Let’s say you decide to visit not only Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region in your Switzerland journey. In that case, you can skip some of the attractions in the Jungfrau Region because they have comparable similar experiences elsewhere in Switzerland.
I’ll give some examples.
Do you like seeing beautiful lakes? Perhaps you can skip Bachalpsee near Grindelwald and visit Oeschinensee in Kandersteg instead.
Oeschinensee is one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland, and it’s only one of the attractions in Kandersteg. These lakes both involve hiking, by the way.
Discover the 10 best things to do in Kandersteg here.
Is it the breathtaking views you like to have? Do you like to ride scenic trains? Or see spectacular glaciers?
I believe you already know that Zermatt is the best place to see Matterhorn—the Toblerone mountain. However, it’s not only about seeing Matterhorn.
Do you like spending a day cruising on a boat, sightseeing castles, and looking at serene views of the Alps?
You can have it in Lake Thun and Lake Brienz—the two lakes sandwiching Interlaken. It is the Jungfrau region’s two massive lakes.
However, it’s not only from Interlaken; in Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, you can have that magical cruise in Switzerland. You might want to have it from Geneva or Montreux.
From these cities, you can ride a boat that sails on Lake Geneva. While on the cruise, you’ll see both the French & Swiss Alps, also Chillon Castle, and drink wines from the UNESCO Lavaux Vineyard.
Consideration 4. Redundant Activities
The last thing you can consider in deciding how long you should stay in the Jungfrau Region or in Interlaken is its tourist attractions. Every one of them is unique, but some of them do give somewhat similar experiences.
You might want to skip one of the two destinations that give an equivalent experience. The examples (but not limited to) are Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, also Schynige Platte and Mannlichen.
Lake Thun and Lake Brienz both have relaxing cruises, visiting picturesque points of interest during the boat tour. In Lake Thun, you can see Oberhofen Castle. On the other hand, Lake Brienz has Iseltwald you can visit.
Schynige Platte and Mannlichen are also quite similar. That is the case if you’re looking for a hiking destination overlooking views of the entire Jungfrau Region.
Whether on Schynige Platte or Mannlichen, you can see a breathtaking panorama, including Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau.
The big difference is that, in Schynige Platte, you can see more views of Lake Brienz and Interlaken. While in Männlichen, you get this gorgeous view of Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Honestly, I think you can even shorten the 7-day ideal stay in Interlaken to three.
Are 3 Days In Interlaken Enough?
You may have noticed that the experiences in the Jungfrau region are primarily about adventure, nature (sightseeing & relaxation), and unique attractions (engineering marvels). That said, 3 days are enough in Interlaken, with each day spent for one category of activity/attraction.
This is why I think Interlaken is a perfect extended-weekend destination!
But, applying all the considerations mentioned previously, you have unlimited ways to explore the Jungfrau Region/Interlaken in three days.
I have a post to give you ideas on how to spend 3 days in Interlaken. Check that out. You might also want to see my posts about Lauterbrunnen:
- How To Spend 1 to 3 Days In Lauterbrunnen (Itinerary)
- How To Visit Lauterbrunnen and Make Your Own Itinerary
Is 1 Day In Interlaken Enough?
Definitely, one day is not enough for a trip to the Jungfrau Region or Interlaken. One day can easily be spent in just one attraction like Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn, or a boat tour in Lake Thun or Brienz. There’s so much you will miss.
If you have very limited time in Switzerland, you might want to stay in the cities where you can have Interlaken and other places (i.e., Gruyeres) as a day trip. Why? For a few reasons:
- You have access to more various attractions/things to do.
- Moving to and from different hotels can be a hassle.
- It can be cost-effective.
Here are the cities you can enjoy visiting and at the same time you can have a day trip to Interlaken:
- Bern — is the capital of Switzerland, and Interlaken is only an hour away from Bern. Bern has a UNESCO heritage site and historic town center you’ll love to wander at night after your day trip to Interlaken. Learn more about Bern here.
- Basel — is the city at the crossroads of France, Germany, and Switzerland in northern part of Switzerland. It has fantastic museums and modern architectural attractions. Learn more about Basel and the 7 most beautiful places in Basel here.
- Zurich — is the largest city in Switzerland. Going to Interlaken from Zurich takes only 2 hours. Zurich has fantastic nightlife, which you can enjoy after a day trip to Interlaken. Discover Zurich from this post.
- Geneva — is the westernmost city in Switzerland and is almost surrounded by France. It’s a good base for day trips to the Swiss Alps and the French Alps (Annecy and Chamonix). Here are more reasons why you should visit Geneva.
- Milan — is a city in northern Italy where you can visit Interlaken using a 3-hour train ride. It’s also a strategic location for visiting beautiful places in northern Italy, like Lake Como (best places to visit), Bergamo (reasons to visit), or even Cinque Terre (scenic spots).
Discover the day trips and things to do in the cities mentioned above from these links:
- Day trips and tourist attractions in Bern
- Zurich’s things to do and day trips
- Points of interest in Geneva and its day tours
- Best attractions in Milan and the day trips to have
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