Without a doubt, Interlaken is one of the most beautiful resort destinations in the world. And, these are the best things to do in Interlaken in winter!
Interlaken is a fantastic place to visit year-round… but we really think it shines its brightest during the winter months. You’ll find plenty to do in winter too!
Most popular among those who love outdoor activities like backpacking, paragliding, and skiing, you’re bound to have the adventure of a lifetime.
You’ll also find world-class food, day trips, and more!
This article dives into some of the best things to do in winter in Interlaken (including some amazing winter activities!).
Did we miss your favorite winter activities in Interlaken? Let us know in the comments. Thanks!
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When is it Winter in Interlaken?
It is winter in Interlaken from December until March, typically. But, do expect some colder or unpredictable temperatures around the shoulder seasons, making it feel like winter earlier/later than expected!
However, I was in Interlaken this past New Year’s and it was super warm… so just check temperatures before your trip to see what to expect!
Does it Snow in Interlaken in Winter?
The answer is yes! You will most likely see snow throughout the months of December through March in Interlaken, which is considered the winter season.
February tends to be the snowiest month of the year.
Average Winter Temperatures in Interlaken
If you’re traveling to Interlaken in winter, expect it to be cold! You can see the average winter temperatures in Interlaken below:
- Interlaken in December: average highs of -0.5 C (31.1 F) / average lows of -8.5 C (16.7 F)
- Interlaken in January: average highs of -1.8 C (28.8 F) / average lows of -9.8 C (14.4 F)
- Interlaken in February: average highs of -1.6 C (29.1 F) / average lows of -10 C (14 F)
- Interlaken in March: average highs of 1.8 C (35.2 F) / average lows of -6.5 C (20.3 F)
Best Things to Do in Interlaken in Winter
Go Paragliding over the Lakes
Paraglide through the dramatic mountain peaks with a panorama of the seemingly endless beauty of the Swiss landscapes and lakes.
Take a leap of faith from the mountain peaks of Amisbühl in Beatenberg within the Bernese Oberland, and fly over the blemish-free lakes of Thun and Brienz, and Aare River down toward the center of Interlaken.
The iconic mountains of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, in addition to Titlis and Schilthorn, are an otherworldly sight from above, regally dominating the landscape.
In the winter, the wind conditions are ideal for a longer air-time, and if weather permits, perhaps the instructor will offer you the chance to maneuver the glider yourself– under their supervision, of course.
The expert will brief you on what to expect from the time of your meeting, down to the preparation of your paragliding experience. No specific experience or fitness level is required and is an ideal location for paragliding.
Go on a Night Sledding Tour
Sled down the Swiss Alps under the enchanting moonlight! Explore the hour-long trail into the woods, with passing sights of frozen waterfalls and the meadow of the Alpines.
From under the sparkling, tranquil night sky, to the views of the lights from the city below, the winter sights are a surreal and unforgettable panorama.
To get the most out of this experience, make sure to bundle up, as the mountains are even colder at night time. Waterproof clothes and hiking boots are ideal garments to include.
As for the equipment and transportation, these are accommodations included in most bookings, and the process is often assisted with the help of a professional guide.
Prepare yourself for a thrilling ride down the sled run! If there are sledders without headlights, they will be marked with a red light on their back to give one another perspective on sled traffic on the trail.
Go Kayaking on Lake Brienz
Tucked behind the snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps is Lake Brienz. During the winter months, it loses its crows, and the winter landscape augments its beauty.
It is the perfect time to kayak around the lake of the still waters amongst a tranquil and scenic landscape, which includes an amazing view of the historic Ringgenberg Castle.
Prior to the kayak tour, become informed of how the kayak works, moves, and how to paddle, with a brief introduction by the tour guide.
The tour itself will provide you with a top-of-the-line dry suit to wear on top of your winter clothes, along with dry boots to wear to keep you extra toasty on the water.
After you are briefed on safety, paddling, and tucked into your warm clothes, the two hours paddling expedition through the enchanting Lake Brienz begins.
Visit an Interlaken Christmas Market
The signature wooden huts and cottages of the Swiss Alps are transformed into a Christmas market. Christmas in Interlaken is such a beautiful time!
The are illuminated Christmas trails and fairytale paths are something to see and experience the cozy Christmas mood, through the guidance of the candlelight and the sparking night sky at Adventsweg Höchmatt Schwarzenegg, Weihnachtsweg Heiligenschwendi, and the Latern path Meielisalp path to the Leissigen panoramic bridge.
There are numerous Christmas Markets between Brienz and Thun: Schlatti Weihnachtsmarkt, Merliger Winterzauber-Märit, Erlebnis Weihnachtsmarkt Brienz, Veranstaltungskalender, and Wiehnachtsmerit Diemtigen.
From beautiful nature, to impressive architecture, and regional delicacies– there’s an abundance of places to go!
With Winterzauber Interlaken, historic streets are turned into a winter wonderland, with illuminated, unique artwork made out of lumber, and beautiful shopping streets selling from Christmas biscuits to artisanal crafts!
The festive and advent atmosphere will have you in the jolly, holiday mood all throughout November and December.
Go Downhill Skiing
The Holiday Region Interlaken has a diverse and charming array of areas for skiing and snowboarding: Habkern and Aeschi-Aeschiried are smaller resorts compared to that of Diemtigtal, Beatenberg-Niederhorn, Brienz-Axalp.
Each area has an impressive panorama of the otherworldly landscape of the Swiss Alps, which elevates the experience of downhill skiing.
Beatenberg-Niederhorn is popular for its views of Lake Thun nestled between Mönch, Jungfrau, and Eiger.
Take chair lifts on Brienz-Axalp, which has a view of Lake Brienz, or at Diemtigtal, prior to your descent down the hill.
For something more kid-friendly, Habkern is a great option due to its training area in its ski school, and Aeschi-Aeschiried is a great scenic resort for families.
There are additional skiing resorts in the Jungfrau skiing region, such as Männlichen-Kleine Scheidegg, Mürren-Schilthorn, and Grindelwald-First.
Regardless of where you decide to go, there are an abundance of skill levels and mountain formations to choose from.
Relax in a ‘Hotpot’ with Views of Lake Brienz
Relax in a hot tub with the view of the great outdoors, with stunning lakefront views of Lake Brienz and the snow-capped mountain peaks embracing it in the distance.
From December to March, you can treat yourself with tasty fondue and hot and cold drinks in the hotpot or accompanying cozy chalet, with groups of family and friends, ranging from sets of two, six, or eight people.
It is recommended to wear a beanie or hat of some sort to protect your head and ears from the cold, along with combining your stay with winter sports on the Axalp or perhaps exploring the sparkling Brienz with a kayaking tour.
After bathing in your own exclusive hotpot in the open air amidst the signature view of the shores of Lake Brienz, you can clean up in the changing rooms with showers before heading back to your chalet and enjoying the rest of your night.
Go Cross-Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing amongst the dramatic mountains and impossibly blue lakes of the Swiss Alps, primarily in the Bernese Oberland Alps in the Holiday Region Interlaken is another popular activity.
Come across the iconic Swiss huts and cottages, streams flowing through the mountains, and meadows blanketed in the snow.
The picturesque Suldtal Natural Reserve can be seen through the Aeschiried trail, and Aeschiried also has 4 km of night trails illuminated on weekdays, and the stunning Lake Brienz sparkles in the distance through the trails neighboring the Axalp Sportbahnen station.
The Hardergrat trail is laced with dramatic slopes and ridges, in which beneath, the Lombachalp Natural Reserve’s picturesque scenery of rare plantlife, mountain pines, and mountain formations will have you stopping to catch your breath.
This cross-country experience immersed in nature will be rewarding. Crossing the world-renowned sights of the Swiss Alps fairytale landscape on a thrilling, ski adventure.
Go Ice Skating on Lake Brienz
From December to the end of February, when the temperature drops to zero, Lake Brienz is transformed into a natural ice rink.
The area near the top next to Forsthaus is the exact location of the rink, and by request, the back rink can be reserved for groups looking to engage in winter sporting activities and games, such as ice hockey and curling.
The outdoor skating rink offers amenities where skates are available for free, and skating aids for children and beginners are also available.
After parking next to the Forsthaus, you can warm yourself up with a light meal or snack with a hot beverage inside the Forsthaus as you and your group decide on your next steps.
It is also an excellent option to end or take a break from the skating trip.
Eat some Chäsbrätel between rounds or after the completion of the skating session for the full Swiss experience.
Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Interlaken
Marvel at the aerial view of the Alpine mountain range with a hot air balloon tour. The Bernese Oberland is home to the stunningly blue waters of Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, with a landscape full of meadows, dense forests, and ice glaciers.
The meeting point is at Höhematte, where you will meet the pilot and the ground team that helps prepare this expedition.
Watch firsthand how the crew and the pilot work together to organize the necessary equipment and inflate the balloon.
The gentle increase in elevation is all within the hands of your pilot, and thus, there is nothing to worry about! Enjoy the view of the sun rising over the Alps at an altitude of 12,000 feet.
Look down at the untouched summits and ice glaciers in juxtaposition to the rhapsody of colors in the panorama: brilliant blue waters, blanketing white snow over deep, green pine trees.
Enjoy Swiss Chocolate at the Funky Chocolate Club
At the famous Funky Chocolate Club, you can taste, create, and decorate your own Swiss chocolate masterpieces.
Learn all the processes for creating chocolate, including tempering– which ensures a smooth, glossy, professional-looking chocolate bar– as well as melting, pouring, and filling the molds.
Learn step-by-step the process of chocolate making, its origins, as well as the variety of types of chocolate and how to identify them, whilst tasting all your creations at the workstations.
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In other words, not only are you working like a chocolate connoisseur, but you’re also eating like one! The workshops are all you can eat, therefore they recommend that you do not eat lunch first!
Workshops are available in both English and German, and they supply all their students with chef hats and aprons. After the decorating process, the chocolates need to cool for at least an hour before they can be gift-wrapped to go.
Take a Nighttime Stroll on a Lantern-lit Path
Take a stroll in the transformed winter wonderland of Meielisalp to the Leissigen panoramic bridge. The path is illuminated with lanterns from 5:00 PM to 10 PM from the start of early December to the end of January.
The fairytale, winter atmosphere takes you through an enchanting journey with views of Lake Thun, of the surrounding Bernese Oberland mountain world, and of the brightly-lit villages.
As the path goes through Meielisalp, the Laternenweg will lead you straight to the Meielisalp Winter Village, which is at the Meielisalp Hotel and is known for its signature Alpine chalets.
At the Meielisalp Winter Village, you can stop by for warm or cold drinks and experience an unforgettable meal with a taste of their prepared Swiss delicacies, such as fondue.
Stroll through the lantern path, stop to enjoy the view from the Leissigen panoramic bridge, or immerse yourself in the ambiance of the Winter Village.
Enjoy Lake Scenery on a Boat Cruise
The vibrant waters of Lake Thun are nestled between the meadows and forests of the Bernese Oberland mountains, blanketed in snow.
The view of the white peaks of the Jungfrau region, Mönch, and Eiger can be enjoyed from the inside of the cruise ship over a table of Swiss specialties and fine cuisine.
Enjoy the signature cheese fondue, or Treberwurst, the local smoked sausage.
Take a break from the heated interior, bundle up a bit more or perhaps bring a blanket outside to enjoy the refreshing breeze of the winter air as you admire the winter landscapes.
There are five amazing castles that are significant to the architectural and cultural heritage of Switzerland, towering alongside the mountains on the banks of the lake: Thun Castle, Schadau Castle, Hünegg Castle, Oberhofen Castle, and Spiez Castle.
The cruise lasts a bit over two hours, and is available from mid-November to the end of March.
Try Traditional Cheese Fondue in Interlaken
The Restaurant Taverne at Hotel Interlaken is well-renowned for its fondue experience; they boast a luxury dining experience hailing from the 14th century.
From centuries-old hospitality to intricately prepared, famous Swiss cuisine focused on fresh and high-quality products produced locally, in addition to a stunning, renovated venue, Restaurant Taverne has the go-to all-around Swiss dining experience.
It offers a menu of signature Alp cheese fondue, in its original form, or with truffles, or with chili, and comes with bread, potatoes, and vegetables to choose from.
It is also part of a hotel, a favorite of visitors from all around the world, known for its old-time charm. It has cheese fondue served with bread, mushrooms, and other vegetables, and meat fondue, served with turkey and beef filet.
Take an Excursion to Schilthorn Mountain
Explore the center of the Bernese Alps in Lauterbrunnen Valley. From the Interlaken Ost train station, meet the guide and start your tour with your first train.
The first stop will be at the Staubbach Waterfall before boarding a bus toward the aerial cableway. As you board for the Schilthorn, you’ll start to notice the elevation of the cableway rising to a 10,000-foot altitude.
At the next stop in Birg, you’ll take a half an hour break to see the famous sites from the old James Bond movie and even have a chance to walk the mountain trail or visit its interactive exhibit.
Afterward, ride to Schilthorn Piz Gloria, where you will see the iconic Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch dominating the Swiss skyline, perhaps even at the rotating restaurant.
On the way back, visit the charming town of Mürren by aerial cableway before taking the small mountain railway to Grütschalp.
Go Snowshoeing in the Swiss Alps
Snowshoe trek through the winter wonderland of the untouched Swiss Alps. This activity doesn’t require any skill or training– anyone can do it!
You can intimately discover the mountains, dense forests, and white meadows with a peaceful silence.
There are a variety of trails to choose from, ranging from simple, circular routes that’ll naturally return you to your beginning destination, or higher demanding tours that take you further in altitude and elevation.
Enjoy a variety of moods during your tour from sights of the icy fir trees sparkling under the sun’s rays, to exploring the winter landscape in the moonlight and starlit sky, all with a tranquil ambiance of returning to nature.
Niederhorn, Aeschi or Lombachalp have illuminated trails open on most days, and your tour guide can lead you up to the best mountain cabins where you can reward yourself with a toasty beverage and warm cheese fondue.
Where to Stay in Interlaken
There are plenty of places to stay in Interlaken and you’ll find options for almost all budgets! Here are some of our top picks:
- Swiss Interlaken Apartments (great for families)
- Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa (luxury treatment!)
- Hotel Rössli (budget option!)
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