Updated: Oct 21
Small, but busy, Interlaken is the gateway to the Swiss Alps and especially, the best views in the Bernese Oberland. With splendid transportation, an enormous amount of hotels and restaurants it is more lively than even larger cities in Switzerland. But, the thing you are interested in the most is the alpine landscape and spectacular vistas. For that - you are in the right place!
Once you arrive here you have a couple of options to go. Some are obvious, like Lauterbrunnen valley, others are less known. Here is the list of places you might want to visit, to boost your Instagram profile with fairy-tale looking spots, mountains, glaciers and trains - simply, Switzerland at its best.
The best Instagram spots around Interlaken:
Walk in Lauterbrunnen
Brienzersee and Iseltwald
Harder Kulm - the closest to Interlaken Instagram photo spot
It is the most convenient place to visit in Interlaken, and to be honest in Switzerland. The funicular operates from early morning until late night. The restaurant at the top serves tasty, Swiss meals (fondue is the classic thing here) and you can enjoy the views from a large terrace while eating.
The platform is however very crowded, so patience is required.
Walk around Lauterbrunnen for the best travel photo from Switzerland
Before you jump to a train going to Wengen, take 30min walk around Lauterbrunnen and capture one of the most spectacular valleys in the world from the bottom. Here you have everything: a small church, waterfalls, vertical cliffs and glaciers. Not to say about cows on green meadows. Or... snow in the wintertime.
There is a fast and direct train connection between Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. Given the fact, that during summer, it is extremely difficult to park a car here, the train is highly recommended. You can use also Park-n-Ride in Wilderswill (especially after 12:00 on a weekend).
Wengen - fairy-tale location in the Swiss Alps
Next to Zermatt and St. Moritz, Wengen is the place where all the tourists want to be. However, only a few go for a walk beyond the village buildings. If you want to see the postcard views, you can not be one of them. Take your hiking shoes (always bring hiking shoes to Switzerland) and go for a stroll following the marked path (one with a binocular icon). The first photography spot is right in front of a church, the next ones are along the panorama trail.
I think Wengen is one of the most instagrammable places in the World, not only Switzerland or Interlaken. It has multiple photo spots and locations that are magnificent throughout the entire year. You can spend here easily 5-7 hours on a lazy stroll with a camera and take the best photos of your life!
Once you walked around Lauterbrunnen, take a train to Wengen. And for the best views - hike down.
Männlichen - truly royal photography spot
It is not the most popular location for taking photos, simply, because it is not on the beaten path to the Jungfraujoch. While all the brochures will tell you to go to Jungfraujoch, just a few will mention visiting the Männlichen. The same was for us, we went here during our 8th or 10th visit to Wengen. And seriously, I regret doing it so late. Here you have the best viewpoint of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.
You can reach it from Grindelwald or Wengen by cable car. I recommend, however, walking to the Männlichen from the Kleine Scheidegg - an easy and picturesque trail.
Grindelwald First for Instagram photos with a small thrill
The Tissot Walk at the upper station of the cable car is the best thrill walk in Switzerland (two others I can recommend are in Birg / Schilthorn and Titlis). It has a hanging bridge, gangway and a spiral platform hung above a cliff. You can see the Eiger from here and partially Jungfrau. The best peak is however the Schreckhorn with its pyramid shape. If you have time, take a hike to Lake Bachalpsee or even to the Faulhorn for even more views.
You can get from Interlaken to Grindelwald by train and then take a cable car to First (after a walk through the town).
Brienzersee and Iseltwald - the lake experience
Once you are tired of walking and hiking, daybreak at the lake sounds like a good idea. Take your car or buy a ticket for a steamboat (yes, in summer a victorian steamboat operates on the lake) and visit Brienz and Iseltwald. In August, the water should be warm enough for a relaxing bath. A picnic at the northern shore is a must.
You can reach Iseltwald from Interlaken by boat (a super nice cruise) or by car - also a cool idea to do a road trip around Brienzer Lake or even to Thun.
Jungfraujoch - the advertised must-see place in the Bernese Oberland
I have very mixed feelings about this place. Yes, it should be on your bucket list. Yes, it is impressive. Yes, it is unique. Yes, you can walk here on a glacier (firn, precisely) in the middle of summer, just in a T-shirt. Yes.... it is the most expensive ticket to the most crowded train in Switzerland. Do the math yourself and take your decision by yourself.
If the answer is "yes, I want to go there", below are some...
Tips for your travel to the Jungfraujoch:
Read our blog post about Jungfraujoch - the most expensive Swiss attraction, seriously... check it.
Do not buy a ticket too early - mountains are mountains and weather can not be predicted precisely. You do not want to spend nearly 200 CHF on a ride in a fog. Instead, check the weather forecast day or two before. Or even better - check a webcam in the morning, and if the sky is clear, buy a ticket online at SBB.ch
The ticket is expensive and no Swiss Pass, nor any travel pass will give you a free ride. You can count only on a 50% discount, given also by HalbTax. But, there is a trick - early morning tickets are cheaper, you just need to come down early - available on www.jungfrau.ch.
Buy a return ticket, to avoid surprises during control. Train to the Jungfraujoch is, in a Swiss standard, a regular train connection. Some people go one way - to do mountaineering, ski touring etc. If you are not planning an overnight in a tent there, don't forget about the return ticket. There is no trail down to Wengen, Grindelwald nor Interlaken.
Jungfraujoch observation deck, Sphinx is at 3571 m, Interlaken is at 570m. That is a 3000m altitude difference that you will "climb" sitting on a train in less than two hours. No better recipe for altitude sickness. To avoid fatigue and other, tougher symptoms, prepare yourself and spend a day before doing some hikes above 2000m - Grindelwald or Mürren are splendid for that.
Take sunglasses and sun cream.
Walk to Mönchsjochhütte and back.
Our photography and travel guidebook to Interlaken or the Bernese Oberland (including Interlaken, Wengen and Grindelwald)
If you do not want to look for the exact GPS locations of all the photos shown above, just buy our ebook and read the notes for every single spot. To have fantastic content for an Instagram post, you not only have to be in the right place. Also, the time of day and season matter. We have done this research for ourselves, now we are giving our knowledge to you.