By the beginning of the 19th century Interlaken in the Bernese Oberland had already become renowned for its impressive mountain scenery. Famous contemporaries such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Felix Mendelssohn traveled in these mountains. Interlaken's success as a tourist destination was further enhanced by the completion of the Bernese Oberland Railway in 1890 and the Jungfrau Railway in 1912.
As a vacation destination and convention location of international importance, Interlaken is an ideal starting point for countless excursions. Over 45 mountain railways, cable cars, chair lifts and ski lifts lead to 200 kilometers of pistes and a dense network of hiking trails. Excursion ships, including historic paddle steamers, ply the waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
Trains to the Jungfrau region in the direction of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen with connections to the railways to Mürren and from there to the Schilthorn as well as via the Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch depart from the Interlaken Ost railway station. A fleet of ships, including one historic paddle-steamer on each lake, cruises on Lakes Thun and Brienz. Interlaken is located on the «Golden Pass» panorama route from Montreux on Lake Geneva past the luxury holiday resort of Gstaad to Interlaken and from there across the Brünig Pass to Lucerne.
Just ten kilometres away from Interlaken, on a sunny south-facing slope, lies Beatenberg-Niederhorn, a paradise for paragliders. For hikers there is an extensive network of hiking routes. The Niederhorn also provides a habitat for ibexes, chamois and marmots.
In winter visitors benefit from the central location of Interlaken and the associated opportunity to every day pick their favourite among the ski regions of the Jungfrau Top Ski Region (Mürren/Schilthorn, Kleine Scheidegg/Männlichen and First) or the family-oriented ski region of Beatenberg or Axalp-Brienz. Over 45 mountain railways, aerial cableways, chair and ski lifts take athletes to 200 kilometres of pistes. Cross-country skiers and toboggan riders also are well catered for in the vicinity. And there are over 220 kilometres of winter walking trails in Interlaken, Beatenberg, Axalp-Brienz, Habkern, Wilderswil and the Jungfrau region. Guests staying in the holiday region of Interlaken may take advantage of the daily ski bus transfer connecting Interlaken with the ski-region Mürren/Schilthorn, Kleine Scheidegg/Männlichen und First.
- Schynige Platte near Wilderswil – nostalgic rack-railway, fascinating view of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, Alpine garden with about 500 plant species and a lot of hiking possibilities.
- Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn – the rides by rack-railway to the highest railway station in Europe and the cableway to the Piz Glora revolving restaurant: two top mountain experiences in the Bernese Oberland.
- Harder Kulm – a cableway takes passengers up to Interlaken’s „house mountain“ which affords a view of the health resort and the whole Jungfrau region. The Alpine wild animal park near the valley station is an experience for children.
- Heimwehfluh – a nostalgia funicular provides transport to the vantage terrace with a restaurant, all-weather toboggan run, model railway display and large playground.
- Jungfrau Tourism Museum in Unterseen – the regional tourism museum shows 200 years of tourism in the Jungfrau region.
- St. Beatus Caves – one kilometre of lit limestone caves with stalagmites, impressive halls and waterfalls accessible by boat, car, bus or on foot on the historic pilgrims way.