Bordered by lakes and surrounded by Alpine peaks, Interlaken is the perfect base for family travel in Switzerland. The pretty resort town is filled with activities and surrounded by railways, cable cars and funiculars waiting to take your family into the high Alps. Here are some fun activities and adventures to experience while in Interlaken with the whole family.
Paddle a kayak or canoe on Lake Thun.
Rent single or double kayaks or a family-sized canoe on the shore of Lake Thun and explore the lake along Canoe Trail. You can also rent paddle boards, pedalos, rowboats and motorboats to take in the wrap-around views of mountains and lakeside towns. Along the shore, you’ll find places to rest, swim and have a picnic. On Interlaken’s other side is the narrow Lake Brienz, where you can also rent kayaks, row boats and pedalos. You can also see the lake from one of the boats connecting Interlaken to other lakeside towns.
Ride the Brienz-Rothorn Railway.
Above the lakeside town of Brienz, Switzerland’s oldest steam rack railway, Brienz-Rothorn Railway, climbs the 7,700-foot Brienzer Rothorn. The vintage train, opened in 1888, chugs higher and higher into the Alps, and from the top you’ll see an eye-boggling panorama of mountain peaks. Take time at the top for a lunch of Swiss specialties.
Climb through St. Beatus Cave.
Even without its dragon legend, the chambers and passageways of the hillside St. Beatus Cave are spooky enough to delight any child. Go with a guide or use the app to tour the passageways and chambers at your own speed. You’ll find underground waterfalls, lakes, stalactites and stalagmites inside the caves, as well as more waterfalls cascading down the cliffs.
Step back in time at the Swiss Open-Air Museum.
A short train ride from Interlaken, the Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg is a window into the village and rural life of a century ago. Costumed farmers, craftspeople, farmwives and shopkeepers go about their everyday work in a series of small farms and villages. Some of the regional traditions and activities you see may include woodcarving, barrel making, cheesemaking, hand embroidery and other folk arts.
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