Our Bernese Oberland tips: what not to miss, the towns, how to travel

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Lauterbrunnen valley is TWICE as deep as Yosemite. Amazing. The Bernese Oberland has rolling green hills before jutting up to the high peaks with permanent glaciers atop, and there are two stunning Alpine lakes sitting at the base.

Must knows about the Bernese Oberland

  • Interlaken is the central town offering easy access to the entire Bernese Oberland. Smaller towns are classy Gstaad, the hikers paradise of Grindelwald, and wood carving town Brienz;
  • The Jungfrau region is the best known part of the Bernese Oberland. The scenery there is simply stunning;
  • Trains and cable cars are the best way to explore the Bernese Oberland. No need for a car. Get a Swiss Travel System pass or Bernese Oberland pass for easy access to all modes of transport.

One of the most stunning places in the Bernese Oberland is the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Bernese Oberland

The Bernese Oberland is a popular and attractive region south of the Swiss capital of Bern. In a small area, you'll find a very diversified landscape with lakes, snow capped mountains, little mountain villages, cogwheel trains, hiking trails and much, much more.

WHAT TO DO

Find day trips, attractions and hiking suggestions in the Bernese Oberland.

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HOTELS

Browse hotels in the Bernese Oberland and find the lowest prices.

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RENTALS

Rent a home or apartment.

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HOW TO TRAVEL

Find out how to travel in the Bernese Oberland.

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PICTURES

Image gallery of the Bernese Oberland.

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FORUM

Feel free to post to the forum if you have any questions about this region.

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What not to miss in the Bernese Oberland

Of course the answer depends on who you ask this. We feel that the Jungfraujoch is a true highlight. It's simply spectacular to visit the world of eternal snow. A boat trip on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz must be included too.

Also, exploring the area on foot is a must do. There are many trails, including very easy ones. Just browse our trail suggestions and you'll find one that suits you.

Be sure to arrive in the Bernese Oberland via the Golden Pass line. It's much more attractive than the main rail line via Bern. Check the rail pass section for one that fits your travel plans.

Towns in the Bernese Oberland

Interlaken is the central town in the region, and the right choice if you prefer to explore the entire region. It’s not a pretty town though, so be sure to look at other options too. To name a few: Grindelwald, in the Jungfrau region, is a true paradise for hikers. Brienz is situated on Lake Brienz, and well known for the wood carving industry. In the west of the Bernese Oberland, there’s Gstaad, a classy resort with luxerious hotels.

The diversity of the Bernese Oberland

Interlaken offers easy access to all regions of the Bernese Oberland. The most popular one is the Jungfrau region, directly south of it. Lake Thun is west of the town, and Lake Brienz is east of it. Both are easy to explore by boat or train, or even on foot, from Interlaken.

A bit further on one finds less well known vallies like the green Kander valley, the gentle Simmen valley and varied Hasli valley, where mountain passes give access to other parts of Switzerland. All these vallies are absolutely beautiful. There are plenty of hiking trails to explore them on foot.

The Oberland characteristics

The Bernese Oberland is located north of the highest peaks. That causes the climate to be cool and moist, at least when comparing it to the southern Alps. This results in a fresh green landscape. It's picture perfect in many places. The valley floors are mostly low (500 to 1,000 m), and peaks are high (up to 4,300 m). This great difference in altitude results in many climate zones and varying landscapes. In Spring it can feel like Summer in the vallies and like Winter up in the mountains.

Public transport takes people to almost every place in the Bernese Oberland. Many peaks can be visited easily. There are countless cable cars, funiculars, gondolas and cogwheel trains ready to take you up in high Alpine scenery.

TOWNS IN THIS REGION

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Grindelwald

Grindelwald

Grindelwald, at the base of the mighty Eiger North face and the Wetterhorn, is literally situated amidst the Bernese Alps. It's a hikers' paradise!

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Interlaken

Interlaken

Interlaken is the central town in the Bernese Oberland, and the gate to the famous Jungfrau region. It's an ideal base if you want to explore the entire Bernese Oberland.

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Brienz

Brienz

Brienz is a pretty little lakeside town in the Bernese Oberland, famous for its wood carving.

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Gstaad

Gstaad

Luxurious exclusive facilities in a beautiful setting between the Bernese Oberland and Lake Geneva.

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Thun

Thun

The Bernese Oberland begins in Thun. It's an atmospheric town on the lake. A perfect base for all kinds of day trips.

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SUBREGIONS IN THIS REGION

Subregion name
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Jungfrau region

Jungfrau region

One of the top regions of Switzerland, with snow capped mountains, waterfalls and car free mountain villages.

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Hasli valley

Hasli valley

The ideal base in between the Bernese Oberland and Central Switzerland, with lots of nature all around.

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  • This subregion is located in the Alps
  • Popular attractions: Golden Pass
Kander valley

Kander valley

Impressive valley between Lake Thun and the southern Alps.

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  • This subregion is located in the Alps
  • Popular attractions: Niesen
Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz

Picturesque blue lake in the heart of the Bernese Oberland.

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Lake Thun

Lake Thun

Beautiful clear lake against the backdrop of the Bernese Alps.

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