Ballenberg Open-Air Museum – experience Swiss tradition

Nature and tradition – an adventure for the whole family

Immerse yourself in the past and enjoy a stunning natural idyll at the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum. Experience the culture and customs of Switzerland at close hand and visit all of Switzerland in just one day. Adventurers, discoverers and nature lovers will be in their element here.

Museum amid a natural idyll

The Ballenberg Open-Air Museum is situated in the Holiday Region Interlaken – the heart of Switzerland – and is easily accessible from any direction by public transport or by car. Unpaved roads and stone paths lead you from the entrance of the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum to the various centuries-old buildings from every part of Switzerland. The houses are nestled between rolling hills and verdant forests. As soon as you arrive, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful natural idyll. You’ll encounter plenty of typical farm animals such as donkeys, cows, chickens, rabbits and cats along the way. You’ll also discover secluded barbecue areas and picnic tables where you take a break from your stroll through the open-air museum.  One of the paths leads to the “Wyssensee” nature reserve, which has a lovely little lake of the same name.

Traditional houses and exhibitions

Discover and marvel at over 100 rural houses and farm buildings from every part of Switzerland in the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum: Authentic stables, barns, store-houses, wash-houses and drying ovens bear witness to the everyday life and rural culture of the past. The oldest house in Ballenberg comes from the Canton of Schwyz, is over 700 years old and is thought to date from the 1330s. You are free to explore the houses and embark on a voyage of discovery. Get an insight into the lives of the original inhabitants, the various occupations they engaged in and how they conducted their everyday lives. A variety of exhibitions will also help you gain an understanding of particular topics, such as the production of traditional costumes. The gardens in front of the impressive houses contain ancient agricultural crops, vegetable varieties and medicinal herbs.

Verdant forests and lush meadows

Museumsbesucher beobachten Tiere auf einer grünen Weide im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg

The Ballenberg Open-Air Museum has much more to offer than just its houses. The farms and historic buildings are surrounded by traditional kitchen gardens, fields, meadows and pastures. The forest in which Ballenberg is situated is also more than a mere backdrop – in years gone by, it was essential to people’s lives. Experience the forest with all your senses in the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum. As you stroll through it, you’ll pass a multitude of information boards that provide descriptions of the plants and trees you can see. Immerse yourself in the diversity of nature.

Marvel at traditional craftsmanship

Familie schaut einer Frau beim Spinnen zu im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg

Do you know how baskets are woven or lace is made? What are filet crocheting, shingle making or charcoal burning? Ballenberg Open-Air Museum gives you the chance to observe an expert demonstrating a wide variety of ancient crafts. Daily handicraft demonstrations are on offer, with an expert craftsperson professional demonstrating forging, basket weaving, wood carving and cheese making. You’ll even get to see how medicines were produced. Daily schedules and timetables are available at the entrance to the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum, allowing you to plan the highlights of your tour as you wish, or you can take things as they come, enjoy wandering around the Open-Air Museum and visit those demonstrations that happen to be starting as you pass by.

Indulgence, restaurants and family

Karussell mit Tieren im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg

Feeling hungry after your discoveries? Indulge in some culinary delights in one of the on-site restaurants and enjoy some traditional Swiss specialities. Travelling with your family? Your children can enjoy themselves in a playground with a roundabout and in the petting zoo, while you sit back and relax. The Ballenberg shop is close at hand and stocks tasty traditional delicacies such as jam, Swiss chocolate, cheese and the famous Ballenberg sausage.

Foxtrail – Ballenberg’s treasure hunt

Familie mit Kind und Hund vor einem Schweizer Haus im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg

Hunt the fox in Ballenberg Open-Air Museum With family or friends, solve the puzzles as you go from position to position, decipher secret messages and try to keep on the fox’s trail by uncovering the many hidden clues. Keep track of the fox and give your braincells some exercise. The Foxtrail is ideal for friends, families, clubs or companies. Find out more about the most exciting treasure hunt in Switzerland here.

Nostalgic tip for young and old alike

Kutsche fährt vorbei an blühendem Garten mit Blumen im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg

Fancy a bit of nostalgia? Be driven through the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum by horse-drawn carriage and discover the highlights of this beautiful complex at your leisure. The carriage ride is guaranteed to transport you back in time.

Adventure programmes for groups

Museumsbesucher erlernen ein traditionelles Schweizer Handwerk im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg

Looking for an enjoyable or exciting programme for groups? The Ballenberg Open-Air Museum offers guided tours and leisure and activity programmes for groups, which provide in-depth insights into a selection of specific topics. Relive bygone days by baking bread with your group or mastering the art of cooking in a simply equipped, old-fashioned kitchen.

Your highlights at a glance

  • Over 100 original, centuries-old buildings from every part of Switzerland

  • Foxtrail – experience Switzerland’s most exciting treasure hunt at Ballenberg

  • Daily demonstrations of ancient crafts

  • A variety of special exhibitions

  • Excellent barbecue and picnic areas and a choice of restaurants

  • Playground and petting zoo for children

To ensure that your trip is perfect in every way, please note

  • Open from mid-April to the end of October

  • A half-hourly local bus service operates from Brienz railway station to the Ballenberg West or East entrances.

  • Lockers are available at the entrances

  • Good, enclosed footwear is recommended (natural roads)

  • The West Entrance of the Open-Air Museum is recommended for wheelchair users

Personal tip

“My day trip to Ballenberg was an unforgettable excursion to a beautiful, natural environment where you could explore how people lived in centuries gone by and a great opportunity to discover and experience new things."