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Celebrate winter together

Winter events around Interlaken

Events such as ICE MAGIC, Touch the Mountains, Harder-Potschete and carnival make winter in Interlaken an unforgettable experience. Go skating with your friends or family at Top of Europe ICE MAGIC or visit a Christmas market at Advent. Not long after, Interlaken ushers in the New Year with live music and a magnificent firework display.

  • Winterzauber Interlaken: Christmas market and Christmas shopping

  • Local Christmas markets throughout the Holiday Region Interlaken

  • A unique skating experience at Top of Europe ICE MAGIC

  • Switzerland’s longest New Year’s Eve featuring the traditional Harder-Potschete parade in Interlaken

  • Carnival in Thun and the Diemtigtal Nature Park

  • Ski races: the International Ski World Cup Lauberhorn in Wengen and the Inferno Races in Lauterbrunnen

From Christmas trails to live music

Winter in Interlaken has something for everyone, from tranquil, atmospheric themed paths during the festive period to a magnificent firework display with live music at Touch the Mountains at New Year. In winter, the enchanting landscape of the Bernese Oberland buzzes with events. In Aeschi and Heiligenschwendi, you can follow a Christmas themed paths illuminated with pretty decorative lights. And in the Diemtigtal Nature Park, the lovingly constructed “Waldkrippe” (woodland manger) is definitely worth a visit.

Christmas is in the air: 30 Christmas markets

The romantic lights of the little wooden cabins and market stalls can already be seen twinkling from a distance. The air is filled with the scent of cinnamon, cloves and oranges. Around 30 local Christmas markets are held in the Holiday Region Interlaken, the smallest of which is found in Habkern. Here each family runs its own stall, selling festive, hand-made arrangements of natural objects. Whether in Brienz or Thun, every Christmas market has its own unique charm and wares. At Winterzauber Interlaken, you can visit the Christmas market along the Höheweg promenade or go Christmas shopping in one of the many local shops.

Top of Europe ICE MAGIC in Interlaken

On the Höhematte, at the heart of the Holiday Region Interlaken, a unique skating experience awaits. Skate along beautifully illuminated ice paths or play a round of ice hockey on the soft hockey ice rink. You can also try your hand at the game of Bavarian curling. After all that strenuous exercise, you’re bound to be hungry. Why not enjoy a tasty dinner at the cosy Swiss Chalet Restaurant or tuck into a snack at one of the ICE MAGIC park’s food stalls? A fun evening with friends, family or colleagues is guaranteed.

Experience Switzerland’s longest New Year’s Eve celebrations

In Interlaken, the beginning of the New Year is celebrated for three whole days. The “Longest New Year's Eve”, as it's called, takes place every year from 31 December to 2 January. The celebrations on the evening of 31 December are followed by the first open-air concert of the year on 1 January. At Touch the Mountains, you can listen to free live music. One day later, on 2 January, Interlaken is haunted by the Hardermannli (the spirit of the Harder Kulm mountain), his wife and their children, the Potschen who, donning masks, frolic through the streets of Interlaken. After the traditional Potschete procession, people gather in the pubs around Interlaken for a cosy evening together. The Harder-Potschete has been celebrated in this way for almost 50 years. Other traditional New Year celebrations are held in the Holiday Region Interlaken too. In Beatenberg and Sigriswil, for instance, young “Trychler” walk through the village sounding their bells to welcome in the New Year.

Carnival in Thun and the Diemtigtal Nature Park

In January, the trumpets and drums of Thun Carnival can be heard from far and wide. In Thun Old Town, colourful confetti drifts through the air. The festive spirit of the costumed revellers is infectious. In March, a carnival featuring Schnitzelbank performers is also held in Diemtigtal. The musical entertainment is provided by a host of brass bands, creating an exhilarating atmosphere.

The International Ski World Cup Lauberhorn

Every January, the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup takes place in Wengen. Watch as the world’s best skiers zip down the spectacular Lauberhorn at speeds of up to 160 km/h or take on the formidable slalom. The race tracks are easy to reach by train from Interlaken Ost station. Afterwards, the celebrations continue in the World Cup village in central Wengen.

The largest amateur ski race of all: the Inferno Race

The Inferno Race was established in 1928 by the Englishman Sir Arnold Lunn and entered by English skiing enthusiasts. Today 1800 people take part, making it the world’s largest amateur ski race: with its varied topography, it’s easy to see why. At 14,9 km in length, it’s not only the largest but also the longest free-for-all race in the world. The race begins beneath the Kleine Schilthorn, passing through the Engetal Valley to the Schilthornhütte cabin. Then, it’s on to the sheer slope of the Kanonenrohr. The winding track continues to Winteregg and during especially snowy winters, as far as the bottom of the valley to Lauterbrunnen. Competent skiers complete this wonderful descent in around 30 minutes, and the winner in less than 15.

SnowpenAir – Music on the Kleine Scheidegg

Do you like open-air concerts? At the start of April each year, SnowpenAir welcomes a host of best-selling artists, who play at 2061 metres above sea level. The atmosphere in the snow at the foot of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains is second to none. Experience a truly unforgettable festival high in the Interlaken mountains.

Did you know?

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days New Year celebrations in Interlaken

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free concerts at Touch the Mountains in Interlaken on 1 January

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Christmas markets in the Holiday Region Interlaken

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themed paths in the festive period

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people take part in the largest amateur ski race of all, the Inferno Race