What could be a better place for family travel than Switzerland? And our Swiss Oberland Untour, tucked into the most beautiful stretch of the Berner Oberland, offers something to delight everyone in your party, the young and the young at heart.
Alpine peaks: All of these are special in their own way, but some have made an effort to be welcoming to children with super playgrounds. Two of the best are at the Stockhorn, the Niederhorn and Beatenberg.
Ballenberg Open Air Museum: Ballenberg above Brienz brought the different styles of architecture from all over Switzerland and rebuilt them in a beautiful setting. It also has live demonstrations of traditional crafts and animal husbandry.
Bern: Visit the namesake bears, see the famous clock tower with its animated figures, and hear the Cathedral Tower with its huge bells. Visit the beautiful small zoo called “Dählhölzli” along the river Aare. Take the little funicular up Gurten (tram to Wabern from Berne train station) and enjoy a wonderul view on the city from a large childrens’ play area. This is where the locals take their children on a fine Sunday afternoon.
Bicycling: Rent bikes at Thun station or in numerous other cities; they are easy to take on the train. See the biking section of the Hiking Guide for details. For a swift downhill ride, rent a “trotti” bike at the middle lift station of the Niederhorn or the “Bort” station between Grindelwald and First. Ride it down to the bottom; they’ll bring it back up for you.
Boating: Rent sail boats (Hilterfingen or Spiez), row boats (Thun). Yachts may be chartered at several places on Lake Thun. Waterskiing and windsurfing schools on Lake Thun at Gunten.
Castles: Climb the towers and medieval walls of Murten, and visit real castles with real dungeons at Oberhofen, Spiez, Thun, Schaffhausen, Brig and Montreux/Chillon.
Heimwehfluh: Interlaken’s hillside amusement park. Bobsled run; model trains; theater for kids; large playground. Walk ten minutes south from Interlaken West station then funicular ($).
Hiking: Several trails are outfitted just for kids, like the Muggestutz trail on the Hasliberg, the Planet Discovery trail at Melchsee Frutt, and the tactile Tickle Trail on Brunni. See the Hiking Guide for details.
Luzern: See the Glacier Garden, the Mirror Hall, the old covered bridges. Ride a boat. Climb the medieval walls and towers. See the moving Lion Monument. Don’t miss the Verkehrshaus (Transportation Museum), 50% reduction with your Swiss Pass but worth it!
Minigolf: In Gwatt, Oberhofen, Frutigen, and Spiez.
Medieval cities: Switzerland’s best-preserved towns from the Middle Ages within a day trip of Central Switzerland are: Basel, Bern, Biel, Luzern, Murten, Rheinfelden, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, Sempach, Solothurn, Stein am Rhein, Sursee, Thun, Willisau, Zug, Zürich.
Swimming: Beaches at Merligen, Gunten, Oberhofen, Hilterfingen, Thun and Gwatt. Pools in Oberhofen, Thun, Hilterfingen, Spiez, Merligen, Frutigen and Kandersteg. Thun’s “Strandbad” is considered one of the most beautifully situated swimming areas in Switzerland.
Swiss Miniatur: Visit this fascinating scale model Swiss town in Melide (second rail stop south of Lugano).
Tobogganing in summer: Many of the more developed mountain areas have summer toboggan runs that resemble luges. The Oeschinensee above Kandersteg and Heimwehfluh at Interlaken are closest.
Trains, boats, planes and spacecraft: A world-class collection of the real thing and scale models is found at the Verkehrshaus (Transportation Museum) in Luzern, receive a 50% reduction with Swiss Pass.