Celebrate winter together

Winter programme in the Bernese Oberland

Events such as the Touch the Mountains with the New Year's fireworks, the Harder-Potschete and the carnivals in Thun and the Diemtigtal make winter in the Holiday Region Interlaken an unforgettable experience. Visit with your friends or family a Christmas market at Advent or experience many other Winterlaken events.

  • Winterlaken: Christmas shopping, Sunday shopping & more

  • Local Christmas markets throughout the Holiday Region Interlaken

  • Atmospheric themed paths

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

  • Carnival in Thun and the Diemtigtal Nature Park

  • Celebrating the New Year with “Trychler”

  • 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

Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Waisenhausplatz in Thun versprüht festliche Atmosphäre an einem Winterabend

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.

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

Guggenmusiker beim Umzug an der Diemtigtaler Fasnacht

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

Skifahrer am Inferno-Rennen umgeben von Schnee am Schilthorn

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.

Did you know?


days New Year celebrations in Interlaken


free concerts at Touch the Mountains in Interlaken on 1 January


Christmas markets in the Holiday Region Interlaken


themed paths in the festive period


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

Discover the range of atmospheric winter events in the Holiday Region Interlaken: