Brienz is located in the middle of charming mountains at the eastern end of turquoise-coloured Lake Brienz. The cosy village is starting point for excursions to the Bernese Oberland, the Ballenberg Open-air Museum but also to Lucerne or Interlaken or across the nearby Alpine passes.
The probably most romantic part of Brienz is the Brunngasse which, having once been awarded the title «most beautiful street in Europe», is well-known abroad. Most of the houses in the street date from the 18th century and are decorated with wood carvings. Brienz, which is well-known as the “village of carving” has a long tradition in wood processing and to this day has a school for carving and violin-making.
A walk along the traffic-free lake promenade, past small boat ports and playgrounds, is a refreshing experience. In summer locals and visitors come to enjoy a swim. The view of the lake with ever-changing moods is a unique experience. And for an even more intense lake experience, we recommend a cruise, for example on board the historic salon paddle steamer «Lötschberg».
The two railway stations are just a short distance away from the ship embarkation point: Brienz is located on the narrow-gauge railway line which links the famous holiday destinations of Interlaken, Meiringen-Hasliberg, Brünig, Lucerne and Engelberg. The other station is the small base station of the steam rack-railway up the Brienzer Rothorn panorama and hiking peak.
At the Ballenberg Open-air Museum a look into the kitchens, chambers, living rooms and workshops of the authentically reconstructed houses and farms of agricultural Switzerland dating from the 16th to the 19th century prove that this museum is not about showing off a collection of dusty rareties but instead is dedicated to treating visitors to a real experience.
Those in search of winter sports pleasures will strike lucky in nearby Axalp, where there is a small, family-friendly winter sports area – complete with the «Axiland!» learning and experience slopes for children – away from the hustle and bustle. For more experience snow sports enthusiasts there is the Meiringen-Hasliberg ski region which is also easily and quickly accessible.
- Ballenberg Open-air Museum – 100 centuries-old buildings from all parts of Switzerland, farm animals, gardens, workshop demonstrations and cosy guesthouses.
- Brienzer Rothorn – 2350 metres above seal level with a wonderful panorama view – accessible by way of the only rack-railway in Switzerland which is regularly powered by steam.
- Lake Brienz Shipping – steam cruises on the most close-to-nature lake in Switzerland.
- Swiss School of Wood Sculpting – examples of this art – in the shape of figures or signposts – are dotted around the whole village.
- Giessbach Falls – thundering waterfalls in a forest setting, accommodation or coffee and cake at the restored Jugenstil Grandhotel**** Giessbach.
Ballenberg Open-air Theatre – in summer the Verein Landschaftstheater Ballenberg performs plays in the open air at the Ballenberg Open-air Museum (July and August).
How to get there
- Direct trains via Interlaken and Lucerne.
- Hourly train connection to Zürich Airport and all important Swiss cities.
- Daily connections to Interlaken by ICE from Frankfurt-Braunschweig-Berlin and by EC from Karlsruhe-Mainz-Köln-Düsseldorf-Amsterdam.
By car: Best road connection from Basel/Zürich – Lucerne – Brünig Pass or via Bern – Interlaken.
- 90 min. from Zürich
- 45 min. from Lucerne
- 60 min. from Bern
- 90 min. from Basel
- Airport Zürich, all major airlines; 100 km
- Airport Geneva, all major airlines; 250 km
- Airport Bern-Belp, Swiss and regional airlines; 90 km
- Airport Basel, European airlines; 200 km