Brienz is located in the Bernese Oberland area of Switzerland at the opposite end of Brienzersee to Interlaken. It is a small village with approx 3000 inhabitants. Brienz is famous as the Swiss centre for woodcarving.
Brienz is on the scenic Interlaken-Lucerne train line operated by the Zentralbahn. There are twice hourly trains to Interlaken Ost (20 minutes) and Meiringen (10 minutes) and hourly trains to Lucerne (1 hour 30 minutes).
Alternatively you can take the boat operated by BLS from Interlaken Ost. There are a handful of departures a day during winter and roughly hourly departures in summer. The trip takes around 1 hour 10 minutes and both in Interlaken Ost and Brienz, the train station and the dock are right next to each other.
Brienz has one main street (Hauptstrasse), so getting around on foot is fine. To walk the full length of the street will take approximately 15 minutes. You can walk uphill from the Hauptstrasse on subsidiary side streets and public paths to view chalets built using traditional log construction techniques dating from over one hundred years ago.
There is beautiful Swiss scenery to see - the lake is a beautiful blue colour and the surrounding mountains spectacular. At the west end of the village you can visit the community church to view its unique hand-carved woodwork fashioned by Brienz wood carvers.
- 1 Woodcarving museum, Hauptstrasse 111, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. May & October, W-Su 13:30-17:00, June-September, W-Su 10:30-17:00. Fr. 5.
Walking, sightseeing and looking in the Woodcarving Shops.
Walking along the lakefront promenade offers spectacular views.
All kind of rentals available at Funrental Interlaken, including scooters, bikes, go karts, funcars, ATVs and motorcycles.
- 1 Ballenberg Swiss open-air museum, Museumsstrasse 131, Hofstetten bei Brienz (Postal bus from Brienz to either Ballenberg West or Ballenberg Ost.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Mid-April - October 10:00-17:00. A huge open-air museum consisting of old buildings from different parts of Switzerland which have been dismantled and moved to the museum for display. Most of the houses can be entered and exhibitions showcasing traditional Swiss life have been put up. Fr. 24/12.
- 2 Brienz Rothorn Bahn (The station is right opposite the train station and the dock for the boats), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Take Switzerland's last steam rack railway to the Rothorn. At the top there is a hotel, sun terraces and superb views. Return ticket Fr. 88/44.
There are several woodcarving shops:
- 1 Jobin, Hauptstrasse 111, ☏ . Jobin is still the biggest woodcarving shop in Brienz. It has been completely refurbished since the floods in Brienz in 2005. The building also houses the woodcarving museum.
- 2 Huggler, Haupstrasse 64, ☏ . M-F 09:00-12:00, 13:30-18:00, Sa 09:00-12:00, 13:30-16:00. Huggler is another woodcarving business. The shop stocks woodcarvings. Like Jobin, Huggler has been in business for over 100 years.
A number of restaurants and tea-rooms line the main street.
Opposite the woodcarving shop Jobin to the right is a Coffee Shop/Restaurant/Bar.
As a tourist destination there are a number of hotels, and many flats/houses are holiday rentals.
Campsites are available along the lake past the Youth Hostel.
- 1 Youth Hostel, Strandweg 10, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Try the youth hostel for good value, albeit basic, accommodation. Near the lake-side and only ten minutes walk from the railway station and five minutes from the bus stop. Watch the sun set over the lake in the evening! Dorm from Fr. 30.