Interlaken is a small town in the Swiss Alps that has been popular with tourists for over 300 years. The nature here is very beautiful: the city is located between lakes, surrounded by mountain landscapes and coniferous forests, so the air here is simply magical.
First of all, skiers come to Interlaken, especially those who want to save money – prices on local slopes are lower than in the whole country, and it is not very crowded here. And also one-day excursions to different regions of Switzerland depart from here. So getting to know the country can be combined with skiing or other outdoor activities, depending on the season. Check prozipcodes for more cities and countries in Europe.
How to get to Interlaken
By train: From Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern and Lucerne, you can get to the Interlaken Ost or Interlaken West station, the latter is closer to the city center. Most trains stop at both stations.
By car: take the Autoroute A8 to the city centre.
By Bus: The Bus2Alps international bus brings tourists from Florence, Rome, Paris and Munich to Interlaken. In winter, bus routes are especially numerous.
You can move around the city completely free of charge by public transport with a hotel guest card.
Interlaken offers tourists hotels of various star ratings, hostels, campsites and hostels. You can settle in the city inexpensively and comfortably or expensively and with great comfort.
More expensive options: the four-star Stella Hotel (a member of Swiss Quality Hotels) is located near the station and, accordingly, in the city center (rooms from 220 CHF), has an indoor pool and an excellent restaurant. Hotel Metropol 4 * (rooms from 180 CHF) is a modern hotel, with an excellent overview of local beauties, two gourmet restaurants and cooking shows that you can take part in.
B&B Rugenpark (rooms from 55 CHF) is a cozy budget bed and breakfast with a beautiful park and mountain views, a five-minute walk from the city center (has the highest rating for hostels and budget hotels in Interlaken according to Hostelworld).
Campsites for inexpensive accommodation in winter and summer: Alpenblick 2, two kilometers from the center of Interlaken on the shores of Lake Thun (prices from 6.50 CHF per person per day); TCS campsite Interlaken, located on the river Aare near Interlaken-Ost, double and quadruple cabins from 10 to 35 CHF per person; River Lodge hostel with double and quadruple rooms (from 27 CHF per person). And a dozen more campsites and hostels.
Cuisine and restaurants of Interlaken
The Bebbis restaurant, which is located near the Interlaken West station, is decorated in a traditional “rustic” style, offering fondue and raclette to tourists. Schuh is considered one of the most beautiful and oldest (opened in 1818) restaurants in the city. And what kind of chocolate fondue is there… You can have a budget lunch on the top floor of the Coop store near Interlaken Ost.
And there are many restaurants of national cuisine in Interlaken. Do you love Korean food? Then you are in Kang Chon near Interlaken West station. Mexican cuisine is presented in the El Azteca restaurant. Authentic Thai food can be tasted at My Little Thai Restaurant. Just book in advance – the restaurant is very popular with tourists.
5 things to do in Interlaken
- Immerse yourself in skiing in winter and hiking in the surrounding area in summer.
- Enjoy the close proximity of two cleanest lakes at once – Thun and Brienz.
- Visit the beautiful prehistoric caves of St. Beatus.
- Dine in style at the 300-year-old Schuh restaurant.
- Buy a real Swiss Victorinox penknife and make an engraving on it that is dear to your heart.
Shopping and shops
It is here that you can buy real Swiss Victorinox and Wenger Swiss Army penknives (and engrave them for free); real Swiss watches, from Rolex to Swatch, and real Swiss chocolate.
Interlaken has the highest concentration of souvenir shops per capita.
Interlaken is the starting point for day trips throughout Switzerland.
Winter holidays in Interlaken
Interlaken is very close to the Jungfrau, a traditional skiing destination. You can drive to Grindelwald and Mürren and go skiing or snowboarding (for 63 CHF – adult, 32 CHF – child).
The easier trails for beginners are located in Bitenberg, there are not so steep slopes, and the prices are lower (39 CHF – adult, 19.50 CHF – child). Everything you need for skiing can be rented at any sports shop in the city.
Cross-country skiers can head to Lake Thun (one hour by bus) with well-equipped trails.
Interlaken in the summer
In the summer, there are many day trips from Interlaken to the Jungfrau Mountains on the high-altitude railway, the Scheidegg Glacier, the walkable Harder Kulm (a 5-minute train ride), Lakes Thun and Brienz, and many more.
You will certainly enjoy the legendary caves of Sanct Beatus, known to man since prehistoric times, their underground waterfalls and gorges. In the vicinity of Interlaken, there are many opportunities for hang-gliding, paragliding, parachuting, rock climbing or rafting.
You can settle in Interlaken inexpensively and comfortably or expensively and with great comfort.
Lakes Brienz and Thun in summer provide all the opportunities for water sports, fishing and boating, steamboats and yachts. The water is warm enough (about 20 degrees), so you can swim. For lovers of cycling (bicycle rental 12 CHF per day), the route around Lake Brienz will be a real find. On average, it takes 4 hours, along the way you will meet the stunning Giessbach waterfalls.
At any time of the year, it is worth visiting the Mystery Park in Interlaken, where all the most mysterious pages of human history from the Aztec pyramids to space travel are presented in 7 interconnected pavilions.