Interlaken

Interlaken is a charming town located in the heart of Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region. It is known for its stunning mountain vistas, crystal-clear lakes, and a wide range of outdoor activities. Whether you are a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing vacation, Interlaken has something for everyone.

Interlaken Travel Guide


Basic Info of Interlaken

Planning a trip to Interlaken can be overwhelming, with so many things to see and do.

This Interlaken travel guide is designed to help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in this picturesque town.

From accommodations to dining options, outdoor adventures to day trips, we have got you covered. So sit back, relax, and let’s explore Interlaken together.

Place
Interlaken

Language
German

Currency
Swiss Franc

Time Zone
UTC+1 and UTC

Population
5139

Crime Rate
Moderate

Read More Is it Safe to Visit Interlaken?

Photos of Interlaken

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Sightseeing in Interlaken

As a travel enthusiast, I have been to several destinations across the globe, but Interlaken has a special place in my heart.

The picturesque beauty of the Swiss Alps and the serene lakes make it a perfect destination for nature lovers.

If you are planning a trip to Interlaken, here are some of the top attractions, hidden gems, and cultural sites that you should not miss.

Top Things to do in in Interlaken

  1. Jungfrau Region: Enjoy stunning views of mountains and glaciers with a train ride to Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe.
  2. Harder Kulm: Take a funicular to the top for panoramic views of the town and mountains while enjoying a hot cup of coffee.

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Cultural Sights in Interlaken

  1. Interlaken Monastery: Discover the history of this 12th-century Benedictine monastery.
  2. Kunsthaus Interlaken: Explore this art museum showcasing local and international artists’ works.

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Water Sports in Interlaken

  1. Kayaking: Enjoy paddling on the serene waters of Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.
  2. Stand-up Paddleboarding: Try this fun activity while admiring the picturesque surroundings.
  3. Swimming: Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the lakes.
  4. Canyoning: Experience the thrill of jumping, sliding, and abseiling down waterfalls and cliffs in the canyons of Interlaken.

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Best Time to Visit Interlaken

Shoulder(May or Septermber)

For those seeking to avoid the summer crowds, the shoulder season of May or September can be a great alternative. The weather is still pleasant during these months, but with fewer tourists around, allowing for a more peaceful experience.

Summer (June to August)

During the summer months of June to August, Interlaken offers mild weather and long days, making it an ideal time to explore the beauty of this Swiss town. However, it is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices during this period.

Winter Wonderland( December-February)

Winter sports enthusiasts will find Interlaken a paradise during the winter months of December to February. With the ski season in full swing, this is the perfect time to hit the slopes and enjoy the snowy landscapes of this picturesque town.

Read More about the Best Time to Visit the Interlaken

Hidden Gems in Interlaken

These are some more hidden gems in Interlaken that you can include when you are traveling

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Dining and Cuisine

Interlaken offers a diverse range of dining options, from traditional Swiss cuisine to international fare. Whether you are looking for fine dining or casual eateries, you are sure to find something that suits your taste buds.

Local Delicacies

When it comes to local delicacies, Interlaken has much to offer. One of the must-try dishes is the Swiss cheese fondue, a traditional dish made with melted cheese and served with bread cubes for dipping.

Other local favorites include raclette, a dish of melted cheese served with boiled potatoes and pickles, and rösti, a potato pancake served with various toppings such as cheese, bacon, and vegetables.

Fine Dining

For those looking for a fine dining experience, there are several options to choose from in Interlaken. One of the top-rated restaurants is the Alpenblick Restaurant, which serves traditional Swiss cuisine.
The restaurant has been around for over 100 years and is known for its cozy chalet atmosphere. Another popular option is the La Terrasse, which offers a variety of international dishes and has a beautiful outdoor terrace with stunning views of the mountains.

Casual Eateries

If you are looking for a more casual dining experience, Interlaken has plenty of options to choose from. One of the best places to grab a quick bite is the Korean BBQ Restaurant Aare, which offers a variety of Korean dishes such as meat soup and ice dessert.
Another popular spot is the Husi Bierhaus, which serves a variety of hearty dishes like bratwurst, cordon bleu, and Swiss burgers, along with a variety of beers.

What to see and do?

Are you interested in recommendations for popular attractions, cultural sites, activities, dining options, or any specific interests you have while visiting Barcelona? Let me know so I can provide tailored suggestions for things to see and do in the city.

Shopping and Souvenirs in Interlaken

As a popular tourist destination, Interlaken offers a variety of shopping options for visitors. From local markets to specialty shops, there is something for everyone.

Local Markets

One of the best ways to experience the local culture and find unique souvenirs is by visiting the weekly markets in Interlaken.

The most popular market is the Saturday market, which takes place in the center of town. Here, you can find a variety of goods, including fresh produce, handmade crafts, and local cheeses.

Another market worth checking out is the Bönigen market, which takes place on Wednesday mornings. This market is known for its fresh flowers and plants, as well as its selection of local meats and cheeses.

Specialty Shops

For those looking for something more specific, Interlaken has a number of specialty shops. One such shop is The Mad Cow, which offers a variety of unique items for the home, including decorations, artwork, and even furniture.

If you are looking for a painting by a local artist from Interlaken, The Mad Cow is the place to be.
Another great specialty shop is Vertical Sport Interlaken, which offers all kinds of gear and accessories for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, and camping.

The shop carries top brands like Black Diamond, Blizzard, Sea To Summit, and Osprey.

If you are looking for Swiss souvenirs, Swiss Chocolate Chalet is a must-visit.
Here, you can find a wide selection of Swiss chocolates, as well as other Swiss-made products like watches, knives, and cowbells.

Do you need a visa to visit Interlaken?

Whether you need a visa to visit Barcelona depends on your nationality. Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area, and some other countries do not need a visa for short visits.

However, citizens of certain countries outside these regions may need a visa. It is essential to check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality before traveling to Barcelona.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Interlaken is not just a beautiful place to visit during the day, but it also offers a vibrant nightlife scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. Whether you are looking for a place to relax, dance, or enjoy a drink, Interlaken has something for everyone.

Bars and Clubs

  • Johnny’s Pub and Grill: A cozy pub with good food, drinks, live DJs, and bands at Bahnhofstrasse 1, 3800 Unterseen.
  • Casino Kursaal: Offers a fixed-price menu and casino admission, open from noon to late night on most days.

Cultural Performances

  • Swiss Folklore Show: Traditional Swiss music and dance performances daily from 8 pm to 10 pm at Höheweg 145.
  • Alpenrose Show: Enjoy Swiss music, dance performances, and a four-course dinner daily from 6:30 pm to 11 pm at Höheweg 70.
Interlaken Travel Guide
Is Interlaken Expensive?

Live Music Venues

  • GreenGo Club: Enjoy live music performances and DJs every day from 10 pm to 5 am at Hauptstrasse 44.
  • Hüsi Bierhaus: Experience live music including jazz, blues, and rock from 4 pm to 12 am at Marktgasse 57.

Dining and Entertainment Events

  • Interlaken Wine Festival: Experience local wines and culinary delights at this annual event.
    • Date: Annually in August
    • Location: Interlaken Town Hall
  • Street Food Market: Enjoy a variety of international street food vendors and live music.
    • Date: Every Friday evening
    • Location: Höheweg Street Market.

Day Trips from Interlaken

As much as I love exploring Interlaken, there are so many incredible day trips and excursions to take advantage of in the surrounding areas. Here are a few of my top picks for nearby towns and natural wonders to visit during your stay in Interlaken.

One of the best things about Interlaken is its location at the heart of the Swiss Alps. This means that there are plenty of charming towns and villages to explore within just a short drive or train ride away. Here are some of my favorites:

Interlaken | Chasing Whereabouts

Grindelwald

Known as the “Glacier Village,” Grindelwald is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Interlaken. With its stunning views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains, it’s no wonder that this town has been a popular tourist destination for over a century. Take a cable car up to the top of the First mountain for even more breathtaking views.

Interlaken | Chasing Whereabouts

Lauterbrunnen

This picturesque town is situated in a valley surrounded by 72 waterfalls. Take a stroll through the village to see the impressive Staubbach Falls, or hop on a train to the nearby Wengen or Mürren for even more stunning views.

Swiss flag waving with a picturesque lakeside castle and mountain backdrop in switzerland.

Thun

If you’re looking for a more urban experience, Thun is a great option. This charming town sits on the shores of Lake Thun and is known for its historic castle, quaint old town, and beautiful promenade.

Natural Wonders Near Interlaken

Of course, one of the biggest draws of Interlaken is the incredible natural beauty that surrounds it. Here are a few of my favorite day trips to take to explore the area’s stunning natural wonders:

Jungfrau peak, Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Jungfraujoch

Known as the “Top of Europe,” Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe and offers unparalleled views of the Swiss Alps. Take the scenic train ride up to the summit and explore the breathtaking ice palace, observation deck, and more.

Tourists enjoying a panoramic view from a mountain lookout platform over a valley and river.

Schilthorn

This mountain peak was made famous by the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and for good reason. The panoramic views from the top are absolutely stunning. Take a cable car up to the summit and enjoy a meal at the revolving restaurant.

Swiss flag waving with a picturesque lakeside castle and mountain backdrop in switzerland.

Lake Brienz

This crystal-clear lake is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. Take a boat ride around the lake to see the stunning scenery from a different perspective.

Quick Itinerary

Interlaken Itinerary

I have got you covered in case you are searching for a French Riviera Itinerary.

Flight to Interlaken

For flight information to Interlaken, Switzerland, you would need to fly into one of the nearest airports to Interlaken, which are Zurich Airport (ZRH) and Geneva Airport (GVA).

Zurich Airport (ZRH):

  • Zurich Airport is the largest international airport in Switzerland and is well-connected to major cities around the world.
  • From Zurich Airport, you can take a train to Zurich HB (main station) and then transfer to a direct train to Interlaken Ost.

Geneva Airport (GVA):

  • Geneva Airport is another option for international travelers flying into Switzerland.
  • From Geneva Airport, you can take a train to Geneva Cornavin (main station) and then transfer to a direct train to Interlaken Ost.

Both Zurich and Geneva airports offer various flight options from different airlines. To find specific flight schedules, prices, and availability, you can visit the official websites of these airports or use online travel platforms to search for flights to Switzerland.

If you are reaching late at night then you can book a private transfer to reach safely to your hotel.

Renting a Car in Interlaken

If you are looking to rent a car in Interlaken, here are some simple steps you can follow:

  1. Research: Look for car rental companies in Interlaken. You can do this online or ask for recommendations from locals or your accommodation.
  2. Compare: Compare prices, car models, rental conditions, and any additional fees that may apply.
  3. Book in Advance: It’s usually recommended to book your car in advance to secure availability and possibly get better rates.
  4. Required Documents: Make sure you have all the necessary documents such as your driver’s license, passport, and a valid credit card.
  5. Insurance: Check the insurance coverage offered by the rental company and consider additional insurance if needed.
  6. Pick-up and Drop-off: Confirm the pick-up and drop-off locations and times. Some companies offer airport or hotel delivery services.
  7. Inspect the Car: Before signing any agreements, carefully inspect the car for any damages and make sure they are documented to avoid disputes when returning the car.
  8. Driving Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Swiss driving regulations, road signs, and parking rules before hitting the road.
 

Where to Stay in Interlaken

When it comes to accommodations in Interlaken, travelers have a range of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, mid-range options, budget stays, or unique accommodations, Interlaken has something to offer for every traveler’s budget and preferences.

Luxury Hotels

Interlaken has a number of luxury hotels that offer stunning views of the Swiss Alps and come with a range of amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Some of the top luxury hotels in Interlaken include the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, the Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage, and the Hotel Bellevue.

Mid-Range Options

If you’re looking for mid-range accommodations that offer a good balance between comfort and affordability, Interlaken has plenty of options to choose from.

Some of the top mid-range hotels in Interlaken include the Hotel Interlaken, the Hotel Crystal, and the Hotel Du Nord.

Budget Stays

Travelers on a budget can find plenty of affordable accommodations in Interlaken, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels.

Some of the top budget stays in Interlaken include the Balmer’s Hostel, the Balmers Tent Village, and the Youth Hostel Interlaken.

Unique Accommodations

For travelers looking for a unique experience, Interlaken offers a range of accommodations that are out of the ordinary.

From treehouses and igloos to yurts and caravans, there are plenty of unique accommodations to choose from in Interlaken.

Some of the top unique accommodations in Interlaken include the Swiss Treehouses, the Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel, and the Adventure Hostel.

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FAQ about the Interlaken

Covering all the doubts about French Riviera

Interlaken is known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities. Some of the top attractions to visit in Interlaken are the Jungfrau region, Harder Kulm, Lake Brienz, Lake Thun, and the Aare Gorge.

Interlaken is surrounded by beautiful towns and villages that make for great day trips. Some of the best day trips to take from Interlaken in the summer are Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, and the Schilthorn mountain.

To experience Interlaken fully, I recommend spending at least 3-4 days. This will give you enough time to explore the town, take day trips to nearby attractions, and participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, paragliding, and rafting.

Yes, it is possible to explore Interlaken without a car. The town is well-connected by public transportation, and most attractions are within walking distance or a short bus or train ride away.

While it is possible to visit both Interlaken and Jungfrau in one day, it is not recommended as there is so much to see and do in both places. I recommend dedicating at least one full day to each destination to fully experience all they have to offer.

For a 2-day visit to Interlaken, I recommend spending the first day exploring the town and taking a boat ride on Lake Brienz or Lake Thun. On the second day, take a day trip to nearby attractions such as Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, or participate in outdoor activities such as hiking or paragliding.

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