In the heart of the Swiss Alps, Interlaken is a picturesque town that attracts tourists from around the world. In addition to being surrounded by stunning natural scenery, it lies between two of Switzerland’s most famous mountain ranges, the Jungfrau and the Eiger. For spectacular views of the mountains, valleys, and lakes, visitors can take cable cars or cogwheel trains to the top of nearby peaks.
Interlaken is also known for its adventure sports, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, paragliding, and rafting. Boat tours, golfing, and horseback riding are some of the more leisurely outdoor activities available.
Traditional Swiss villages, museums, historical sites, and festivals can be found in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland, a region rich in history and culture. Among the local specialties are fondue, raclette, Swiss chocolate, and local wines and beers.
Train connections to major Swiss cities like Zurich and Geneva make Interlaken easy to reach. It is also a convenient base for exploring other nearby attractions, such as the nearby cities of Bern and Lucerne or the famous Jungfraujoch mountain railway.
Best time to visit Interlaken
Summer (June-August) is the most popular time to visit Interlaken as the weather is warm and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, cycling, paragliding, and water sports on the nearby lakes.
If you’re interested in winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, then the best time to visit Interlaken is during the winter months (December-February). Interlaken is also a popular destination for Christmas markets and festive events during this time.
Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) are considered the shoulder seasons, which can offer milder weather and fewer crowds. During these times, you can still enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking and cycling, and the stunning scenery that Interlaken has to offer.
Overall, the best time to visit Interlaken depends on your interests and what you want to do during your visit.
Local WeatherINTERLAKEN WEATHER
The Jungfraujoch mountain railway
The Jungfraujoch mountain railway is one of the most famous attractions in Switzerland, and it offers visitors a chance to experience some truly beautiful views and scenery.
The railway journey takes you through a series of tunnels and mountain passes, and ultimately ends up at the “Top of Europe” – a viewing platform that provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.
Whether or not the Jungfraujoch mountain railway is worth it depends on your personal preferences and interests. If you enjoy stunning natural scenery and are interested in experiencing the Swiss Alps, then this is definitely an experience that is worth considering. The views from the Top of Europe are truly spectacular, and it’s an experience that you’re unlikely to forget.
However, it’s important to note that the Jungfraujoch mountain railway can be quite expensive, and it can also be quite crowded, especially during the peak tourist season. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, or if you’re not a fan of crowds, then there are other mountain railways and hiking trails in the region that may be more suitable for you.
Lake Brienz is definitely worth visiting if you’re in the Interlaken area or exploring the Swiss Alps. Located just a few kilometers east of Interlaken, Lake Brienz is a beautiful and serene body of water that offers visitors a range of activities and attractions.
Here are some reasons why Lake Brienz is worth visiting:
- Scenic beauty: The lake’s crystal-clear turquoise waters are surrounded by majestic mountains and forests, creating a breathtaking natural landscape that is sure to impress.
- Boat trips: You can take a leisurely boat trip around the lake, which provides stunning views of the surrounding scenery. There are several boats and steamers that depart regularly from Interlaken, and you can choose from different routes and durations depending on your preferences.
- Outdoor activities: The lake also offers a range of outdoor activities, such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. You can rent equipment from various rental shops around the lake.
- Giessbach Falls: Located on the eastern shore of the lake, the Giessbach Falls are a spectacular sight and can be accessed via a short hike.
How to get to Interlaken
- By plane: The nearest international airport to Interlaken is Zurich Airport, which is approximately a 2.5-hour train journey from Interlaken. You can take a train directly from the airport to Interlaken, with several trains departing every hour.
- By train: Interlaken has excellent rail connections, with regular trains departing from major Swiss cities such as Zurich, Geneva, and Bern. The train journey from Zurich to Interlaken takes approximately 2 hours, and there are several trains departing every hour.
- By car: If you’re driving to Interlaken, you can take the a8 motorway from Bern or the a6 motorway from Thun. The journey time from Bern to Interlaken is approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
- By bus: There are also bus services that connect Interlaken with other Swiss cities, although these services are less frequent than train services.
Once you arrive in Interlaken, the town is easily accessible on foot, and there are also local buses and taxis available. Many of the main attractions, such as the Jungfraujoch railway and the Lake Brienz and Lake Thun boat trips, can also be reached by public transport.
Where to stay in Interlaken
There are several great places to stay in Interlaken, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Here are some options to consider:
- Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof: This is a popular hostel located in the heart of Interlaken, just a few minutes’ walk from the train station. It offers clean and comfortable rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a range of social activities.
- Hotel Interlaken : This is a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of Interlaken, offering a mix of traditional and modern decor. It features a restaurant serving Swiss cuisine, a bar, and a garden terrace.
- Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage: This is a luxurious hotel located in the town of Interlaken, offering stunning views of the Swiss Alps. It features a spa, a gourmet restaurant, and a bar with a terrace.
- Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa: This is another luxury hotel located in the town of Interlaken, offering a range of amenities such as an indoor pool, a spa, and several restaurants and bars.
Here are some suggestions for where to stay in the Interlaken area:
Grindelwald: Another popular destination near Interlaken, Grindelwald is a charming mountain village that offers access to some of the best hiking and skiing in the region. There are several hotels and guesthouses in Grindelwald, as well as a range of holiday apartments and chalets.
Wilderswil: Located just a few kilometers south of Interlaken, Wilderswil is a peaceful village that offers easy access to the town as well as the surrounding mountains and lakes. There are several hotels and guesthouses in Wilderswil, as well as holiday apartments and campsites.
The cost of living in Interlaken and Switzerland
Switzerland, in general, is considered to be a relatively expensive country, and Interlaken is no exception. The cost of living in Interlaken is higher than in many other European destinations, especially when it comes to accommodation and food.
The cost of accommodation in Interlaken can vary widely depending on the type of accommodation and the time of year. A mid-range hotel room typically costs between 120-200 Swiss francs per night, while a luxury hotel can cost upwards of 400 Swiss francs per night.
USD Swiss francs rate (1 Swiss Franc equals 1.00 Euro)
Eating out in Interlaken can also be expensive, with a typical meal at a mid-range restaurant costing around 30-40 Swiss francs per person. A beer or glass of wine can cost around 6-8 Swiss francs, while a coffee or soft drink can cost 4-5 Swiss francs.
Public transportation in Interlaken is relatively affordable, with a single bus or train journey costing around 3-4 Swiss francs. Taxis are more expensive, with a typical journey within the town center costing around 15-20 Swiss francs.
The cost of activities in Interlaken can vary widely, depending on the activity and the provider. For example, a trip on the Jungfraujoch railway can cost upwards of 200 Swiss francs, while a guided hiking tour can cost around 50-100 Swiss francs.
Overall, it’s worth keeping in mind that Switzerland is an expensive destination, and costs in Interlaken can add up quickly, especially if you’re planning to stay for an extended period. However, there are ways to save money, such as cooking your meals instead of eating out and choosing budget-friendly activities.