Interlaken is the central town in the Bernese Oberland, and the gate to the famous Jungfrau region. It's an ideal base if you want to explore the entire Bernese Oberland.
WHAT TO DO
Find attractions around Interlaken. The famous Jungfraujoch, the Schilthorn, hiking trails and more.
These are the hotels we suggest for your stay.
Rent an apartment or holiday home in or around Interlaken.
Any questions left about Interlaken? Feel free to post to the forum!
It's easy to find your way in Interlaken
Although the town center of Interlaken feels like a busy city, it is actually quite small. Basically, the town center is situated around the Interlaken West station. If you leave the station and turn left into the Bahnhofstrasse, you will enter the main shopping street. Just keep on following that street, which is called Höheweg a bit further on, and you will reach the Interlaken Ost station in about 20 minutes on foot. This main street and few of its side streets are the town center of Interlaken.
Location and scenery
Interlaken is situated in the plains of the valley; not in the mountains. It is surrounded by the Bernese Alps though: the Jungfrau can easily be seen from the town center. The town is located on the edge of 3 regions: the Jungfrau region, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. 'Interlaken' in fact means 'in between the lakes'.
Pros and cons of Interlaken
Interlaken certainly isn't the prettiest town in the Bernese Oberland. It's a fine looking tourist center, without a lot of attractions of its own. The main advantage of Interlaken is its excellent location: with its two rail stations, it serves as a hub for a large region. All nearby attractions can easily be reached from here, and a day trip to quite some other parts of Switzerland is possible too. If you want to see and do a lot during your stay, you can save traveling time by basing yourself in Interlaken, rather than a more isolated village in the mountains.
Interlaken is a lively town with many shops and a wide selection of restaurants and hotels. If you are traveling with teenagers that seek some fun, you're probably better off in Interlaken than in a smaller mountain village with less facilities. The same holds true if you like to do some activities in the evenings.
The location in the plains of the valley and in between the lakes results in better chances of good weather. The sky often clears up well before it does so in the mountains.
What not to miss during your stay
We recommend to not spend too much time in town, but rather focus on the amazing region surrounding Interlaken. Visit some viewing points, do a few scenic trips, and don't forget to hike. If time is limited, try to include at least:
We have listed more attractions and hiking routes here.
Bad weather activities
You can still enjoy yourself when it's rainy. Here are some suggestions:
- Great for kids: Heimwehfluh in Interlaken;
- Great for kids: JungfrauPark Interlaken;
- Visit the national capital Bern;
- Visit the town of Thun;
- Visit the town of Lucerne;
- The Schuh Chocolate Show;
- The St. Beatus Caves;
- The Trümmelbach Falls near Lauterbrunnen (they're in caves).
Interlaken as a winter destination
Interlaken is at relatively low altitude. Snow in the village isn’t likely. But you can use Interlaken as a base to visit ski areas in the Jungfrau region. Examples are the areas near Mürren, Wengen and Grindelwald. The ski slopes of Meiringen-Hasliberg and Beatenberg are close by as well.
Mid-December to mid-March is the best season for snow activities in this area.
In November and December Interlaken can serve as a base town to visit Christmas markets and make beautiful train journeys. It’s low season: cable cars and mountain trains can be closed for maintenance.