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Excursions on the lakes. - (c) Interlaken Tourism

Interlaken Quick Facts
Resort: Interlaken
Altitude: 568m
Ski Area: Jungfrau Ski Region
Canton: Bern
Train Station: Yes
Main Language: German

Interlaken's ever thriving tourist scene is down to its fantastic location, which is basically an area of land splitting two lakes, Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, and surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery. Thanks to its proximity to the two main valleys that lead up into the Jungfrau region, Interlaken has become one of Switzerland's most popular tourist centres, and one of the main stops for visitors looking to explore one of Europe's most beautiful areas.

With a history dating right back to the 11th century, Interlaken has served as a base for a number of traditional Swiss industries, such as clock manufacturing, but has become best known as a tourist-hotspot and as a starting point for trips up into the surrounding range of mountains such as the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, Wtterhorn and Schilthorn. Whilst some people may turn their noses up at its strips of touristy shops, Interlaken does serve a purpose - providing a great range of accommodation and value for more people to visit one of the world's most stunning areas, including a good range of hostels for backpackers and those looking to do Switzerland on a tight budget.

Whilst not a ski resort in the real sense of the word, Interlaken is still worth considering as a cheap base if you're thinking of hopping between the slopes above Murren, Wengen and Grindelwald. In summer it's also become an important centre for activity-based holidays, with plenty of options for those looking to expend some adrenaline in the mountains - cycling, hang-gliding, paragliding, canyoning and even skydiving are all possible here.

One of Interlaken's other big advantages is its transport links. To get up into to the mighty mountains of the Jungfrau, everyone has to come through Interlaken, be it by the road network, the fantastic rail system (Interlaken has not one, but two train stations - Interlaken Ost and Interlaken West), by boats along Lakes Thun and Brienz, or even by air - there's an airport for those billionaires who might want to visit the area in their private planes ! All these have helped combine to make Interlaken such a big tourist destination and an almost essential stopover point for the companies bringing visitors into the area, or for independent travellers looking for a base from which to head into the mountains.

Interlaken Positives and Negatives

  • Well-located for those looking to ski all 3 Jungfrau areas.
  • Great connections via rail network - Bern (50 mins), Zurich (2 hours) Geneva (2:45 hours).
  • Wide array of summer activities.
  • Large number of hotels, guest-houses and apartments.
  • Many hotels lower their prices in the ski season.
  • Extremely busy in summer.
  • It isn't a ski resort - Grindelwald, Murren and Wengen are all between 30 and 50 mins away, although there is small ski area at nearby Beatenberg.

Interlaken The Resort Itself

Interlaken town centre is located between the 2 train stations - Interlaken Ost and Interlaken West. Primary train routes finish at Ost, even though it's actually further from the town centre than the Interlaken West station. Be aware that trains coming in from the Bern direction also call at West, and this is often more convenient for visitors as it's nearer to the town centre. If you want to get the local regional trains up into mountains then go to the Ost station as the majority start here. There are lots of trains and buses between West and Ost, and you'll be unlucky if you have to wait more than 10 minutes for one.

The two train stations are linked together by Hoheweg Street, the main road that cuts through the entire town, it's actually quite a walk between the two stations but gives you a good feel about what the town has on offer. The main part of the town centre is down towards the Interlaken West station, with a series of large hotels as you head out to Ost, including the giant Hotel Metropole, which looks like an alpine skyscraper and makes you wonder how on earth they got planning permission passed for it! The Hotel Metropole also has the tourist centre on its bottom floor, so is worth going into just for that.

Transport links to Interlaken

The table below shows train times from the main cities and transport hubs of Switzerland to Interlaken.

From Time Changes
Basel 1:57 0
Bern 0:53 0
Geneva 2:42 1
Geneva Airport 2:51 1
Lausanne 2:07 1
Luzern 2:00 0
Sion 1:32 2
Zurich 1:55 1
Zurich Airport 2:17 1

Interlaken Useful Links

A link to the tourist information site for Interlaken and any other useful links about the resort.


Interlaken Live Streams

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Interlaken Web Cameras

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Excursions close to Interlaken

Details of excursions and day-trips that are within travelling distance from Interlaken...

Annual Events close to Interlaken

Details of annual local events taking place in Interlaken or the surrounding resorts and areas...

Accommodation in Interlaken

Interlaken hotels, chalets and apartments...

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel

Part of the Swiss hotel chain of the same name, the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa is a five-star hotel located in the centre of Interlaken opposite the beautiful Hohematte Park. With stunning views of the Jungfrau landscape, a range of top-class suites and rooms, one of Switzerland's best spa's and a variety of restaurants and bars, it's no surprise to discover that the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World group of hotels.