Interlaken Travel Guide: Interlaken, Switzerland is a lovely place set in the Swiss Alps. Known for its stunning mountain scenery, crystal-clear lakes, and charming town center, Interlaken is a must-visit for any traveler to Switzerland. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you plan your Interlaken trip.
What are the best months to visit Interlaken?
The best months to visit Interlaken are determined by your choices and the activities you wish to participate in.
- Summer (June to August) The town of Interlaken is buzzing with activities and events throughout the high tourist season. The weather during this time is generally warm and sunny, and you can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, paragliding, and river rafting.
- Fall (September to November) is a great time to visit Interlaken if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the stunning autumn foliage. The weather during this time can be variable, but it is generally mild and pleasant.
- Winter (December to February) If you enjoy winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating, this is the greatest season to visit Interlaken. The town is transformed into a winter wonderland, and you can enjoy activities like sledding and snowshoeing.
- Spring (March to May) is a great time to visit Interlaken if you want to enjoy the scenery and outdoor activities without the crowds. The weather during this time can be unpredictable, but you can still enjoy activities like hiking and mountain biking.
Overall, Interlaken is a lovely destination that can be enjoyed all year, with the optimum time to come depending on your preferences and activities.
Interlaken is easily accessible by train from major Swiss cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Bern. Zurich and Geneva are the closest international airports if travelling into Switzerland. From the airport, you can take a train directly to Interlaken. The journey from Zurich takes about two hours, while the journey from Geneva takes about three hours.
Interlaken has a wide range of hotel alternatives to suit all budgets. You can choose from hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, and even camping grounds. Some of the top hotels in Interlaken for a luxurious stay are Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage, and Hotel Bellevue Palace. For budget-friendly options, there are several hostels and guesthouses in the area, such as Balmer’s Hostel and Balmers Tent Village.
Things To Do in Interlaken:
Interlaken is a beautiful town located in the heart of Switzerland, surrounded by stunning mountain ranges and crystal clear lakes. The following are some of the best things to do in Interlaken:
1. Take the train to Jungfraujoch:
This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Switzerland. It is a railway that brings you to Europe’s highest railway station, which is located at an elevation of 3,454 metres. The views from the top are spectacular.
2. Go paragliding:
Interlaken is one of the best places in the world to go paragliding. You can fly over the stunning landscape and get a bird’s eye view of the town.
3. Visit Lake Brienz:
This is a beautiful lake located just outside of Interlaken. You can take a boat ride on the lake, go swimming, or just relax on the shore and take in the scenery.
4. Go hiking:
Interlaken is surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, and there are plenty of hiking trails for all levels of hikers. You can take a leisurely walk or go on a challenging hike up one of the peaks.
5. Visit the St. Beatus Caves:
These caves are located just outside of Interlaken and are said to be some of the most impressive in Switzerland. You can take a guided tour of the caves and learn about their history.
6. Take a scenic train ride:
There are several scenic train rides you can take from Interlaken, including the GoldenPass Line and the Bernina Express.
7. Visit the Interlaken Castle:
This castle was built in the 14th century and is now a museum. You can take a guided tour of the castle and learn about its history.
8. Go skiing:
Interlaken is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding. There are several ski resorts in the area, including Grindelwald and Wengen.
9. Take a hot air balloon ride:
You can take a hot air balloon ride over the stunning landscape of Interlaken and get a unique perspective of the town.
10. Visit the Interlaken Monastery:
This monastery was founded in the 12th century and is now a museum. You can learn about its history and see some of the artifacts that have been preserved.
Exploring the Town:
Once you have settled into your accommodation, it’s time to explore the town. Interlaken is a charming town with a pedestrian-friendly center. The main street, Höheweg, is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Take a stroll along this street to get a feel for the town and its vibe.
Eating and Drinking:
Interlaken has a range of dining options, from traditional Swiss cuisine to international fare. You can try Swiss specialties like fondue, raclette, and rösti, or go for international cuisine like pizza and sushi. There are also several bars and pubs in the town where you can enjoy a drink or two.
Interlaken has a range of shops where you can buy souvenirs, gifts, and local products. Swiss chocolate is a popular souvenir, and you can find it in most shops in the town. You can also buy Swiss watches, knives, and other local products.
Day Trips from Interlaken:
Interlaken is a great base for exploring other parts of Switzerland. Here are some suggestions for day trips you can take while visiting Interlaken:
- Jungfraujoch: Take a trip to the top of Europe and enjoy stunning views of the Swiss Alps. Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe and is known for its panoramic views of the Bernese Alps.
- Schilthorn: Take a cable car ride up to the top of Schilthorn and enjoy breathtaking views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. This mountain is famous for its role in the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.
- Lake Thun: Take a boat ride on Lake Thun and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains. You can also visit the medieval castle of Thun, which dates back to the 12th century.
- Lake Brienz: Take a scenic train ride to the picturesque town of Brienz, located on the shores of Lake Brienz. Here, you can enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the lake or visit the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum, which showcases traditional Swiss architecture and culture.
- Grindelwald: Visit the charming town of Grindelwald, located at the base of the Eiger mountain. Here, you can take a cable car ride up to the First Mountain and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
- Lauterbrunnen Valley: Take a scenic train ride through the Lauterbrunnen Valley and enjoy the stunning views of the valley’s 72 waterfalls. You can also visit the Trummelbach Falls, which are located inside a mountain and are accessible by elevator.
- Harder Kulm: Take a funicular railway up to the top of Harder Kulm and enjoy panoramic views of Interlaken and the surrounding mountains. There is also a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy traditional Swiss cuisine.
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