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The Swiss city of Interlaken is a Mecca for all extreme-sports junkies, has about 5,500 inhabitants and is located in the Bernese Oberland. Fancy sky-diving over the Alps? Or perhaps canyoning (jumping off cliffs into ice pools and sliding down natural waterslides in the mountains) is what you crave? Maybe skiing is more your style, followed by a fondue dinner. You can do all this and more in Interlaken and its surrounding areas. It is the gateway into the beautiful Jungfrau region with the famous Jungfrau Railway.
Interlaken as a town itself doesn't have many sights, but the surroundings Alps make up for this. Interlaken is really an excellent base to visit the Jungfrau region, and to do some adventure sports. Interlaken is really about the activities.
The longest glacier in the Alps, the Aletsch Glacier lies in Switzerland not far from Brig. The glacier is 25 kilometres long. The Jungfrau Aletsch Bietschhorn Unesco World Heritage Site comprises over 80,000 hectares of the Bernese Oberland area of the Swiss Alps between the Rhone Valley to the south and Interlaken to the north.
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The Jungfrau Railway or Jungfraubahn (JB) is perhaps as famous for its prices as for the spectacular views, but in this case you get what you pay for! The line climbs from Interlaken at a height of 500 metres to the Jungfraujoch Station which at 3,454 metres (11,332 feet) is the highest railway station in Europe.
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Interlaken enjoys relatively warm summers and cold winters. Average highs from June to early September are in the 20-25 °C range while in winter (December-February) temperatures during the day are just above zero. Nights average just above 10 °C in summer and around -3 °C to -4 °C in winter. Temperatures in summer can hit over 30 °C and winter nights can be bitterly cold. The average annual precipitation is around 1,200 mm with generally 50% higher average in summer months. Winters see regular snow.
The airports nearest to Interlaken catering to large number of international destinations are Zürich Airport (ZRH) and Geneva Cointrin International Airport (GVA). Interlaken can be reached from these airports by a train travel of 2hours 30 minutes and 3 hours respectively. European airlines fly into EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (BSL), while most of the Swiss regional airlines fly into Bern.
A well maintained highway and "Autobahn" route links Interlaken with other cities of Switzerland and Europe. Autobahns require a toll sticker which can be obtained at the border or gas stations or post offices within Switzerland.
|AAE Heidi Hostel||Bernastrasse 37||Hostel||-|
|AlpLodge / BackPackers Interlaken||Marktgasse 59||Hostel||87|
|Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof||Alpenstrasse 16 Interlaken||Hostel||92|
|Balmers Herberge||Hauptstrasse 23-25 3800 Interlaken||Hostel||85|
|Funny-Farm||CH 3800 Interlaken||Hostel||80|
|Gasthof Schönegg||Brienzstrasse 3805 Goldswil||Hotel||77|
|Happy Inn Lodge||Rosenstrasse 17||Hostel||85|
|Hotel Bellevue||Marktgasse 59||Hotel||83|
|Hotel Blume||Jungfraustrasse 30||Hotel||88|
|Hotel Derby||Jungfraustrasse 70||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Lötschberg||General Guisanstr. 31q||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Rössli Interlaken||Hauptstrasse 10 P.O. Box 262||Hotel||84|
|Hua Villa||Hua Villa Waldeggstrasse 41||Hostel||-|
|Jani's Apartment||Klostergaessli 29||Apartment||86|
|Lake Lodge Iseltwald||Im Feld||Hostel||88|
|Mystery Apartment No. 1||Zehntstadel Markrtgasse 45||Apartment||-|
|River Lodge||Brienzstrasse 24||Hostel||89|
|Rugenpark B&B||Rugenparkstrasse 19 CH-3800||Guesthouse||-|
|Susi's B & B||Suleggstr. 2b c/o General Guisanstr. 31||Guesthouse||-|
|The Lazy Falken Backpacker||Spielmatte 8||Hostel||76|
|Walters B&B||Oelestrasse 35||Guesthouse||88|
|Katys Lodge B&B||Bernastrasse 7||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Funny - Farm Backpackers||Hauptstrasse 36||Hostel||-|
|Adventure Apartments Nr.1||Marktgasse 45 A. CH 3853 Niederried + B CH 3852 Ringgenberg||Apartment||-|
|Seeburg Hotel||Kirchgasse 55||Hotel||-|
|Susi's B&B Apartments||Suleggstrasse 2b Behind Hotel Lötschberg||Apartment||-|
|Hotel Carlton Europe||Höhenweg 94||Hotel||-|
|Star B&B||Hauptstrasse 1 Matten bei Interlaken||HOTEL||-|
|Berghaus Niederhorn||Niederhorn Beatenberg||Hostel||-|
|Youthhostel Interlaken||Bahnhof Ost||HOSTEL||89|
|The Tent Village||Gsteigstrasse 80 Matten bei Interlaken||Hostel||86|
|Sunny Days B&B||Helvetiastrasse 29||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel De la Paix||Bernastrasse 24||GUESTHOUSE||89|
|Hotel Kreuz||Lehngasse 6 Wilderswil||HOTEL||-|
|B3 Boutique-Bed&Breakfast||Lindi 93814 Gsteigwiler bei Interlaken||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Luna Motel||Obereigasse 29 Wilderswil||HOTEL||-|
|Basicrooms Hotel||Hauptstrasse 44||HOTEL||-|
|India Village||Brienzstrasse 38||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Holiday Restaurant Lehmatta (half pension)||Lehmatta 70 Luetschental||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|5th Floor @ Hotel Interlaken||Höheweg 74||HOTEL||88|
Switzerland has a high rate of people with their own internet connection and computers, so internet cafes are not as common compared to other countries and compared to the past. But still you will be able to find a computer in the main cities and tourist areas, also at libraries, video rental shops, train stations or tourist information places. Wifi is widely available, though sometimes at a cost. A growing number of hotels, restaurants, coffee bars and fastfood joints now offer free wifi.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Switzerland's country code is 41 and the emergency phone numbers are 117 (police), 118 (fire department) and 144 (emergency rescue service/ambulance). Swiss phone numbers consist of the area code and a local phone number. The area code has three digits and starts with a zero, such as 022 for Geneva. The local phone number has usually 7 digits, but there are numbers with only 5 or 6 digits.
If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands - they usually cost around 10-40 CHF and are obtainable in the shops of the mobile service providers Swisscom, Orange or Sunrise in most cities. Mobile network coverage is close to 100% by area, even in the mountainous, non-populated areas. There are also a lot of cheap prepaid cards for local calls from other providers. The prepaid cards of the big supermarket chains Migros and Coop for example cost around 20 CHF and include already 15 CHF airtime. The cheapest prepaid card for calls within Switzerland is Aldi Mobile. The cheapest prepaid card for international communication is Yallo. The prepaid cards can be bought online (30 CHF with 30 CHF airtime inclusive), in most post offices (29 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive) or Sunrise shops (20 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive).
Swiss Post is the national postal service of Switzerland and has fast and reliable services. For more information about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally, they have a very useful Price Calculator. Domestically, there is priority mail (arriving the following day) and economy mail which takes 2-3 days to be send within Switzerland. Stamps can be bought at the post offices or from shops and kiosks that also sell postcards. In general, post offices are open from 8:00am to noon and 2:00pm to 5:00 or 6:00pm, with a lunchbreak in between. Opening times on Saturdays are usually only during mornings. Larger cities and central post offices might keep longer hours and skp the lunchbreak. If you want to send packages internationally, you might also consider international courier companies like TNT, DHL or UPS.
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