Travel Guide Europe Switzerland Interlaken



Interlaken 2

Interlaken 2

© ErinDriver

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.



Sights and Activities

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.

Aletsch Glacier - view from the Oberaletsch-Hütte SAC

Aletsch Glacier - view from the Oberaletsch-Hütte SAC

© Uozu

The watershed ridge separates northern and southern Europe with the Rhone flowing to the Mediterranean and the northern rivers finding their way - via the Aar - to the Rhine and the North Sea. The area was made a UNESCO site in 2001 and expanded in 2007.

Jungfrau Railway

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.




© skteddy






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.



Getting There

By Plane

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.

By Train

Direct trains are available to Interlaken from the neighbouring countries of Germany, Austria and France.

By Car

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.

By Bus

The Postbus has connections between Interlaken and many other Swiss destinations, including Lucerne, Bern, Zürich, Geneva and Basel.



Getting Around

Interlaken is small enough to get around on foot or bike. Taxis are available from either train station and most hotels. With the guest card from your hotel, you can travel around Interlaken for free (it also gives discounts to local tourist attractions). Buses around town and to Thun are available.




  • Bebbis Restaurant, Bahnhofstrasse. A popular but touristy place for traditional Swiss dishes including fondue and raclette. It´s right next to Interlaken West train station.
  • If you're into Korean food there is an excellent, cheap and easy-going restaurant in a hot basement opposite Interlaken West train station. Star serves simple and good Korean food like hot pots and sweet dumplings. Prices are below average for Interlaken.
  • Kang Chon Central, Centralstrasse 13 (near Interlaken West station). Kang Chon Central also serves a range of delicious Korean dishes at reasonable prices, including a range of traditional Korean accompaniments with your meal. The staff are friendly and helpful, explaining any menu items that you may not be familiar with, and the ambience of the restaurant is very pleasant, especially on summer evenings.
  • My Little Thai, Hauptstrasse, Matten (located next to Balmer's). Interlaken's best kept secret. Fantastic Thai food at very good prices keeps this little gem packed all day and night. Reservations are highly recommended for evening eating and take away is available.
  • El Azteca. 17.30 - 23.30. An authentic Mexican food restaurant owned and operated by a gentleman who migrated from Mexico around 1984. Located on the street level of Hotel Blume in a street mall on the west side of town (Jungfraustr.), it is small, and very friendly. The staff will go above and beyond to help you celebrate birthdays and other events. Groups up to 25, and a bar that can seat about 10 more. Prices are quite high if you're used to paying for Mexican food in the USA, but considering everything is imported, it is understandable. All the best Mexican beers, and top notch Mexican cuisine.
  • Coop Supermarket. If you want to save some money on any meals, you can buy the ingredients for making, for example, sandwiches at Coop or Migros (Coop opposite Interlaken Ost station, or both Coop and Migros near Interlaken West). For example, buying material for four sandwiches costs about Fr. 25, whereas an average entree at a restaurant in the area costs Fr. 20-25.




  • Rugenbrau 'lager hell': the local beer and one of the best you'll ever taste as the water in the area is the cleanest in Europe.
  • For a small Swiss town, Interlaken has quite a lot of nightlife options, including one of Switzerland's three Hooters Bar & Restaurant. Most of these bars serve the seasonal tide of tourists, but off the main road, many more mellow local venues can be found. Try the Brasserie 17 (Rosenstr. 17) which has a nice summer terrace, good beer and snacks and sometimes live music.
  • The two best nightlife spots in town are Balmer's hostel and the Funny Farm, which are located fairly close to each other (both at Hauptstrasse, Matten). Balmers has a decent underground bar and dance club and the Funny Farm has great outdoor chill out areas, including a bonfire. Both hostels have good happy hour specials, and you can kind of bounce back and forth between the two to get your drink for the best price.




Reservations are a must during the busy summer season. Note that not all hotels are open all year round.


You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)



Keep Connected


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.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 46.6854831
  • Longitude: 7.8559015

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