5 reasons to stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland

stay in Interlaken


5 reasons to stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland

Whenever I talk to fellow travelers, it seems that Switzerland is a bit of a mystery to them, kind of like a unicorn – everyone’s talking about it, you’ve heard some incredible stories surrounding it (yes, it’s true, all we eat is melted cheese and chocolate!) and you’re just a tiny bit doubtful whether it actually exists or not.

But fear no longer! This Swiss Miss is here to tell you everything you need to know to have a marvelous time in the fairy tale land that is Switzerland.

 

First up: 5 reasons why you should stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland

Once Interlaken made the Victorians swoon with mountain vistas from the chandelier-lit confines of grand hotels; today it makes daredevils scream with adrenalin-loaded adventures. Straddling the glittering Lakes Thun and Brienz and dazzled by the pearly whites of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, the scenery here is mind-blowing. Particularly, some say, if you’re abseiling waterfalls, thrashing white water or gliding soundlessly above 4000m peaks.

1. It’s (almost) smack in the middle of Switzerland

Location, location location – one of the main reason why you should stay in Interlaken during your Switzerland adventure.

Unlike many other countries, Switzerland isn’t famous for having stunning cathedrals and a plethora of historical sites, all crammed into one bustling megacity. Don’t get me wrong, our cities are fun (if you call a place with less than 400 000 citizens a city), there are architectural masterpieces to be discovered and our history is worth to be told (William Tell anyone?).

But the one thing that puts Switzerland on every travelers bucket list is its breathtaking scenery with deep-blue lakes, snow-capped mountains and mystical valleys. Seeing everything Switzerland has to offer involves quite a bit of traveling, though. That’s why staying in Interlaken, basically the heart of Switzerland, will enable you to see more (amazing places) for less (money and time).

5 reasons to stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland
Photo by Tschubby / CC BY-SA 3.0

The following list illustrates the travel times to the top attractions in Switzerland (by train):

  • Zermatt (home of the famous Matterhorn): 2 hours
  • Lucerne (stunning lake, gorgeous mountains and a beautiful town): less than 2 hours
  • Geneva (cosmopolitan city with a record-breaking fountain): less than 3 hours
  • Montreux (beautiful town on the Swiss Riviera): 2.5 hours or 3 hours if you take the famous Goldenpass Panoramic train
  • Bern (Switzerland’s charming capital): less than an hour
  • Zurich (Switzerland’s biggest city): 2 hours
  • Ticino (Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region): less than 4 hours

 

2. It’s absolutely breath-taking

While a great location is very important, traveling is all about seeing those unforgettable places. So what if you could have the practicality of staying at a very central location, while starting every day with some of the best views in Switzerland?

That’s Interlaken for you right there!

5 reasons to stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland

Snuggly squeezed in between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz (ergo the name: ‘inter’ = between, ‘laken’ = lakes) and with three of the highest mountains of the Swiss Alps in the background (Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau), every view serves as a postcard moment.

 

3. Interlaken is backpacker friendly

Switzerland is expensive. There’s no denying it. That’s why many backpackers shy away from traveling to Switzerland.

And I don’t blame them! Hostels in Switzerland are few and far between – even in Switzerland’s biggest cities Zurich, Basel and Geneva. And when a bunk bed in an 18-bed dorm for more than 30 EUR is considered a BUDGET option, you know it’s gonna be tough on your wallet.

Cue Interlaken! If you stay in Interlaken you’ll be spoilt for choice and, believe it or not, you might even find the cheapest bed in all of Europe (who’d have thought, right?)! Fancy sleeping in a hammock for 5 Euros a night? Or how about a comfortable bed in a sturdy tent for about 15 Euros?

Interlaken makes the impossible possible and lets you visit one of the most expensive countries without emptying your bank account.

 

4. Interlaken is Switzerland’s adventure capital

Can’t you get enough of speed, danger and that tingling feeling of being alive? Then you should definitely stay in Interlaken.

5 reasons to stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland

Interlaken offers everything your adrenaline-craving heart could desirecanyoning, river rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, jetboating, canyon swinging. There’s nothing you can’t do! And experts agree that Interlaken is one of the best, if not THE best place, to go sky diving.

 

5. When you stay in Interlaken you’ll never have to worry about the weather

Rain can put a real damper on your travel plans. Especially if your travel plans include a lot of outdoor activities. Hiking can be extremely dangerous when it’s rainy or foggy and should be postponed to a clear day.

So what can you do, when it’s raining cats and dogs? Staying in, watch a movie and relax for once can be nice, especially if you’re a longterm traveler. But it’s not really what you had in mind, is it?

Well, Interlaken has you covered for that as well. Many of the adventure activities mentioned above don’t rely on sunny weather and blue skies. I mean, you’ll get wet while river rafting anyways, a couple of drops more or less really won’t make a difference.

Check out this activity planner for a detailed list of all the possible activities, when they’re possible and when they have to be cancelled. To be on the safe side, simply give the organizers a call.

5 reasons to stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland

If you’d prefer something a bit calmer, a rainy day is ideal for a little trip to the Lauterbrunnen valley. This valley is only a short train ride from Interlaken (just 20 minutes!) and, while glorious on a sunny day, offers an even more spectacular experience on a rainy day. The so-called Valley of the 72 Cascades lets you discover the mystic side of Switzerland.

While you’re there, make sure you stop at the Trümmelbach Falls, a UNESCO world heritage site. The Trümmelbachfalls are a unique set of ten glacier-waterfalls inside a mountain. There is nothing comparable in all of Europe and one of the most impressive spectacles of nature you’ll ever witness. Obviously they grow in magnitude the more water comes down from the mountain, so rainy days are actually preferable! (Best time to visit is from April to October when the snow and the glaciers are melting!)


5 reasons to stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland

              Still need a hotel for your trip to Switzerland?              

              Go to booking.com for some great offers    

              or see which hotel is right for you on TripAdvisor!              

 

With all that in mind,

wouldn’t you like to stay in Interlaken?

 

5 reasons to stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland

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24 Comment

  1. lisa440440 says: Reply

    Hi Chantal…Nice post! Switzerland is definitely at the top of my bucket list. Looks like a beautiful area great place to hike and enjoy the outdoors.

    1. translatingtraveler says: Reply

      Thanks! I’m glad you like it. Switzerland has so many beautiful places but, for me, Interlaken sticks out, because it’s got something for everyone whether you like hiking, adventure or simply want to relax.

  2. Love the post and I need to make sure I visit on my next visit to Switzerland! The adventure stuff sounds amazing and I just love those mountains!

    1. translatingtraveler says: Reply

      Thanks for the kind words! Interlaken is a super fun place to be and absolutely worth a visit 🙂

  3. Garth says: Reply

    This is great, I would love to visit Switzerland one day, I know nothing about the country, apart from pictures I’ve seen, and would love to explore. Interlaken looks great, have bookmarked your post 🙂

    1. translatingtraveler says: Reply

      I’m glad you found it helpful! Switzerland is such a beautiful country, but I think many people have no idea what there is to do and see. That’s why I decided to write more about it and maybe encourage people to come and visit. And if you have any questions or need some advice, let me know. Always happy to help! 🙂

  4. Looks like a beautiful place to stay with plenty to see and do! Pinned this for later 🙂

  5. Cat says: Reply

    Beautiful photos! Breathtaking scenery + whitewater rafting? You’ve convinved me to stay in interlaken!

  6. eulandas says: Reply

    I’ve had several friends mention Interlaken as a must visit place, but reading your post definitely introduces a bit of wanderlust! Great tips on things to do!

  7. Switzerland has never been on my radar but based on your pictures it looks like a must-visit place! This is a very useful guide, thank you!

  8. Sarah says: Reply

    I went to Interlaken on a family trip when I was younger and loved it! I remember it being absolutely gorgeous. A highlight was definitely paragliding! I mean….those views! Now that I’m older, I think I need to return!

    Best,
    Sarah

    1. translatingtraveler says: Reply

      I’m glad you have such good memories of Interlaken. It is an incredibly beautiful and fun place!
      If I ever manage to calm my fear of heights long enough, I’d love to give paragliding a go! It must be such a liberating experience…

  9. Shawna says: Reply

    We were just in Switzerland earlier this month. We camped in Lauterbrunnen and absolutely loved it! Beautiful country. We are already planning to go back next year.

  10. Arnie says: Reply

    Can you believe it? We have yet to make it to Switzerland! We are definitely going to use your recommendations.

    1. translatingtraveler says: Reply

      I’ll be posting a couple more useful posts about Switzerland in the next weeks (in case you need some more recommendations ;-))! I hope you’ll love Switzerland as much as I do 🙂

  11. Loved visiting Interlaken but it was frosty fun in March. Still so much to see and do!

    1. translatingtraveler says: Reply

      That’s true. The best time to visit would probably be more towards summer. Unless you also want to go skiing, then it would be the frostier the better 😉

  12. Ruth says: Reply

    I think Switzerland is kind of a mystery since people skip it because of the high prices. I have been to Lucerne and have to say the city, the lake and Mt. Pilatus are incredibly beautiful. I now the country is full of way more breathtaking places (like Interlaken). I will love to go again. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  13. galanda23 says: Reply

    I loved Interlaken! We’ve only spent a couple of days there, but would love to go back for more.

    1. translatingtraveler says: Reply

      There is so much to do, it’s almost impossible to do it all in one visit!

  14. I once visited Interlaken when I was 14 and sadly I don’t remember much! I’ve been dying to go back for such a long time! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. translatingtraveler says: Reply

      Hopefully, you’ll be able to go back soon. It’s such an awesome place to visit!

  15. Vlad says: Reply

    Gorgeous photos! I’ve always wanted to visit Switzerland, guess I now know where I have to stay when I visit 😉 #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. translatingtraveler says: Reply

      Haha, glad I could help 🙂

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