The closest airport to Interlaken is Bern Airport, 45 minutes
away by road and about an hour and a half by train. You can also take a flight
to the Zurich Airport and then a train from the airport to Interlaken. Zurich
is connected to all international flights and is a little over two hours away
from Interlaken by train and there are several trains daily. The route is
picturesque with beautiful azure blue waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz,
hills and valleys.
Note: Although the town has two different railway stations, Interlaken East and Interlaken West, West is more convenient to the city`s center.
Interlaken has two stations - Train arrivals are at either Interlaken OST (East) or Interlaken West. The West station is closer to town. If you have luggage we suggest you grab a taxi from the station (taxis are available at both stations). However, after you get to your local hotel (nearly all of which are in the city center), you`ll rarely need a taxi, the town is compact and best explored on foot. Buses are convenient for connections to the satellite towns and villages or heading to the outskirts. The bus station is at Areckstrasse 6. There is no number to call for bus information.How do I get to Interlaken by bus?
There are direct private buses from Rome, Paris, Florence and Munich to Interlaken. Some bus services offer sightseeing around Interlaken as well.How do I get around Interlaken using Public Transportation? Is the public transportation system safe?
Navigating the city of Interlaken
is easy, and due to it being small, it is best explored on foot. There are
local buses available and hotel guests generally get a visitors` travel card
which allows free rides on buses and trains within Interlaken. Buses are
convenient for connections to the satellite towns and villages or heading to
the outskirts. The bus station is at Areckstrass 6.
Interlaken is built up around the main street, Hoheweg, which has a train station at each end. All the main cafes and bars line Hoheweg meaning that everywhere is accessible on foot. To get to the resorts where all the sporting activities take place you can take the Jungfrau Railway. This is the highest railway in Europe and one of the most interesting and terrifying of all mountain lines. For this, and all other branch lines into the mountains board at Interlaken Ost.
Another popular way to see and get around the town is by horse carriage. There are many companies catering to this popular means of transportation.
Interlaken is a perfect city to get around on foot and it`s the best way to enjoy the sites of the town.If I have a car in Interlaken, where can I park?
Driving is not recommended; parking is difficult and the many one-way
streets or pedestrian only make navigation complicated. However, should you
wish to rent a car and tour outside of the city or the mountainous countryside,
getting a car is a better option.
If you do have a car, and if your hotel doesn`t offer parking facilities and valet parking, there are a few parking bays on the street. Parking is also available at Interlaken Ost station which costs around 5CHF per day.
As a destination
Interlaken offers you an excellent choice of ideal cycling routes, whether it`s
mountain biking, cycling or scooter-biking.
From pleasant cycling trips along the lakes or challenging mountain-bike tours in the mountains, the holiday destination of Interlaken offers attractive routes for cycling enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.
We highly recommend an e-bike ride up the mountain to Beatenberg from Interlaken, across to Sigriswil, and along the lake back to Interlaken. It`s a nice workout and will take you through stunning towns and beautiful scenery on an interestingly narrow, winding road.
Taxis are available from both train stations and most hotels. Tipping is expected in all taxis.Is Interlaken a dangerous city? Are there certain areas I should avoid?
Interlaken has a low crime rate and is considered a safe destination. However, it is a touristy destination, and where there are tourists there are pickpockets and other sorts of scams. Like any place else, make sure to keep your wits about you and use precautions against pickpockets. Always be extra cautious of your surroundings in deserted areas and after dark.What is the currency in Interlaken? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?
currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc, usually indicated as CHF or SFr.
While Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to
convert to the Euro, many prices are nonetheless indicated in euros so that
visitors may compare prices. Most of the restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs
accept euro, but expect to pay a premium rate.
The Swiss Franc (CHF or SFr) is divided into 100 centimes (known as Rappen in German speaking Switzerland). Bills come in 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 10000SFr and coins are divided into 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes and 1, 2 and 5SFr.
US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for Swiss Francs upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many bank locations throughout the city. ATMs are also widespread throughout the city accepting bank cards and credit cards.
Interlaken, is, as one would hope, a cold
place. A winter tourist resort town in the Alps for centuries, the
region`s snowfalls and low temperatures make for ideal winter sport conditions.
Temperatures average 30°F and
under from around December 1 through mid-March. Summer weather is mild,
rarely reaching the eighties.
The summer also offers many adventurous athletic activities, from canyoning to kayaking to white-water rafting. And every July the Jungfrau Music Festival adds sounds to the scenery through the performance of multiple gala concerts and orchestral competitions. The International Brass Band Competition takes place in the middle of the month as orchestras from around the globe battle for expert jury and appreciative audience approval.
In the fall, the Jungfrau Marathon is off and running with thousands of marathoners gathering from dozens of different countries to take on the high-altitude run.
Aside from the music fests and competitions, let your sport of choice dictate the planning of your itinerary.
Interlaken is situated
in the German speaking part of Switzerland. In addition to German, however, many
locals also speak English and French.
You will probably have trouble communicating with a commoner on the street but most of the younger population, as well as employees working for hotels, restaurants, and shops that are aimed at tourists can speak the English language at a competent level. We suggest you get a good English-German guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.
You`ll find that there are plenty of restaurants in Interlaken to enjoy all types of cuisine, from Chinese and Thai to Italian and more. However, we highly recommend you trying the local specialties. Bernese Rosti, skilleted hash brown potatoes flavored with bacon or cheese, is extremely popular as is Valaisian Raclette. This is prepared by melting cheese over a fire, scraping it onto a baked potato and garnishing it with meat and vegetables of your choice. And no trip to Switzerland is complete without trying a `fondue`. This is a communal dish served in a pot over a small burner. There are different types of fondue, the most popular being cheese. Those eating the fondue dip different things (on most occasions bread) into the pot. Simple!What is the nightlife like in Interlaken?
Interlaken offers one of the highest per-capita rates of nightclubs of any town its size in Switzerland. Nightlife between the lakes is brimming over with bars, dining and music. The town`s business is so transient (composed mostly of short-term visitors on their way to somewhere else) the clientele of any particular bar or club is likely to change virtually every week. For those who want to try their luck in some gambling, there is the casino Kurasaal Interlaken, this is also a major nighttime venue for all types of entertainment with on-site restaurans and dancing. Admission to the casino is around 5CHF.What are the best areas for shopping?
Shopping Interlaken is heavy in souvenirs and sports
equipment. Whether looking for wood-carved decorative items or
electronics, skis, or ceramics, Interlaken stores have most anything the
tourist could want or expect.
You`ll find all the handicrafts and art objects you could possibly need beside the resort`s main street, Höheweg, and around the Interlaken West railway station. One of the best shops, which has been a fixture for tourists since the turn of the 20th century, is Heimatwerk Interlaken, Höheweg 115 (tel. 033-822-16-53). It stocks only goods manufactured in Switzerland, including a comprehensive roster of wood-carved children`s toys, tablecloths and linens, cutting boards and cheese boards, ceramics, and glass.
There are also abundant banks, hairdressers, dry cleaning services, and grocery stores so the visitor can easily satisfy practical and typical trip demands and desires.
Note: Value-added tax (VAT) rate is 7.7% in Switzerland which applies to supplies of goods or services registered in Switzerland.
Police Emergency Number -
Ambulance / Medical Emergency - 144
Fire Department - 118