Top areas in Interlaken
Interlaken has been involved in the business of package tourism since the 1800s. It’s ideally located in the Bernese Oberland region, with cog railways connecting to popular ski resorts in the near countryside. The fact that most of the highlands region is easily reached from hotels in Interlaken make this an especially convenient place for tourists to be based.
When tourists first started coming to Interlaken, they did so only during the summer. Winters are just as popular these days, and skiers head to the nearby heights of Jungfrau, one of the highest peaks in the Bernese Alps. Summertime activities closer to Interlaken city center include golf, tennis and horseback riding.
Central Interlaken is compact enough to see on foot, and visitors enjoy panoramic views of the countryside wherever they venture. Ancient sites in the area include the 12th-century Augustinian Monastery, the beautiful Alpine Garden and the Tourist Museum, housed in a 17th-century home. A short distance out of town is Mystery Park, a park where reconstructed Mayan and Egyptian ruins are intermixed with otherworldly intrigue.
For most tourists, the experience is less about theme parks and more about the city's old-world charms. Accommodation near Interlaken is atmospheric, and visitors find everything from thrifty hostels to grand, five-star lodges. Thanks to the city's long involvement with the tourism industry there are more bars and restaurants per capita here than most any city in Switzerland. Likewise, shops abound along the city's central avenue, where tourists pick up handicrafts and memorabilia.
Most visitors arrive by train from Berne, Geneva or Zurich, but it's also possible to get here by plane. The nearest major airport is about 50 kilometers to the northwest in Bern, which is close enough to reach by train, bus or tourist shuttle.