Trains and roads go from Interlaken up into the mountains into the Bernese Oberland. So Interlaken is the starting point for most tourists in the area. Also many hotels, vacation apartments and restaurants for tourists are here. A large percentage of tourists to the Bernese Alps stay here overnight.
Interlaken actually has only about 5,000 inhabitants. However, there are several completely or almost assembled communities, the so-called Bödeli. These include Motten, Unterseen, Wilderswil and Bönigen with a total of about 20,000 inhabitants.
The tourist town of Interlaken at the foot of the high mountains is roughly comparable to Oberstdorf or Garmisch-Patenkirchen in the German Alps. A very touristic place in the valley as a starting point for roads and railroads to the high mountains. Winter tourism and summer tourism.
Interlaken has two major train stations, Interlaken East and Interlaken West. They are only about two kilometers apart. From both stations you can walk to the center of Interlaken in 15 minutes. Trains to the Bernese Alps leave from Interlaken Ost. Both stations are centrally located in the city. Many long-distance trains stop at both stations. Interlaken Ost station has slightly more connections. Both stations have set ticket counters during the day as well as ticket vending machines. Tickets for the rack railroads, cable cars and local transport are also sold here.
The two lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, are 2 kilometers apart. In between is Interlaken. The lakes are connected by the wide river Aare, which flows through Interlaken.
Tickets to the Jungfraujoch
Demand is high for the limited capacity on the train, etc., we recommend booking online in advance.
Only tickets for trains and cable car to Jungfraujoch and back are available on this link: More info and booking
There are complete tours from Interlaken with guide, which are hardly more expensive than the tickets with the trains: More info and booking
Cheap day trip for Zurich to Interlaken and Bernese Oberland
You can book a cheap excursion from Zurich to the Bernese Oberland on the Internet. Price under 100 francs: More info and booking
On the two lakes ferries run to other places around the lakes such as Thun and Brienz. Near the train station Interlaken West depart the passenger boats in Lake Thun. Near Interlaken Is the ferries on Lake Brienz. In addition, there are many opportunities for water sports. Popular among tourists is, for example, jet boating on Lake Brienz.
Other cities have a park or a large square in the center. In Interlaken it is a meadow of several hectares, the Höhematte. The city center is west of the Höhematte. The most important street is perhaps the Bahnhofsstrasse. Here you can find the tourist info “Interlaken Tourismus”, stores, a Mc Donalds, etc. Next to it is the small pedestrian zone of Interlaken, especially Jungfraustrasse. Besides stores you can also find restaurants, especially with Indian cuisine.
Some luxury hotels are around the Höhenwiese, especially north of the meadow. These include the Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage, the Hotel Royal St Georges and the Carlton. Many other hotels are scattered around the city. In addition, there are many hundreds of vacation apartments and some hostels (youth hostels).
Trip to the Harder Kulm
The Harder Kulm is the local mountain of Interlaken. Very many tourists go up with the funicular. From the top you have a magnificent view over the whole of Interlaken, the two large lakes and the Bernese Alps. The bottom station is in the middle of Interlaken. Tickets for the Harderbahn are available online: Buy tickets for the Harderbahn online: More info and booking
>>> Our info page about the Harderbahn