Interlaken Tourism

The heart of Switzerland, Interlaken, is one of the oldest and most popular holiday destinations in Europe. It is overlooked by 3 magnificent mountains: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. With over 45 cable cars, ski lifts, chair lifts and fountain railways, Interlaken is the hub of sightseeing around central Switzerland. Flanked on either side by Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, this holiday destination has over 200 km of pistes (a ski slope made out of compacted snow) and an intricate network of hiking trails.

The lakes even have cruise excursions and paddleboat steamers for serene explorations. Due to its central location, Interlaken serves as the starting point of most of the excursions the surrounding mountains. The idyllic natural landscape makes stunning backdrop for any outdoor activities. The breathtaking beauty of Interlaken is a part of its allure. Even within the city you will find a range of outdoor activities such as parasailing, horseback riding, windsurfing and sailing. Interlaken even has a golf course set amidst verdant surroundings.

Lake Thun has year-round boat cruises through which you can see the lake’s beauty from close quarters. Right next to the lake stands the medieval old town and the lakeside castle. Originally built in 1191, the castle is now a museum that houses armour and weapons from the 14th century along with prehistoric and roman artefacts. Lake Brienz, which sits 7 metres higher than Thun, offers special dining cruises. You can even take a cruise in a restored steamer from the early 20th century. Neiderhorn is one of the most spectacular viewpoints in all of Bernese Oberland. It is home to various species of birds and animals that can be explored with weekly guided tours.

If you get tired of outdoor excursions, visit the Touristik-Museum to see the evolution of tourism in the area. It is a treat for the history buffs with its old photographs, early postal coaches, lake steamers, bicycles and rack railway locomotives.

 Interlaken Tourism : A Quick Overview
Continent Europe
Country Switzerland
Official Language Swiss German
Dial Code 41-33-contact number
Population 5,606 (2018)
Currency Swiss Franc
Time zone GMT+1
Area 4.4 sq. km.


Highlights of Interlaken Tourism:

The region’s natural beauty is the main highlight of Interlaken tourism. The two lakes and the surrounding mountains bestow Interlaken with a stunning beauty. The clear skies and the wide-open spaces come together to give an ethereal feel to the town. Interlaken has been welcoming visitors since the 17th century and the flow of tourists hasn’t stopped since. But, perhaps the best part of a holiday here is the way nature has been made a part of the Interlaken experience.

The 1322-metre-tall Harder Kulm offers the best views of Interlaken and the two lakes. The Harde-Kulm funicular traverses a 64-degree gradient to take you up to the top. You can enjoy your meal at the restaurant at the top accompanied by the magnificent views from the top. On your way back down stop at the Hardermannli lookout pavilion which gives you the feeling of being suspended in midair. Visit the Harder Alpine Wildlife Park which protects marmots and ibexes.

Located near the iconic 150-year-old Victoria Jungfrau Hotel, the Höhematte Park is a beautifully landscaped avenue. You can enjoy hang gliding or ride horse-drawn carriages at the park and grab a bite at one of the many restaurants afterwards. The nearby Garden of Friendship is a peaceful Japanese garden that will provide you a few moments of peace.

Interlaken is a well-loved holiday destination that is fun for the entire family. Here you can lay on your back and recharge your batteries or have the most exhilarating time of your life.

Adventure Activities in Interlaken:

With activities like canyoning, bungee jumping, river rafting and skydiving, adventure abounds in Interlaken. In fact, it is known as the adventure capital of Switzerland. There’s plenty of well-marked hiking trails around the town. Harder Kulm is a 50-minute-trek away from Interlaken. If you want a longer trek, there’s the Pizol 5-Lake Hike. It takes 5 hours to complete the round trip.

The Amisbühl take-off point in Beatenberg is an excellent paragliding spot. Get a bird’s eye view of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau as you glide along the River Aare before landing at the Höhematte Park in the centre of Interlaken. To have an easier adventure, canyoning is a perfect activity for the entire family. The Gimsel Canyon is one of the most beautiful canyoning destinations in the world and the perfect introduction to the sport.

There’s nothing like a bungee jump to get rid of your fears and inhibitions. Here in Interlaken the bungee has a twist. You ride up 134 metres in a gondola over beautiful Stockensee and jump out from the gondola for the ultimate rush of adrenaline. If bungee is a tame activity for you, try a free fall parachute jump. It is will give you the thrills lasting a lifetime.

For activities being done over a water surface, you have a choice between wakeboarding, river rafting and kayaking. Lake Brienz is the perfect spot for kayaking, with its turquoise waters and beautiful natural landscapes. Paddle in the shadow of towering cliffs and discover secret beaches along the way. For river rafting head to the Simme river at the base of the Eiger mountain. Admire the beauty of the diverse landscape as you make your way down the river.

There is no dearth of adventures in Interlaken, you just need to ensure you book during the right season and weather conditions.

Shopping in Interlaken:

Interlaken is a fantastic shopping destination that offers you just about everything from high fashion to souvenirs and everything in between. The Höheweg, between Interlaken Ost and West stations, is a great place to get your souvenir shopping done. In addition to brands like Tissot and Lindt, you will also find a good selection of natural cosmetics and regional arts and crafts from the Bernese Oberland.

If you simply must buy a Swiss Army knife in Switzerland, head to Swiss Knife Centre which sells these multi-purpose knives along with an assortment of other blades. You can even have your name engraved for free. The Bucherer, established in 1888, is one of the oldest shops in Interlaken. They sell fine handcrafted watches from well-known brands such as Tag Heuer, Carl F. Bucherer and Tissot. 

The Heimatwerk Interlaken sells beautiful local arts and handicrafts that make fine souvenirs to carry back home. The wood carvings, toys, utensils and ceramic and glass knick-knacks are all lovingly handcrafted. The Swiss Mountain Market sells the iconic Swiss cowbell along with other souvenirs and homemade natural products. Otto’s AG and Metropole Gallery have you covered for jewellery, chocolates, furniture, accessories, electronics and clothes between them. The Swiss Chocolate Chalet is the place to buy a wide selection of Swiss chocolates. Do not miss buying these.

Cuisine of Interlaken:

Swiss cuisine is a warm medley of subtle flavours that work magic when paired together. A buzzing holiday destination like Interlaken has a number of good restaurants that serve local and global cuisines. From an Irish pub to a Thai restaurant, you have an astonishing variety of cuisines to choose from.

KM Taj Mahal serves meals with flavours of India in a no-nonsense setting. The focus is more on taste rather than presentation or decor. This one is recommended for its taste and neat presentation. The La Terrasse is a Michelin-starred restaurant serving French food amidst some beautiful views of the Swiss Alps. The Goldener Anker is a local tavern that will let you enjoy fresh food to the accompaniment of live music.

The 3 Tells Irish Pub is a great place to spend an evening of indulgence with quality food. Known for their amazing varieties of beer, Husi Bierhaus serves up some great food to complement the drinks. You can also relish authentic thin crust pizza from Pizzeria Horn. They bake their pizzas in wood-fired ovens which give them a distinctly smoky flavour. From fine dining to casual eating, Interlaken has unlimited options when it comes to satiating your taste buds and apetite.


Interesting Facts About Interlaken:

  • Interlaken is the oldest tourist destination in Switzerland with visitors coming in as far back as the early 1800s.
  • Until 1891, Interlaken was known as ‘Aarmuhle' and back in the days the city’s main occupation was printing, textile and watch-making.
  • The Interlaken Abbey was built around the decade of 1130s and the city gradually grew around this abbey.
  • At the height of its power the Abbey ruled over 20 surrounding churches and over 500 people lived in the area by the 14th and 15th centuries.
  • During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries Aarmuhle was locked in a land dispute with the nearby town of Matten which was finally resolved in the year 1810.
  • Interlaken got the Bernese Oberland railway in the year 1890 which was shortly followed by the Jungfrau Railway in year 1912.
  • The Jungfrau Marathon is the only one in the world that climbs up 1,823 metres over its course of 42.2 kilometres.
  • The Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel was built in 1864 and is still going strong.
  • In 1805, Interlaken celebrated its first Unspunnenfest festival to cherish the Swiss culture and to promote tourism. It is now held every 12 years.
  • The Harde-Kulme funicular train is one of the steepest in the world with a 64-degree incline.


Location of Interlaken:

Sandwiched between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, Interlaken sits 566 metres above the sea-level.  It is located almost in the centre of the country in the Bernese Oberland. The town is settled around two rivers that criss-cross the town, River Aare and River Lütschine.


Best Time to Visit in Interlaken:

Summer seems to be the best time to visit Interlaken for a memorable holiday. When summer arrives in the city between June to August, the weather warms up and it rains intermittently. This is a busy season in Interlaken as tourists flock to ‘the city of lakes and mountains’ to enjoy a whole lot of outdoor activities. Winter is probably the least ideal season to visit with its freezing subzero temperatures. But it is the perfect season for skiing enthusiasts.


How to Reach Interlaken:

At around 100 km, Zurich Airport is the closest international airport to Interlaken. Reaching Zurich from India is quite easy. There are multiple airlines such as KLM Royal Dutch, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airline operating flights to Zurich. These flights operate from all major cities of India such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

From Zurich Airport, the fastest way to reach Interlaken is to take the train. Swiss Railways has a regular service connecting the two cities and it takes almost 2 hours to complete the journey.

Thomas Cook has a wide selection of carefully curated Swiss holiday packages to choose from. Select yours today! Book your holiday online or visit us at your nearest Thomas Cook branch for a customised holiday package.

Language Spoken

German, French, English

Currency used:

Swiss franc


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Best Interlaken Tourism Guide

Situated in the central parts of Switzerland, Interlaken holidays can take you to a small city in the Bernese highlands. Though Interlaken tours can be a nice visit for all, this travel packages are chiefly popular with those who love to take part in outdoor sports activities.

Seeing around the Bernese Oberland Alps is mostly a part of the Interlaken holiday packages. Sightseeing during your tour can include visits to the Bienzlake and Thunlake in the city. Trips to the picturesque waterfalls in the nearby Lauterbrunnen valley can also be the memorable parts of your trip when you travel to Interlaken. The mountain railways can offer you fun rides and is an exciting part of Interlaken.

Apart from the hike around the mountains or a leisurely walk around the city, adventure sports can be eventful inclusions of your Interlaken vacation packages. Daily trips for exiting activities such as canyoning and rafting, paragliding, skydiving, swimming in the mountain lakes, snow-boarding, skiing, sledging and ice-skating can turn your trip to Interlaken into an exciting experience.

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