Interlaken - FURTHER INFORMATION
Interlaken Map and Guide - Information on Interlaken sights, attractions and places of interest. Virtual tour and interactive Interlaken map and guide with 360 panoramas, local and travel information.
The beautiful city of Interlaken lies on an alluvial plain between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland. The area is renowned for stunning mountain scenery, with the Swiss Alps carved by glaciers, making it a prime tourist holiday destination. This reputation for mountain holidays was further enhanced by the development of world-class ski resorts nearby and the completion of the Jungfrau Railway in 1912 taking people to Jungfraujoch, at 3,450m the highest railway station in Europe near the top of the Jungfrau. With numerous cable-cars, chair lifts and trains giving access to the mountains year round, there are plenty of opportunities for skiing, walking and other mountain sports. Excursions on both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz are possible via historic paddle steamers and other boats.
Historically, Interlaken was known as Aarmühle until 18941. Prior to the advent of tourism, printing, textiles and watchmaking were important industries. Today, tourism is dominant and there are many hotels, chalets, hostels and other accommodation to cater for the visiting hikers, sightseers, mountaineers and skier that flock to the region.
Interlaken - SummerDuring the summer months hiking, cycling and mountaineering dominate the activities of visitors. Regular trains connect Interlaken with the Jungfrau region towards Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. From there trains and lifts provide access to walking around Wengen, Mürren, Schilthorn (home to the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant) and Kleine Scheidegg where there are impressive views of the Eiger.
Paragliding is also popular here in the summer and about 10km from Interlaken lies Beatenberg-Niederhorn, which is popular with paragliders. The mountains are also home to ibexes, chamois and marmots as well as impressive birds of prey. In the summer, a fleet of paddle steamers and other cruise ships ply the waters of Lakes Thun and Brienze, offering a relaxed way to take in the scenery. Interlaken is on the Golden Pass panorama route from Montreux on Lake Geneva to Lucerne via Gstaad and the Brünig Pass.
Interlaken - WinterDuring the winter months, skiing predominates. This is one of the oldest and most popular ski regions in Switzerland, with over 200Km of pistes in the surrounding areas connected by over 45 mountain railways, aerial cableways, chair and ski lifts. The region is a ski-haven for Alpine (downhill) skiing and snowboarding. In addition there are over 220Km of winter trails suitable for walking and Nordic (cross country) skiing as well as a number of toboggan routes.
Regular daily buses and trains link Interlaken with the ski regions around the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and from Lauterbrunnen mountain trains and lifts provide access to excellent skiing around Kleine Scheidegg, Mannlichen the Lauberhorn, Grindelwald and First. Further up the valley are is Mürren from which there is excellent skiing around the Schilthorn with the obvious need to watch the mountains pass by as you take a refreshing drink in the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant, a former James Bond filming location.
Interlaken - Sights and Tourist AttractionsSome of the main tourist attractions and sights in and around Interlaken include:
- Interlaken Old Town - the Old Town area has a history dating back to the 15th century and still retains some ancient charm.
- Höheweg - main street linking Interlaken West and Interlaken Ost Railway Stations lined with luxury shops and boutiques, Jungfrau Grand Hotel and the Höhematte which has good views of Jungfrau mountain.
- Japanese Garden - found next to Hotel Interlaken, the garden was established to celebrate the twinning of Interlaken with Otsu in Japan.
- Jungfrau Park - six pavilions that explore the world as well as the Jungfrau-Aletsch Miniature Arena and various activities.
- Jungfrau Region Tourism Museum - first museum in Switzerland dedicated to tourism covering the history of toruism in Jungfrau over the last 200 years.
- Kursaal Gardens - established in 1858, the gardens contain the famous Flower Clock and holds various events.
- St. Beatus Caves - dramatic limestone caves open to the public set high above Lake Thun and once thought to be used as a refuge by St. Beatus.
- William Tell Open-Air Theartre - very popular during the summer when a cast of over 170 actors and various animals put on open-air theatrics not to be missed.
- Harder Kulm - 1322m high mountain local to Interlaken with panoramic views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
- Bödeli Tram - popular, traditional, horse-drawn carriage tours taking in the main sights of Interlaken.
- Heimwehfluh - served by a cable train builtin 1906, the mountain has a variety of rides and attractions, model railway, toboggan run and restaurants with spectacular views.
- Jungfraujoch - take a mountain railway to the highest station in Europe ner the top of the Jungfrau passing through Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg en route.
- Schilthorn - take a trains and lifts through Mürren to the top of the Schilthorn and watch the mountains pass by whilst having a drink in the revolving Piz Gloria restaurant, a former James Bond location set.
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Car: Interlaken is about 57Km south and east of Berne on the 6 Highway and 68Km south and west of Lucerne on the 8 Highway.
Flight: Bern Airport (51Km away), Zurich Airport (135Km away)
Train: Interlaken Ost station, Interlaken West station