Travel Guide | Switzerland

How to do Interlaken Right

Interlaken, Switzerland is becoming one of the most popular travel destinations for students studying abroad. With its picturesque scenery and variety of activities, Interlaken won’t disappoint. Here’s how to do it right.

Where to stay

Balmer’s Hostel. 

Not only is it the oldest private hostel in Switzerland, but it’s one of Europe’s most famous. It is the ideal Swiss chalet complete with free breakfast and comfy beds. Oh, and it turns into a nightclub at 9:00 p.m. so all you have to do is walk downstairs. The staff is friendly and the hostel is clean which means you can have the time of your life without worrying about a thing.

More: 10 Reasons Why I Loved Living in Switzerland. [Photo Essay]

Backpackers Villa Sonnenhoff.

If Balmer’s isn’t your style or just sold out, Backpackers Villa is just around the corner. It’s a bit more upscale and you’ll be so close that you won’t miss out on the Balmer’s nightlife.

What to do

Visit Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.

Interlaken is sandwiched in between two gorgeous lakes that are a must-see on your trip to Interlaken. The clear blue water surrounded by incredible mountains make it the perfect photo-op.

Go Skydiving (or paragliding, or skiing, or snowboarding).

If you’ve ever considered jumping out of a plane, just do it. Interlaken is the perfect place to get out of your comfort zone because you’ll skydive over the Swiss Alps. What could be a better backdrop to one of the craziest things you’ll ever do in life? It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If skydiving is a little bit too much out of your comfort zone (or budget!), go paragliding, skiing or snowboarding (weather permitting). There is adventure for everyone in Interlaken. In the hotter months, there’s even bungee jumping, canyoning, white water rafting, and so much more.

More: 9 Tips for Visiting Switzerland

Take a day trip to Zurich.

Zurich is only about two hours away from Interlaken, so it’s the perfect day trip. If you’re missing Starbucks, Zurich has multiple for you to indulge in. Zurich is also home to the sixth most expensive shopping district in the world, Bahnhofstrasse. In addition, climb Grossmünster for just two francs to get the most incredible view of the city. Before you head home, make sure to grab a burger from Holy Cow!

Make chocolate at Funky Chocolate Club. 

Indulge in all-you-can-eat chocolate while learning about the delicious treat and making your own! Funky Chocolate Club has a fun-filled atmosphere that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Plus, you can send chocolate home to loved ones! If you don’t end up taking the chocolate making class, at least stop by to grab a hot chocolate or buy some chocolate for yourself. After eating Swiss chocolate, no chocolate will ever taste the same.

Food & Drink


Barracuda is an adorable cafe right across the street from Balmer’s. They have great lattes, delicious sandwiches, and a very friendly staff!
The 3 Tells Irish Pub.

For some classic pub food — think chicken fingers and fries — go to The 3 Tells Irish Pub.  With delicious food that won’t break the bank, it’s definitely worth a trip while you’re in Interlaken.

Hüsi Bierhaus.

No trip to Interlaken should end without taking a trip to Bierhaus first. We recommend getting the mac & cheese — you won’t be dissapointed. Sit back, have a drink from their large selection of craft beers, and enjoy the atmosphere. Some nights, there is a live performance that gets people dancing.



Have you started booking your trip to Interlaken yet? Make sure this is on your list before you leave Europe!

Meghan Reinhardt

Penn State | 2 stories

Hey! My name is Meghan Reinhardt and I am spending my spring semester studying in Florence (Firenze), Italy. I've never been to Europe before so this is definitely a challenge, but I've been loving it so far. Firenze has the feel of a big city, which I love, but it's small enough that I can really make it my home away from home. At Penn State, I study public relations. While I will miss being away from Happy Valley for a semester, I can't wait to share my adventures with you all!

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