Interlaken is a stunning destination in the heart of Switzerland. It is nestled between two lakes, and a lot of tourists use it as a base for outdoor sports or exploring the surrounding towns as there are a lot of valleys, mountains, and lakes nearby.
Many visitors also arrive in Interlaken by taking the train, so it is convenient to stay near the train station when you visit the city. It has two train stations, the Interlaken Ost (east) and Interlaken West. If you want to stay around the city center, it’s better to stay near Interlaken West.
What Are The Best Hostels in Interlaken?
1. Happy Inn Lodge
This hostel is a comfortable and quaint establishment with an extremely relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It’s also located conveniently in the middle of town. It’s a short five-minute walk from the Interlaken West train station, and it’s a great place to begin your adventure.
The hostel has a bar and restaurant on-site, which is a great place to eat or drink. There are also live concerts every Thursday nights at the on-site bar between September and June.
Every room has a sink (with both hot and cold water), and guests also have access to a standard room and lockers. You can choose between double and single private rooms as well as dorm rooms.
Price: $24.40 to $29.05
Pros: Great atmosphere, access to public transportation, and lively on-site bar and café
2. The Lazy Falken Backpacker
This hotel has 15 rooms available, all of which are comfortable and well designed. Most rooms have a television and en-suite bathroom. Breakfast is also available to guests, as is Wi-Fi access, Internet, secure lockers in each room, an indoor climbing room, and access to public transportation to reach the city center. You can also choose between double, family, or shared rooms.
Aside from that, you can also buy tickets for a lot of activities through the hostel’s front desk. Parking is also available for those guests who brought their car.
The hotel is located near the Interlaken West train station, and it is in the city center. So, you can easily reach a lot of places, such as shopping centers, restaurants, and attractions on foot.
Price: $17.75 to $38.46
Pros: Comfortable rooms, great amenities, and lots of activities
This hostel is a good option for tourists who are looking for an affordable and fun hostel to stay in the city. Every room has its sink with hot and cold water. Also, most rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Other perks available to guests, such as free Internet access, laundry facilities, a shared kitchen, and a common area that has a terrace which offers a stunning view, and television, among others. You can also stay in a room that includes breakfast if you’d like. The hotel is located in the center of town, and it is just a short four-minute was from the Interlaken West train station.
Price: $37.45 to $42.8
Pros: Good value, great amenities, and free breakfast
4. Hotel Rössli Interlaken
This hotel offers good value along with an established reputation. It also has a friendly atmosphere, and the staff will go out of their way to make your stay very enjoyable. They also give helpful information on everything from excursions to various activities in the city, so if you have a question, ask them right away. There’s also free parking nearby for guests traveling with their cars. Aside from that, there’s a breakfast buffet available for guests. The hostel’s terrace is a great place to enjoy a few drinks and snacks.
The Hotel Rössli Interlaken is just a short five-minute walk from the Interlaken West train station and is very close to the bus stop. Also, there are spacious common spaces, and there are a lot of things that you can do at the hotel.
Price: $57.45 to $91.12
Pros: Friendly atmosphere, helpful staff, and convenient location
What Should I Look For in a Youth Hostel in Interlaken?
These are some of the things that you need to look for if you want to have a hassle-free trip to Interlaken:
Hostelworld.com has an excellent ranking feature, which factors in the hostel’s location (if you’re still on the fence, you can check other websites like Booking.com or Agoda). Take it a bit further and use Google maps to figure out where in the city you’ll be located. If you’re around 20 miles outside the city center and most of the major attractions, you’ll be spending more on transportation to get to and from the city center.
Seriously. Not all hostels will provide sheets without a fee, and some will even charge you upwards of $5 a night. So, make sure a pillowcase, sheets, and blanket are all provided for the duration of your stay. Believe us, going without blankets and sleeping in the fetal position while shivering all night will make for a sorry day of sightseeing the following day. If you don’t like sleeping in someone else’s sheets, try a Cocoon.
Some hostels will provide you with a full-size locker for your luggage, and it’s also a place where you can keep your travel documents. Either one is fine as long as you have somewhere to place your passport and any other IDs you brought along with you. Remember, it’s not a big deal if your dirty underwear gets stolen, but it is a big deal if your passport is taken, and you are stuck waiting for the U.S. embassy to reissue you one. Try not to have to pay extra for a locker.
You’ll want to shower at least once a day while you’re on your trip, and while travel size soap and shampoo won’t occupy much space in your carry on bag, a bath towel will. Check to see if a towel comes included with your room, although typically, it probably won’t. Figure out how much a towel will cost, and to save money, reuse the towel for multiple showers, letting it dry over a bedpost.
A Friendly Staff
Pleasant staff can make your travel experience a lot better. They have probably lived in the city your heading for a while (even if they haven’t, they still probably know more about it than you) and are an excellent resource for tips and information. So, ask for a map and ask them about bus routes, subway stops, major attractions, and good places to eat.
You may want to eat out for breakfast every once-in-a-while, but an excellent way to save money while traveling is to eat at the hostel. On most hostels, the standard breakfast includes cereal, toast, juice, and coffee, and it will keep you loaded up for the day. Not to mention, it’s nice to be able to get up and eat a meal without having to look for a restaurant. Some hostels will even give you a voucher to get breakfast at a local café. Whether you plan on eating it or not, a good hostel will always provide breakfast.
If you are going to be traveling for at least a week, you may need to do your laundry. If you’re desperate to get your clothes clean, you can always use plain old soap and water and wash them in a sink. After cleaning them, you’ll just need to find a place to let them air dry.
This one should be self-explanatory, but there may be a hostel somewhere that doesn’t have showers.
You never know when you might come back to the hostel after partying, and there’s nothing worse than being locked out of your hostel.
The Youth Hostels in Interlaken
1. Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof – Hostel Interlaken
Price: $36.53 to $249.31
Pros: Great value, free shuttle service, comfortable beds, and free breakfast
Cons: The kitchen can be cramped, especially during peak season. Also, the breakfast can be very plain (cereals and toast).
2. Chalet Hostel @ Backpackers Villa Interlaken
Price: $32.51 to $40
Pros: Great location, multiple kitchen areas, social atmosphere, helpful staff, and convenient access to public transportation
Cons: Some rooms have no air-conditioning units
3. Walters Hostel Interlaken
Price: $68.57 to $132.24
Pros: Exceptional common areas and shared kitchens, great location, friendly staff, comfortable beds, and stunning view
Cons: The dorms can be a bit noisy
4. Interlaken Youth Hostel
Price: $42.81 to $285.43
Pros: Spotless and comfy rooms, friendly and helpful staff, convenient location with access to public transportation, delicious meals during breakfast
Cons: Some toilets can be clogged, and some towels and sheets won’t be changed if you don’t ask them to.
5. Balmers Backpackers Hostel
Price: $33.66 to $325.59
Pros: Great value, friendly staff, lots of places to chill out, a fully-functional shared kitchen, and fun and social atmosphere
Cons: Some beds can creak which can be annoying
6. Adventure Hostel Interlaken
Price: $39 to $213.94
Pros: Scenic views, helpful staff, convenient location, delicious breakfast, and over-all great value
7. king apartment
Price: $118.36 to $126.53
Pros: Friendly staff, great location, spacious bedrooms, fully-functional shared kitchen, and lots of spaces to chill out
Cons: Sometimes, there are long queues for the bathroom, and the staff waiting around in the common room (to assist guests) is quite unnerving.
8. Downtown Hostel Interlaken
Price: $37.75 to $42.65
Pros: Convenient location, access to public transportation, free bus passes, friendly staff, and spacious lounge areas
Cons: Some shower areas are not working, so guests from two floors share one bathroom
9. 5th Floor @ Hotel Interlaken
Price: $76.53 to $203.07
Pros: Great location, delicious breakfast, clean rooms, accommodating staff, and great value
Cons: Can be a bit noisy
10. Lake Lodge Iseltwald
Price: $32.08 to $148.20
Pros: Fun and social vibe, scenic views, friendly staff, free bus rides, and clean and comfortable rooms
Cons: Quite far from the city center
Price: $22.53 to $122.88
Pros: Great atmosphere, affordable prices, and free Wi-Fi
Cons: Lacks charging points, far from the city center, no heating, unwelcoming staff, and no stairs/ladders for the top bunk
12. Hotel De la Paix
Price: $84.99 to $120.84
Pros: Free bus passes and discounts to various establishments, great value for money, access to public transportation, cozy rooms, and clean bathrooms, and scenic views
Cons: The “backpacker’s corner” is very unpleasant and rooms have no ventilation
13. Walters B&B
Pros: Spacious and comfy rooms, scenic views, great location, friendly staff, and well-equipped shared kitchen
Cons: The furnishings and some areas need cleaning
14. DownTownHostel Interlaken
Price: $40.66 to $247.79
Pros: Great location, well-appointed shared kitchen, great amenities, and access to public transportation
Cons: Very little security and the staff are often not present (especially during the night)
15. Hotel Blume
Price: $87.04 to $204.81
Pros: Convenient location, great value for money, friendly staff, clean rooms and bathrooms, delicious breakfast, and decent amenities
Cons: The atmosphere isn’t very social
16. River Lodge
Pros: Clean rooms and bathrooms, you can set up camp outside, great location for hiking and swimming, and very affordable
Cons: The rooms have no air-conditioning, very far from the city center, unwelcoming staff, no social atmosphere, cold showers, the shared kitchen was very untidy, and exorbitant fees for basic amenities (extended chargers and utensils)
Price: $116.74 to $320.49
Pros: Scenic views and garden, great amenities, free parking, fully equipped shared kitchen and laundry room, friendly staff, and quiet atmosphere
Cons: The bed is quite small, and the upstairs bathroom has low water pressure
18. Hotel Bellevue
Price: $69.63 to $78.91
Pros: Welcoming staff, laid-back atmosphere, modern and clean rooms, convenient location, and scenic views
Cons: Not very accessible by using public transportation, no elevator, and no air-conditioning units
Interlaken is a small city located in the Bernese Highlands area of central Switzerland. Situated between two Alpine lakes (Lake Brienz (Brienzersee) and Lake Thun (Thunersee)), Interlaken is a favored base camp for outdoor activities and travel in the nearby Bernese Oberland Alps. Interlaken itself is a superb holiday destination.
Why Should I Visit Interlaken?
Interlaken, sandwiched between two lakes in the center of Switzerland, is surrounded by natural beauty. It’s also a prime destination for adventure sports and sightseers alike. So, here five reasons why you should add it to your Swiss itinerary:
Interlaken is a go-to for those seeking a thrilling adventure. It’s also known as the “Adventure Capital” of Switzerland, and adrenaline enthusiasts are going to love it. Whether you’ like river rafting, canyoning, skydiving, or bungee jumping, you’ll find your choice of extreme outdoor activities here.
Prime hiking spots surround Interlaken. It’s the ideal base to wander around the Jungfrau area. Also, there are walking trails for all levels of fitness, and a lot of them are well marked out. A 50-minute walk from Interlaken takes you to Harder Kulm, where you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the town, the surrounding mountains, and the twin lakes. The Pizol 5-Lake hike, a five-hour loop, is another popular trail in the city.
To Enjoy The Lakes
Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, which surrounds Interlaken, are good places to go swimming during the summer to escape the heat. If that’s not your thing, you can board the lake cruise and sail across tranquil waters, taking in the sunshine, or just relax and enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains.
To Discover A Legend
As the story goes, Saint Beatus, while exploring Switzerland to look for a place to stay, stumbled upon some caves that coincidentally was a dragon’s lair. Saint Beatus managed to get rid off the dragon, with God’s help, and drove it into Lake Thun, killing it in the process. Whether or not Saint Beatus did kill a dragon is debatable (it is a mythical creature after all), but the beauty of the caves which he inhabited is not. Here, you can follow the caves for 1,000 meters into the Niederhorn massif.
A two-hour scenic train ride takes you from Interlaken, and the nearby town of Grindelwald and under the shadow of the Eiger mountain, to the Jungfraujoch, known as the Roof of Europe. Once you reach the area, an icy wonderland is at your feet. You can explore the Aletsch Glacier, Europe’s longest glacier, enjoy beautiful panoramic views from the Sphinx Observatory, and breathe in the pure Alpine air.
What Should I Pack For My Trip To Interlaken?
Pants, socks, underwear, here are the other items that you should pack:
- Playing Cards: Waterproof cards are a must for every backpacker. It’s handy because you can play by the pool, beach, or inside your room after a long day with your companions, all without your cards breaking or getting wet. So once you pull out the cards, the chance that you’ll win big is pretty high (no promises though).
- Toiletry Bag: Is your toothpaste lost in the depths of your backpack (for the nth time)? You won’t have this problem if you have a toiletry bag. It is made from a durable, water-resistant material, which can be a lifesaver on long travels.
- Water Bottle: Sturdy and durable water bottles survive the roughest adventures while keeping your drink cold or hot for at least a day. Vacuum-sealed and made from stainless steel, the container can fit 25 oz, which is a lot to keep your body properly hydrated. Also, the bottle isn’t just super useful, and it helps to reduce single-use plastic waste.
- Headphone Splitter: Are you the one with the Netflix account, but you don’t want to share headphones with them? You’ll save the day if you have a headphone splitter! Plugin two pairs of headphones at the same time, so both of you can listen to music or watch TV shows and movies.
- Travel Pillow: Nothing is worse than a sleepless and grumpy tourist. Do yourself a favor and get enough rest with a travel pillow. The ergonomic design makes it possible to sleep while sitting, which can be a real struggle with regular neck pillows. Having a cool pillow also makes long bus rides or flights a lot more enjoyable – and who knows, maybe you’ll even be looking forward to it next time.
- Travel Soap: Soap can be handy on long travels, but it’s hard to carry around. It might get confiscated at the airport or leak in your backpack. So, a travel soap is the perfect solution for every backpacker who looks after their hygiene.
Where Can I Head Next After Visiting Interlaken?
Trains that go to the Jungfrau region embark from Interlaken East station. Meanwhile, trains going to the Jungfrau summit (German: Jungfraujoch) leave from both the east and west stations – though the trains from Interlaken East need one less train change. Also, the ski towns of Kleine Scheidegg and Grindelwald are located along this route. Other famous tourist destinations in the region are:
- Lauterbrunnen – A scenic village set in a stunning valley. Also, Reichenbach Falls (popularized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) is in the area.
Plus, if you want to extend your trip to more adventures, you can also visit Zurich and Stockholm.
Where Can I Party on a Tuesday in Interlaken?
The two best nightlife spots in the city are Funny Farm and Balmer’s Hostel, which are located relatively close to each other (both at Hauptstrasse, Matten). Balmers has a decent underground bar, dance club, and the Funny Farm has great outdoor chill-out areas, such as a bonfire. Both hostels have happy hour specials, and you can visit both of them to get your drink for the best price.
How Expensive Is Interlaken?
How much money will you need in Interlaken? Sfr169 ($171) is the average daily price for traveling in Interlaken. The average price of meals in Interlaken for one day is Sfr47 ($47).
How Safe Is Interlaken?
Interlaken has a low crime rate and is considered a safe destination. However, tourists should observe the necessary precautions and keep their passport, tickets, and valuables in the secure post-check-in.