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Interlaken

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Interlaken

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Interlaken [1] is a small city in the Jungfrau Region of central Switzerland. Located between two Alpine Lakes (Brienz and Thun), Interlaken is a popular base camp for outdoor sports and travel in the surrounding Bernese Oberland Alps.

Get in

Trains arrive hourly from Geneva and Zurich via Bern less than an hour a way. Trains stop at two stations Interlaken East (Interlaken Ost) and Interlaken West, the latter is closer to the city center.

By car, follow Autoroute A8 (former N8) into the city center.

Get around

Interlaken is small enough to get around on foot or bikes. Taxis are available from either train station and most hotels.

See

A 20 minute train ride from Interlaken Ost to BRIENZ- is a must for all visitors to Interlaken. Brienz is a village famous for its Woodcarvers. There are approx 7+ Woodcarving Souvenir Shops along its one main Street- Hauptestrasse. The 2 main shops are E.D.Jobin- 111 Hauptestrasse and Huggler- 64 Hauptestrasse. I would say the Huggler shop was better- in terms of amount of woodcarvings for sale and a cheaper price. In Hugglers Woodcarving Souvenir Shop you can buy woodcarvings of- brown bears, eagles, cows, owls, steinbeck. marmot, people.

Do

Summer

  • Shopping for Swiss Souvenirs
  • Rock climbing
  • Paragliding
  • Swimming and sailing on Lake Thun and Brienz
  • Rafting
  • Swimming

Winter

  • Shopping for Swiss Souvenirs
  • Cross country
  • Downhill skiing
  • Heli-skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Sledding
  • Ice-climbing

Buy

Interlaken has the highest concentration of souvenir shops in Switzerland. You will find approximately 20 souvenir shops along its main street, Hoheweg. This street runs between Interlaken West and Interlaken Ost railway stations. The majority of souvenir shops open daily 0900-1900.

Interlaken is the best place to buy Swiss Army knives- The best shop is the "Swiss Knife Center", 125 Hoheweg- This shop stocks the complete range of Victorinox and Wenger Swiss Army knives. The most popular knife is the Victorinox SwissChamp which costs (June 2006) CHF78- it has 33 functions and is available in red, black, transparent red and transparent blue. Perfect for a souvenir/gift and comes with a lifetime warranty. Other good shops to buy Swiss Army knives are: "Buhler Chalet Shop", "Royal St Georges Gift Shop", "Sylvia and Charlys", "Gallerie Metropole" and "Kirchhoffer".

Other items to purchase in Interlaken's souvenir shops are- chocolate, cow bells, Swiss embroideries, cuckoo clocks, some inexpensive Swiss made watches- like Swiss Military, Switzerland t-shirts/sweatshirts/backpacks.

Interlaken has two main watch and jewellery shops- "Buherer" and "Kirchhoffer" which stock all the big Swiss brands- Tag Heuer, Omega, IWC, Rolex.

You will find that most souvenir shops will gift wrap free of charge any purchase and provide excellent service. If you like souvenir shops, it's recommended you stay in Interlaken when visiting Switzerland- you can honestly spend days looking in all the souvenir shops- however if you cannot stand the sight of souvenir shops- avoid Interlaken- you cannot escape them.

BE AWARE!! If you may be wanting to look at or purchase a Swiss Woodcarving- Interlaken is only a 20 minute train journey to BRIENZ, which is the centre for Swiss Woodcarving and the woodcarvings are out of this world- The 2 best shops are "E.D.Jobin"- 111, Hauptestrasse and "Huggler-Wyss"- 64 Hauptestrasse. The woodcarvings in Brienz are far far superior in quality than what you will find in Interlaken's Souvenir shops.

Eat

McDonalds Restaurant, located on Bahnhofstr., is always packed with backpackers and tourists alike.

Bebbis Restaurant, the IN-Place for a HUGE fondue in opposite Interlaken West. 1 min to/from McDonalds Restaurant Bahnhofstr.

Drink

For a small Swiss town, Interlaken has quite the nightlife options, including Switzerland's one and only Hooters Bar & Restaurant. Most of these bars serve the seasonal tide of tourists, but off the main road, many more mellow local venues can be found.

The two best nightlife spots in town are Balmer's hostel and the Funny Farm hostel, which are located fairly close to each other. Balmers has a decent underground bar and dance club and the Funny Farm has great outdoor chill out areas, including a bonfire. Both hostels have good happy hour specials, and you can kind of bounce back and forth between the two to get your drink for the best price.

Sleep

Reservations are a must during the busy summer season. Note that not all hotels are open all year round.

  • AlpLodge/BackPackers Interlaken, Marktgasse 59. [2] Reception open from Daily 8:00 AM - 1:00 Am. Young friendly hostel. Staff can help suggest hikes and will book activities. Dorms and private rooms. 24CHF-40CHF (Bar, internet, laundry).
  • Hotel Toscana, Jungfraustrasse 19.[3] Reception open Daily from 6:00am until 10:00pm, but you can ask about rooms in the restaurant until midnight. This nice little family-run hotel features a restaurant which seems to be quite a local hangout. The rooms are clean and the staff is friendly and attentive. 170-240 Chf (breakfast included).
  • Balmer's Herberge youth hostel, Hauptstrasse 23 - 33 CH-3800. [4] Young friendly hostel. Seems to be THE hostel of Interlaken. Offers any and every extreme sport. Dorms, privates, and tents available. Guest kitchen, restaurant, gift shop, coin laundry, and nightly movies. Adheres to city wide noise curfew. Don't go to Interlaken without staying here. Visit the internet cafe right next to it for cheap internet and telephone calls. Right around the corner is a grocery store for all your cooking needs.

Cope

  • Internet Laundry, Marktgasse 45. Laundry for 3€ per load, Internet 15 min free, Bicycle rental > 10 EURO Day, Scooter rental > 20 EURO /3 hrs.

Get out

Trains up into the Jungfrau region leave from Interlaken East station. Nearby destinations include:

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