Often touted as a town without character, Interlaken has patiently borne the brunt of being called "the best place in Switzerland to get away from"—but this, it turns out, is a tribute to the town's proximity to many of the wonders of the Bernese Alps. This bustling Victorian resort town is a centrally located home base for travelers planning to visit the region's two lakes and the mountains towering behind them. Those who want up-close mountain views more than nightlife, however, will want to consider staying in one of the smaller resort towns. The name Interlaken has a Latin source: interlacus (between lakes). At 1,860 feet, Interlaken dominates the Bödeli, the branch of lowland between the lakes that Interlaken shares with the nearby towns of Unterseen, Wilderswil, Bönigen, Goldswil, and Matten. The town's two train stations, Interlaken Ost (East) and Interlaken West, are good orientation points; most sights are just a few minutes' walk from one of the stations. There are unlimited excursion options, and it is a pleasant, if urban, place to stay.
Interlaken at a Glance
Sports and Outdoors
Elsewhere in Berner Oberland
Want to stay at the finest properties when you travel? Check out our annual list of the 100 best hotels in the world.More