Despite its size, the small town of Interlaken is a major attraction for anyone with even a slight passion for skiing. Set in the Bernese Alps, its lakeside location and close proximity to the mountains makes it the perfect place to head for a skiing holiday. Although the city and its environs look inviting all year round, Interlaken is in its element during the winter months. Until two centuries ago, Interlaken was just a quiet, unassuming Alpine village, but with the onset of tourism, it has grown to become a mecca for skiers, snowboarders and mountain climbers hoping to get the adrenaline rush they’ve been looking for. The town itself has plenty going on in terms of dining, shopping and nightlife.
If fitted with winter tyres, a hatchback would the best thing for driving in Interlaken, especially when tackling some of the sharp corners of some of the mountainous roads.
Driving in Interlaken
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
By far the best way to drive towards the town centre is via the A8, which has a turn off onto the N11 going further into Interlaken.
The A8 only goes eastwards, terminating just west of Interlaken. It becomes the A6 going west towards Thun.
Most of the major roads in town are cleared of snow in winter daily, although black ice is still a hazard to be wary of.
Highlights & Hotspots
Away from the town itself and up in the Bernese Alps, there is the Jungfrau-Aletsch protected area, which is a World Natural Heritage site. Here, there are several amazing glaciers which span the mountains, each of which look amazing up close.
If shopping is your bag, then a trip down the Höheweg, Interlaken’s main street, is a must. Spanning between the town’s main train stations, it has numerous souvenir shops as well as a few bars where you can have a hot chocolate or enjoy some fondue.
Along the Höheweg, there is a curious little ‘Japanese Garden’. Although it’s not the most authentic garden you’ll see, it offers a welcome change of scenery should you somehow get sick of seeing snow at every turn.
Interlaken has a number of mountain railways which offer a great chance to see the Alps in a more relaxing way. The Jungfraujoch, for example, will take you to the top of the Jungfrau Mountain, while there are funicular rides to the top of other peaks as well starting at the rail stations.
Bern Airport is the nearest one to Interlaken, being about 16 miles northwest of the town centre. It is one of the busier airports in Switzerland, offering flights to major cities throughout Europe as well as seasonal flights to southern European resorts.
The airport can be reached via the A8, which then becomes the A6. From there, going through the town of Belp will make it easier to get to the airport itself.