Interlaken is a small village town in Switzerland but basically, it is a center point for the various beautiful villages, entertaining mountain activities and daring outdoor activities, to explore which, people from all around the globe come to this beautiful place and that’s why you should stay here for a minimum of three days. Here I am going to share the must-see places in Interlaken on a budget.
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Best Time to Visit Interlaken:
If you are fond of winter adventures like skiing, sledding and other winter outdoor activities then January-February is the ideal time or if you want to cherish nice weather with picture-perfect scenic beauty then you go in June, September to mid-October but for budget backpackers, April or October is the best time to visit Interlaken.
I have another amazing article for ski lovers on the 10 best ski resorts in Switzerland.
Where to Stay in Interlaken:
Interlaken is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland which attracts thousands of travelers and backpackers from all around the world. Being it an expensive city, it’s quite obvious that the accommodations are not cheap. It doesn’t mean all the hotels and hostels are super costly. Interlaken has some of the best luxurious hotels as well as some budget hostels for backpackers and budget travelers.
Interlaken has plenty of accommodation options available at different budget levels. Don’t be confused seeing all in search engine. To keep it easy I have sorted some of the best hotels and hostels of Interlaken in the below list: Check these links for current price and review.
- Balmers Backpackers Hostel
- Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof-Hostel Interlaken
- Lake Lodge Hostel
- Downtown Hostel Interlaken
How to Reach Interlaken:
By Air: Zurich is the international airport of Switzerland and Zurich airport to Interlaken OST railway station is just 2 hours train journey.
By Rail: Two main railway stations are there in Interlaken: Interlaken OST and Interlaken West Railway Station which are well connected with the other parts of Switzerland.
By Road: Bus services are available from different locations of Europe like Munich, Paris, Rome to Interlaken.
Like other cities of Switzerland, Interlaken also is an expensive city, specially if you use their most popular train journey in Jungfraujoch but if you want to experience the best of Interlaken within your low budget then you have to plan your trip wisely with proper research and sometimes you may have to skip some places.
Today I am going to share with you how you can explore Interlaken with 165 USD. I will also share the best itinerary to travel Interlaken and detail breakup of expenses.
Before going to start let me tell you one important thing about the transport system for local sightseeing. You have three options here to choose:
- Swiss Travel Pass(STP): Unlimited travel by local transport throughout train, bus, tram or boat. It is very expensive, 232 CHF for 3 consecutive days.
- Renting a Car: Rent a car from rental cars and travel wherever you want to go.
- Buy tickets individually: You can buy a train, bus or tram tickets from the counter whenever you need it. If you want to visit limited sightseeing only then go for this option.
I will recommend to rent a car rather than STP, if you have a plan to travel Switzerland for more than 4 days it will surely save you a good amount money.
Places to Visit in Interlaken in 2 Days:
| DAY 1 |
It is another beautiful little town in Switzerland, 86 km away from Interlaken. The main attraction of Engelberg is Mount Titlis, you can take a Gondola or Cable Car Ride at a cost of 100 CFH for two way ride to enjoy a thrilling journey of Uri Alps.
Next, go to Titlis Cliffwalk which is at an elevation of 3000 meters up, opened in 2012 for the adventure seekers. On a sunny day, you will get a mesmerizing view down to the Titlis Glacier.
Another must-see attraction is Titlis Glacier Cave near to the Cliffwalk where you will get an experience of walking 20 meters through the core of the glacier and a total of 150 meters walkways.
Expense: 100 CHF
READ ALSO: How to Spend 2 Days in Lucerne on a Budget
It is just 20 minutes ride from Interlaken city center and can be reached by car or train. It is one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland, take a walk throughout the village and you can feel the tranquillity of nature here. After a 10 minutes walk you will reach to most popular Staubach Waterfalls which is plunging from a height of 300 meters, an ideal place for the travel photographers.
Schilthorn, Gimmelwald, Murren:
Here I am going to share with you two routes to visit these places. First one is the cable car and cogwheel journey, the journey itself is one of the best train journeys to enjoy the scenic beauty but very expensive (105 CHF) and the second one is a hike to Gimmelwald and Murren which will make you come closer to nature and you can feel the real essence of a Swiss village and it is totally free.
Schilthorn by Costly route: At the foothills of Staubach waterfalls and right in front of Lauterbrunnen station buy your ticket from the counter or from their website. Your ticket price depends on how high do you want to go. For the last stop or Schilthorn mountain top, the ticket price is 105 Franks. You can reach to the Schilthorn top via a series of cable cars and cogwheels or little mountain train. The view at the top is just incredible which allows you a splendid 360-degree panoramic view over 200 mountains. A lot of outdoor activities(including James Bond themed activities) are available there for the adventure seekers. The good thing is there is no entry fee for these activities.
Tips: As Schilthorn is at mountain top, make sure you checked the weather condition from their official website with their live cam else your expensive ticket of105 CHF will be totally wasted.
Alternate cheaper route(Recommended for backpackers): To avoid the crowd and save your money you can take another route which is less popular, a little cheaper and a relatively natural route. So instead of getting a cable car from Lauterbrunnen station, you can drive yourself around 20 minutes ahead to get to Stechelberg from where you have to hike for around 1 hour to reach to Gimmelwald at a height of 4500 feet, followed by Murren at an elevation of 5500 feet(55 minutes hike from Gimmelwald).
Hiking for around 1 hour, the moment you enter Gimmelwald, you will feel like there have not been any major changes in the villages for centuries and this is also the charm of this tiny village. Most of the farmers living in Gimmelwald sell fresh eggs, dairy products. You can go inside their houses and purchase whatever you want to, be it eggs or cheese and can leave the money in the money box. Having a spectacular natural scenic view, Gimmelwald is one of the best honeymoon destinations in the world.
You will also have the experience to see how do these Swiss farmers live in proper Swiss villages. This village seems to be so lonely as only 150 people reside here who are mainly dependant on either tourism or farming. You can also stay here if money is not a barrier to you for 200 Franks.
It is another small mountain village in Switzerland located at an elevation of 1650 meters. You can see a clear view of three towering mountains from here – Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. In Murren the population is very less but you will find it crowded with tourists. You can stay here also if you want. You will find different classes of the hotel, fancy restaurants, souvenir shops, bakery shops on a line beside the street.
Tips: If you have a Swiss pass then from Interlaken to Schilthorn top, all inter city trains, cable cars, cog wheel trains etc. all are included in Swiss Pass. So if you have Swiss Pass then this experience is completely worth it, else if you don’t have Swiss Pass then also this journey is completely worth it for 105 Franks as long as the weather is clear.
| DAY 2 |
It is basically a beautiful valley of that falls in the Jungfraujoch region and a 30 minutes driving distance from Interlaken. Enjoying the amazing and scenic drive you will be reached to the parking zone(7 CHF parking fees for 5 hours) of Grindelwald in half an hour. This place is less crowded than Interlaken and a little close to nature.
The main highlight and family-friendly tourist attraction here is Grindelwald-First. From here get a cable car ticket which will take you to a journey which is a real treat for the eyes. Going through three stops and crossing various grasslands, this cable car takes you up and above to the snow-capped mountains. Some fun and adventure activities that you can do in Grindelwald :
- Cable car
- Cliff walk
- Mountain biking
- Trolley bike riding
- Wide gliders
A cable car ticket that is valid for the entire day with the unlimited ride will cost 30 CHF and the price will go high depending upon the adding activities. There are several options for adventure package costs around 46-99 CHF(budget-friendly package costs 65 CHF for 2 activities).
The cable car ride has a total of three stops and at any stop, you can exit or re-enter. This total one-way ride is for around 25 minutes and after crossing some snow-capped peaks you will reach the last stop which around 7000 feet.
Getting off the cable car, go for the Cliff Walk which a little dangerous but completely amazing and specially if you are an adventure lover. It comes to an end at an elevated platform from where you can take a perfect postcard snap.
Expense: 65 CHF
READ ALSO: 10 Best Ways to Eat Cheap While Traveling
Harder Kulm Mountain:
It is Inerlaken’s own mountain at an elevation of 4337 feet. It may not be similar to another high range mountain of Switzerland but it will offer the best breathtaking view of Interlaken. You can drive to Interlaken-OST railway station and from there a little walk to Harder Railway Valley Station. Harder Kulm is a 10 minutes journey from Harder Railway Valley Station by cable car which costs 32 CHF for the return journey.
Another way is hiking which is an over 4 km trail and takes around two and half hours to reach to summit point. The ride up to the summit is pleasant and actually quite thrilling given the almost vertical angle you take. You will see an amazing panoramic view of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau from the summit point.
Check Some Best Deals for Interlaken Sightseeing:
It is one of the best scenic train journeys in Switzerland where most of the tourists go when they travel to Switzerland. In this 7 km over a train journey, you cannot close your eyes for a single moment. At the top of Jungfraujoch, there is a snow museum, snow tunnel and mountain activities you can enjoy and obviously the incredible panoramic view.
But for all of these, you have to spend 189 CHF on the ticket which I won’t recommend as a budget traveler. If the budget is not a barrier then you are highly welcome to enjoy the best scenic train journey of Switzerland else you can skip it to travel Interlaken within your low budget. You have to compromise with some locations while traveling in Switzerland under a low budget.
Check out some amazing deals for your Interlaken trip.
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Pro Tips for Interlaken Travel:
Interlaken is a very much walkable area, Try to explore by hiking as much as possible. It not only lowers your budget but also allows you to experience the pure essence of Swiss natural beauty.