Interlaken Journals

Interlaken -- Gateway to the Mountains

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An October 2004 trip to Interlaken by nitatravels

Quote: If you want to spend time in the Bernese Oberland, but want the comforts of city life, you can't beat Interlaken. Nestled at the base of the Jungfrau, the Monch, and the Eiger, this small city of 15,000 is the perfect jumping off point for exploring the region.

Interlaken -- Gateway to the Mountains

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Overview

Quote:
Interlaken features great shopping, fine dining, nightlife, beautiful parks, and a casino -- something for everyone!! Breathtaking mountains are just a short train trip away. Shoppers can pick up souvenirs along the Bahnhofstrasse while watching paragliders land in the park. Stretch your money with a meal at the restaurants in the Migros grocery stores. Visit the Victoria Jungfrau, Interlaken's grand dame hotel, a wonderful classic dating back to the 1800s. For great views, consider a drink at the lounge atop the Metropole Hotel, the tallest building in Interlaken. Try your luck at the casino. Save time by taking steamer trips on Lake Thun to Thun to see the castle, Lake Brienz to the Ballenberg Open ...Read More

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa

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Hotel | "Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa"

Quote:
For a special occasion or a luxurious splurge, consider a stay at the Victoria Jungfrau, the grande dame of Interlaken hotels, dating back to the 1800's. This elegant and luxurious 5 star property is know for its phenomenal spa - considered by many to be the best in Switzerland. A wonderful massage to relax your muscles after a day in the mountains is the perfect way to pamper yourself. The hotel's location is perfect, facing the large park in Interlaken. Rooms facing the Jungfrau are the most expensive; however if you have a balcony overlooking the park you can amuse yourself watching the paragliders land just steps away. In the fall, when the cows are down from the mountains, you'll also actually...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 13, 2004

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
Höheweg 41
Interlaken, Switzerland
41-33-828-2828

Hotel Lotschberg

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Hotel

Quote:
Hotel Lotschberg is truly a gem! I struck gold when I found this hotel on my first trip to Interlaken West train station. Later I learned it's a property highly recommended by Rick Steves. It's listed on the hotel board right outside the Interlaken Ost station, so if you haven't prebooked you can simply call from the hotel board. The Hotel Lotschberg (think restored Victorian style large home) is conveniently located about a 5-7 minute walk from the train station through a lovely residential area. When you open your windows and look out, you see typical Swiss houses, not busy shops and restaurants. Above the houses, in the distance, you'll see the mountains, just waiting for you to explore! ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 13, 2004

Hotel Lotschberg
General Guisanstrasse 31
Interlaken, Switzerland 3800
+41 (33) 822 25 45

Balmers Herberge

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Hotel

Quote:
If you're a backpacker under 25 looking for the party scene, Balmer's is for you. However, if you actually want to get a good night's sleep, you might think about staying somewhere else. Another option is to stay somewhere more low key and spend your evenings partying and meeting people at Balmers. Everyone is welcome at the bar. Balmers is a good walk from the train station; however the Balmers van is usually circling through and can pick you up. Also, if you check the hotel board outside the train station, you'll find you can simply call the hostel and they will pick you up. While reservations are always a good idea in the summer, many backpackers like to travel without firm plans and ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 3, 2004

Balmers Herberge
Hauptstrasse 23 - 33 CH-3800
Interlaken, Switzerland
41(0)33 822 1961

Metropole Hotel Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
You certainly won't miss this property; it's the tallest building in Interlaken easily visible from the rail station or anywhere else in Interlaken for that matter since it's height dominates the Interlaken skyline. Hotel Metropole certainly wouldn't be my first choice for lodging in Interlaken (though the rooms have great views). Nor is it necessarily my first choice for an excellent dinner out. Yet, it's the perfect place to at least go for cocktails. You see, much to the chagrin of the Swiss who favor quaint little chalet type buildings, the Hotel Metropole is an 18-story cement monstrosity built in 1978 offering incredible views of all Interlaken and the mountains surrounding the city. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 3, 2004

Metropole Hotel Restaurant
Höheweg 37
Interlaken, Switzerland
033-8286666

Thun Lake

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Attraction | "Laze the day away on Lake Thun"

Quote:
For a change from the outdoor activities in the Bernese Oberland, consider a lazy day tour of Lake Thun. Steamers depart Interlaken, from the dock behind the Interlaken West station. Either your Swiss or Eurail Pass is valid for transit on Lake Thun, which is about 10 miles long. On a sunny day you'll be rewarded with spectacular scenery: Lake Thun surrounded by rolling hills dotted with quaint Swiss chalets, and majestic mountain panoramas. p>Ferries are a wonderful form of transportation. In typical Swiss tradition, ferries are timed so you can combine train and ferry travel. Coming in from Zurich, a great way to beat jet lag is to take the train to Thun, instead of Interlaken. In Thun c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 5, 2004

Thun Lake
Near Train Station
Interlaken, Switzerland

Nestled between the mountains

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Interlaken is nestled between the mountains, with a lake on each side: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Either makes a wonderful, relaxing day trip. Both Swiss Passes (highly recommended for value on mountain excursions) and Eurail passes are valid on the steamers. You can simply hop on and off at any quaint village that interests you. Pack yourself a picnic luncheon and make a day of it!! A great way to arrive in Interlaken from Zurich is to take a train to Thun, instead of Interlaken, walk across the street, catch a ferry (timed perfectly to leave about 10 minutes after your train arrives) and arrive in Interlaken via a leisurely steamer from Thun. On a sunny day, sitting on the day, sun on your fa...Read More

Dining Options in Interlaken

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Since Interlaken is rather large and definitely a tourist center, you'll find many dining options to suit any budgets. Besides traditional Swiss cuisine, you'll find everything from McDonald’s (yes, they are everywhere these days!!) to Italian to Chinese to Mexican. Be sure, though, to experience typical Swiss cuisine. Rosti, a hash brown potato type of peasant dish, is wonderful and there are many variations. If you have a rosti at lunch, you'll just need a light dinner. Typically, rosti is a roasted, grated potato dish that is finished off in the oven. Some think of it as a Swiss potato pancake. Like many traditional Swiss dishes, it was probably developed to fuel farmers who worked hard in t...Read More

Interlaken Shopping

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Don't be put off by the commercial look and feel of downtown Interlaken. Yes, Interlaken is tourism at its finest and its worst. Fine shopping options include gorgeous gold jewelry, expensive, but well made Swiss watches and cuckoo clocks, and fine Swiss linens and lace. Its worst include cheap plastic magnets that aren't very pretty, multitudes of cow souvenirs ranging from plastic cows to cow dishes and dishtowels, and poor plastic renditions of cuckoo clocks. Enjoy the variety, look everywhere and shop where the goods speak to you. If nothing else, with so many shops the selection is wonderful. Celebrate Interlaken for what it offers and enjoy your shopping. One best value is, of course, Swiss ...Read More