This town is breathtaking. The guides are all so friendly (I met three of them). IT's a bunch of local young students who want to show the guests the 'REAL' Interlaken. And that's exactly what they do...We were having a blast and learned so much about Interlaken and Switzerland in general. Check 'em out here and make sure you're joining one of their awesome tours.
Many people who pay a short visit to Interlaken take a walk on its main street, the Höheweg, they notice the many shops, the restaurants and cafes, the crowd of tourists, and come to the conclusion that they don't like Interlaken very much.
A change of route would probably be enough to make them (or at least some of them) change their mind.
For instance a walk by the river Aare can be very pleasant. It is quiet, the view is beautiful and you see plenty of picturesque houses and gardens along the way, not to mention the even more picturesque locks of the river.
I often advocate taking a walk as a "Thing to Do" in various places. This is because I feel that it's a good way to get your bearings and to decide what you want to do and see in depth. Some places are easier to walk than others and Interlaken is one that is a delight to walk around. It's flat and compact and very very appealing. Expect to see grand old world hotels, lovely gardens, churches, shops and parklands and of course, the beautiful river Aare.
Interlaken is served by two train stations and there is a long main street conecting the two. This street is called the Hoheweg and to be honest this walk is a little depressing.Lots of Grand Hotels but that old world atmosphere is ruined by the glut of fast food outlets and tacky souvenir shops. The predictable horse and carriage rides are on offer here and a little tourist train chugs up and down but the ambience is more like Blackpool then Switzerland and it was not aplace I wanted to linger in.
A good way to take a break from the tourist stores of Hoheweg is to take a walk to Brienzee. From the train station, go east along the river. You will pass through a quiet, residential area, along the way getting great view of mountains.
As I like to do in almost every place I visit, I walked for several hours back in the small sides streets and alleys of the local homes. The homes are wonderfully constructed, full of overflowing gardens and flowers. Sometimes you'll see the locals tending their gardens or tilling the larger plots, chopping their wood and simply doing other daily activities. There are great views of the homes, gardens, river, mountains and people. It's active, its fun and its free.
Interlaken is a little mini-city all of it's own. It has everything one might need, but still has maintained that old world charm.
If you are staying here, it is a good gateway to se other places, and travel elsewhere, but do yourself a favour and put a day aside to explore this town.
There are new delights to be found around every corner. The scenery is gorgeous and it's well worth it.
It will take no more than 30 minutes to go from one end of the town to the other without stopping. Of course the problem is that you will stop to take in the beauty, such as the water fall in this picture. Take Hoheweg street thru the whole town.
Make sure you spend as much time as possible just walking around the amazing places you visit...there is so much to see if you walk. :) We did a few long hikes while in Switzerland and loved it!