With a great start to our honeymoon in Lake Como, we then set off to Interlaken, Switzerland for our next destination. My husband and I love the outdoors, so Interlaken was an easy choice for us. Since we were traveling from Italy, we took three connecting trains to Interlaken. It sounded way more complicated than it was but the trains were fairly easy to navigate in this area. I loved watching the mountains grow in size the closer we got to Interlaken.
WHERE TO STAY
Interlaken is nestled in between two large lakes right in the middle of the alps. Interlaken is a medium sized city but there are a few smaller towns scattered throughout the mountains such as Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald. We decided to stay in Interlaken because of the many restaurants and easy access to public transportation to the rest of the surrounding areas.
Normally, I prefer smaller towns when traveling, but Interlaken was not short on Swiss charm. Whats not to love about flower-lined streets, a bright blue river in the middle of town, and mountain views from every angle?
THE HEY HOTEL
There are so many options for hotels and airbnbs in Interlaken. We stayed at The Hey Hotel because of the convenient location, price, and modern amenities. The hotel is newly updated and also has an art gallery, restaurant, and bar on the first floor. What really sold us was the breakfast buffet. We ate at the buffet each morning and we really enjoyed it each time. To top it all off, our room had a beautiful view where we could relax and watch the hang gliders coming in for a landing.
HOW TO GET AROUND
If you stay in Interlaken, there are two train stations that can get you around the area, Interlaken Ost and Interlaken West. We mainly used the train system because it was the easiest and quickest way to get around, but there are also many other ways to travel around this area such as busses, gondolas, and even ferry boats. We booked all of our trains using the SBB Mobile app, but you could also just buy train tickets when you go to the station.
WHERE TO EAT
Nobody really talks about Swiss cuisine, but EVERYTHING we ate was delicious here. The food was fresh, seasonal, and so flavorful. Don't hate me for saying this... but we were kind of relieved to have some various food options after being carbo-loaded from pasta in Italy.
Stadthaus - I wanted to try some traditional Swiss cuisine while we were here, so we headed over to Stadthaus for some rosti and local beers. Rosti is a traditional Swiss dish made of fried shredded potatoes, onions, cheese, all topped with a fried egg. This restaurant had a large patio, was located in a cute area of town, and had a decent sized menu.
Il Buongustaio - after a short break from Italian food, we just came crawling back for more. This small restaurant is easily missed but they make amazing wood-fired pizza. Dare I say, it rivaled the pizza from Italy?
Asllanis Corner - burgers are not really the first thing you think of when heading to Switzerland. But this was one amazing burger! I ordered it was a side salad and the salad was even topped with fresh flowers. Don't be fooled by the older pictures on Google maps, it was recently updated and has a giant patio for outdoor dining.
Restaurant & Bar Lisi (The Hey Hotel) - typically hotel restaurants are mediocre at best, but this restaurant was one of my favorites from the whole trip! We were served complementary bread with the most amazing fresh butter and even a complementary hummus plate. The food was so fresh and flavorful and the service was fantastic.
WHAT TO DO
Interlaken alone has so much to do, but a trip to Switzerland wouldn't be complete without exploring some of the smaller towns around the lake and in the mountains. This is where the Swiss charm is in full swing.
My husband couldn't stop talking about our boat rental in Italy, so we rented one again in Switzerland! We took a train to Brienz and rented a boat though Pirate Bay Nautical Center. You can also take a ferry across the lake to Brienz, but we wanted to get there quickly, so we took the train. Normally, we like to rent kayaks for a little bit more activity but we wanted to be able to see more of the lake, so we rented a motorboat. This company even has hot tub boats which would be perfect for a winter getaway!
I didn't read much about Lake Brienz or boat rentals when planning our trip, but it is a must-do for a trip to Interlaken. I'm really surprised more travelers didn't post about this, but it was a gem. Panoramic views of the mountains, waterfalls, and castles.
If you do a quick search about traveling to Interlaken, you'll quickly see hundreds of photos of Lauterbrunnen. Even though it is swamped with tourists, you really cannot miss it. During our three day trip to Interlaken, we came here twice. It's that beautiful.
We rented bikes from Alpia Sport + Mode and wandered down the main street into the valley. Albeit, a little stressful riding bikes in the heart of Lauterbrunnen, the crowds subsided once we got a little further into the valley. We stopped along the way to take pictures and enjoy the scenery. There's also a beautiful bridge at the end of the path.
Hiking is one of the activities my husband and I try to do on every trip we go on. We planned to hike from First cliff walk to Bachalpsee but the weather had other plans. There was just too much cloud cover to enjoy the views from that altitude. We used this live webcam to check on the weather in Grindelwald before making our decision to choose a different hike.
We chose to go back to Lauterbrunnen and took the cable car up to Grutschalp for a quick hike on our last day. The cablecar was packed like sardines. If you're claustrophobic, this might not be the ride for you. If you get a spot by the window though, the views are incredible.
Once we got to the top, we began wandering up the path. You could hear the cowbells in the distance. I was really hoping to see some cows, but we didn't this time around. The path we chose was an easy incline up but we definitely felt the altitude. We decided to keep our hike short, because we had a long day of travel in the morning.
HOW MANY DAYS?
We stayed in Interlaken for 3 day but we would have loved to add a few more days to our trip. The weather can be iffy, we lucked out and hardly got any rain, but it was fairly overcast and cloudy for some parts of the day. There are so many other towns in the area that would have been great to see. Hopefully we'll be back one day!
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