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ABOVE: View the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau from
Interlaken, or get a bird's-eye view with a mountain excursion by cogwheel railway,
funicular, or cable car.
Switzerland for Visitors articles
This aerial cableway uses small gondolas to transport hikers and tourists up the
mountainside. You'll enjoy spectacular views on the ride up and from the upper station,
where you can have a meal or snack before hiking or riding back down.
The affordable 12-minute funicular ride starts near Interlaken Ost station. From the upper
platform at 4,337 feet, you can go hiking and enjoy the views of Lake Brienz and Lake
Europe's most spectacular mountain railway is high in elevation, popularity,
Explore a tourist attraction carved inside Europe's longest glacier.
Ride a 90-year-old funicular to spectacular views, hikes, and a mountain inn
overlooking Lake Thun.
Ride a cable car, hike a nature path, or try a 100m bungee jump on the Stockhorn, near
Lake Thun, where you can also enjoy a meal or rent a room on the summit.
Resort towns near Interlaken
On a mountainside just minutes from Interlaken, you'll find an unspoiled paradise
for hikers and skiers.
This pretty town near Interlaken has woodcarvers, an antique steam cogwheel
railway, and the Swiss Open-Air Museum. It's easy to reach by train or, better yet, by
Is this bucolic village really off the beaten path? Many fans of the Rick Steves Europe
Through the Back Door guidebooks think so, but Gimmelwald's backwoods charm has
attracted tourists (and travel writers) for a century or more.
Ride the train or drive to a valley with 72 waterfalls--including the Trümmelbach
Falls, which you reach by descending into a gorge by funicular.
Interlaken's lakeside neighbor is just minutes away by train, bus, car,
footpath, or lake steamer.
You won't find any cars at this mountain resort near Interlaken, but you will
find the Jungfrau, the Eiger, and some of the best hiking in the Swiss Alps. The setting
is unbeatable: Wengen lies on a steep shelf overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Accommodations range from grand hotels to youth hostels.
(winter resort report)
There are no cars here--just plenty of great hiking and winter skiing. You can ascend the
Schilthorn via aerial cablecar. (The revolving restaurant at the top was featured in a
James Bond movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.)
Move those cows out of the way, because 2,500 runners chase medals in the Bernese
Oberland every September.
Even a weekend adventurer can enjoy a white-knuckle experience on white water.
This medieval city on Lake Thun is 26 minutes from Interlaken by train or about
two hours by lake steamer. (It's also a stop on the train route to Bern.) Thun has an unusual main
shopping street with shops on two levels. Its castle offers great tower views of the town
Pits of Bern
The Swiss capital is 48 minutes from Interlaken by train. The famous bear pits
are a little depressing, but there are plenty of other things to do in Bern--most notably,
exploring and shopping in the arcaded passages of the medieval downtown area.
After you've seen the carvings and stained-glass windows, climb the tower for a
panoramic view of Switzerland's capital city.
Restaurant Goldener Schlüssel, Bern
For location and price, this hotel in the Swiss capital's medieval center is
hard to beat. Rooms are on the austere side, but you'll get an excellent
breakfast in the hotel's attractive restaurant.
In the summertime, grab your bathing suit and catch the funicular to a riverside
swimming area below the Parliament building..
When it's raining outside, the Federal Assembly chamber offers the best alpine
view in Switzerland.
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