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ABOVE: A boy leads cows from the village to a
Ringgenberg, which adjoins Interlaken on Lake Brienz
Regional transportation articles
The Harder Kulm viewing platform and restaurant offer great views of Interlaken
and the Jungfrau Massif. Best of all, you can get there easily (and
inexpensively) by funicular from the outskirts of the village.
This aerial cableway started out as Europe's longest chair lift. Today, it uses
small gondolas to transport hikers, skiers 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.
Europe's most spectacular mountain railway is high in elevation, popularity, and price.
Learn what makes it unique and how to trim your ticket costs by up to 50%.
Explore a tourist attraction carved inside Europe's longest glacier.
This 90-year-old funicular leads 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.
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.
Resorts 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 lake steamer.
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.
Mürren (winter resort report)
There are no cars here--just plenty of great skiing near Interlaken and the Jungfrau,
including the world's longest downhill race for amateur skiers. In the summer, hiking
opportunities abound, and 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
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 that offers great tower views of the town and lake.
Bear Pits of Bern
The Swiss capital is 48 minutes from the Interlaken West railway station by
train. Bern is named after bears (Bären), and bears are featured on the city's
flag and coat of arms. The 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..
Swiss Parliament, Bern
When it's raining outside, the Federal Assembly chamber offers the best alpine
view in Switzerland.
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