Located in central Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region, Interlaken is situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps on the shores of two beautiful alpine lakes: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. A small city, Interlaken has a permanent population of just under 7,000 people, most of whom are German-speaking. The city’s economy is largely based on tourism, as it’s a supremely popular destination for people looking for a little rest and relaxation.
Because of its natural surroundings, Interlaken is a popular tourist destination. Flights to Interlaken are frequently booked by hikers, mountain climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts who come to the region to enjoy its many opportunities for outdoor recreation. There’s a historical precedent for travel to Interlaken, too. Among the many who have visited the region for its serene beauty, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Felix Felix Mendelssohn famously traversed this section of the Swiss Alps.
Most flights to Interlaken, Switzerland, arrive at Bern International Airport (BRN), which is the closest major international airport to the city. Bern International Airport, located about 35 miles north of Interlaken, is about 45 minutes from Interlaken by car, or about 90 minutes by train. Some travelers who book flights to Interlaken choose to arrive at Zurich International Airport (ZRH). Zurich International Airport is about 75 miles from Interlaken, about a two-hour drive by car or a two-hour train ride. Because of its more secluded location within Switzerland, flying to Interlaken requires a little extra transportation beyond the airport, but this offers visitors the opportunity to explore different airports and locales within the region.
In addition to participating in outdoor activities, people who fly to Interlaken, Switzerland, also spend time visiting the city’s historic sites or attending its festivals and events. Bordering Interlaken are the ruins of Unspunnen Castle. Believed to have been constructed in the 12th century, Unspunnen Castle is a historical landmark that overlooks the city. In recent times, the fields just below the ruins are home to the Unspunnenfest, which is a semi-regular event held every 12 years. This event started in the 13th century as a way to unify the Swiss. Today, it features many competitions that celebrate and rally around Swiss culture.
The Rothenfluh ruins, located near Unspunnen Castle, are another set of ruins that date back to the 13th century. Tourists who book flights to Interlaken can take a gorgeous, nature path to the Rothenfluh ruins, which offers wonderful natural sights, including an eye-catching band of rust-red rock (or “red ridge” which is what Rothenfluh translates to).
Among Interlaken’s most famous annual events is the Jungfrau Marathon, a mountain marathon in which the participants run a set course through the Alps. Hundreds of runners from around the world fly to Interlaken, Switzerland, to run in the event each year. Because of its location and wonderful views, the Jungfrau Marathon is considered one of the most beautiful and celebrated marathons in the world. Every year, roughly 3,000 to 5,000 participants from an average of 50 nations fly to Interlaken to participate.
Summer and winter are the most popular times to visit Interlaken. Travelers who are on a budget can usually find cheap flights to Interlaken available during the shoulder seasons of late fall and early spring when fewer people are participating in outdoor activities.
For those looking to take in the incredible views by train, the Wilderswil Railway Station can take visitors on a tour through the surrounding mountains. It’s the perfect mode of transportation for tourists looking to visit beyond Interlaken and take in more of the beautiful Swiss scenery, and it’s also an opportunity for respite after a long day of hiking.