On our way from Zermatt to Paris, we made a stop in Interlaken. Although it was not technically a layover, we only had about 24 hours to visit this beautiful city, so of course we made the most of it! In addition to being a popular tourist destination, Interlaken is home to Balmers, the first privately owned hostel in Switzerland. The hostel’s affordable accommodations make Interlaken a hot spot for young adults. Our visit was so amazing you’ll have to see it to believe it, so we’ve included lots of photos of this destination!
Where to Stay
Balmers Hostel offers everything from private rooms to shared dorms. They even have hammocks, hot tubs and a biergarten to hang out in during your stay. These large common spaces make it easy for you to relax and meet other travelers from around the world. They are also useful amenities because they allow you space to start enjoying your visit before your room is ready. We were especially happy the hostel provided storage for our bags prior to check in. We put our carry on luggage in a community storage tent and paid for a small locker to hold our valuables while we walked around town.
Because we visited in the summer, we opted for accommodations at Balmer’s Tent Village. This picturesque camp site has stunning views of the Alps. There were four of us in our group and it only cost 35 chf per person for the night. The wood framed tents have bunk beds with pillows, fresh sheets and blankets. This made it easy to camp without having to pack too many supplies.
What to Do
The best part of the incredible view is that we didn’t have to enjoy it from afar. The hostel works with a variety of local companies to offer outdoor activities year round. We chose to do a canyoning tour with Outdoor Interlaken. For about 120 chf per person, the excursion included transportation and equipment. All we needed was a bathing suit and a sense of adventure. Check out the full video below!
After this amazing experience, we freshened up and got dinner at The Barrel; an artisan cafe which sold local craft beers. We then finished the night at Balmers Club, a basement bierstube under the hostel. As to be expected from a hostel bar, it was filled with college students, but we enjoyed the cheap beer on tap and live music. After a long day in the water, we also appreciated the bars proximity to our beds.
If you are looking for a more luxurious nightcap, we recommend heading toward the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel. Their bar and restaurant is the embodiment of Swiss hospitality and the surrounding casino and spas are worth a visit.
Finally, as you know from our previous posts, we never leave a new city without finding the perfect coffee shop. After a night out, Barracuda Cafe is the perfect spot. They serve up tasty coffee drinks, Bloody Marys and bagels or sandwiches. The cafes hip and cozy vibe make you feel like a laid back local. It might be hard to say goodbye to Interlaken, but at least you can leave with a full stomach and treasured memories!