Explore Interlaken on a Budget

Nestled between emerald-colored lakes and snowcapped mountains, Interlaken is a dream getaway for many vacationers. This charming Swiss resort town is surrounded by the dramatic Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau Mountains, making it an ideal destination for skiing and hiking.

But traveling in Europe can be expensive, right? Well, the good news is that with some planning and research, you can explore Interlaken on a budget without missing out on all the fun.

Getting to Interlaken on a Budget

Let’s start with getting to Interlaken. One great tool to help you find discounted flights is the Hopper app. With Hopper, you can track prices, set up alerts for price drops, and even access historical price data to help you find the best deal.

If you prefer to travel by train (and you’re not coming from America like us), then you might want to consider getting a rail pass. Eurail offers great deals for students, and it’s a convenient way to explore different parts of Switzerland without breaking the bank.

Note: As of writing this (March 2, 2023), you can get a 15 Day Eurail pass for $570/USD

Accommodations in Interlaken

Now that you’ve arrived in Interlaken, let’s talk about accommodations. While there are plenty of luxurious hotels in the area, they can be quite expensive. If you’re on a budget, consider staying at a lower caliber hotel, in a hostel or an Airbnb.

Hostels are a great option if you’re traveling solo or with a group. They offer dorm-style rooms, so you can save money on accommodation and meet other travelers at the same time. If you’re looking for a more private experience, then consider staying in an Airbnb. Staying in an Airbnb in Switzerland can be different from the US due to stricter regulations, higher prices in popular tourist areas, and variations in amenities provided. As such, it’s important to do your research and read reviews carefully before booking your stay.

During a portion of our honeymoon in Interlaken, we stayed at the Alpenrose hotel in Wilderswil. Though it wasn’t the cheapest option, we found it very doable for a three-night stay at a little over $280/USD per night. The hotel’s convenient location near the train station allows you to explore all other towns nearby.

Despite not being the biggest budget hotel, the Alpenrose provided us with comfortable accommodations, clean rooms, friendly staff, and a delicious breakfast spread.

Eating in Interlaken on a Budget

Finally, let’s talk about food. Interlaken has some delicious restaurants, but they can be pricey. If you’re on a budget, consider eating at local grocery stores or street food vendors. You can find delicious snacks and meals for a fraction of the price.

One evening during our stay in Interlaken, we opted to skip going out for dinner and instead shopped at a local store for some snacks and beers. It was a great way to experience some of the local culture without spending a lot of money. We also stumbled upon vending machines that sold cheese and jams from nearby farmers, which was a fun adventure and something we never see from our side of the world.

Note: Some of these vending machines are completely emptied out and some are overpriced. If you feel like something is not a good deal, reconsider buying the item at a store instead!

Another option is to cook your own meals. If you’re staying in an Airbnb, then you’ll have access to a kitchen. Head to a local grocery store and buy some fresh ingredients to make your own meals. Not only is it more affordable, but it’s also a fun way to experience the local cuisine.

Activities in Interlaken on a Budget

Interlaken is a picturesque town nestled in the Swiss Alps, known for its breathtaking mountain views, pristine lakes, and charming backroads. It’s no surprise that this town is a popular tourist destination, but it’s also possible to enjoy all that Interlaken has to offer without breaking the bank.

Harder Kulm

There are so many unique and budget-friendly activities to enjoy in Interlaken! During our trip, we made sure to take in the sights at Harder Kulm. The panoramic views of the surrounding mountains from the top are absolutely stunning. You can reach the Harder Kulm via a funicular railway that departs from Interlaken, and the round trip price is reasonable.

Once you arrive at the top, take a stroll along the viewing platform to fully appreciate the scenery. On a clear day, you can even see the Jungfrau Mountain! Just be ready to wait for your chance for a photo as this is now a prime spot for tourist and their pictures!

A selfie at the Harder Kulm At the top of the Harder Kulm

Lake Brienz

Another must-do activity is a boat ride out on the Brienz. This scenic journey takes you to the gorgeous Giessbach Waterfalls. The cost for the boat ride is quite affordable, and it’s an amazing way to explore Lake Brienz and the surrounding landscapes.

The Giessbach Waterfalls are a natural wonder, with 14 cascades that drop from over 500 meters above sea level. You can walk through the forest to get close to the falls, and there’s another funicular railway that takes you to the top. If I remember correctly, its one of the oldest ones in Switzerland!

Drone shot of the town A small town called Iseltwald on Lake Brienz


When wandering around Interlaken, make sure to take a stroll through the charming backroads of the town. Not only will you be surrounded by breathtaking mountain views and adorable cafes and shops, but you might also discover some hidden gems along the way.

During our own walk, we stumbled upon an old ruin type of stone water tower, which made for the perfect picnic spot. Additionally, we found a bakery that sold mouth-watering Swiss pastries and a small thrift store that featured works by local artists. Exploring the town on foot is a great way to take in the local culture and scenery without spending any money, and you never know what other treasures you might discover!

Old ruin picnic area The picnic area we stumbled upon

Interlaken is a beautiful destination that can be explored on a budget. From affordable accommodation options to budget-friendly activities, there are plenty of ways to experience the best of Interlaken without overspending. By taking advantage of budget airlines, shopping at local stores for snacks and meals, and exploring the town on foot, you can have an amazing trip without breaking the bank. Whether you’re interested in hiking, skiing, or simply soaking up the stunning natural beauty, Interlaken has something to offer everyone.

So don’t hesitate - start planning your budget-friendly trip to Interlaken today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in one of the most picturesque destinations in Switzerland!