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Interlaken or Luzern?

My friend would like to stay in Interlaken, but I have a feeling it is overrated, especially if you are going into the mountains next, as we are. Any hotel recommendations in either would be appreciated.

Posted by
7205 posts

I don't think I've ever heard of people staying in Interlaken and then from Interlaken moving to the the alpine villages from there.

Yes, you're correct. There is absolutely no need to do that and it's a waste of time.

ALWAYS choose to stay in the alpine villages instead of Interlaken.

Posted by
3551 posts

luzern for sure. We were there summer 2016, stayed at ibis budget about 2 short blocks from train station. It was very clean comfortable and a good location. The price for us was just right in a very expensive city.
We would go back anytime. Ck it out if u are on a budget. Interlaken is well located but no charm of switz. It is a main train stAyin betw Lucerne and the berner oberland alpine region, but that is it.

Posted by
4588 posts

To me, staying in Interlaken would be like driving to Disneyland but not actually going into the park. If you're staying in that area, be wow'ed by being in the midst of outstanding scenery & access to hiking. Select Lauterbrunnen, Murren or Wengen.

Posted by
75 posts

Thanks, Jean! You're preaching to the choir! We will be spending 5 nights IN the mountains! Just wanted to stay somewhere else for 2 nights first and my friend had a recommendation to go to Interlaken. I haven't been there, but had the impression it was for those who wanted to see the mountains but were not going into them. And I see from the responses here that that is true. So we are going to stay in Luzerne 2 nights. Thanks for responding though!

Posted by
28087 posts

This question has confused me since I saw it.

If you want to go into the mountains - to see them up close instead of behind that restaurant or from a balcony - then go to the mountains.

I am surprised by your last answer. I hope that you don't think that Luzern is in amongst the mountains - it isn't. The reason that there is a beautiful bridge across the river, and that there are boats which go all over the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) is that Luzern is at lake level, and relatively flat.

From there it is not too far get to Titlis or Pilatus or Rigi and go up those mountains but don't go expecting to be amidst them.

The main difference between Luzern and Interlaken is that Luzern is a working city with industry, business and all the positives with being a large town or small city, including fabulous museums, the lake, an impressive old town, and a great transportation hub. Interlaken is also a transportation hub, much smaller transportation hub, but virtually the whole town is tourist oriented with lots of big hotels, small hotels, and hostels.

Without tourists, Luzern would survive. I'm not sure about Interlaken.

Think Ft Collins vs. the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Posted by
75 posts

Nigel, we are actually spending 5 nights in Murren and Grindelwald. It will be my 7th visit to this area and my reason for going to Europe! But it is my friend's first time in Switzerland and she wants to see ;see another city too. I live in the San Francisco area but I left my heart in Murren! Thanks though for your response!

Posted by
34 posts

We dropped off our rental car in Zurich, and spent one night in Interlaken. We stayed at a B&B recommended by Rick, and next day headed up to Gimmelwald. It was a good place to stay for the night, as we had already had a long day. It worked for us. Small town, easy to find our way around, good nights sleep and excellent breakfast!

Posted by
1 posts

I'm also wondering if I should stay in Interlaken. My hesitation in staying elsewhere is that the smaller villages may not have as many food options...I am a vegetarian/gluten free and my husband is vegan. Any suggestions on best place to stay based on that? We are planning on traveling to Kandersteg and Lake Oeschinensee from there to go hiking and possibly Lauterbrunnen for a day, but I'm struggling with the best place to position ourselves.