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A Weekend in Interlaken

Nestled in at the bottom of the Swiss Alps, Interlaken has been a top holiday resort for 300 years. With breathtaking mountain and lakeside scenery, quaint villages and spectacular winter and water sports, Interlaken is perfect for an active weekend away.

With offbeat outdoor pursuits like bungee-jumping and skydiving available, Interlaken attracts adrenaline junkies. This has led to a growing backpacker party scene, with thrill-seekers packing out cozy Alpine bars and pubs.

A Budget Break

Interlaken is a year-round resort, with excellent skiing in the winter, and hiking, cycling and water sports on the lakes of Thun and Brienz in the summer. This, and the fact the town is a low-lying resort (not right up in the Alps), means that Interlaken is far cheaper than traditional Swiss destinations. With cheap flights to Berne available with most budget airlines, and loads of Interlaken Hostels in town, the resort is perfect for a student budget.

A Winter Wonderland

Winter travellers will be rewarded with the fairytale setting of the Swiss Alps – all snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes and perfect ski-slopes. Take a cable-car up to the top of the mountain, or ride on the mountain train to the major ski-resorts. The giddy peaks of Schilthorn and the downhill Lauberhorn ski-run are great for experienced skiers, and beginners can try their hand at the never-ending runs at Jungfrau.

There’s also plenty to do off-piste, from hiking along frozen rivers and through Kleine Rugen forest, to tucking in to the famous Swiss Fondue. Pick a lively hostel in Interlaken and you may find a swimming pool, climbing wall, or even a Guinness bar on site!

A Summer Holiday

The beautiful lakes and alpine forests are equally enjoyable when the weather heats up, and there are even more activities to get stuck into, from rafting and paragliding to a quiet round of mini-golf. For a traditional taste of Switzerland and amazing views, take the funicular railway up to Harderkuhm on a Friday, where you’ll find folk-dancing and music performed for visitors.

Chill Out

If you’re not that sporty, or just need to unwind after an action-packed first day, there’s still plenty to do in Interlaken. Take a Lake-Steamer cruise to Brienz, a picturesque woodcarvers' town, or visit Thun for its medieval castle. The capital Bern, with its pretty arcaded passages full of shops, is a great place to pick up a souvenir.