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Interlaken Switzerland is a scenic Alpine village nestled between two lakes. It’s a beautiful town that offers picturesque views of the Swiss Alps.
Interlaken is a tourist town for Europeans. There are many fancy stores and souvenir shops. There are a wide array of places where you can buy elegant Swiss watches or famous Swiss knives. There are also lots of high end clothing stores where you can purchase brands such as Patagonia. If you are in need, you can find some cheaper options in the souvenir shops. I really needed a winter hat, and I was able to find a nice one for 12 Francs in one of the cheaper souvenir outlets.
There are also many dining options in Interlaken, most of which are pretty expensive. Most meals will cost you over 20 Francs, even at Hooters! (Yes, there was a Hooters in Interlaken, and yes, we checked the menu). There are some cheaper options available if you want to see the gorgeous town on a budget. There are two American fast food options: Subway and McDonalds (although I didn’t check the prices, I can’t imagine they would be as expensive as the regular restaurants) and there is also a grocery store that sells sandwiches, snacks, and bottled water. This is the best place to get bottled water, as it will cost about 2 Francs in the grocery store, but upwards of 8 francs in a restaurant.
We stayed at Hotel Continental, a fairly inexpensive (for Switzerland) option situated right by a gorgeous canal with crystal clear Alpine runoff. A family room for one night at this hotel cost $184. The room was small, but they crammed 4 twin beds in so we were all able to sleep comfortably. The hotel also had a “Western Saloon” and “Irish Bar” attached. This was nice as we didn’t have to get bundled up to go out to the bars. It was really fun seeing a European version of the American Western Saloon. They had American, Confederate, and Texas flags strung up all around as decoration and a strip pole for some reason. The American bar was attached to the Irish bar, which was fancier and had a better drink selection. Both bars were extremely expensive. You would be charged 15 Francs total for a mixed drink, because they added the cost of the alcohol to the cost of the mixer. Beer was cheaper at about 5-6 Francs, but they didn’t have a lot of options, especially for non-beer drinkers. Even water was about 8 Francs. My friends stayed out and partied at this bar all night, and had a great time, but I went back to the room and got some much needed sleep.
Hotel Continental sets up an attractive continental breakfast in the morning. The food isn’t that great, but it was free, and after the immense expense of everything else in this city, we were more than happy to partake in any free food. The coffee was really good, as was the view from the large glass windows in the dining area.
Although expensive, Interlaken is a beautiful, serene village. It’s a charming break from the hustle and bustle of European Cities. If you have the time, and the money, it is worth a short sojourn.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.