How to Save on Travel, Swiss Food and Hotels In Interlaken, Switzerland
How to Save on Travel, Swiss Food and Hotels In Interlaken, Switzerland

Tips To Save Money On Travel, Swiss Food and Hotels In Interlaken, Switzerland

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Switzerland has earned a reputation of being an expensive place to visit in Europe. I found this to be true when I visited Interlaken. However, there are some ways to save money on transport, swiss food and accommodation. Here is my money-saving guide to Interlaken Switzerland; Jump to relevant sections by clicking on the links below:

Save Money on Transport In Interlaken Switzerland

#1. Swiss Travel Pass or SwissPass

With the Swiss Saverpass also known as the Swiss Travel Pass or SwissPass, you can get unlimited travel on train, bus and boats on the Swiss Travel Network. The passes can be purchased for a duration ranging from 3 to 15 consecutive days or within a month. Prices start from $234 for a second-class pass per adult. If you are staying in Switzerland for less than 15 days then the Swiss Travel Pass or SwissPass is an excellent choice. However, if you are planning to stay longer than 15 days, then buy the Swiss Half Fare Card that gives you unlimited travel on train, bus and boats for half fare for about a month. Also, you get free access to 500 museums in Switzerland with the Swiss Travel Pass .

#2. Guest Card or Visitor Card in Interlaken Switzerland

Tourists visiting Switzerland are charged an extra amount called the Resort Tax or the Tourist Tax for every night of their stay which is used to keep up the tourist infrastructure. In exchange for this tax, you get a Guest Card or Visitor Card from the hotel/hostel you are staying at in Interlaken, Habkern or Beatenberg. This card gives you free access to public transport in zone 80 and travel to Iseltwald, Saxeten and Niederried . Further, this card also gives you a fare reduction on the funicular that takes you to the top of Harder Kulm and Schynige Platte.

*Travel Tip: Make sure you budget for the tourist tax separately. Most hotel accommodations don’t show the tax upfront when you book the hotel but you are charged on arrival.

#3. Jungfrau Travel Pass

If you are traveling only in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland (Interlaken, Mürren, Jungfraujoch and Grindelwald) then this pass is useful. It gives you unlimited travel on all modes of transport and can be purchased for 3, 4, 5 or 6 days. It also gives discounts on some attractions as well. However, this pass is not valid on buses within Interlaken. You can use the Visitor Card for free transport in Interlaken. Find more information about the pass here: Jungfrau Travel Pass.

#4. Eurail/InterRail Pass

The Eurail/ InterRail pass is an all-in-one train ticket which gives you the option to hop-on and hop-off trains across 24 countries in Europe contingent to the type of pass you have purchased. I found that this pass is especially useful if your travel itinerary spans 4 or more countries in Europe and your travel plans are not predetermined. There are three options available for Eurail passes : Eurail Saver Pass, Eurail Select Pass – explore 4 or more countries and the one country pass. Unfortunately, the one country pass option is not available for Switzerland. However, if you are a holder of a Eurail Select Pass or the Eurail Saver Pass, you can get huge discounts on travel, accommodations and attractions in Switzerland.

Buy the Eurail pass here:
Discover Europe by Train with Eurail


The SBB APP gives you up to date information on train schedules, platform changes, helps you buy tickets on the go and reserve your seats. It is available for both Iphone and Android mobile phones. It is a very useful app for a frequent traveler; especially the SuperSaver Tickets on the app which can save you up to 50% in train fares.

Cheap Hotels In Interlaken Switzerland

In my experience, it is cheaper to travel to Interlaken during the off-shoulder/off-peak seasons(spring or autumn). Most resorts and hotels are open in early spring and cost less due to low demand. However, be warned that the weather conditions may mean that some of the attractions, hiking trails remain closed during this time. check out this website for the best time to visit Switzerland.

There are still ways to get Cheap hotels in Interlaken during the summer. Here are my picks of the best ones.

#1. Balmers Backpackers Hostel

Balmers Backpackers Hostel is not just an ordinary dormitory style hostel. This hostel is well-known in the backpacker community as a party destination. The hostel hosts its own in-house DJ and guest DJ for a thriving night life scene every weekend. It also has a tent-style village with hammocks, jacuzzi, a bar and a pool. If that was not enough, the hostel has organized activities for every season and the food is also good.
* Travel Tip: Book in advance as this hostel is in high-demand!

#2. Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof – Hostel Interlaken

If you are over the “party party party” phase of your life, and would rather stay at a family friendly hostel that is clean, budget-friendly and comfortable, then Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof is the perfect place for you. This hostel has individually decorated rooms with facilities such as free parking, free wifi, shared tv area, fully equipped kitchen and washers/dryers. A huge perk of staying here is that each guest receives two tokens per night of stay. You can use these tokens towards free laundry and coffee.

#3. Downtown Hostel Interlaken

If you missed out on the two hostels mentioned above, Downtown Hostel Interlaken is another good option. This hostels also has clean rooms, friendly staff and most importantly it is located in downtown Interlaken.

#4. Airbnb and Homestay

With the advent of Airbnb and Homestay, you have more accomodation options to choose from. You can choose to rent a private room or an entire apartment for the duration of your stay. The advantage of Airbnb is that you get to mingle more with the locals and have access to facilities like a fully equipped kitchen and laundry which is a major money saver. If you don’t already have an airbnb account, you can use my link to get $35 off (amount subject to your country of residence) on your first stay off Airbnb . Please note some locations are excluded from this offer.

Tips To Save Money on Swiss Food

Swiss Food is very expensive. Especially, swiss food and alcohol in sit-down style restaurants is costlier than in other European countries. Of course, tasting and enjoying swiss food is part of the Switzerland experience. So, occasionally splurge on their amazing chocolates and cheese (Fondue… Yum!). However, for everyday breakfast lunch and dinner try these options:

#1. Eat at Migros or Coop

You can find reasonably priced swiss food at grocery stores such as Migros (not Migrolino), Coop (not Coop pronto), Aldi and Lidl. Migros grocery stores even serve hot food and have an in grocery self-serve restaurant. I ate at a self serve restaurant at Migros in Interlaken; The food was delicious and well-priced.

#2. Don’t buy bottled water

The water from the tap in Interlaken Switzerland is completely safe and drinkable. Fill up your water bottle at the hotel. If the bottle is empty during the course of the day, you can fill it up at these fountains that are located all over Interlaken. These fountains are not just for decoration, they actually are there to give people with drinking water. If the water is not drinkable, then there is a clear warning sign saying ‘eau non potable’. Otherwise, drink away!

#3. Skip Alcohol At Restaurants

Alcohol is expensive in bars and restaurants. So consider buying your beer at the local grocery store mentioned before. Drinking in public is legal in Switzerland. So, find your favourite scenic spot and enjoy your drink.

#4. Cook Your Own Food

Find accommodation with some basic kitchen facilities. Eg. accommodation in hostels such as Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof , Airbnb or Homestays with access to kitchen facilities are excellent options. Instead of spending a ton of money on swiss food in restaurants, cook your own food or make quick sandwiches.

I hope these tips save you money on your travels. If my comments helped you in any way or if you have more tips to add to this list, please let me know in the comments.

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How to Save on Travel, Swiss Food and Hotels In Interlaken, Switzerland
How to Save on Travel, Swiss Food and Hotels In Interlaken, Switzerland

Affiliate Links

This post contains affiliate links. This means that when you book a hotel through the links posted here, I get a small fee from the booking amount. Please note this doesn’t affect my opinion of the hotels above and this doesn’t cost you extra. You pay the same amount if you do it through my link or directly. If you find this article useful, please consider booking through my link so that I can continue writing this travel blog. Thank you for your support.

Interlaken Switzerland is a picture perfect town sandwiched between two beautiful lakes. Read about the 6 reasons why you should visit Interlaken.
Visit Interlaken Switzerland

Interlaken Switzerland

Interlaken is a picture perfect town sandwiched between two beautiful lakes, Lake Briennz and Lake Thun. Though, it’s not famous as the other Swiss cities like Zurich, Geneva etc., this town is still noteworth because it has so many options for a wide range of travellers. Whether you are a hiker, a adventure seeker or simply a traveler who loves nature, Interlaken has something for everyone. Checkout the things that you can do in Interlaken in my list below:

1. Enjoy The Glacial Lakes Of Interlaken

City of lakes by Freddy Enguix, on Flickr
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Freddy Enguix
As I said before, Interlaken is set between two gorgeous colorful lakes – Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. The brilliant color of the lakes is due to the glacial rock flour which gives these lakes a blue or greenish hue. You don’t need to go far to see the either of the lakes; just taking a walk around Interlaken will give you brilliant views of both. Further, if you want a more immersive experience, you can also take a cruise on the lake. However, in my opinion, the best way to see these lakes is from the top! As shown in the picture, you can see both these lakes and the town from the top of Harder Kulm.

2. Drive/Ride the Train to Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen by Noel Reynolds, on Flickr
(CC BY 2.0) by Noel Reynolds
Fans of the Lord of the Rings will instantly draw a parallel between Lauterbrunnen and Rivendale. Lauterbrunnen has not 1, not 2 but 72 waterfalls, with the most famous waterfall, Staubbach Falls, cascading down as shown in the picture. This gorgeous valley is a short drive from Interlaken. You can also reach Lauterbrunnen via train. Board the train “R towards Lauterbrunnen” and you will be there in 30 mins.

3. Travel To Jungfraujoch


Travel to the highest point in Europe and enjoy the Swiss Alps up-close. To get to Jungfraujoch, either take a train or drive to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. Then, ride the Wengernalp cable car to Kleine Scheidegg. The train to Jungfraujoch goes directly from there. The trip is definitely worth the effort.

4. Go To The Top Of Harder Kulm

Harder Kulm
Harder Kulm

Get a bird’s eye view of Interlaken and enjoy the gorgeous panoramic view of the town sandwiched between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

5. Feed Your Inner Adventure Junkie

Paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland by abucska, on Flickr(CC BY 2.0) by abucska
Adventure Junkies, this is the place for you! Enjoy a range of activities from skydiving, paragliding, kayaking, rappelling and sliding down waterfalls, bungee jumping etc. If you are not into extreme adrenaline adventures, you can still have fun here: enjoy electric bike tours, horse-back riding, canoeing or hiking.

6. Just Relax and Enjoy The Picturesque Town

Interlaken, Switzerland, Europe by Mark W Weston, on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Mark W Weston
If you only have a day or two to visit and don’t have the time for all the activities on offer, then just stroll around this town. The swiss chalets and the fairy-tale like town is a memorable experience in itself.

If you are looking to visit Interlaken on a budget, don’t forget to read my post on how to save money on travel, swiss food and hotels in Interlaken Switzerland. Happy Travels!

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Interlaken Switzerland is a picture perfect town sandwiched between two beautiful lakes. Read about the 6 reasons why you should visit Interlaken.
Interlaken Switzerland