It's simple: The best way to see everything in Interlaken is to walk. You can either randomly stroll around, enjoying the panoramic views in all directions, or follow a more structured walking tour. If you'd like some guidance, go to the tourist office and ask for a copy of What a Wonderful World, providing maps and listing hotels and local attractions.
The Höheweg covers 14 hectares (35 acres) in the middle of town between the two train stations. Once the property of Augustinian monks, it was acquired in the mid-19th century by the hotel keepers of Interlaken, who turned it into a park. As you stroll along Höhenpromenade, admire the famous view of the Jungfrau mountain. Another beautiful sight is the flower clock at the Casino Kursaal. You're also sure to see some fiacres (horse-drawn cabs). The promenade is lined with hotels, cafes, and gardens.
Cross over the Aare River to Unterseen, built in 1280 by Berthold von Eschenbach. Here you can visit the parish church, with its late-Gothic tower dating from 1471. This is one of the most photographed sights in the Bernese Oberland. The Mönch appears to the left of the tower, the Jungfrau on the right.
Back in Interlaken, visit the Touristik-Museum der Jungfrau-Region, am Stadthausplatz, Obere Gasse 28 (tel. 033/822-98-39), the first regional tourism museum in the country. Exhibitions show the growth of tourism in the region throughout the past 2 centuries. The museum is open from May to mid-October Tuesday to Sunday from 2 to 5pm. Admission is 5F, or 4F with a visitor's card. Children are charged 2F.
To see the sights of Interlaken, Matten, and Unterseen by fiacre, line up at the Interlaken West train station. The half-hour round-trip tour costs 40F for one or two, plus 12F for each additional person; children 7 to 16 are charged half fare, and those 6 and under ride free.
Other attractions in the area include animal parks, afternoon concerts, and steamers across lakes Brienz and Thun. During the summer, visitors can sit in covered grandstands and watch Schiller's version of the William Tell story and the formation of the Swiss Confederation. We also recommend the delectable pastries sold in the local cafes.
The great mysteries of the world are revealed at Jungfrau Park (tel. 033/827-57-57), a theme park outside Interlaken. It can be reached by taking the Jungfrau Park Express electro-shuttle at the Höhenweg Station in the center of town. The park has been called a venue for "UFO-ologists, New Age mystics, and conspiracy theorists." Its owners claim they question "sacred cows and explore alternate theories about ancient cultures, solving such questions as to who constructed the Pyramids or Stonehenge in the West Country of England." Multi-media presentations explore these mysteries and others.
The park was designed by Erich von Däniken, amd consists of seven pavilions, each of which explores one of the great mysteries of the world. Von Däniken believes that aliens played a great influence on Earth, as all the attractions demonstrate. However, the Academia Suisse des Sciences Techniques has labeled the mystery park a "cultural Chernobyl."
It is open April 22 to October 30 daily 10am to 6pm. Admission is 38F for adults, 26F for students, and 20F for ages 6 to 16. Free for kids 5 and under.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.