Interlaken is a municipality
Municipalities of Switzerland
Communes , also known as municipalities, are the smallest government division in Switzerland, numbering 2,596 . While many have a population of a few hundred citizens, the largest cities such as Zürich or Geneva also have the legal status of municipalities...

 in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district
Interlaken-Oberhasli (administrative district)
Interlaken-Oberhasli District in the Canton of Bern was created on 1 January 2010. It is part of the Oberland administrative region. It contains 29 municipalities with an area of and a population of 48,763....

 in the Canton of Bern in Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, a well-known tourist destination in the Bernese Oberland
Bernese Oberland
The Bernese Oberland is the higher part of the canton of Bern, Switzerland, in the southern end of the canton: The area around Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and the valleys of the Bernese Alps .The flag of the Bernese Oberland consists of a black eagle in a gold field The Bernese Oberland (Bernese...



Until 1891 Interlaken was known as Aarmühle. The convent of the Augustinian Canons was built in 1130 and lasted until 1528. Previously, printing, textiles, and to a smaller extent watchmaking were also of importance, but today tourism is the most significant source of income. Interlaken is one of the oldest tourist resorts in Switzerland, and it remains one of the most popular.


Interlaken is located between Lake Brienz
Lake Brienz
Lake Brienz is a lake just north of the Alps, in the Canton of Berne in Switzerland. The lake took its name from the village Brienz on its northern shore. Interlaken and the villages Matten and Unterseen lie to the south west of the lake. The shores are steep, and there is almost no shallow water...

 to the east and Lake Thun
Lake Thun
Lake Thun is an Alpine lake in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. It took its name from the city of Thun, on its northern shore.Lake Thun's approximately 2,500 km² large catchment area frequently causes local flooding after heavy rainfalls...

 to the west in the area called Bödeli
Bödeli is the tongue of land between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland. Lake Thun and Lake Brienz were not yet separate after the last ice age. The rivers Lütschine from the south and the Lombach from the north brought enough debris to cause a partitioning over the...

. The town takes its name from its geographical position between the lakes (in Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 inter lacus). The Aare River flows through the town connecting the lakes.

Interlaken is located at 570 m (1,870.1 ft) above sea level.

Interlaken has an area, , of 4.4 km² (1.7 sq mi). Of this area, 1.05 km² (0.405407266522162 sq mi) or 24.4% is used for agricultural purposes, while 0.97 km² (0.374519093834759 sq mi) or 22.6% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 2.03 km² (0.783787381942846 sq mi) or 47.2% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.3 km² (0.115830647577761 sq mi) or 7.0% is either rivers or lakes and 0.01 km² (2.5 acre) or 0.2% is unproductive land.

Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 5.3% of the total area while housing and buildings made up 21.4% and transportation infrastructure made up 16.0%. while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 4.0%. 20.9% of the total land area is heavily forested and 1.6% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 6.5% is used for growing crops and 16.3% is pastures, while 1.6% is used for orchards or vine crops. All the water in the municipality is in rivers and streams.


Interlaken has a population (as of ) of . , 24.0% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has grown at a rate of 4.5%. Most of the population speaks German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 (83.4%), with Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 being second most common ( 3.9%) and Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 being third ( 2.8%).

In the 2007 election the most popular party was the SVP
Swiss People's Party
The Swiss People's Party , also known as the Democratic Union of the Centre , is a conservative political party in Switzerland. Chaired by Toni Brunner, but spearheaded by Christoph Blocher, the party is the largest party in the Federal Assembly, with 58 members of the National Council and 6 of...

 which received 29.3% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SPS
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland
The Social Democratic Party of Switzerland is the largest centre-left political party in Switzerland....

 (21.3%), the FDP
Free Democratic Party of Switzerland
The Free Democratic Party was a classical liberal political party in Switzerland. It was one of the major parties in Switzerland until its merger with the smaller classical liberal Liberal Party, to form FDP.The Liberals on 1 January 2009....

 (18.7%) and the Green Party
Green Party of Switzerland
The Green Party of Switzerland is the fifth-largest party in the National Council of Switzerland, and the largest party that is not represented on the Federal Council.-History:...


The age distribution of the population is children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 19.3% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 63.1% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 17.6%. The entire Swiss population is generally well educated. In Interlaken about 69.2% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule
A Fachhochschule or University of Applied Sciences is a German type of tertiary education institution, sometimes specialized in certain topical areas . Fachhochschulen were founded in Germany and later adopted by Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Greece...


Interlaken has an unemployment rate of 3.86%. , there were 28 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 6 businesses involved in this sector. 742 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 76 businesses in this sector. 4,935 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 535 businesses in this sector.
The historical population is given in the following table:
year population
1764 397
1850 1,054
1900 2,962
1950 4,368
2000 5,119


The town is a base from which to explore the surrounding areas by train or bus. One of the main attractions is the Jungfrau
The Jungfrau is one of the main summits in the Bernese Alps, situated between the cantons of Valais and Bern in Switzerland...

, (4158 m (13,641.7 ft)) and the Jungfraujoch
The Jungfraujoch is a col or saddle between the Mönch and the Jungfrau in the Bernese Alps on the boundary between the cantons of Bern and Valais, inside the Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area....

 railway station (3450 m (11,318.9 ft)). Many hotels are located along the Höheweg. Mystery Park, a paranormal-based theme park owned by Erich von Däniken
Erich von Däniken
Erich Anton Paul von Däniken is a Swiss author best known for his controversial claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, in books such as Chariots of the Gods?, published in 1968...

, was closed in 2006 after three years because of financial difficulties but re-opened in 2009.

Interlaken is a destination for backpacker
Backpacking (travel)
Backpacking is a term that has historically been used to denote a form of low-cost, independent international travel. Terms such as independent travel and/or budget travel are often used...

s throughout the year. Interlaken has numerous backpacker-friendly hostels and companies providing guided services in skydiving, canyoning
Canyoning is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and/or swimming....

, hang gliding
Hang gliding
Hang gliding is an air sport in which a pilot flies a light and unmotorized foot-launchable aircraft called a hang glider ....

, paragliding
Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure...

, and skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....



Interlaken has two railway stations Interlaken Ost
Interlaken Ost
Interlaken Ost is the main station in the town of Interlaken in the region of Bern, Switzerland. The town has one other station, Interlaken West....

 and Interlaken West
Interlaken West
Interlaken West is a railway station in Interlaken, Switzerland.Interlaken West is a secondary station in Interlaken, the main station is Interlaken Ost.The station is currently served by three operators, BLS, SBB-CFF-FFS and Deutsche Bahn...

 and two funicular railways
A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.-Operation:The basic principle of funicular...

, the Harderbahn
.The Harderbahn is one of two funiculars that operate from the town of Interlaken to the mountain of Harder Kulm, in Switzerland. This funicular, the longer of the two, runs from a base station to a station near the summit of the Harder Kulm , Interlaken’s own mountain...

 and the Heimwehfluhbahn
The Heimwehfluhbahn is a funicular at Interlaken in the Swiss Canton of Berne. It runs to the top of the nearby Heimwehfluh hill at an altitude of 680 metres above sea level...

. Train connections in Interlaken serve the Jungfrau region via the Berner Oberland Bahn, and the narrow-gauge lines of the Zentralbahn
The Zentralbahn is a Swiss railway company that was created on January 1, 2005, with the merger of the Luzern–Stans–Engelberg-Bahn and the Brünigbahn...

 extending over the Brünig Pass
Brünig Pass
Brünig Pass connects the Bernese Oberland and central Switzerland, linking Meiringen in the canton of Bern and Lungern in the canton of Obwalden.Rail services are provided by the Zentralbahn between Luzern and Interlaken.-See also:...

 to Luzern. The main line connects Interlaken with the cities of Spiez
Spiez is a city in the Frutigen-Niedersimmental administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.-Geography:Spiez has an area of . Of this area, 38.5% is used for agricultural purposes, while 29.1% is forested...

, Thun
Thun is a municipality in the administrative district of Thun in the canton of Bern in Switzerland with about 42,136 inhabitants , as of 1 January 2006....

 and Bern. There are also regular bus links to the neighbouring town of Thun. Boat services across Lake Brienz
Lake Brienz
Lake Brienz is a lake just north of the Alps, in the Canton of Berne in Switzerland. The lake took its name from the village Brienz on its northern shore. Interlaken and the villages Matten and Unterseen lie to the south west of the lake. The shores are steep, and there is almost no shallow water...

 to Brienz
Brienz is a municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.The village lies on the north bank of Lake Brienz in the Bernese Oberland at the foot of the Brienzer Rothorn mountain.-History:...

 and across Lake Thun
Lake Thun
Lake Thun is an Alpine lake in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. It took its name from the city of Thun, on its northern shore.Lake Thun's approximately 2,500 km² large catchment area frequently causes local flooding after heavy rainfalls...

 to Spiez and Thun are operated by BLS Lötschbergbahn. Interlaken also has an airport, Interlaken Airport. It serves the cities of Matten and Interlaken.


  • In September, the Jungfrau Marathon
    Jungfrau Marathon
    The Jungfrau Marathon is one of the best known mountain marathons in the world, in full view of the famous Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains in the Bernese Oberland area of the Swiss Alps....

     starts in Interlaken.
  • The Unspunnenfest
    Unspunnenfest is a festival held in the town of Interlaken, Switzerland, near the old ruin of Unspunnen Castle, in the Bernese Alps, approximately once every twelve years, most recently in 2006. The festival highlights traditional Swiss culture and features competitions of Steinstossen , Schwingen ...

     is a festival held in Interlaken and the neighbouring communities of Matten
    Matten bei Interlaken
    Matten bei Interlaken is a municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.The municipalities of Matten, Unterseen, and Interlaken comprise a single metropolitan area.-History:...

     and Wilderswil
    Wilderswil is a municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.It is situated at the southern border of the Bödeli watershed, where the Saxetenbach joins the Lütschine, south of Interlaken. The village is situated at the foot of the mountains...

     approximately every twelve years. The festival highlights traditional Swiss culture
    Culture of Switzerland
    Strong regionalism in Switzerland makes it difficult to speak of a homogeneous Swiss culture. The influence of German, French and Italian culture on their neighbouring parts cannot be denied. The Rhaeto-Romanic culture in the eastern mountains of Switzerland is robust.-Folk arts:Folk art is kept...

     and features competitions of Steinstossen
    Steinstossen is the Swiss variant of stone put, a competition in throwing a heavy stone. Practiced among the alpine population since prehistoric times, it is recorded to have taken place in Basel in the 13th century. During the 15th century, it is frequently recorded to have been practiced...

     (stone put), Schwingen
    ' , also known as Swiss wrestling and natively as , is a style of folk wrestling native to Switzerland, more specifically the pre-alpine parts of German-speaking Switzerland.Wrestlers wear with belts that are used for taking holds...

     (wrestling) and yodelling. The last Unspunnenfest was held in September 2006. The next celebration is scheduled for the year 2017.
  • On July 15 of 2007, the Red Bull Air Race World Series
    Red Bull Air Race World Series
    The Red Bull Air Race, established in 2003 and created by Red Bull, is an international series of air races in which competitors have to navigate a challenging obstacle course in the fastest time. Pilots fly individually against the clock and have to complete tight turns through a slalom course...

     was held on the Airport situated near Interlaken.
  • During Summer, there is the Greenfield Music Festival on the outskirts of Interlaken.


See also

  • Swiss Alps
    Swiss Alps
    The Swiss Alps are the portion of the Alps mountain range that lies within Switzerland. Because of their central position within the entire Alpine range, they are also known as the Central Alps....

  • Harder Kulm
    Harder Kulm
    The Harder Kulm is a Swiss mountain of the Bernese Alps located near the town of Interlaken, in the Canton of Bern.-Overview:The mountain is located in the Bernese Oberland region, between the Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Its summit is linked with Interlaken by the Harderbahn, a touristic funicular...

  • Entrelagos
  • Interlagos
    ***Interlagos is an upper class neighborhood located in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. It includes the Autódromo José Carlos Pace race track, home of the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix...

External links

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