A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Interlaken vs. Bern for Families, Couples, Food, and Backpackers

Should you visit Interlaken or Bern?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Interlaken and Bern can help you decide which place is right for you.

Interlaken

Interlaken is a adrenaline-filled, breathtaking, and world-class town. You'll find world class beauty here as well. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for skiing, food, and hiking.

Bern

Bern is a charming, beautiful, and cultural city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Interlaken and Bern: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Interlaken or Bern?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Bern. Although Interlaken and Bern are both popular with visitors, Bern has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Bern is more popular for its museums, nightlife, historical sights, and shopping, while Interlaken is known for its skiing, food, hiking, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Interlaken is more touristy than Bern and is popular for its adventure sports, alpine setting, and beautiful lakes. Bern is popular for its well-preserved old town and its reputation as the home of the Lindt chocolate factory. It is also home to The Zytglogge Clock Tower.

How is Interlaken different from Bern?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Bern and Interlaken. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Interlaken or Bern Better for Skiing?

Interlaken
Bern

Interlaken is a popular place for snow skiing. However, Bern is not a skiing destination.

Interlaken is a great destination for skiing with plenty areas to explore. While the city itself has no skiing, there is access to several ski areas in Jungfrau. There are several different resorts in the area near Grindelwald, Wengen, and Mürren. You'll need to take a train or ski bus to get most places.

Bern is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Interlaken or Bern?

Interlaken
Bern

Bern is an excellent place to visit for its museums and history. However, Interlaken does not have museums and landmarks.

Many visitors head to Bern specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city is filled with architecture and charming character. While you're in town make sure you visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and the Bern Cathedral.

Interlaken does not have museums and landmarks.

Is the Food Better in Interlaken or Bern? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Interlaken
Bern

Interlaken is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Interlaken makes for a great culinary experience. Restaurants in the area serve local classics like fondue, local meats, cheeses, and chocolate. You can finish your meal off with strudel or head to a local bakery and try their samplings. Meals are expensive but the quality is good. You should also out into the countryside and enjoy a meal looking out over the mountains.

Bern has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Is Interlaken or Bern Better for Nightlife?

Interlaken
Bern

Bern is very good for nightlife. However, Interlaken is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Interlaken is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.


Is Interlaken or Bern Better for its Old Town?

Interlaken
Bern

Bern is an excellent place to visit for its historic old town. However, Interlaken does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

Interlaken does not have a historic old town.

Is Interlaken or Bern Better for Hiking?

Interlaken
Bern

Interlaken is renowned for the nearby hiking options. However, Bern is not a hiking destination.

People visit Interlaken specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. Hikes in the area range from easy to challenging with every option in between. You can experience beautiful waterfalls, breathtaking views, and dramatic ridge hikes. Several of the best hikes in the area include Schynige Platte Ridge Trail, Mt Niesen Panorama Trail, and Giessbach Waterfalls.

Bern is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Interlaken or Bern?

Interlaken
Bern

Bern is an excellent place to visit for shopping. However, Interlaken is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Bern. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

Interlaken is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Interlaken or Bern Better for Families?

Interlaken
Bern

Interlaken is renowned for its family-friendly activities. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Interlaken is a very family-friendly destination. While the city is beautiful, it's really the surrounding areas that you and your family will enjoy. There are amazing hikes, stunning views, playgrounds, lakes, and more. There's also an impressive ropes course that adventurous kids will love, funiculars, gondolas, and so many water sports!

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Bern is very family-friendly. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Is Interlaken or Bern Better for Couples?

Interlaken
Bern

Interlaken is renowned for romance. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

Interlaken makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. The mountaintop views, breathtaking hikes, and beautiful lakes make this a top destination for couples. Make sure you head out of town and fully immerse yourself in everything that the area has to offer. Kayaking, canoeing, paragliding, and more will make this a trip of a lifetime.

Bern makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Is Interlaken or Bern Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Interlaken
Bern

Bern is an excellent place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Interlaken is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Bern is very popular with the backpacker crowd. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

It's common for backpackers to visit Interlaken. It's a world class destination with so many activities that backpackers will love, but it's also one of the most expensive areas in one of the most expensive countries. There are hostels in town as well as a few in the nearby towns and countryside, but prices are steep. Cook when you can and enjoy all of the free activities that the area has to offer.


Is Interlaken or Bern Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Interlaken
Bern

Visitors will find great public transit in both Interlaken and Bern.

Public transit in Interlaken is fairly effecient and thorough. Buses travel around town, but to get into the mountains there are trains, cog railways, funiculars, and gondolas.

Bern has some very good public transit options. There are trams and buses that run around town.

Is Interlaken or Bern a more walkable city?

Interlaken
Bern

Bern is an excellent place to visit for its walkability. Also, Interlaken is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

Bern is very walkable. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

Interlaken is a somewhat walkable place. The old town is relatively walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Interlaken Worth Visiting? and Is Bern Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Bern or Interlaken?

How long in Interlaken or Bern?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Interlaken and Bern. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Interlaken than in Bern. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Interlaken, and 1-3 days is enough time in Bern.

Families should spend more time in Interlaken than Bern. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Interlaken, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Interlaken than Bern. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Interlaken that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Bern than Interlaken if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Bern.


  • How many days in Interlaken or Bern? Ideal Length of Stay
    Interlaken 2-5 
    Bern 1-3

One day in Interlaken or Bern?

Visitors enjoy the food and skiing when visiting the destination of Interlaken. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

With museums and nightlife around the beautiful city of Bern, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Bern, one day is sufficent for most.


A weekend in Interlaken or Bern?

Interlaken is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the hiking. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Bern, there's plenty to do. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Interlaken or Bern?

Visitors enjoy the food and skiing when visiting the adrenaline-filled destination of Interlaken. This town offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Bern, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Interlaken or Bern?

The world-class town of Interlaken offers skiing and food. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Bern is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Geneva, The Best 10-Day Tours from Zurich, The Best 2-Week Tours from Zurich, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Switzerland.


Which place is cheaper, Bern or Interlaken?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Interlaken is $229, while the average daily cost in Bern is $247. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Interlaken and Bern in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Interlaken $132
    Bern $160
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Interlaken $264
    Bern $320
Compare Hotels in Interlaken and Bern

Looking for a hotel in Interlaken or Bern? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Interlaken


Hotels in Bern


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Interlaken Hotel Prices and Bern Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Interlaken $13
    Bern $33
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Interlaken

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Interlaken are as follows:


  • Cable Cars (for 2)
    $65

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Interlaken

Also for Interlaken, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from interlaken City to Lucerne City: $110
  • Private Transfer from Interlaken to Zurich: $242
  • From Private One-Way Transfer to Lucerne: $284

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Private Transfer From Bern to Zurich, English Speaking Driver: $230
  • Private Direct Transfer From Bern to Basel: $193
  • Private Car Departure Transfer from Bern to Bern Airport BRN: $74

Is it cheaper to fly into Interlaken or Bern?

Prices for flights to both Bern and Interlaken change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Interlaken $64
    Bern $59
Typical Food Prices in Interlaken

For Interlaken, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Tea at Interlaken
    $33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Interlaken

For Interlaken, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Fondue Cooking Class and Cheese Workshop in Switzerland: $143
  • Cheese and Chocolate Full-Day Food Tour: $732

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Interlaken $103
    Bern $33

Tours and Activities in Interlaken

For Interlaken, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Interlaken Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $15
  • Interlaken Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Hofstetten bei Brienz: Trauffer Erlebniswelt Ticket: $16
  • Experience Switzerland in the Ballenberg open-air museum: $36
  • Funicular Ticket to Harder Kulm: $42
  • Harder Kulm - Top of Interlaken - Ticket: $45
  • Rope Park Climbing Adventure with Entry Ticket: $46
  • Interlaken Non Stop Intro Private Tour: $72
  • Funicular Ticket from Interlaken to Harder: $86
  • Bollywood Tour Gstaad - Express Tour: $89
  • Funicular Ticket from Interlaken to Harder (Top of Interlaken): $102
  • Interlaken Valley Bike Tour: Rivers, Lakes & Forests: $108

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • Bern : Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide (Private tour): $60
  • Bern Highlights Small-Group Walking Tour with a Local: $155
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $61
  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Exploring UNESCO Gem: Private 3-4 Hour Walking Tour of Bern: $231
  • Fribourg Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Gruyères Medieval Town, Cheese Factory and Maison Cailler Tour from Bern : $293
  • Guided Walking Tour in Bern: $35
  • Highlights & Hidden Gems of Small Group Guided Walking Tour: $87
  • Insightful Bern Walking Tour for Couples: $193
  • Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Day Pass Ticket for Lake Boat Cruises: $121
  • Private Tour of Bern - Sightseeing, Food & Culture with a local: $167

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Interlaken $17
    Bern $26


When comparing the travel costs between Interlaken and Bern, we can see that Bern is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Interlaken Expensive? and Is Bern Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Interlaken or Bern?

Bern has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Interlaken. When comparing the sizes of Interlaken and Bern, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Interlaken or Bern?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Interlaken or Bern in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Interlaken as well as Bern. Most visitors come to Interlaken for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Bern because of the family-friendly experiences.

Interlaken is around the same temperature as Bern in the summer. The daily temperature in Interlaken averages around 21°C (70°F) in July, and Bern fluctuates around 21°C (70°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Bern. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Interlaken this time of the year. In the summer, Interlaken often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Bern. Interlaken gets 241 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 250 hours of full sun.

Interlaken usually gets more rain in July than Bern. Interlaken gets 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Bern receives 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Interlaken 21°C (70°F) 
    Bern 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Interlaken or Bern in the Autumn?

Both Bern and Interlaken are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The autumn months attract visitors to Interlaken because of the hiking trails and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Bern this time of year.

In the autumn, Interlaken is around the same temperature as Bern. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Interlaken in October average around 13°C (56°F), and Bern averages at about 13°C (55°F).

Interlaken usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Bern during autumn. Interlaken gets 120 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 126 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Interlaken usually receives more rain than Bern. Interlaken gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Bern receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Interlaken 13°C (56°F) 
    Bern 13°C (55°F)

Should I visit Interlaken or Bern in the Winter?

Both Bern and Interlaken during the winter are popular places to visit. The skiing and the cuisine are the main draw to Interlaken this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Bern for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Bern. It's quite cold in Interlaken in the winter. In January, Interlaken is generally a little warmer than Bern. Daily temperatures in Interlaken average around 3°C (37°F), and Bern fluctuates around 3°C (37°F).

In the winter, Interlaken often gets less sunshine than Bern. Interlaken gets 55 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 65 hours of full sun.

Interlaken usually gets more rain in January than Bern. Interlaken gets 77 mm (3 in) of rain, while Bern receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Interlaken 3°C (37°F) 
    Bern 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Interlaken or Bern in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Interlaken and Bern. Many travelers come to Interlaken for the natural beauty. Furthermore, many visitors come to Bern in the spring for the natural beauty.

Interlaken is around the same temperature as Bern in the spring. The daily temperature in Interlaken averages around 12°C (53°F) in April, and Bern fluctuates around 11°C (52°F).

Interlaken usually receives less sunshine than Bern during spring. Interlaken gets 150 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 164 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Interlaken usually receives more rain than Bern. Interlaken gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Bern receives 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Interlaken 12°C (53°F) 
    Bern 11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for Bern and Interlaken

Interlaken Bern
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in) 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Apr 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
May 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in) 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in) 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in) 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)