Interlaken tourist tax gives travel discounts?

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2 posts
new member
Jan 21, 2018 - 6:51 PM

5 of us (2 adults + 3 "children" aged 17, 19 and 22), are travelling in the Summer to Interlaken - arriving in Basel and stay for 2 weeks. My quandary is how to get to Interlaken / do our sightseeing / travel back in the most cost effective manner. There are too many options! We intend to stay in the Interlaken area doing the mountain villages etc, with the possibility of a day trip over to Lucerne

As we are staying in accommodation on the "wrong side" of Lake Thun (N side - no railway), and the local bus transport ceases so early in the evening (7:13pm), so I was considering a car - but if we spend all our sightseeing time on trains/buses/ships (our preference), that seems a bit of a waste of money as car hire is extremely expensive in Switzerland.

So - looking at train passes there are too many of them!! Additionally I understand that Interlaken requires a local tourist tax (pp / per day) - but that it provides some discounts on public transport as well? Does anyone have details as to what this mandatory purchase actually gets the tourist in /around the Interlaken area please?

As you can see, I'm a bit confused by options, and I'd appreciate any advice on the best combination of passes (in addition to the apparently mandatory tourist tax/pass) which would best suite our family.


10385 posts
expert &
Jan 21, 2018 - 7:17 PM in reply to gandalfmeist

Hi gandalfmeist and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Yes, if you accommodation provides the Guest Card (and should if you pay the tax) then that certainly helps. It does provide discounts to mostly local services or companies and some mountain trips (like Schynige Platte is 37.5% off).

Read more details about the card on the Interlaken Tourism website here.

For the bigger rail passes that cover larger areas and the more popular tourist destinations you may want to look at the Regional Pass - Bernese Oberland, or perhaps the Swiss Half Fare Card.

The Swiss Travel Pass is always handy as well and covers most of the train, bus and cable cars in Switzerland (or gives discounts on them).

Read through those links and be sure to click on the "where it's valid" tab to see a list of attraction discounts for each pass and a PDF map as well.

For the "children" there is a youth pass for the Bernese Oberland and the Swiss Travel Pass but no youth discount on the Swiss Half Fare Card. Everything is laid out on the links above.

Let us know if you have more questions!

659 posts
top member
Jan 24, 2018 - 5:34 PM in reply to gandalfmeist

Hello there

Exactly where on the North Side of Lake Thun are you staying? We used to stay in Hilterfingen but because of the lack of later buses from Interlaken, we changed to staying in Thun as there are plenty of trains along the South shore. On some occasions if we missed the last bus we used to take train to Thun then bus from there to Hilterfingen. Check the timetable for buses to your base from Thun as if you are not too far from there, you may be able to do what we did.

For example the summer timetable for the no.21 bus from Thun shows the following :- to Beachtenbucht (furthest it will take you) at 18.32, 19.02, 19.32, 20.30, 21.30, 22.30. as far as Merligen only above plus 20.00, as far as Gunten only plus 21.00 and 22.00 and as far as Oberhofen only plus 19.17, 19.47, 20.15, 20.45, 21.15, 21.45, 22.15 and 22.45.

If you are between Interlaken and Beatenbucht I am afraid you will just have to be sure to catch that last bus!

People have sometimes questioned my choice of Thun as a base but it has always served us well because of the excellent transport links from all over the place!


2 posts
new member
Jan 31, 2018 - 2:23 PM in reply to maggiehorswell

An interesting alternative suggestion - thanks! - We are staying at Sundlauenen near the Hotel Beatus, which is close to the ship port. Your suggestion would mean quite a long route around 3/4 of the lake! Sounds like a taxi might be needed for the evening return journey from Interlaken. Oh well. Looks like we need to plan it better next time.

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