Interlaken, Switzerland is one of Europe’s most beautiful sights.
There are many great hostels in Interlaken, including cheap party hostels, upscale group accommodations, and everything in between.
I’ve visited Interlaken. I’ve partied in the basement of Balmers. I stayed at the surprisingly fancy Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof Hostel. I’ve even watched hockey at the Hooters in Interlaken (it was the only place open on a weeknight in October!).
Here are my picks for the best hostels in Interlaken, Switzerland.
Best Hostel for an Authentic Swiss Backpacking & Party Experience: Balmers
Balmers is the oldest hostel in Interlaken. It’s so old that my mom visited Balmers when she backpacked Europe decades ago.
Balmers calls itself “a historical hostel in the Swiss Alps” for good reason. It’s a great place to sleep and party.
Balmers, like any good hostel, also has a bar in the basement. In fact, it’s more of a club than a bar. Surprisingly, they had Canadian beer when I visited. There were also members of the Swiss military partying on leave, if you’re into that kind of thing.
If you’re looking for an authentic Swiss backpacking experience and want some energy, then Balmers is the best pick in Interlaken. It’s also surprisingly affordable, with rooms as cheap as $30 USD (27 CHF) per night.
Best Hostel for Everyone Else: Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof Hostel Interlaken
Not feeling the party vibe at Balmers? Want to pay a little more for upscale accommodations? Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof Hostel Interlaken is just down the road and is the ‘other’ best hostel in town.
Located an easy walk from the train station, Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof trades the vibe and energy of Balmers for a clean and professional hostel experience.
I had good luck with my room: I met an American friend with whom I ended up touring the entire Swiss Alps (and still meet from time to time a decade later).
Perks include a free breakfast that, like most hostels in Europe, was better than any Motel 6 breakfast in North America. There’s even a free cappuccino machine. I woke up every morning, drank coffee on the deck, and stared at the beautiful mountains around me. Not bad for $35 USD a night and up.
Best Local B&B Vibe Hostel in Interlaken: Walters Hostel Interlaken
Interlaken will always have a tourist vibe. However, you can still find plenty of local vibes around town – and Walters Hostel Interlaken is a great place to stay if you’re looking for that.
With Walters Hostel Interlaken, you get a cheap stay in an owner-managed, family-run hostel with warmly-decorated rooms. It’s close to the city center but in a quiet part of town.
Walters Hostel Interlaken has superb ratings. In fact, it has a perfect 10.0 star rating on HostelWorld – something I’ve literally never seen before.
The only drawback of Walters Hostel Interlaken is that all rooms are private 3-bed rooms. You can still rent a 3-bed room to yourself as a solo traveler (and save 20 CHF per night), but there’s no group-style accommodation you get in other hostels.
Other Top Hostels in Interlaken, Switzerland
Interlaken is home to plenty of top hostels. Other top-rated options in Interlaken include:
Happy Inn Lodge
Happy Inn Lodge is located in the heart of Interlaken just five minutes away from the Interlaken West train station.
The hostel has 19 rooms and 70 beds, including single, double, and shared rooms for 3 to 6 people. There’s also a bar and restaurant with decent food.
If you want a standard, affordable hostel in the heart of Interlaken, then Happy Inn Lodge is a good option. Rooms start at just $25 USD (23.80 CHF).
Hostel Alplodge Interlaken
Situated on the river that runs through town, Hostel Alplodge Interlaken has a rooftop patio with views of the mountains and river.
With 22 rooms and a free breakfast in the 4-star boutique hotel next door, Hostel Alplodge Interlaken is ideal for upscale backpackers and flashpackers visiting Interlaken.
Hostel Alplodge Interlaken has single, double, and family rooms. There’s also a penthouse lounge with a kitchen and viewing terrace, washing machines, free Wi-Fi, and amenities for travelers of all ages.
Downtown Hostel Interlaken
It doesn’t have the best reviews compared to other hostels on our list of the best hostels in Interlaken, but Downtown Hostel Interlaken is affordable and centrally-located while offering a range of accommodation choices.
Also known as Downtown Apartments Interlaken, Downtown Hostel Interlaken offers 1, 2, and 3 bedroom rooms along with family rooms and studios. The hostel is located in three different locations around the Interlaken West train station.
Honourable Mentions – Best Hostels in Interlaken and Area
The list above covers all of the hostels in Interlaken. However, there are other hostels in the area worth visiting.
If you’re not feeling the city vibe in Interlaken, then take the train out of town to other options on our list:
Valley Hostel (Lauterbrunnen): Located just up the hill from Interlaken, Valley Hostel is located in one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. With rooms priced at $38 per night and up, Valley Hostel offers an authentic Swiss backpacking experience in a ridiculously pretty location – and at a surprisingly reasonable price.
Mountain Hostel Gimmelwald (Gimmelwald): If I had to choose to spend a month in a hostel, I’d probably choose Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald. They have great local beer on tap at their tavern. They have a stupidly beautiful view in every direction. You can hike the Swiss Alps within 30 seconds of your door. If you don’t mind being remote, Mountain Hostel Gimmelwald is one of the most beautiful hostels in the world.
Youth Hostel Grindelwald (Grindelwald): Located up the other side of the mountains in the valley of Grindelwald, Youth Hostel Grindelwald offers hostel-style accommodations in a charming ski town up the hill from Interlaken. The hostel is beautiful, and the wood paneling is unlike anything you’ll see at a typical hostel. It feels like a ski lodge transformed into a hostel. Like Mountain Hostel, expect ridiculously pretty views every morning.
Interlaken, Switzerland is one of the best places I’ve ever visited. It hasn’t been a secret spot for years. However, the valleys of Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen were downright life-changing when I visited on a sunny autumn day.
With plenty of great hostels in Interlaken, it’s a must-see destination for backpackers on any Europe trip.