With the school year finished, we spent the weekend exploring Interlaken with my husband’s parents. Known as one of Switzerland’s major vacation destinations, Interlaken has been a tourist haven for centuries. I think we heard more English spoken over the weekend than we had since our arrival to Switzerland last August. I don’t have any allergy-friendly restaurant recommendations this time, but we did find a decent place to stay in a great location.
Hostel Stay with a Kitchen
Our hostel in Interlaken had a kitchen available for guests’ use. Our rooms in the guesthouse also had their own shared kitchen, along with access to the main kitchen downstairs. Having a kitchen when we travel allows us to prepare our own meals, so we can be absolutely certain we’re serving safe meals to our food-allergic son. Located within walking distance of public transportation and grocery stores, it also had a great view of the Jungfrau up the street.
Overall, we had a great stay at the hostel. The staff were extremely helpful. For those meals we made ourselves, we could use the kitchen downstairs, while also being able to order off the restaurant menu. Plus, our boys loved the foosball and ping pong tables indoors and the chess game and lawn area for chasing around outdoors. The other guests were friendly and nice. The place had a comfortable atmosphere.
A few things to consider, if you’re planning to stay at the hostel though… A shared kitchen can be challenging, especially if you have untidy neighbors. My husband was planning to make pasta in the kitchen adjoining our room, but discovered it full of leftover eggy breakfast dishes from our neighbors. This wasn’t the hostel’s fault of course, and when he mentioned it at the front desk, they left a note with the guilty party. The dishes were cleaned up by dinnertime.
Also, there’s a nightclub onsite in the basement. When I had read the hostel’s description online beforehand, I somehow missed this. Our family can sleep through almost everything, so the noisy drunken club scene didn’t bother us. I can’t say the same for my in-laws though, who didn’t sleep very well (or at all, in the case of my father-in-law). Not only that, our room was right on the street, and every tractor that drove by felt like a loud boom of thunder right outside our windows. Again, somehow our little guys slept right through it, but if you’re a light sleeper, I wouldn’t recommend staying on the street.
Lunch at Harder Kulm
On Sunday morning before we left town, we took an 8-minute funicular ride up to Harder-Kulm. At the summit you’ll find an historic, pavilion-style restaurant. Our two-year old happily ate his leftover pasta, dried beef, grapes and Oreos that we packed along in a small cooler, while the rest of us had the local beer, bread and bratwurst from the outdoor food stand. The view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau really was incredible, and it was great being able to share it with the visiting grandparents.
Summer vacation is officially here! If you have recommendations for allergy-friendly Swiss restaurants or accommodations, especially hotels and apartments with kitchens, please leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.