Stunning alpine scenery, two castles and a historic old center await you at this charming town on the shore of Lake Thun.
With a lakeside setting, gorgeous mountain views and a castle, the city of Thun is a scenic delight. This gateway to the Bernese Alps is a great place to stop before heading up to the ski resorts and mountain passes. There’s history, scenery and adventures on the water.
About a 10-minute walk from the shore is Thun’s old town, at the center of which is Thun Castle. This stately fortress has stood over the city and surrounding area since the 12th century, and has long been considered the iconic symbol of the canton of Bern. Explore the castle museum, which covers thousands of years of regional history, then climb up the corner towers for impressive views. The castle’s well-preserved Knights’ Hall frequently hosts concerts and plays.
After your visit to the castle, wander through the narrow, winding streets of the old town to see what charming cafés and local shops you can discover. Walk over one of Thun’s renowned wooden sluice bridges, designed to restrict water flow on the Aare River and beautifully adorned with flowers.
There is superb scenery at almost every turn. One of the nicest spots to spend some time is Schadaupark. This beautiful public garden sits right on the shore of Lake Thun with the snowy peaks of the Bernese Alps in the distance. Step into the round building that houses a huge panoramic painting and relax by the waterfront. Schloss Schadau, located in the heart of the park, looks like something out of a fairy tale. Visit the 19th-century castle for its gourmet restaurant and the Swiss Gastronomy Museum. Check the park’s website to find out when the its miniature steam train runs.
Spend some of your vacation time around Lake Thun. During the summer, travel across the water in the restored historic paddle steamer. On a clear day you can see the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. The peaks are popular with climbers and winter sports enthusiasts. Tour the ancient Romanesque churches and small vineyards that are dotted around the lake’s coastline.
Thun is situated at the lower end of Lake Thun and is easily reached by car, bus, train or boat. The much larger city of Interlaken sits at the other end of the lake, and from here you can connect to many other Swiss destinations.