Thun is a town near Lake Thun, in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region. Turreted Thun Castle, from the 1100s, stands on a hill above the old town. It has sweeping views of the Alps. The 14th-century City Church has an octagonal tower and a baroque hall. Thun Panorama, in lakeside Schadau Park, is a 19th-century, 360-degree painting of the town. Paddle steamers cruise Lake Thun to the resort town of Interlaken.
With its historic buildings, towering raised promenades steeped in history, the white castle on the Schlossberg and the fantastic views over the lake set against the backdrop of the imposing Bernese Alps – Thun’s charm enchants locals and tourists alike.
Thun lies at the north-western end of Lake Thun, and is the gateway to the Bernese Oberland. The River Aare, which flows from Lake Thun to Bern, shapes the cityscape of the eleventh-largest city in Switzerland with some 44,000 inhabitants.
The city’s most famous landmark is the mighty Thun Castle, with its tower that was built between 1180 and 1190, which towers majestically over the Old Town. A historical museum is housed in the tower rooms, showcasing finds from the past 800 years relating to the region and its history, as well as a special exhibition which changes each year. Pride of place goes to the restored 12th-century knights’ hall, however. The view from the castle tower of the mountains and the lake is also unparalleled.
The historical raised promenades in Thun’s old town are yet another highlight. But they are not the only reason to enjoy a stroll through the cobblestone streets. As well as traditional rows of houses, Thun is home to various small shops on different levels that invite visitors to browse and explore.
Thanks to its enormous diversity, the city of Thun is worth a visit at any time of the year: While the charming old town and the delightful river and lakeside promenade are bursting with life in the spring, cultural open-air events such as the popular Lake Thun Festival get everyone in the mood for a summer of fun.
Thun is also known as the summer capital of Switzerland. With mountains, rivers and the magnificent lake on its doorstep, Thun is a paradise for sports enthusiasts, sun worshipers and keen swimmers. You can even go surfing right in the heart of the city. But the opportunity to enjoy a spot of indulgence is always just around the corner too. Whether that’s strolling through the old town, enjoying an aperitif on Mühleplatz or a delicious dinner on the banks of the Aare. Another particularly special way to enjoy a hot summer’s day is with a boat trip on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz. On Lake Thun, the “Blümlisalp” paddle steamer transports its passengers back in time to the days of the magnificent Belle Époque. But all 14 of the boats that operate on the two lakes offer breathtaking views of the three world-famous peaks, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
Autumn, on the other hand, is the ideal season in which to get in touch with your artistic side, whether at the Thun Art Museum or the Thun Panorama in Schadau Park, an imposing panoramic painting of the city from 1814. And then again, walkers have always been particularly drawn to the coldest season too, with its wintry lakeside landscapes, and which offers the perfect opportunity for fine diners to enjoy the culinary delights on offer in the city’s many restaurants.
Christmas is the perfect time for a shopping trip through Thun’s festively dressed old town. And the Christmas market on Waisenhausplatz is a popular spot to meet for a chat over a mug of mulled wine. After an active winter’s day, the numerous restaurants, especially along the banks of the Aare, offer the perfect place in which to enjoy culinary delights and pleasant company. Even in the winter season, a boat sails on Lake Thun every day. So it is still possible to explore the city and region from the water at this time of year. Thanks to its outstanding transport links, Thun is also an ideal starting point for numerous winter activities throughout the entire Bernese Oberland holiday region.
Stadt Der Falten
Grand Tour Of Switzerland
From palm-lined lakeshores to sparkling glaciers, from medieval villages to buzzing cities – the Grand Tour of Switzerland packs in an incredible number of sights. The concentration of attractions is unrivalled worldwide. What is the Grand Tour of Switzerland?
- A 1,643km circuit of Switzerland that encompasses all of the country’s highlights
- 650 road signs to point the way (or simply let your GPS guide you)
- 46 top attractions, 22 lakes, 5 Alpine passes, 13 UNESCO World Heritage sites on 8 stages
- Numerous photo spots that guarantee the best views
- Charging made easy: the Grand Tour is also easy to complete using an electric vehicle