Things to Do in Thun (Switzerland)

Thun is located in Canton of Bern, Switzerland.  Thun is a successful combination of mountains and lakes as well as historical and contemporary buildings. In this article, you will find a list of the most beautiful things to do in Thun Switzerland. The town of Thun is bustling and at the same time quiet. Culture ranges here from the curious to the classic. Be amazed by the numerous stories you will hear on a walking tour of the town. Stroll through picturesque alleys with boutiques that are a veritable invitation to indulge yourself in some serious shopping. Then take a rest directly by the Aare at one of the many attractive cafés. Thun, the gateway to the Bernese Oberland, is your ideal starting point for numerous excursions and adventures.


1. Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz is often calm in the early morning, reflecting the Alps of the Bernese Oberland, the turquoise waters exuding an energy of their own. It is only later in the day that the first whitecaps appear on the surface (depending on the wind and the weather) and waves disturb the glistening waters. Watching the hypnotic interplay of water, wind, and weather can be absorbing. Sheer mountain slopes tower on both sides of the lake, creating a sense of security as you drink in the atmospheric scenery. In contrast to Lake Thun, the mountains here seem much closer and the landscape is wilder. At 14 km long and 2.8 km wide, Lake Brienz spans 29.8 km2; reaching 260 m at its deepest point, this is one of the five deepest lakes in Switzerland.


2. Swiss villages near Lake Brienz

Swiss villages near Lake Brienz

At any time of year, the picturesque villages around Lake Brienz make ideal starting points for excursions and experiences in the Holiday Region Interlaken. See historic houses in Bönigen and Iseltwald, enjoy local cuisine, stroll along the banks of the lake, and hear the sounds of local folklore events. The homely village of Brienz offers enticing alleyways, Swiss chalets adorned with flowers, and a lakeside promenade. Early in July, an international Woodcarving Symposium is held down by the quay, when artists from all over the world showcase their skills and delight visitors with impressive wooden sculptures. The pretty towns of Ringgenberg, Goldswil, Niederried, and Oberried lie on slopes between Brienz and Interlaken to the south of Lake Brienz. In fact, all villages around the lake promise superb views of a wondrous landscape of lakes and mountains.


3. Lake Thun

Lake Thun

The deep blue Lake Thun is the largest lake in the Bernese Oberland, which is entirely located in the canton of Bern. Spanning 47.69 km2, Lake Thun affords views of green meadows. Forests and an endless backdrop of Alpine peaks that include the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. It was within this landscape that in 1835, steamships became the first means of mass transport to bring guests across Lake Thun to Interlaken. To this day, one steamship – the Blümlisalp – clatters and puffs its way across the clear blue waters of Lake Thun. During the unhurried two-hour trip from Thun to Interlaken, you can indulge in fine cuisine while casting admiring gazes at the castles on the banks and the mountains beyond.


4. Cycling and mountain biking

The Holiday Region Interlaken is set in a beautiful location between the deep-blue depths of Lake Thun and the turquoise hues of Lake Brienz. Surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains, with a view of the impressive white peaks of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, this is the perfect place to start an exciting tour by mountain bike, e-bike, touring bike, or road bike. Get on your bike and embark on an unforgettable journey of discovery in the heart of Switzerland. From mid-April to mid-October, the conditions in the region are perfect for a cycle holiday. If you looking for something else to do, a varied programme of alternative activities is also available. Why not try an action-packed descent on trotti bikes or gravity scooters, for instance? The possibilities are endless.


5. Thun Panorama

Thun Panorama

The oldest surviving circular painting in the world was painted by Marquard Wocher some 200 years ago. Admire the impressive feat of the Thun-Panorama in the heart of picturesque Schadau Park. The work of art offers an intriguing insight into life in the town of Thun in the year 1814. Fascinated by the Bernese Oberland, Basel-based artist Marquard Wocher created the first panorama of Switzerland in 1814. Rich in detail, the 38 m circular rendering of the small town of Thun surrounded by mountains is more than 200 years old, making it the oldest surviving circular painting in the world today. In our opinion, Thun Panorama is one of the best places to visit in Thun Switzerland. Children and adults alike are fascinated by the myriad stories told in this look-and-see picture. An audio guide provides background information on the painting in a couple of minutes.

6. Thun Castle

Thun Castle
Dietrich Michael Weidmann, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

With its four distinctive white towers, the 12th-century medieval castle of Thun is the symbol of the town. Atop the Schlossberg (Castle Hill), you’ll enjoy an enchanting panoramic view over Thun and the surrounding mountains of the Bernese Oberland. The Stockhorn and the Niesen, in particular, can be clearly seen from here. The illustrious castle was built by the Dukes of Zähringen and is now a heritage site of national significance. Of course, Thun Castle is one of the best things to see in Thun Switzerland. Visit the Thun Castle museum and its imposing knights’ hall or indulge in culinary delights in the Schlossberg restaurant and hotel. Visiting Thun Castle is one of the best things to do in Thun.


7. Oberhofen Castle

Oberhofen Castle

The romantic castle complex with its medieval keep is located on the shores of Lake Thun, surrounded by the marvelous panorama of the Bernese Alps. For this reason, Oberhofen is one of the best places to see in Thun Switzerland. The vast park with its grand castle gardens is counted amongst the most beautiful in the Alpine region and is an ideal place for visitors to enjoy a relaxing day. The castle is home to a museum where visitors can explore the castle’s rooms and discover traces of its former inhabitants. Special exhibitions shed more light on different aspects of the castle’s history.