Among numerous Swiss lakes, Lake Thun in Switzerland occupies a special place. This is a unique area with breathtaking natural landscapes, castles and Alpine peaks that can pleasantly surprise a traveler who is here.
You can not only enjoy impressive panoramas, but also plunge into the Middle Ages and even visit a well-maintained palace. A variety of cruise tours offered on Lake Thun will help you combine all these events.
Table of Contents
- Quick Summary about City of Thun
- Places to Visit in Thun
- About Lake Thun
- What to See and Do near Lake Thun
- Cruises in Lake Thun
Quick Summary about City of Thun
Thun is located in the north-west of the federal republic of Switzerland. It is part of the canton of Bern and is 28 km from the Swiss capital.
Framed by the waters of the lake of the same name, the city offers unique views of the Nisen (2362 meters) and Stockhorn (2190 meters). The city of Thun is spread on both banks of the Aare River, which flows into Lake Thun.
It is small town with an area of just 21.57 square km with an altitude of 552 meters above sea level. Its small population is just over 42 thousand inhabitants.
Thun is quite an old city with the first settlements dating back in 2500 BC. In the 12th century, on one of the hills, the Duke of Zeringen built a small but majestic castle, which today has become a symbol of Thun.
The city has a strategically important location. During the Second World War, the mountains surrounding it became a saving refuge for many residents of Switzerland. Today it is a popular tourist destination in the country, combining medieval motifs with modern notes.
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Places to Visit in Thun
Although Thun in Switzerland is a rather small town, there are many attractions here that are worth visiting. In order to get around all these remarkable corners of the area, you will need no more than 3 hours. So what can you see in this city?
1. Thun Old Town
Walking along the cobbled streets of old Thun, the traveler will be interested in an unusual combination of elegant historical houses and numerous shops selling goods for every taste.
And in order to fully imbue the local atmosphere, a tourist can always visit a special tour, in which he will be introduced to the owners of shops that are ready to tell everyone who wants to know about this city.
Be sure to stroll along the old street Obere Hauptgasse, decorated with multi-colored flags and flower pots. The Obere Hauptgasse is different from the other streets in Europs as it is a two-story street, where the roofs of the buildings of the first floor serve as a pedestrian zone for the second tier. Try visiting a traditional Swiss restaurant for a taste of Swiss cuisine.
2. Tuna City Church
Among the inhabitants of Tuna, 61% are Protestants, and 14% are Catholics, which is why the main city church is reformatory. Built at the beginning of the 14th century, the church has repeatedly changed both its internal and external appearance.
Initially, the decoration of the structure included numerous frescoes and murals, but in the mid-18th century it was thoroughly repaired and the church acquired a completely different look.
Today, the main motif of the interior decoration is Baroque complemented by stucco decorations.
In general, the decoration of the temple is made in a strict style, which is typical of all reformatory churches. The tower of the structure is visible from almost all corners of the city, so finding the object is not difficult.
When visiting this attraction, do not forget to take a look at the old city gates of Burgtor, which are located right behind the church building.
3. Thun Castle
Built in 1190, Thun Castle became a true embodiment of a fairy tale in real life.
Today, a historical museum is housed in its building. Its exhibits feature exhibits from the period of ancient times and the Middle Ages.
In one of the towers of the castle is the Knight’s Hall of impressive size, where you can see the collection of halberds and other weapons.
In other rooms, visitors can get acquainted with archaeological artifacts, antique furniture and children’s doll houses, exactly copying the dwellings of the medieval period.
Once upon a time, the city of Thun was a center for the production of ceramic products in Switzerland, and today this fact is confirmed in the numerous painted vessels presented at the castle.
The castle and it’s premises are very well-maintained. There are small open terraces, gardens and squares, as well as a cafe. And in the courtyard of the castle itself you can see the old well, which is more than 31 meters deep.
Many tourists who have been here note that the towers of the building offer breathtaking views of the Alpine mountains, the Old Town and Lake Tuna.
- The attraction has a special mode of operation. For example, from April to October it is open from 10:00 to 17:00, in the remaining months you can visit it only from 13:00 to 16:00.
- Entrance ticket for an adult costs 10 ₣, for students – 8 ₣, for children from 6 years old – 3 ₣. You can also purchase a family card (2 adults + 2 children) worth 20 ₣.
4. Castle and Park Schadau
Located on the picturesque lake shores, the Chadau Park is notable for its castle, which was built in the late 19th century for the banker Denis de Rougemen. The building is decorated in a neo-Gothic style and previously housed an exposition of the gastronomic museum of Switzerland. And on the well-kept territory of the park near the building you will find a small museum of wicker things.
At present, it is not possible to get inside the castle, since it is closed for reconstruction until June 2019. However, you can always stroll around the area of interest and admire the building from the outside.
About Lake Thun
Lake Thun is located in the canton of Bern in the Bernese Alps and connects to another large reservoir of Brienz due to the flow of the Aare River. Its area is slightly more than 48 square kms.
The length of the lake is 17 km, and its width reaches almost 4 km. The reservoir is recognized as one of the deepest in Switzerland, due to its location in the glacial lowland. So, the maximum depth of the lake can reach 217 meters.
On the shores of Lake Thun spread such cities of Switzerland as Thun, Interlaken and Spitz. Although most of the year the waters remain cold, in the summer they warm up to 20.8 ° C, which makes it possible to swim the lake.
And for those who do not think such water temperature is very comfortable, there are special paid pools with views of the picturesque surroundings.
See also: What to bring from Switzerland as a souvenir – tips for tourists .
What to See and Do near Lake Thun
Lake Thun in Switzerland is famous not only for its natural landscapes, but also for a considerable number of attractions. In addition to the city of Thun, which we described above, there are both beautiful mountains and castles, as well as ski resorts.
1. Visit Spitz Town
Spread in the bay of the lake, the small town of Spitz became famous thanks to its medieval castle. The palace building, surrounded by vineyards and a small park, is located on the background of mountains, a lake and flora raging with bright colors.
The building is adjoined by a Romanesque-style church built in the distant 10th century. The largest tower of the structure, 39 meters high, is also the oldest part of the building, dating from the 13th century.
Today, within the walls of the palace, there is a historical museum where you can look at the medieval rooms, see portraits of the former owners of the building, and also admire an unforgettable panorama from the highest tower.
- The attraction is open for visitors from April 14 to October 22 from 10:00 to 17:00 (Tuesday – Sunday) and from 14:00 to 17:00 (Monday).
- The cost of admission for an adult is 10 ₣, for children from 6 to 16 years – 2 ₣, up to 5 years – for free.
2. Visit Interlaken
Interlaken is one of the most famous resorts in Switzerland, often referred to as the gateway to the Bernese Oberland.
The city is located at the foot of the famous peaks of Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger, whose slopes have long been chosen by skiers and climbers.
Interlaken is rich in cultural attractions, among which the World Secrets Park, the Museum of Tourism and the Museum of Rural Life are worth visiting.
More detailed information about the Interlaken resort is presented on this page.
3. Oberhofen Castle
The hallmark of the town of Oberhofen am Thunersee is an old castle located on the right bank of Lake Thun.
A unique collection of paintings from different eras, an exposition of antique furniture from the 16th to 19th centuries, an exhibition of various weapons, and a medieval art gallery are concentrated within the walls of this building.
On the fourth floor of the castle you can look into the Turkish smoking room, built by Count Portoile after a trip to Constantinople.
- The attraction is open to visitors from 11:00 to 17:00 from Tuesday to Sunday (Monday – day off).
- Entrance ticket price for an adult is 10 ₣, for children from 6 to 16 years old – 2 ₣, up to 6 years old – free of charge.
Read more: Chillon Castle – the most visited castle in all of Switzerland
Prices on the page are for March 2018.
Cruises in Lake Thun
Cruise ships sail all year round on Lake Thun. They offer different programs such as a gastronomic tour with a chic lunch on board, a Christmas special trip or a trip with fondue.
The cost of the excursion also depends on the chosen tour. For example, a Christmas trip will cost 130 Swiss Francs per adult, while a program with fondue will cost 77 Swiss Francs.
Such a cruise is a great way to enjoy the picturesque surroundings and get acquainted with the highlights of Lake Thun, Switzerland.