Thun is a pretty town and a municipality in the administrative district of Thun in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. The town of Thun is habited in the region where River Aare flows out to Lake Thun. We went on a day visit to Thun on our first day of the 7 day self-planned Switzerland summer holiday and were charmed by the quaint town’s heritage as well as natural beauty, owing to its location.

River Aare flowing by Thun town

Thun is located around 30 kilometers from Switzerland’s capital city Bern. So after we completed our sightseeing in Bern (read here), we had the afternoon free still and thought why not explore a bit more. Looking up the SBB Mobile App (which provides for time table and distances of Swiss trains), we found that it takes only around 15 minutes by train from Bern to Thun; so we instantly took the next available train from Bern station to Thun.

Recommended Read: Visiting the capital city of Switzerland and UNESCO world heritage site of Bern

The town of Thun is most famous for Lake Thun and  Old Castle, which is located at the highest elevation in the town. My first impression of Thun, as I got out from the train station was that it was so quaint! Compared to the capital city of Bern, which we visited earlier in the day, the lack of crowds and  having wide open spaces in the town of Thun made it look very quaint. The Lake Thun is located just opposite the Train Station, which we thought to visit last and decided to explore the old town first, by  walking up to the Castle Thun.

Charming quaint streets and buildings in Thun town

There were hardly any people on the roads in the city of Thun and it was a pleasure walking around, observing the pretty heritage buildings – the facades of some painted in bright colors.

We made our way to Castle Thun, located on the highest point in the town. The castle, like the town is a pretty structure and has a certain delicate quality to it. As per information available at the Castle, it  was constructed by the Dukes of Zähringen and had a fortification tower built between 1180 and 1190. The halls of the tower have a museum that exhibits artefacts from prehistory and early history as well as medieval objects, weapons and uniforms from the 18th and 19th century. The castle also has a restaurant and major parts of it have been converted into a luxury hotel. We enjoyed the vantage views of the Thun town from the Castle and then slowly made our way back to the town, near the Aare river.

Cobbled streets to Castle Thun
Charming Castle Thun
Views of Thun town from Castle Thun
Old town Thun
Old Church in Thun
streets of Old Town Thun

We spent some moments by the Aare River, which also has an old covered truss bridge. It was fun watching people enjoying themselves and we enjoyed the lovely views of the sky, people watching & swans, as the cool breeze soothed our tired bodies (from all the walking we had done that day).

Read Also : A self-Planned Summer holiday in Switzerland

Old Bridge by river Aare
Old Truss Bridge by river Aare
Pretty views of old Truss bridge in Thun

We finally walked back to Lake Thun, where the a passenger cruise ship was due to sail up to Interlaken. We did not opt to take the ride as it was already late afternoon and the ride would take two hours to reach Interlaken and from there coming back to our rented apartment in Basel would make it very late in the night for us. However, I would totally recommend a boat/ship ride to Interlaken from Lake Thun for the views ( we did take a boat ride on the subsequent days in Lake Lucerne, so can vouch for the experience of the boat rides!)

Attractions in Thun

  • Old town with castle – shopping and culture combined at close proximity.
  • Thun-Panorama– the 7.5-metre high and 38-metre long 360° circular painting in the Schadau Park depicts the town of Thun at about 1810.
  • Cruising on Lake Thun– motor- and a paddle-powered ship sail to Interlaken regularly.
  • Water sports by and in Lake Thun – the clean water of the lake is perfect for bathing, sailing, surfing, diving etc.

If you are visiting Bern in Switzerland, then visiting Thun town makes for a pretty inclusion in the day tour, if one starts early.


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