Thun is a beautiful and quaint town located in the area of Bern, Switzerland. It is situated on the shores of Lake Thun, and is surrounded by the stunning Swiss Alps. The town has a rich history, dating back to the 12th century. Thun is home to a number of historical landmarks, including the impressive Thun Castle. The town is also known for its beautiful parks and it’s lively Old Town. Thun is a popular tourist destination, and is a great place to relax, explore and enjoy the Swiss Alps. Read this complete guide on the best things to do in Thun, Switzerland!
Thun, Switzerland is also an underrated place to stay in Switzerland when exploring the Interlaken area. We discovered this small town when looking for a place to stay in Switzerland on a budget, and absolutely fell in love with this town! I even cried looking at the water with views of the surrounding Alps for the first time from Thun. It is one of our recommended stops on our 10 day Switzerland itinerary because housing is affordable and it is extremely accessible to surrounding areas.
How to get to Thun
The closest airports to Thun are Geneva, Milan and Zurich. From each airport you can get to Thun by train with only one connection.
By train: Thun is well-connected to Switzerland’s rail network. There are frequent trains from Zurich, Bern, and Geneva. The journey time from Zurich is around 1 hour, and from Bern it is around 20 minutes.
By bus: There are also a number of buses that travel to Thun from other parts of Switzerland. The journey time from Zurich by bus is around 2 hours and from Bern it is around 30 minutes.
By car: Thun is located just off the A6 motorway. The journey time from Zurich by car is around 1 hour and from Bern it is around 20 minutes.
Best time of year to visit Thun
Switzerland is a great place to visit any time of the year, it just depends which activities you want to do while you are there! While most think of Switzerland as a winter and ski destination, it is actually a perfect summer destination due to its numerous lakes and mild temperature. It is also great in the spring and fall for hiking while the weather is brisk.
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How many days should you stay in Thun?
The amount of time that you need to visit Thun will depend on how much time you want exploring the surrounding area. You can easily explore all of the Old Town in one day, but will want to add on a day for each additional town you want to explore if you want a more relaxed trip. Thun is connected to all of the surrounding towns on the lake by bus, train and boat.
Where to stay in Thun, Switzerland
The best place to stay in Thun is in the Old Town itself. If you are unable to find something in the Old Town that is within your budget, then stay as close as you can to the Old Town. Thun is a very walkable city so no matter where you choose you won’t be too far!Booking.com
Hotel Krone Thun: Located in the heart of Old Town and on the Aare River, this hotel is the best bang for your buck in Thun.
Schloss Schadau: Situated on Lake Thun itself and only a mile from Old Town Thun ,this hotel is the best hotel in the area for beautiful mountain and lake views right at your doorstep.
Boutique Hotel Schlossberg: This luxury hotel in Thun includes a sauna, steam bath and hot tub while also being very centrally located.
The best things to do in Thun
Even if you are using Thun as a home base to explore the surrounding area of Switzerland, we recommend taking at least a day to explore Thun itself! It is such a unique and picturesque town.
Visit Thun Castle
This 12th-century castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thun. It offers stunning views of the town and the surrounding area! This was one of the most impressive castles we have ever visited in Europe.
Explore the Old Town
The Old Town is a charming area of Thun with narrow streets, shops and restaurants.
Take a boat ride on Lake Thun
A boat ride is a great way to see the town from a different perspective and to enjoy the scenery. We took the boat from Interlaken back to Thun and it was absolutely stunning!
Relax at Schadaupark & Schloss Schadau
This gorgeous palace right on the water offers epic views of the water and the Alps. You can grab a coffee or cocktail at the cafe, or just sit along the water to take in the views!
Watch the Thun river surfers
The river surfers in Thun are some of the most impressive in the world! If you’ve been to Munich, then you have gotten a taste of what these river surfers can do. We spent hours just sitting along the river in Thun watching the talented surfers!
Go hiking in the surrounding mountains
Thun is a great base for exploring the Swiss Alps. There are a number of hiking and biking trails in the area!
Visit the Beatus Caves
These caves are located in the mountains above Thun and are home to a number of stalactites and stalagmites. This is a great activity for any age group!
Visit the Thun Panorama
This panoramic painting in Thun depicts the Battle of Thun, which took place in 1499.
The best day trips from Thun
Thun is a great home base to explore the surrounding area of Switzerland! Here are a few recommended day trips to take from Thun.
Interlaken is a popular tourist destination located between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The town is known for its outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, and whitewater rafting.
Brienz is a small town located on the shores of Lake Brienz. The town is known for its wood carving industry and its beautiful scenery.
Grindelwald is a mountain village located in the Alps. The village is a popular destination for hiking, skiing and snowboarding.
This Swiss town which is home to beautiful waterfalls is also the town that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s Rivendell from Lord of the Rings. From here it is just a short funicular ride to our next location of Mürren.
Mürren is a car-free village located high in the Alps. The village is a popular destination for hiking, skiing, and snowboarding.
Where to eat in Thun
While Thun is a small town, there are still tons of dining options to try. Below are some of the best places to eat in Thun!
Best restaurants in Thun
Ristorante Ponte Di Legno Pizzeria: Affordable Italian restaurant situated right on the Aare river.
Muhlibar: This bar offers snacks and outdoor seating with beautiful views of both the old wooden bridge and the river surfers.
Ribs: Steak, ribs and fish restaurant located between the shop street and the Aare river.
Bellevue: A little further from Old Town, this restaurant offers traditional Swiss food at a very reasonable price for Switzerland.
Restaurant Pizzeria Lachen Thun: This is the perfect restaurant to grab a pizza before going to picnic in Schadaupark.
Mundwerk: If you need a bite to eat while taking in the shops on the shop street this is the perfect spot with affordable food and pints.
Where to drink in Thun
There are plenty of places to enjoy a beer or cocktail while staying in Thun, Switzerland!
The best bars in Thun
Clock Tower Station: Canadian bar with reasonably priced beers.
Altes Keller-Theater: Downstairs bar in Old Town with by far the cheapest beer we discovered. This is a great place to watch a match or play foosball.
Ratsstubli: Located right in the main Old Square, this bar has outdoor seating and cheap pitchers of beer.
McArthurs Pub: This Irish Pub is a great place to grab a drink outside on a nice day or enjoy watching a match.
We hope this complete city guide to Thun helps plan your trip to this charming city in Switzerland! Make sure to read our 10 day Switzerland itinerary to map out the rest of your time in this absolutely beautiful country.