Located where the Aare River flows out of Lake Thun, Thun is a centuries-old town in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. Its name derives from a Celtic term meaning “fortified town”. Thun is dominated by a turreted castle and home to the largest garrison in Switzerland.
Things to do in Thun
Perched atop a hill overlooking the old town is the Thun Castle, a 12th-century fortification designated as a Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance. Its magnificent tower houses a museum detailing the history and development of Thun over the last 4,000 years. Coincide your visit with a concert in the Great Hall or soak up the picture-perfect views of the Swiss Alps.
Don’t miss the City Church, which features an octagonal medieval tower rising above a Baroque-style hall. Paintings dating from the 15th century decorate the interior, alongside a Renaissance pulpit and communion table. Occupying the tower is a museum detailing the church’s past, with highlights including a centuries-old Bible and an 1886-built clock.
Hugging the northern tip of Lake Thun is Schadau Park, which features a children’s playground, a maze and grassy lawns where you can sunbathe in the summer months. Coincide your visit with the weekend to ride the miniature steam train or admire the historic 360-degree panorama painting of Thun. Dominating the park is the fairytale-like Schadau Castle, which is home to the Swiss Gastronomy Museum.
Getting around Thun
Thun is around 30 minutes’ drive from Bern and Bern Airport, which has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. The much larger Geneva International Airport is two hours away. Regular trains connect to the Thun railway station while ferries travel to Interlaken. The historic centre of Thun is ideally explored on foot.