In this article, we’ll discover the 12 best things to do in Thun, based upon tourist reviews, ratings, and recommendations around the web.
Thun is a quaint little town in Switzerland. It has a population of just over 30,000 and it’s nestled in the Swiss Alps.
The city is home to Lake Thun, which you can walk around or boat across, and Lake Brienz for those looking for more adventure.
You’ll find that there are plenty of activities to do while visiting this picturesque place such as hiking up Mount Titlis (the highest mountain), skiing down the slopes at one of many nearby resorts, or climbing up the Schilthorn (a mountain overlooking Interlaken).
There’s no shortage of things to see and do when you visit Thun!
12. Diemtigtal Nature Park
The Diemtigtal Nature Park is located in the village of Diemtigtal, which has lovely homes and a church. The village was given the Wakker Prize for preserving its history. The “Diemtigtal House Trail” takes visitors to the valley’s most beautiful structures.
There is a lot to do in this park. The Grimmimutz adventure trail is a children’s attraction based on the tale of the same name. In this lovely park, hiking, cycling, and winter sports all have a dreamlike quality.
The Panzermuseum or the Thun Tank Museum in Thun showcases foreign and Swiss tanks as well as in-house developments by Swiss tank and artillery. The museum is located near the Thun arsenal and is open to the general public.
The first exhibits were brought from the battlefields of the Second World War with the help of French armed forces. The exhibitions include all the tanks used in the Swiss army and all the important models from the other armies.
Notable tanks like the German Leopard 2 and the M4 Sherman can be seen.
Official website: www.armeemuseum.ch
10. The central church of Thun
The central church of Thun, also known as the Stadtkirche Thun, is the main reformed church in the city of Thun. It is found in the heart of Thun, and it dates back to the 14th century, although the church is a new building designed by Paul Nader in 1738.
The church is known for its distinct medieval tower and late baroque sermon hall. The organ inside the church is also a sight to see; it was built in 1950 with 47 registers on three manuals and a pedal. The church also has a small museum inside with catholic pieces. At the back of the church, you will get a beautiful panoramic view of Thun and the lake.
9. Bonstetten Park
The Bonstetten Park was originally an estate of the Lords of Strättligen. It now serves as a public recreational park. A Rudolf von Strättligen is believed to have been the owner based on a document from 1273. The parkland was established, with its gardens, between 1763 and 1811.
The “Bellerive” house dates back to 1764 and has belonged to Thun and canton of Bern since the 1960s. Bonstetten park has a serene environment for walks and picnics, with its beautiful view of the lake. It also has a children’s playground making it an attractive spot for families.
8. Scherzligen Church
The Scherzligen Church is an ancient church with Romanesque architecture found in the banks of the river Aare, right next to its outflow of Lake Thun. You can find the church near Schadau Park. It is documented to have been built in the 9th century.
A gothic choir is present in the church, and centuries-old paintings decorate the interiors of the church. The building itself has undergone many changes, adjustments, and restorations for various reasons. Its rich history makes it a hotspot and is also a popular wedding venue today for couples.
7. Kunstmuseum Thun
The Thun Art Museum is found on the banks of the River Aare. It was originally the Grand Hotel Thunerhof which opened in 1875 built by the Thun construction company. It was a building in French neo-renaissance design, and in 1949, the historic building housed the city art collection since then. The museum hosts large exhibitions in contemporary art five to six times each year, both by Swiss and international artists.
For art lovers, this is a must-visit as a significant amount of art by notable artists was donated and brought to the museum. The Thun Panorama in Schadau Park is also the property of the Thun Art Museum.
6. Wocher Panorama (Thun Panorama)
The Swiss Marquard Wocher of Basel painted the first Swiss panoramic painting between 1809 and 1814. It is also the oldest panoramic of its kind to survive. The painting is fascinating because of its huge size and the rich detail that depicts the daily life in Thun 200 years ago, along with a stunning recreation of the Bernese Alps.
The Wocher Panorama is managed by the Thun Art Museum and can be found in Schadau Park. Dive into the past two centuries ago as you gaze at the vividly detailed painting showing the old town from the view of a chimney stack of a house on the Upper Hauptgasse.
5. Obere Hauptgasse
Obere Hauptgasse is a historic street in the old town filled with shops, restaurants, and old building fronts. The street is famous for its charming medieval architecture. Small shops are flanking the streets and a raised platform above them, lined with more shops.
You will find crossroads that will lead you down to the river Aare and the Thun Castle. The restaurants along the street are worth a stop for some food and drinks, and the shops offer souvenirs that will serve as a memory of the time spent walking this mesmerizing street.
4. Oberhofen Castle
Oberhofen Castle is found on the shores of Lake Thun. It was built in the early 13th century and now houses a museum devoted to the stories of former residents. The castle grounds are filled with beautiful gardens and trees, a magnificently landscaped English park with a view of the stunning Lake Thun and the Bernese Alps.
Taking a walk amongst the vibrant blooms would not be a regret. The museum showcases Bernese residential culture from the 16th to the 19th century, along with exhibits of neo-Gothic dining rooms, a Turkish smoking parlor, to knights’ suits of armor. If you are a history nerd, then this place is for you.
3. Schadau Park & Castle
In the southern parts of Thun lies Schadau Park, a pleasant public garden on the banks of the Thunersee Lake. The park is open to the public for various recreational activities like picnics and playgrounds for children. There are several attractions when visiting the park, including the Schloss Schadauhousing the Swiss Gastronomic museum.
The museum exhibits literature, documents, and gadgets relating to the gastronomic industry. The Thun Panorama is another attraction that is present in the park. It is a 19th-century painting that shows the town center at the start of the century, and it is also the oldest panoramic painting in the world.
2. Thun Castle
The Thun Castle is located in the city of Thun. It is a 12th-century castle built by Duke Berthold V of Zähringen, which is now a museum and a Swiss heritage site. The donjon has five great halls which host the historical museum and a collection of many significant artifacts. At 14 meters, the knights’ hall was an impressive representative room and is one of the best-preserved halls of the Late Middle Ages.
The museum is located in the original castle tower walls and has numerous temporary exhibitions that show the region’s cultural and historical development over 4000 years.
1. Lake Thun
Lake Thun is a serene alpine lake located between Thun and Interlaken. It is generally the most significant point of interest when visiting Thun. It lies on the northern edge of the majestic Mount Alps. The shoreline of the lake is filled with medieval age towns, which have Romanesque churches and buildings. Sights like the 15th century Spiez Castle in the south of the lake and the 12th century Thun Castle can be seenon a cruising trip
Apart from cruising, you can enjoy a variety of other water-based activities like swimming, speed boating, and jet skiing, along with others. All of this made Lake Thun a central attraction for tourists and locals alike.
Where and what to eat in Thun?
The best restaurants in Thun are located close to the historic part of town, even though you’ll find many delicious dining opportunities around the city with a vast selection of cuisins.
We’ve found three of the highest rated restaurants in the town so you don’t have to search around for too long while visiting Thun.
Gaststube im Tempel
Rated #1 and Travelers Choice on Tripadvisor, Gaststube im Tempel is the essence of Swiss dining and is found in the old town of Thun.
It has a rustic atmosphere and serves traditional food made with fresh ingredients from nearby farms. The menu offers an assortment of dishes like venison, fish, meat, and cheese fondue to name a few.
Atelier Classic Bar
With a minimalist and chic design, Atelier Classic Bar is one of the hottest attractions in Thun. Excellent for spending a night out, and enjoy their drinks, it’s reasonable that the Atelier Classic Bar got the Travelers Choice award from Tripadvisor as well.
Mani’s Coffee & Bagels
If you need a lighter meal, you’ve come to the right place. Mani’s Coffee & Bagels is located right at the lake, and you’ll get to enjoy a bagel of coffee with on of the most breathtaking and picturesque views of the Alps.
When the weather is good, you should definitely sit outdoors and enjoy a cup of coffee and just – relax.
Frequently Asked Questions about Thun tourism
Is Thun worth visiting?
Short answer, YES! We’ve found 12 things to do in Thun that makes it worth visiting. These attractions have been the most loved over the years by tourists and have received many positive reviews on popular travel sites, therefore making it a must visit for anyone who is interested in exploring Switzerland.
Which season is best to visit Thun?
Thun can be visited all year round, but the most optimal time to visit would be in the summer when the Swiss Alps are in full bloom. The weather will not be too hot or too cold, and you will also get to enjoy the various seasonal festivals and events thay will be happening around the city. In winter, as long as there’s no snowfall, you can still enjoy a night out.
Where is Lake Thun?
Lake Thun is located in the northwestern part of Switzerland between the cities of Interlaken and Thun. It is approximately 240 miles south of Zurich and 47 miles west from Bern.