This article discusses 10 of the best things to do in Spiez, Switzerland based on my personal experience visiting this charming town.
Spiez, a charming, lakeside town located on the southern banks of Lake Thun, offers a wide variety of activities for tourists to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in exploring the natural beauty of the region, hiking, cruising, or learning more about the town’s rich history, there’s something for everyone in Spiez.
Overview: Spiez, Switzerland
For those who love nature and the outdoors, Spiez is the perfect destination. This peaceful town is situated on the southern banks of Lake Thun, in a small protected bay, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains of Niesen and Niederhorn. Spiez itself is composed of five farming settlements called Spiez, Spiezwiler, Hondrich, Faulensee, and Einingen.1
And although the town itself looks quite small and quiet, there are many things to do in Spiez. You can start out with a leisure stroll along the lakefront promenade, walk along its vineyards, hike to the nearby Spiezberg or around the surrounding mountains, and or enjoy the panoramic views of the town and lake.
Here are some of the mountain peaks that you can observe from Spiez:
- Niederhorn – 1,963 meters
- Flöschhorn – 1,898 meters
- Niesen – 2,362 meters
- Blümlisalphorn – 3,663 meters
- Oeschinenhorn – 3,486 meters
- Fründenhorn – 3,368 meters
- Doldenhorn – 3,643 meters
- Aermighorn – 2,742 meters
In addition to its natural beauty, Spiez is home to several historical landmarks. The town’s castle, which is located prominently atop a small hill near the lake, is a wonderful attraction. Visitors can come in and discover the castle and learn about its fascinating history. The town also has other museums.
So whether you’re interested in history, wine, nature, or both, Spiez will have enough things for you to do.
10 Best Things to Do in Spiez, Switzerland
1. Unwind along the Spiez Promenade
Offering a path dotted with colorful flowers, and a beautiful, wooden walkway leading to the jetty, the Spiez Promenade is definitely worth visiting.
You may simply sit nearby and enjoy the views, enjoy a long lunch in one of the restaurants near the lake, or hang out with your loved ones. It’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. I even spotted an Asian couple taking their pre-nuptial photos here. It’s so scenic that it is used as a wedding photo backdrop.
It is a picturesque place with lots of little boats parked there, waiting to be used. It is also not as busy as the promenades of Lucerne, Montreux, and Vevey, which I have seen already many times. The most similar promenade that I can think of is that in Weesen, in Lake Walen (Walensee).
I can recommend the Spiez promenade as a fantastic destination for anyone looking to relax in the natural beauty of the region. If you walk further down the promenade, you will reach the boat pier.
2. Cruise the Serene Lake Thun
Lake Thun is a popular destination for cruising on their ship. The services are provided by BLS Shipping; the boats cruise typically multiple times per day in summer. Scheduled boats run all year round from Spiez. You are advised to check the online timetable since it changes depending on the season of the year.
3. Get a Taste of Sailing
For those interested in learning how to sail, Lake Thun offers a sailing school called Segelschule Thunersee. This sailing school is known to be the largest and oldest sailing school in Switzerland, with an experienced team who would be happy to introduce you to sailing.2 It is for all levels of experience – from beginners to advanced sailors.
If you would like to learn more about the Sailing School, you can check out their website: https://www.segelschule-thunersee.ch/.
The schools provide lessons on sailing techniques such as tacking and jibing. They also teach navigation, particularly sailing different courses, as well as docking and undocking. They also teach safety. You will learn to sail in Lake Thun, which tends to have good winds.
The sailing schools also offer courses for children starting at 6 years old, making it a fun and educational activity for the whole family. For those seeking a sailing adventure with a skipper, sailing trips with experienced skippers are also available.
You can find the Sailing School Lake Thun at Seestrasse 63, Spiez.
4. Unveil History at Spiez Castle
Spiez Castle, located in the heart of Spiez, Switzerland, is a historic castle on top of a little hill, overlooking Lake Thun and Niederhorn. The castle and nearby church date from the 11th century.
The castle was originally built by the King of Burgundy, Rudolph II, in 933.3 Over the centuries, the castle has been expanded and renovated several times.
Today, the castle and church form a historical complex that offers visitors a glimpse into its 1,300-year history. You can explore the interiors of the castle and even climb the tower. By the way, climbing the tower will give you a fantastic 360-degree panorama of the region. The castle grounds feature manicured lawns, flowers, and fantastic panoramic views of the lake.
Spiez Castle is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, except Mondays when it opens from 2:00 PM. In summer, it is open until 6:00 PM. You can find the Spiez Castle at Schlossstrasse 16, Spiez.
5. Explore the Alpine Viticulture in Spiez
One of the best things to do in Spiez is to explore its vineyards. Quite similar to Vevey on Lake Geneva, there are also small vineyards in Spiez worth exploring.
Vineyards in Spiez
Spiez has its own vineyards, though not as large as other areas, but nonetheless quite interesting. I suggest that you try out the Spiez Vineyard Trail (Erlebnispfad Spiezer Rebberg in German), which is a leisurely walk that brings you around the surrounding vineyards.
Along this short trail that starts in the heart of the village, you will find 12 information boards where you will learn about wines, nature, and the vineyards themselves. You can also get to experience your senses during this trail. Surprisingly, they have 60 different grape types in Spiez.4
Feel free to explore the virtual trail by following this link: http://app.smartrails.ch/spiez.
Vineyard Museum Spiez
Once you are done with the Vineyard Trail, which is expected to last between one and two hours, you may also visit the Wine Museum in Spiez. The wine museum is located in a 300-year-old wine farmer’s house and storage. It is a great place to learn about the history and culture of wine in the region since you get to see the wine-pressing barn together with the traditional old wine-making equipment.
The Heimat- und Rebbaumuseum Spiez is open every Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. You can find the museum at Spiezbergstrasse 48, Spiez.
Tasting and Buying Wine
Spiez is known for its vineyards and wineries. Visitors can taste some of the best wines the region has to offer in Regezkeller. The local wines are made from the grapes grown in the region, which gives them their own distinct flavor.
If you are interested in tasting wine, you may try it in Regezkeller every Wednesday from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Furthermore, you can also buy bottles of wine here every weekday from Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM.
You can find the Wine Cellar at Schlossstrasse 8, 3700 Spiez.
6. Hike to Faulensee
While there are many hiking trails in Spiez and the surrounding mountains, one of the most popular ones is the 14-kilometer circular trail that will lead you from Spiez to Faulensee nearby. The route will also take you to Spiezberg, allowing you to walk along the vineyards.
Faulensee is not just a wonderful place to visit, but also an ideal spot for a memorable stay. With its breathtaking lake views, a shipping port, and a beach, Faulensee offers a little slice of paradise. Faulensee Beach, open year-round, invites you to relax on its lawns or find respite under the shade of majestic trees.
In case you would like to discover more trails around Spiez, you can check out smartrails online by visiting this site: spiez.com/smartrails.
7. Celebrate with Vibrant Events
Spiez hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, providing visitors with a chance to experience the local culture, sports activities, and traditions. Here are some of the most recent ones in 2023:
- Open Wine Cellars: Guided tours through the vineyards or the castle cellar during the end of April/early May.
- Spiez Castle Concerts: Held in May, this music concert is played in the castle church.
- Spring Festival: Held in Einingen, this spring festival features handicrafts and food, as well as entertainment.
- Spiezathlon: Held in summer, the Spiezathlon features a triathlon with swimming, biking, and running. It is open to all athletes and amateurs.
- Beach Soccer: The beach soccer league typically kicks off its season in Spiez.
- Swiss National Day: Celebrated on August 1, Spiez celebrates the Swiss National Day with brunch in Spiez and a party in Faulensee.
- Wine Festival: Held in September, this unique wine festival has a colorful procession and a Spiez market with 250 stands. It is called Läset-Sunntig.
- Christmas Market: At St. Nicholas Market, immerse yourself in a festive wonderland with approximately 120 market stalls spread across Seestrasse, Kronenplatz, and the castle courtyards. You can explore a delightful selection of fancy and unique Christmas gifts to give your loved ones.
In addition to these annual events, Spiez also hosts a variety of smaller festivals and markets throughout the year, such as the Märit market (regional market). Visitors are encouraged to check the local events calendar for up-to-date information since it changes on a yearly basis.
8. Swim, swim, swim
One of the best things to do in Spiez is to take advantage of its access to Lake Thun. The lake is an ideal spot for swimming during the summer months. The water is crystal clear and refreshing, making it the perfect place to cool off on a hot day. Spiez itself has around 13 kilometers of shores with the following well-known bathing areas:
- Seewiese Faulensee
- Areal Blue Turtle Güetital
- Badi Einigen
- Seewiese Einigen
And although there are numerous designated swimming areas around Lake Thun, the best swimming area near Spiez, in my opinion, is Freibad/Seebad Spiez. With a 25-degree heated pool, a 50-meter pool with 8 lanes, a non-swimmers pool, and two diving boards, plus direct access to the lake, it’s no wonder that the bathing area in Spiez is popular in the region.
The Freibad/Seebad Spiez swimming area is open daily from May to September from 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM. You can visit the swimming area at Schachenstrasse 17, Spiez.
9. Enjoy Playful Adventures with Kids
Spiez also offers a lot of fun things to do for children. For example, families with children will also appreciate the playground located on the promenade. It has a play boat named Blüemlisalp as well as climbing structures and plenty of opportunities for kids to burn off some energy while parents relax and take in the view.
There is also a Toy Museum that shows dolls, dollhouses, kitchens, construction sets, trains, Steiff animals, and more.
In addition to these two attractions, Spiez offers a plethora of child-friendly things to do, ensuring an unforgettable experience for young visitors.
Explore the following family-friendly activities and create lasting memories in Spiez:
- Minigolf Open Standard (Schachenstrasse 17A, 3700 Spiez) – 18-hole course about 6 to 21 meters long for people of all ages
- Spiez Fun Train (Spiez Promenade) – A fun train that can take you around Spiez from April until mid-October. Please check the timetable at spiez.com/spiezerzuegli.
- Krimispass Fun Crime Thriller Spiez – You can solve a criminal case by following tracks through Spiez. The trail is available every day for free. You can find out more information by visiting krimispass.ch/spiez.
- Ludotrail – This playful fun trail allows you to play 30 different game posts throughout Spiez. You can book it online and receive the backpack at the issuing office where you get a bag of materials for the games as well as a book of rules. You can find out more information by visiting spiel-dich-durch-spiez.ch.
- Playgrounds – Aside from the playground near the Spiez Promenade, you can also visit two adventure playgrounds in Faulensee, Hondrich, Schönegg Park, and Strandweg.
- Barbecue Pits – Several barbecue pits are scattered around Spiez. Recommended are those in Kander Spiezwiler, Weidli Spiezmoos, Seewiese Einigen, Strandweg, and Güetital Faulensee.
- Vitaparcours – If you haven’t been to a Vitaparcours by yourself or with your kids, you should try it. Located all over the country, Vitaparcours allows children to try out a jogging route filled with different exercises designed to improve their health. You can find the 2.7-kilometer Vitaparcours in Spiez on Spiezberg.
10. Discover Niesen Mountain
Discovering Niesen is one of the best things to do in Spiez. Niesen is the pyramid-shaped local mountain of Spiez. The ride on the Niesen funicular is a very interesting experience. Although it looks very steep at 66% and 68% steepness gradient, it is still quite safe to ride on. There are no cogs on this funicular.
Once you reach the top of this pyramid-shaped mountain, there is a glass restaurant plus a playground for kids called Niesen Village (Niesendörfli). Views of the region are also fantastic. You can see Lake Thun, Simmen Valley, Kander Valley, as well as the surrounding Bernese Alps. More experienced hikers can try the challenging hikes around Niesen.
You can visit Niesen by going from Spiez to Mülenen, and from there taking the funicular. The Niesenbahn funicular will take you to Niesen. It departs once every 30 minutes from mid-April until mid-November.
More Things to Do in Spiez, Switzerland
As you can see, there are so many fantastic things to do in Spiez, Switzerland. From tasting local wines to going on hikes, enjoying breathtaking views, or swimming, you really have so many choices.
If you are looking for other excursions near Spiez, Switzerland, we have provided a list below:
- Niederhorn – This 1,963-meter high peak near Beatenberg offers fantastic views of Justis Valley and Lake Thun. You can see Niederhorn from the Spiez Castle’s grounds.
- Panorama Bridge in Leissigen – A historic bridge in Leissingen that provides panoramic views of Lake Thun and the surrounding mountains
- Panorama Bridge in Sigriswil – Made popular by the hit television show Crash Landing in You, the panoramic bridge in Sigriswil is also worth a visit.
- Sternwarte Planetarium Sirius – This astronomical observatory center is located in Schwanden right above Sigriswil. You can enjoy the starry sky in this planetarium regardless of the weather. It has a powerful telescope and a 360-degree cinema.
- Grabenmühle Sigrilswil – This nature park and mill has fish, alpacas, deer, moufflons, and other small animals. You can also try your luck panning for gold.
- Thun – The beautiful town of Thun has a charming old town, Thun Castle, the Schadau Castle and Park, a Panorama, and more.
- Brienz – The charming village of Brienz has one of the most beautiful streets in the country, as well as a well-known woodcarving tradition. It is also the starting point for the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn.
- St. Beatus Caves – These extraordinary caves are located inside the Niederhorn Massif and definitely worth checking out.
Hotel Recommendations in Spiez
Spending a night in Spiez is a smart choice due to its great location and direct train connections, including ones from Milano Centrale, Zurich, and Zurich Airport. Its proximity to Valais destinations like Zermatt, Saas-Fee, and Crans-Montana, accessed via the Lötschberg Basis Tunnel to Visp, adds to its appeal. With these benefits, staying in Spiez is a highly advantageous option.
Here are some of our hotel recommendations in Spiez, Switzerland:
- Belvédère Strandhotel (4-star) – This beautiful hotel offers an outdoor pool, a spa area, and a gourmet restaurant with a lake view.
- Hotel Eden Spiez (4-star) – This lovely hotel offers amazing views of the Jungfrau mountains and Spiez Castle. You can unwind with two swimming pools and a fitness center. It’s in a peaceful spot, yet not far from the village’s main attractions.
- Hotel-Restaurant Seegarten-Marina (3-star) – Sitting directly on Lake Thun’s marina, it’s just a quick 2-minute stroll from the boat station. The rooms are tidy, there’s a restaurant here, and the prices are reasonable.
If you would like to read more about the best day trips from Spiez, you can check out 10 Best Day Trips from Spiez.
Final Thoughts: Things to Do in Spiez, Switzerland
Spiez, Switzerland, is one of my favorite destinations in Switzerland that offers many fun things to do. With its beautiful landscapes and tranquil atmosphere, it is the perfect place to unwind and simply spend some peaceful time by the lake. On the other hand, if you’re seeking outdoor adventures, culinary or cultural experiences, Spiez will also have something for you.
When it comes to the best things to do in Spiez, there are numerous options to choose from. Take a leisurely stroll along the Spiez Promenade and soak in the breathtaking views of Lake Thun. Embark on a scenic boat cruise to fully immerse yourself in the serenity of the lake. For history enthusiasts, a visit to Spiez Castle is a must, where you can uncover the secrets of its medieval past. Explore the Alpine viticulture in Spiez by visiting the local vineyards, indulging in wine tastings, and even purchasing some bottles to take home as souvenirs. For outdoor enthusiasts, a hike to Faulensee provides an opportunity to discover the natural beauty of the region.
In addition to the above, Spiez offers vibrant events, swimming opportunities, child-friendly adventures, and the chance to explore the magnificent Niesen Mountain. There are also more fantastic attractions near Spiez for those who want to further expand their exploration of the area.
Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural experiences, I can promise you that Spiez is a remarkable destination that promises many fun moments for every traveler. I can’t wait to go back.
- 1 Welcome to Spiez – Energy by Nature. Spiez Guide 2023. Spiez Kraftort am Wasser.
- 2Welcome to Spiez – Energy by Nature. Spiez Guide 2023. Spiez Kraftort am Wasser.
- 3 Spiez Castle. Wikipedia. Accessed on 18 June 2023. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiez_Castle.
- 4 Erlebnispfad Spiezer Rebberg & Sortengarten Bucht. Spiezer Alpine Weinkultur.
- 10 Best Day Trips from Spiez
- How Do I Get From Interlaken to Spiez?
- Spiez vs. Interlaken: Which Is Better?
- 8 Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland
- Top 12 Stunning Places Near Interlaken
- 10 Best Day Trips from Wengen
- 15 Best Lakeside Hotels in Switzerland
Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.