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8 Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland

Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Darla Uhl

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There is just something about its breathtaking emerald waters and majestic mountain backdrop that makes it such a worthwhile place to visit. Specifically, I’m talking about Lake Thun in Switzerland.

Image of Lake Thun by TouringSwitzerland.com

When you consider all the activities available in and around the region, it is definitely one to add to your bucket list. It is for this reason that we will be discussing the 8 best things to do in Lake Thun, Switzerland in this article.

Overview: Lake Thun, Switzerland

Lake Thun (Thunersee in German) is located in the Aare Valley, between the towns of Thun and Interlaken. 558 meters above sea level, the lake is around eighteen kilometers long and four kilometers wide. Lake Thun, located in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region, is one of the most stunning lakes in the country.

In summer, there are many water sports you can do on Lake Thun, including windsurfing, sailing, swimming, and diving. There are paths around the lake for hiking and bicycling. There are numerous attractions in the region, and you can reach them by boat or by train if you desire.

In no particular order, here are the 8 best things to do in Lake Thun, Switzerland:

1. Cruise around Lake Thun, Switzerland

Image of Bubenberg Ship on Lake Thun by TouringSwitzerland.com

Cruising around Lake Thun, Switzerland is one of the most enjoyable things to do in this region. Cruising Lake Thun is a serene and scenic experience with its calm waters and breathtaking mountain views with Niesen and Burgfeldstand around you.

You can ride the nostalgic steamboat Blüemlisalp, which would be an interesting experience. With its vintage charm, you will step back in time while enjoying the beautiful waters of Lake Thun.

The nostalgic steamboat Blüemlisalp cruises once daily from July to October. In about two hours, it cruises from Thun to Interlaken West and back. During the trip, you can enjoy the amazing views of Hünegg Castle and Park, Oberhofen Castle, and Gunten.

Available from Tuesdays until Saturdays (July to mid-September) is a late afternoon cruise. The path starts from Thun to Beatenbucht and then back.

A lake with clear waters and an incredible view awaits you while cruising. Additionally, you can admire the impressive castles on the shore of the lake.

If you would like to read more about steamboats in Switzerland, you can check out our article Ultimate List of Steamboats in Switzerland’s Lakes.


2. Experience St. Beatus Cave and Beatenberg

Beatenberg and St. Beatus Cave - One of the Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland
Image of St. Beatus Cave from TouringSwitzerland.com

Beatenberg is a small village high above Lake Thun with stunning mountains and lake views. Beatenberg charms its visitors with its sunshine and panoramic views. It is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.

One of the best things to do in Beatenberg is to explore the kilometer-long limestone cave called St. Beatus Cave. The cave has the same entrance and exit. You can follow the path all the way deep inside the cave. You won’t get lost here, just follow the path. This isn’t a one-way tour like others. Get deeper and deeper into the cave, then come out the way you came in.

Outside the cave, you will get to see waterfalls, bridges, flowers, trees, and a gorgeous view of Lake Thun and the surrounding Alps.

If you would like to read more about St. Beatus Caves, you can check out our article Exploring St. Beatus Caves Near Interlaken, Switzerland. Plus 7 Tips!

St. Beatus Caves is open from April 1 to October 31. You can easily reach it from Interlaken, Spiez, or Thun.

Image of St. Beatus Caves by TouringSwitzerland.com

If you want to see the main highlights of Lake Thun, you can also book a guided tour with ViatorBeatus Caves, Panoramic Bridge, Nature Park Blue Lake and Lake Thun Cruise.

Explore the main highlights in one trip

🌊 This fantastic tour takes you through five of Thun’s top attractions in one day: the Beatus Caves, the Sigriswil Panorama Bridge, the city of Thun, the Blausee Nature Park, and the Lake Thun by boat.


3. Enjoy the Views from Niederhorn

Visiting Niederhorn - One of the Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland
Image taken from Niederhorn by TouringSwitzerland.com

Niederhorn is a mountain of the Emmental Alps in the Bernese Oberland. Located near Beatenberg in Canton Bern, it is 1,963 meters above sea level.

Niederhorn offers a great view of Lake Thun and the surrounding mountain peaks of the Bernese Oberland. The famed Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau can be viewed from here. You can also see the Justis Valley, Jura, and Aare Valley from the mountain peak.

There are plenty of hikes around Habkern and Gemmenalphorn.  There’s a big wooden playground right next to the restaurant. You can also rent mountain scooters from the middle station.

TIP: You can also combine this trip with a stop at St. Beatus Caves in Beatenberg.

As an alternative to Niederhorn, you may also visit the pyramid-shaped mountain Niesen. It is a nostalgic railway that brings you up to 2,362 meters above sea level and gives you a fantastic panorama of Lake Thun.


4. Cross the Panorama Bridge Sigriswil

Crossing Panorama Bridge Sigriswil - One of the Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland
Image of Panorama Bridge Sigriswil from wikimedia

Made popular by a hit Korean series Crash Landing on You, the Panorama Bridge Sigriswil is one of the best things to do around Lake Thun, Switzerland.

It is a 340-meter-long suspension bridge that connects Sigriswil with Aeschlen. From the bridge, you can have fantastic views of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau as well as Lake Thun. If you look down the bridge, you will see Gummi Gorge (Gummischlucht) around 182 meters down.

Crossing the Panorama Bridge Sigriswil is definitely not something for those who are afraid of heights. However, I do think that it remains a fantastic, if not nerve-wracking view down. If you are too scared to cross the bridge, there is an alternative you can try.

Crossing the bridge will cost you a small fee. In the area, there are a number of local shops where you can purchase products.

If you want to see the main highlights of Lake Thun, you can also book a guided tour with ViatorBeatus Caves, Panoramic Bridge, Nature Park Blue Lake and Lake Thun Cruise.

For those who would prefer something more relaxing, around 10 minutes away from the panorama bridge is a bathing area called Solbadhotel Sigriswil where you can enjoy peace and quiet while enjoying unique views of Lake Thun. The wellness area features saltwater baths, a Kneipp basin, a sauna, indoor and outdoor whirlpools, and a fitness room.


5. Hike around Aeschi

Hiking in Aeschi - One of the Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland
Image of Lake Thun from Faulensee from wikimedia

Located around 860 meters above sea level, Aeschi is composed of Aeschiried, Emdtal, and Mülenen. Agricultural and forest land dominate the area, and only a small portion is used for residency. However, there are several hotels and accommodations, as well as apartments and a camping area.

A fantastic terrace overlooking the mountains, lakes, and valleys around it, Aeschi is a great starting point for hikes. From Aeschi, you can go on hikes heading in many directions: Faulensee, Spiez, Hondrich, Heustrich, Mülenen, Leissigen, and Suldtal. Visiting the Pochten Waterfall (Pochtenfall) is also easy from Restaurant Pochtenfall.

Here are some of the easy to moderate hikes that you can do from Aeschi:

Hikes from AeschiDistance in km
Aeschi – Seeholzwald – Faulensee – Spiez5.8 km
Aeschi – Hondrich – Hondrichwald – Spiez4.9 km
Aeschi – Heustrich – Wimmis6.7 km
Aeschi – Mülenen2.6 km
Aeschi – Krattigen – Leissigen6.9 km
Aeschi – Mülenen – Suldtal – Aeschi12.6 km

Hiking Time Calculator

Plan your hikes with ease using our Hiking Time Calculator. Calculate estimated hiking times based on distance, altitude, terrain, and average speed.

In winter, you can also come here for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.


6. Discover Hilterfingen-Hünibach-Oberhofen Tourist Region

Hinterfilngen and Oberhofen - One of the Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland
Image of Oberhofen Castle by joduma from Pixabay

The Hilterfingen-Hünibach-Oberhofen region is a beautiful region along the shores of Lake Thun.

Around Lake Thun, you can find five different castles, each with its own unique and varied exhibitions and parklands: Oberhofen, Hünegg, Thun, Schadau, and Spiez.

Oberhofen Castle

One of the best things to do in this area is to visit the Oberhofen Castle. The Oberhofen Castle was built from 1180 to 1190 by the Dukes of Zähringen and is considered a Swiss heritage site of national significance.

As you explore the castle, you’ll learn about the way of life of its former owners, residents, and domestic servants. From the tour of the kitchen and servants’ quarters, visitors will be afforded a glimpse of their lives during the 19th century.

The Knight’s Hall (Rittersaal) of the Oberhofen Castle is one of the most impressive medieval profane rooms in Switzerland. Its chapel followed suit in 1473. From 1849 until 1982, its facade was shifted into the New Gothic architecture by James Colin from Neuchâtel.

There is a beautiful garden on the Oberhofen castle grounds filled with conifers, deciduous trees, and four exotic sequoia trees. The entrance to the park is free.

The Oberhofen Castle is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm from the 12th of May until the 1st of November 2020. The Oberhofen Garden is open from the 12th of May from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with longer opening hours in Summer. More detailed information can be found on the website.


7. Visit Spiez

Image of Spiez by TouringSwitzerland.com

Spiez is a gorgeous town on the shores of Lake Thun.  Any time of year you visit Spiez, you will not be disappointed.

In Spiez, there are several beaches to choose from, including Frei- und Seebad SpiezFaulensee BeachSchattenbad Spiez, and more.  Whether it’s a lazy day at the pool, a thrilling ride on the 86-meter water slide, or just some sunbathing by the lake, it is worth visiting these spots in summer. 

Spiez also has a wine culture with its vineyards on Spiezberg, in Faulensee, as well as Spiezwiler. These are among the highest wine-growing regions north of the Alps.

Then there’s Spiez Castle, with its museum, park, and garden. Alternatively, you can walk along the path that runs from Spiez to Faulensee. The church in Spiez has beautiful baroque interiors.

If you would like to read more about Spiez, check out our article 10 Best Things to Do in Spiez, Switzerland.


8. Explore the Scenic Town of Thun

Discovering Thun - One of the Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland
Image of Kunstmuseum Thun by TouringSwitzerland.com

Thun is often described as the gateway to the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. You can find it sitting on the northern edge of Lake Thun. Visiting Thun is definitely one of the best things to do if you are staying in the Lake Thun region.

Thun has been settled since the Neolithic Age and the lake was mentioned as lacus dunesis in 660. The town boasts picturesque castles, the reformed town church on Schlossberg, an old church, a park, an accessible lower bridge, and majestic mountain views.

Thun has so many exciting things to offer. Relax in the park, stroll around the streets, or ride one of the boats on the lake to enjoy a beautiful day. You can find trinkets and souvenirs in abundance in the old town.

There are also some historical monuments nearby, such as the Thun Castle and the Ancient Scherzligen Church. For art lovers, the Kunstmuseum and the Wocher Panorama are also worth a visit.

If you would like to learn more about Thun, you can check out our article 10 Best Things To Do In Thun, Bernese Oberland.


Final Thoughts: 8 Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland

Lake Thun in Switzerland offers a captivating destination for visitors with its array of attractions and stunning natural beauty. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. Due to the variety of activities available in and around Lake Thun, it is no wonder it has become such a popular tourist destination.

One of the best ways to appreciate the lake is by taking a scenic cruise, allowing you to soak in the picturesque surroundings while enjoying a leisurely boat ride. From the deck, you can admire the majestic Alps, charming lakeside towns, and lush greenery that lines the shores. Hikes up nearby mountain peaks are also highly recommended.

For a unique experience, a visit to St. Beatus Cave is a must. Explore the mystical underground world of St. Beatus Cave, known for its fascinating rock formations and impressive stalactites. Afterward finishing that visit, you can also head to Beatenberg, a mountain village offering panoramic views of Lake Thun and the surrounding peaks. It’s an ideal spot for hiking, taking in the fresh alpine air, and immersing yourself in the serene natural beauty.

To further enhance your experience, make your way to Niederhorn, a mountain peak that offers breathtaking views of Lake Thun, Justis Valley, and the Bernese Alps. Like Beatenberg, Niederhorn also provides opportunities for hiking and enjoying outdoor activities amidst a picturesque alpine setting. They also have a nice playground for children. Aeschi is another nearby option with picturesque trails.

Another notable attraction known to fans of Crash Landing on You is the Panorama Bridge in Sigriswil. This thrilling and unique experience will allow you to cross a hanging walkway. Don’t worry, it’s completely safe!

Lake Thun is surrounded by an enchanting tourist region, including the towns of Hilterfingen, Hünibach, and Oberhofen. Discover their unique charm, explore their historical sites, stroll along the lakefront promenades, and experience the warm hospitality of the region’s inhabitants.

Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the scenic town of Thun itself. It’s a really pretty and vibrant town which can be busy during wonderful sunny days. Marvel at the well-preserved medieval old town, wander along the Aare River and admire the iconic Thun Castle.

In summary, Lake Thun is worth visiting for its picturesque cruises, the intriguing St. Beatus Cave, the breathtaking views from Niederhorn, the thrilling Panorama Bridge in Sigriswil, the scenic hikes around Aeschi, the enchanting Hilterfingen-Hünibach-Oberhofen region, the charming town of Spiez, and the captivating town of Thun. With its combination of natural landscapes, historical sites, and recreational activities, Lake Thun provides a memorable experience for every traveler.

There is no doubt that the Lake Thun region is worth returning to time and time again. We hope our list of the best things to do in Lake Thun helped you plan your next visit.

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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.

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