Lake Thun is, for sure, one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland! Yes, Lake Thun is an exceptionally pretty lake!
Thunersee (in German) is surely no hidden gem – every year, visitors come from all around the world. But if you visit, you will understand the fascination. There are many fun things to do around Lake Thun. With the cutest towns and villages, stunning mountain peaks, and beautiful hotels, this is one of my top recommendations for staying in Switzerland.
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FAQ: LAKE THUN
This post is about the beauty of the lake and about things to do around Lake Thun, so here are a few tips.
Is Lake Thun a Good Area to Stay?
Yes, overall the Lake Thun area is a wonderful place to stay. Here are so many towns and villages on the shores that make it a perfect place to stay.
If you stay in an official accommodation in Thun or the area, you will get the PanoramaCard Thunersee, which will give you discounts on certain activities. But the best part is that you can use public transportation in Thun and its surroundings for free (buses only). You can even take the bus which takes you all the way to Interlaken.
AREAS TO STAY AROUND LAKE THUN
Thun is a busy town and one of my first picks when staying in the area. Accommodation prices are a bit higher.
➡️ If you are looking for a unique place to stay in Thun, check out the Schloss Schadau Hotel & Restaurant located in a beautiful park area. Though I have never stayed there myself, this park is one of my favorite places in Thun and a must-see.
➡️ Boutique Hotel Spedition seems to be a good choice if you want to stay in the old town of Thun.
Spiez is another place I recommend staying when at Lake Thun. This pretty town is a luxurious resort that is centrally located and close to many other tourist attractions.
Interlaken is a good choice if you are short on time and plan to see and do activities around Lake Brienz and Interlaken itself. Click here to read about the best places to stay in Interlaken (for all budgets).
➡️ I enjoyed my stay at Hotel du Nord – a beautiful, and newly renovated, 4-star hotel. Check out this lovely property in the heart of Interlaken.
➡️ Click here for budget hotels and hostels around Lake Brienz
How to Get Around Lake Thun
Looking to explore the picturesque Lake Thun area? Good news, there are multiple ways to navigate around! Whether you prefer the ease of driving, the convenience of public transportation, the scenic views on a bicycle, or the leisurely pace of walking, you’re sure to find a mode of transportation that suits your style.
Don’t worry, I won’t make you decide on a favorite just yet – I’ll provide all the details on each option later in this post. So sit back, relax, and get ready to plan your Lake Thun adventure!
If you use public transportation, I recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass. I visit Switzerland often, and most of the time I get one – even if it’s a road trip. It is only for non-Swiss residents though.
- It allows you to use trains and buses without any extra costs.
- You can also do boat cruises on Lake Brienz and Lake Thun and many other lakes in Switzerland without additional costs.
- It also gives you a 50% discount on most mountain rides (you can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price)
The initial prices for a Swiss Travel Pass are quite high – but it pays for itself if you get around via public transportation and are active in Switzerland for more than three or four days. So, check out prices for boats and trains and then calculate if it is a good option for you.
For me, it usually makes sense as I am very active and use public transportation/mountain rides often (even if I road trip Switzerland). I also love boat rides – which means many, many boat cruises for me whenever I have a Swiss Travel Pass.
Lake Thun Facts
Lake Thun is located in the region of Bernese Oberland, in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.
Situated between Interlaken and Thun, the Alpine lake is primarily fed by the two rivers of Aare and Kander.
- Max. width: 3.5 km
- Average depth: 136 meters
- Max. depth: 217 meters
- Surface elevation: 558 meters
Lake Thun was created after the last glacial period, combined with Lake Brienz (and called Lake Wendel), and then split in the 10th century to become an independent beauty. Yes, in other places we talk about independent countries, in Switzerland we talk about independent lakes.
Its emerald color makes this lake one of the prettiest in Europe – more than 50 kilometers of shoreline offer various attractions and activities to do.
READY TO FIND OUT ABOUT AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LAKE THUN, SWITZERLAND?
What to Do In Lake Thun – Places to Visit and Best Activities
Here are some ideas for things to do on Lake Thun, at Lake Thun, and around Lake Thun.
Drive Along Lake Thun by Car
Welcome to one of the most breathtaking scenic routes in Switzerland! The drive from Thun to Interlaken via Sigriswil is truly something special. You’ll be traveling a section of the famous “Grand Tour” route, which spans over 1.600 km of Swiss beauty.
To truly immerse yourself in the experience, we recommend taking the side streets and avoiding the motorways around the area. Trust us, the views from the lake shores are absolutely worth it! Get ready for an unforgettable drive in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
If you’re thinking about taking a trip to the beautiful lakes, just know that a tiny downer is the lack of free parking. You can stop for a quick breather right by the beautiful lakes, but parking in towns and attractions might be a tad challenging.
Fear not, though! To avoid getting a fine, you may have to shell out some cash, but believe me when I say it’s completely worth it for the breathtaking sights you’ll uncover along the way.
Hop on a Bus Around Lake Thun
Are you ready for a transportation experience that’s both breathtaking and fun? Look no further than Thun, Switzerland! With stunning scenery and pure bliss on every ride, hopping on public transportation is an absolute delight here.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take in the amazing views while getting where you need to go. Thun is calling your name!
Taking the bus can be a great way to get around, but let’s be honest, it can get pretty crowded at times. But don’t let that bring you down! If you happen to snag a window seat, you’re in luck! There’s nothing quite like getting an up-close view of the world outside as you travel. It’s like hitting the jackpot!
The beautiful picture I have for you today was actually taken from the bus on the way to the St. Beatus Caves. So next time you’re on public transportation, keep your fingers crossed for that window seat and enjoy the ride!
- Take the bus from Thun to Interlaken and sit on the right side so you have the best views of the lake. With your PanoramaCard, you can use the bus for free.
Cycle Around Lake Thun
Looking to add some excitement to your day? Why not hop on a bike and explore the scenic Lake Thun area! With numerous routes to choose from, you can customize your experience to fit your preferred level of activity. Don’t miss out on this popular and exhilarating adventure opportunity.
Although I haven’t tackled this imposing route myself, it’s certainly high on my bucket list. Don’t be deterred by the rolling hills – just pedal a little harder, and you’ll soon be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Plus, from what I’ve seen, cycling along the picturesque lake seems like a piece of cake, so why not give it a go? Happy cycling!
- If you plan to cycle around the whole lake, it could take anywhere from 2,5-5 hours without stops (51,5 km – 32 miles). Cycling around Lake Thun is classified as an intermediate bike ride and requires good fitness required.
Walking / Hiking At Lake Thun
Let’s delve into the wonders of Switzerland and explore the captivating area surrounding Lake Thun. Imagine Switzerland without the adequate hiking trails that make this picturesque destination so unique. No, that is not Switzerland we know or love Of course, Lake Thun has something for everyone!
Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike up the mountains, you’ll be left in awe of the stunning scenery that surrounds you. It’s said that walking along the shores is one of the most enjoyable experiences in Lake Thun, so why not savor the moment and immerse yourself in nature?
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover the charm and beauty of this incredible destination.
Are you ready for a scenic stroll around Lake Thun? Just a heads up, you may encounter some cars along the way, but don’t worry, it’s totally doable. Plus, there are moments where you’ll have the shores all to yourself. So go ahead, put on those walking shoes and enjoy the breathtaking views of one of Switzerland’s most beautiful lakes!
- One of the most scenic walks/hikes includes the walk from Spiez to Faulensee (a very easy 30-minute walk).
Walking along the whole lake is probably but I highly recommend planning in some days for it and splitting the walk into several stages and doing it like this:
- Thun–Sigriswil: 11 km – it takes about 4 hours
- Sigriswil–Interlaken: 16 km – it takes about 5 hours
- Interlaken–Spiez: 20 km – it takes about 6 hours
- Spiez–Thun: 14 km – it takes about 4 hours
All mentioned walks/hikes are quite easy but there are some meters of altitude to conquer, so wear proper shoes.
Go on a Lake Thun Boat Cruise
I’ve got a piece of advice for you that I just can’t keep to myself – the absolute best way to enjoy Lake Thun is by cruising around on a boat. Trust me, there’s nothing quite like feeling the wind in your hair, breathing in the fresh mountain air, and taking in the stunning views of the lake from the comfort of your own vessel. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean!
Now, I might be a little biased because I’m a total boat addict, but trust me when I say that this cruise is something special. The views are absolutely breathtaking and they’ll stay with you long after the cruise is over. So why not embark on this adventure and let the beauty of Lake Thun take your breath away? You won’t regret it!
Hop on a boat tour for a unique perspective on the stunning scenery and gorgeous lake. You’ll sail past awe-inspiring locations such as the charming town of Thun, the picturesque village of Spiez, and the mystical St. Beatus Caves. It’s the perfect activity to make the most of your time in Lake Thun.
Looking to sail through the picturesque scenery of Thun to Interlaken? With the size of the lake, it’s no surprise that this one-way cruise takes about 2 hours, giving you ample time to relax and take in the stunning surroundings. Make the most of your adventure and hop off at several stations, including Spiez, Beatenberg, or St. Beatus Caves.
The sunsets seen from Lake Thun are some of the most beautiful sunsets in Switzerland. You can even do a sunset boat cruise on Lake Thun. With a Swiss Travel Pass, you can go on unlimited boat rides of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
STOPS CRUISE: LAKE THUN:
- Thun (See)
- Hünibach (See)
- Hilterfingen (See)
- Oberhofen am Thunersee
- Gunten (See)
- Spiez Schiffstation
- Faulensee (See)
- Merligen (See)
- Beatenbucht (See)
- Neuhaus (Unterseen) (See)
- Interlaken West (See)
- With a Swiss Travel Pass, you can use most boat cruises without any extra charge in Switzerland. Boat cruises on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz are included in the Swiss Travel Passes. Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass.
- If you want a day ticket for Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, buy the day pass which gives you unlimited boat cruises (for a day). Click here for prices.
Enjoy Watersports on Lake Thun
Discover the world of water sports in the stunning Bernese Oberland region! Lake Thun steals the show as the hottest spot for aquatic adventures, thanks to its warmer temperatures. You can take your pick from an array of exciting activities, like canoeing in the refreshing spring waters, water skiing in action-packed summers, or a serene paddleboard tour.
And who says winter can’t be fun too? Kayaking adventures await you, providing picture-perfect views of the snow-capped mountains in the backdrop. Meanwhile, Lake Brienz stands its ground, boasting its own unique charms and endless water sports opportunities.
Complete your day of exhilarating activities with a visit to the idyllic lake resorts, offering stunning views of the surrounding nature. Experience nature’s playground at its finest!
Explore the Town of Thun
Welcome to Thun, the busiest and biggest town in the area! Are you ready to dive into this charming Swiss gem? Let me guide you through the many exciting things to do in Thun. Immerse yourself in the town’s rich history with a visit to the Thun Panorama, bask in stunning views from Thun Castle, explore the quaint alleys and picturesque architecture of the Old Town, and take a moment to relax by the serene Aare River.
Want to cool off from the summer heat? Dip your toes in the river, or take a refreshing swim. And don’t forget to marvel at the impressive Schadau Castle! There’s never a dull moment in Thun.
- Tip: With a Thun or Interlaken Guest Card, you get a small discount on Schloss Thun. You have free access with a Swiss Travel Pass.
Nestled on the picturesque banks of Lake Thun lies the renowned town of Interlaken, celebrated as the ultimate hub for thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. But whether you’re looking to conquer the world’s highest summits or simply unwind and soak up the serene surroundings, Interlaken is the perfect destination.
Take a leisurely stroll through the scenic Höhenmatte, a serene oasis for relaxation, or bask in the refreshing waters of the Aare River, the perfect spot for a refreshing plunge. With something for everyone, Interlaken is sure to leave you breathless and rejuvenated. So what are you waiting for? Your adventure awaits!
While it’s true that the town is known for its fantastic watch shopping, I suggest taking a leisurely stroll down the main street for a unique and memorable experience. You might even catch a glimpse of people paragliding overhead – or if you’re feeling adventurous, why not give it a try yourself? Interlaken has something for everyone, so you’re sure to find the perfect souvenir to bring back home.
Pay a Visit to St. Beatus Cave
Visit the enchanting St. Beatus Caves! These mystical caverns will transport you to a world of wonder, where you can marvel at the breathtaking beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites surrounding you. Prepare to be mesmerized as you explore the twisting and turning grottos, each hiding its own secrets and surprises.
- There is an entrance fee for the caves – it is a really unique place in Switzerland, so check it out.
- However, you can also just enjoy the lake’s amazing views for free.
- There is also a restaurant that comes with amazing views.
- If you walk from the caves towards the boat station, you have a very, very scenic view.
Enjoy Views from Sigriswil
Looking for a picturesque Swiss village to explore? Look no further than Sigriswil! This charming destination is perfect for soaking in the stunning views of Lake Thun, especially if you make your way to the awe-inspiring suspension bridge.
Don’t miss the chance to wander through the fascinating garden area of Grabenmühle, too – it’s a delightful way to round out your visit.
- The Sigriswil suspension bridge is a bridge that comes with great views of Lake Thun – walking the suspension bridge probably isn’t for the faint-hearted.
- While you have to pay a fee for the bridge (around 8CHF), it is worth those who enjoy great views and interesting bridges.
- You can use your Sigriswil bridge ticket to get into the Grabenmühle as well. I cannot classify Grabenmühle but it is a kind of garden which is overly cute. You can visit alpacas, look for gold and do more, let´s say unique, things.
Castle Oberhofen at the Shores of Lake Thun
If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland, you definitely need to add Oberhofen to your itinerary. This charming village was named the most beautiful in the country, and it’s not hard to see why.
One of the standout attractions is the Oberhofen Castle, which sits right on the picturesque shores of Lake Thun. Trust me, a visit here is an absolute must for any traveler looking to soak up some stunning scenery and rich history.
- You can visit the castle museum or its garden. There is also a restaurant you can dine in and enjoy the charming views all around.
- There is an entrance fee for the museum of about CHF10.
In Hilterfingen, a village close by, the stunning Hünegg Castle awaits you. This magnificent fortress dates back to the 1800s and offers visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun day trip, Hünegg Castle is sure to please.
- It is only a 10-minute walk from Oberhofen Castle.
- There is a museum dedicated to the Historicism and Jugendstil movements and a garden.
- There is an entrance fee for the museum of about CHF10 – it is free with the Swiss Travel Pass.
Welcome to Merligen, a picturesque village nestled on the shore of Lake Thun, near the renowned St. Beatus Caves. Despite its small size, this gem of a destination offers breathtaking views from its church and exudes undeniable charm.
It may not be a place you’ll want to spend several days exploring, but a stay in Merligen is a must-do when visiting the Lake Thun area. Come immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere and be prepared to fall in love with the enchanting beauty of Merligen.
- There is also a lido in Merligen. It is an outdoor swimming pool near a beach or lake or even in a city. The lido is perfect for those, who do not want to swim in the open lake. The views of the lake and Mount Niesen – a unique mountain in the pyramid shape – are superb.
- The lido is open from mid-March to mid-September and the entrance fee is around CHF 7,50 for adults.
Spiez is a picturesque town surrounded by rolling hills and lush vineyards. If you’re looking for a taste of the Mediterranean in the German-speaking region of Switzerland, this is the place to be!
With its close proximity to Thun and stunning location on the western/southern shores of the lake, Spiez is a dream destination for nature lovers and history buffs alike. Come for the scenery, and stay for the warm hospitality and charming atmosphere.
Spiez is hands down one of my favorite spots in the area. Not only does it boast a picturesque 1000-year-old castle church, but it’s also a cultural must-see. And let’s not forget about the breathtaking panoramic views from the castle…they’re simply unforgettable!
- Visit Spiez Castle, stroll the promenade, take a pleasant and easy 40-minute walk to the Faulensee boat station, play tennis or gold (yup!), do some windsurfing, or just enjoy the views of Niesen Mountain in Spiez.
Head to Beatenberg / Niederhorn
Looking for the perfect spot to take in the breathtaking beauty of Switzerland? Look no further than Beatenberg and Niederhorn Mountain! Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking for a leisurely cable car ride, these stunning mountains at an elevation of 1950 meters offer some of the most jaw-dropping views around. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be awed by the splendor of nature all around you!
Are you looking for a breathtaking adventure or a leisurely escape into the Swiss Alps? Well, you’re in luck! Whether you want to hike every step of the way, take on some parts of the trail, or simply relax and let a funicular or cable car do the work for you, the summit is well within reach. And when you get there, get ready for some seriously stunning sights!
With clear skies, you’ll be treated to views of the famous Swiss Skyline, which includes three magnificent mountains – the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau – as well as the stunning and awe-inspiring surrounding landscape.
If you’re looking for an exciting adventure, there’s a brand new trail along a ridge that offers breathtaking 360-degree views! The trail leads past rugged cliff edges, making for an invigorating hike. And if you prefer to relax, there’s a wonderful restaurant where you can sit down and enjoy the gorgeous scenery while you have lunch.
Niederhorn on a clear and sunny day? The views are simply breathtaking! I mean, sure, it’s nice on a foggy day too, but you haven’t experienced the full beauty until you see it in all its glory. Trust me, it’s worth the trip! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to soak in the stunning vistas of Niederhorn.
- With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 50% discount on cable cars.
Harder Kulm Mountain
Venture to the breathtaking Interlaken region in Switzerland to discover awe-inspiring mountain peaks with jaw-dropping views. One peak that truly stands out is the iconic Harder Kulm, perfect for those seeking stunning vistas of Lake Thun.
Whether you decide to hike or hop on the funicular, your effort will be rewarded with spectacular views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The best time to visit? Catch the unforgettable sunset from this vantage point – just make sure to look towards Lake Thun to truly appreciate the beauty. Come on over to Harder Kulm and experience the magic for yourself!
- The Harder Kulm funicular does not operate from mid-October to mid-April.
- 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass.
Enjoy the Most Beautiful Sunset
Looking for the perfect spot to catch a breathtaking sunset in Switzerland? Look no further than Lake Thun! While I usually spend my evenings in my hotel – tired from spending all day outdoors -, I make a point to venture out when I’m in the Interlaken area – and Lake Thun never disappoints.
Trust me, the Swiss sunsets here are pure magic. So grab a picnic blanket, a loved one, and maybe even a bottle of wine – you won’t want to miss this show!
- The best spots for watching the sunset are around Beatenbucht.
- There is even a sunset boat cruise available on Lake Thun.
- Either bring your own snacks and enjoy the view from the shores, or enjoy the views from one of the hotels or restaurants that come with a view – or, as mentioned, enjoy the view from the boat.
- Tip: Buy a day ticket for Lake Brienz and Lake Thun and enjoy cruises for a day and then end the day with the sunset cruise. With a Swiss Travel Pass, you can go on unlimited boat rides of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
MORE ACTIVITIES AT LAKE THUN / THUNERSEE
Looking to soak up more of the awe-inspiring beauty of Lake Thun? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at these extra activities that are just waiting to be explored. Conveniently located near Thun and other nearby towns, you won’t have to travel far to experience the best the area has to offer.
Go up Niesen Mountain
Looking for breathtaking views that will leave you feeling on top of the world? Look no further than Niesen Mountain! At an impressive elevation of 2,362 meters, this mountain is not only famous for its unique pyramid shape but also for the stunning vistas it offers of the shimmering lake below. Trust us, you won’t want to miss the chance to climb to the top and soak in the incredible scenery.
And the fun doesn’t stop there – there are plenty of other activities to enjoy while you’re here.
There are several ways to get up:
- You can either hike up and/or down.
- You could also get up and down by cable car/funicular railway. With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a discount.
- Or you can buy a one-way ticket and then hike up/down one way.
Explore Stockhorn Mountain
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Look no further than Stockhorn, a mountain that’s become famous for one heart-pumping activity: bungee jumping. But there’s a twist – you won’t be jumping off a bridge or tall building.
Instead, you’ll be hopping out of a cable car at a jaw-dropping height of 134 meters. Not only is it an incredible thrill, but you’ll also be able to take in stunning views of Lake Thun from above. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, why not give bungee jumping at Stockhorn a try?
Hey there! If jumping off a bumpy cliff isn’t your jam (totally understandable), don’t worry! There are still loads of exciting ways to get your adventure fix. How about exploring a cave or testing your agility with some rock climbing? The possibilities are endless! .
- You can either hike up or get up via cable car.
- Tip: With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a discount on the cable car ride.
Hike in Diemtigtal Nature Park
Are you ready for a vacation that’s packed with relaxation, adventure, and culture? Then Diemtigtal Nature Park is your place to be! This breathtaking landscape is the perfect destination for excursions, hikes, and winter sports. Plus, you’ll have the chance to discover cultural treasures, learn about regional customs, and immerse yourself in the world of alpine farming.
And if that’s not enough, the park is located near Stockhorn Mountain, making it easy to combine your trip. With easy and moderate hikes, Diemtigtal Nature Park is a great destination for people of all ages.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VISITING LAKE THUN
These are my personal top tips for things to do at Lake Thun, or Thunersee, and around the area. As you can see, there are quite some Lake Thun attractions as the lake is not a lake like any other.
- Click here for more tips – The best things to do in Interlaken.