Best Things to Do in Spiez, Switzerland

SPIEZ TRAVEL INFO – WHAT TO DO + MORE INFO

If you thought Switzerland is all tiny villages of wooden houses perched on mountain tops the town of Spiez will surprise you!

Located on the shores of Lake Thun, the atmosphere in Spiez is very unique and almost Mediterranean. Though I have traveled Switzerland extensively and been to all parts and areas of the country, I have not seen any place like Spiez. Here you have a French Riviera atmosphere nestled amongst the Swiss Alps. What a beautiful combination.

Besides the natural scenery of lush hills and vineyards, this small town of 12000 inhabitants boasts some gorgeous landmarks. 

No surprise, I highly recommend adding Spiez to your Switzerland itinerary.

Also, Spiez makes a perfect base for day trips. Due to its location, trains normally pass Spiez in the direction of Zermatt, Kandersteg, Montreux, and more. Basing yourself in this pretty village makes getting around very easy.

Keep reading to find out more about one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland: the best things to do in Spiez, and some useful travel tips.

View of Spiez panorama
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SPIEZ TRAVEL INFORMATION

Spiez is located in the German-speaking canton of the Bernese Oberland region, which is more or less in the center of Switzerland.

It sits on the southern shores of emerald-green Lake Thun, approximately halfway between the towns of Thun and Interlaken, at 558 meters above sea level. At a short distance to the south, the impressive Alps are a magnificent panorama.

Faulensee seen from boat cruise
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HOW TO GET TO SPIEZ

Spiez is easily reachable via boat, trains, buses, and cars. 

SPIEZ TRAIN STATION

  • Though there are man trains running through Spiez train station, it is a small station which you can easily navigate through.
  • Trains from Interlaken West and Interlaken Ost as well as from Lake Geneva (Montreux), Bern, and many other Swiss destinations stop here.
  • The train station stands at 628 meters above sea level – if you get out of the trains station you have a beautiful view of Spiez Castle, Spiez, and Lake Thun. 
  • You have to walk about 10 minutes downhill until you reach the main attractions at the lake.

SPIEZ BUS STATION

  • Alternatively, you can take a bus to Spiez. They stop at the Spiez train station but if you do not want to walk all the way down to the promenade, then take another bus.

SPIEZ BOAT STATION

  • Another scenic way to reach Spiez (yes, buses and trains offer nice window views) is via boat. Located on the shores of Lake Thun, the boat station is just at the promenade.
  • Boats run more often in the summer months but also in the winter months (1-3 times a day). By boat, you can get to Thun, Interlaken, St.Beatus Caves, or many other villages on the shores of Lake Thun.

CAR

  • Driving along the shores of northern shores of Lake Thun is a highlight. So getting to Spiez by car is another option to get to Thun. Parking – especially on busy days – might be tricky but there are (paid) parking spots near the promenade if you get there by car.

WHERE TO STAY IN SPIEZ 

Spiez is rather small but given its perfect location, quite busy. If you want to visit in the main season (summer) I suggest booking quite early before hotels are fully booked.

Castle of Spiez
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TOP THINGS TO DO IN SPIEZ 

Spiez is small so you will not find an endless list of things to do in Spiez, but believe me, you will get to see some beautiful spots!

VISIT SPIEZ CASTLE

The beautiful Spiez Castle is built right by the lakeside. With its imposing tower, it really looks like a castle from a fairy tale.

Beautiful Spiez Castle one of the most beautiful castles in Switzerland
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The view from the top is just amazing! You have to climb some stairs, but it’s definitely worth it. From there you also have some stunning views of the pyramid-shaped Niesen Mountain.

View from Spiez Castle of Mount Niesen
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Then you can also enjoy the beautiful garden in front of the castle – a perfect place to relax and soak in the beauty of the surroundings.

You can visit the castle which houses furnished rooms dating between the 13th and the 18th century, including a wood-paneled Renaissance room and an early Baroque banquet room. The exhibitions showcase the history of the location and the castle owners. 

The castle church nearby is open to the public – this early Romanesque church was built around the year 1000! Lots of events take place there, including concerts. The garden with roses and fountains makes this place even prettier. 

  • Open only in spring and summer. Check out more here.
  • Calculate a couple of hours to explore and enjoy the area

SPIEZ PROMENADE

Wherever you are in Spiez, make sure to walk towards the “harbor“. The promenade here is one of the prettiest in Switzerland and here you will experience some Mediterranean vibes (especially in the warmer months) with all the palms, flowers, and sailing boats while you are in central Switzerland.

Spiez Promenade, French Riviera
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Spiez in autumn with Niesen mountain in background
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Spiez view of castle in winter
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A couple of benches invite you to enjoy a day at the lake – alternatively, bring your own drink and something to eat and snatch one of the benches. 

Spiez promenade
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The view: priceless. Especially the view of the Niesen Mountain is just superb!

At the promenade, you also have the boat stop station. 

SPIEZ BAY 

The bay of Spiez has so much more to offer apart from the promenade and the fantastic, fantastic views.

Bay of Spiez in Switzerland
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Spiez with a pier and Mountain Niesen
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Play some beach volleyball, handball (playground free to use), or some Pétanque, or enjoy some minigolf.

It is a perfect place for active people – however, I admit, this is not for the rainy days in Spiez.

  • Some of the activities can only be done from April to October.

SPIEZ LIDO 

Like almost any town in Switzerland, Spiez has its own lido. You might be wondering what a lido is?!

A lido is a public outdoor swimming pool and surrounding facilities, or part of a beach where people can swim. In Switzerland, a landlocked country, lidos are often right on the shores of a lake which allows swimming at the lake but some have pool areas as well.

The Spiez Lido, with its lakeside lawn and sun loungers, comes with great views of Spiez Bay, the castle, and the surrounding mountains. 

You can choose whether you want to swim in Lake Thun or in the heated pool which also has several diving boards and the longest water slide in the Bernese Oberland (86 meters long).

  • The lido is open daily from May to September – tickets for adults are about 6,60 CHF.

LAKE THUN BOAT CRUISE

A boat tour on Lake Thun is a must-do activity in Spiez. 

Lake Thun at Spiez boat station
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Lake Thun is located between Interlaken and Thun, with Spiez in between. With more than 48 square kilometers, it is the largest of Swiss lakes located within a single canton (Bernese Oberland).

Best things to see at Lake Thun, boat tour Lake Thun
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Lake Thun has some stunning scenery and gorgeous towns & villages to offer.

Lake Thun boat cruise from Spiez
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If you do a Lake Thun boat tour (complete tours take about 1,5 hours even if you do not get off, as the lake is so huge), you will get to see these along the shores of Lake Thun. 

You could get out in Interlaken (though there are many great spots to get out) and then do a Lake Brienz boat tour or explore Lake Brienz.

SPIEZ VINEYARD SENSORY ADVENTURE TRAIL

One of the hikes you can easily do from Spiez includes a vineyard hike. You will see the vineyards which surrender Spiez Castle but there is more.

Vineyards at Spiez Castle
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You can find out about wine production at the Spiez vineyard when you follow the themed trail with 12 information boards which gives visitors information about the wine production while enjoying breathtaking views across Lake Thun and the castle.

Spiez Castle with the lake, alps in background on hiking
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It is a quite easy hike that comes with a fantastic panorama – do not miss out on this hike that takes about 1,5/2 hours with little downhill or uphill hiking.

  • Starting point: At Spiez Castle, just before the Rebbaugenossenschaft cooperative on Schlossstrasse, turn left into Rebbergweg.The Unteres Räbhüsli is located on the left-hand side at the start of the vineyard.

WALK TO FAULENSEE

From the harbor, a path leads along Lake Thun in the direction of Interlaken. It is a beautiful walk between the lake and the woods, sometimes with a small pebble beach, until the neighborhood of Faulensee.

Faulsensee boat station
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Faulensee boat station near Spiez
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Hike Faulensee to Spiez
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If you are looking for some relaxation, this is the perfect place: just sit at one of the numerous benches and admire the wonderful scenery. 

WATERSPORT ACTIVITIES

If you have such a stunning lake just in front of you, you will miss out if you do not spend time on Lake Thun. While I have recommended a Lake Thun boat cruise already, there are many more options to enjoy Lake Thun – water sports activities are big here.

Boats in Spiez
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Watersports on Lake Thun from Spiez
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If you don’t have your own equipment, you can rent canoes, SUP, motor- and sailing boats, pedalos, or Zealanders. 

Yes, that is quite a lot – especially the Zealanders are quite unique and can be described as electrical boats in a shape of a little van. Yes, Spiez is not your regular Swiss town.

NIESEN MOUNTAIN

One of the most distinctive mountains at the shores of Lake Thun is the Niesen Mountain at almost 2400 meters above sea level. The pyramid-shaped mountain is actually one of my favorite mountains in all of Switzerland and when you are in Spiez you will actually always see it.

Interlaken places to visit near Interlaken, Switzerland
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But you can also easily get on top of it? And the best: You can get on top of Niesen Mountain without much effort.

Yes, like many other mountain summits, Niesen is also quite accessible by cable car/funicular. So, my tip – look at it first but then get up via cable car or hike up all the way.

On top is tons to do and see: including some nice hiking trails and paragliding. You will see the many paragliders from there, but it is also very family-friendly and has a restaurant on top, making it a great place to spend a few hours.

THUN

From Spiez, you can  – and you should – also visit Thun for at least a few hours.

Thun town center at Lake Thun
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Thun is a town on the most western shores of Lake Thun – and name giver for the lake. It is more lively and bigger than Thun – actually, it is the biggest town in the area (and bigger than Interlaken).

You can get to Thun by bus, train, or boat –  so head to Thun and explore different castles (like Schloss Schadau or Thun Castle) and the Old Town. My highlight was the view from Thun Castle – it is just very, very pretty!

Thun is very lovely and totally different than Spiez and one of my top tips for Spiez excursions.

INTERLAKEN 

The famous, famous town of Interlaken is the town, everybody, flocks to. And rightfully so. The town itself is not the most spectacular as it has not a very charming old town (sorry Interlaken – I still love you) but the landscapes and choices of outdoor adventures are spectacular. Thus it is often called the capital of adventure. 

Interlaken Where to go, Höhenmmatte
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If you plan to spend time in Interlaken, get to Interlaken West by boat. Just at the boat station is the Harder Kulm funicular station. Harder Kulm is a mountain standing at 1322 meters above sea level. From there you have a fantastic panorama of Lake Thun AND Lake Brienz. Alternatively, you can also hike up – it is one of the easier hikes but it is quite a steep uphill hike.

After these amazing views, you can then head to Höhenmatte – a beautiful park area with fantastic views of the famous Jungfraujoch Mountain.

There you will – on sunny days even more so – see all the many paragliders who seem to have an amazing eye bird view!

Interlaken is located on the northeastern shores of Lake Thun and you can easily visit by boat, but also by train or bus.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SPIEZ ACTIVITIES

Spiez Castle. the lake promenade, together with its picturesque harbor with small boats and sailboats – the many sports activities like hiking and windsurfing or visiting nearby places, or a cruise on Lake Thun –  there are tons of things to do in Spiez!

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