Lake Thun Itinerary: How To Spend One Day (Detailed Guide)

With its turquoise alpine water, awe-inspiring mountains, and charming towns, we can’t deny that Lake Thun is a truly worth-seeing natural attraction in Switzerland. It’s also magical! I even call Lake Thun the fairytale lake of Switzerland because of the enchanting five castles that sit around it. 

This is why Lake Thun visitors have many options to explore and appreciate the beauty of the lake. And if you need help planning your trip to Lake Thun, I can help. In this post, you will find a detailed sample one-day Lake Thun itinerary for a super memorable trip you’ll cherish for life!

By the end of this post, you should have an idea about how to spend a day in Lake Thun… and how to travel around Lake Thun. You’ll also discover other tourist attractions in Lake Thun, which you can switch with the destinations in my prepared itinerary (for flexibility).

Planning a trip to natural attractions like Lake Thun is undoubtedly exciting, but there are several things to keep in mind.

Unlike visiting a city, when heading to outdoor destinations like this, it’s essential to consider factors like the weather, season, and sometimes the availability of facilities and public transportation. 

Since you’re already here reading, You don’t have to worry about them anymore. Because I’ve taken these into account for this one-day Lake Thun itinerary. 

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Sounds great? Let’s get started!

How To Spend One Day In Lake Thun

Needless to say, there are literally a plethora of ways you can spend a day in Lake Thun because of the numerous attractions around the lake. 

Did you know that more than 10 villages and towns around Lake Thun are awaiting you to see them?

They are Aeschi, Gunten, Hilterfingen, Hünibach, Interlaken, Krattigen, Leissigen, Merligen, Oberhofen, Sigriswil, Spiez, Thun—towns that are beautifully perched on the idyllic foothills of the mountains (Niesen, Niederhorn, Stockhorn, and more) surrounding Lake Thun. 

Discover: Beautiful Places To Visit In Interlaken And Jungfrau Region

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Beautiful towns and villages of Sigriswil, Spiez, Interlaken, and Thun around Lake Thun, Switzerland
Beautiful towns and villages of Sigriswil, Spiez, Interlaken, and Thun
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Four of them have charming castles.

  1. Thun Castle in Thun
  2. Schadau Castle, also in Thun
  3. Hunegg Castle in Hilterfingen
  4. Oberhofen Castle in Oberhofen; and
  5. Spiez Castle in Spiez.
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Oberhofen Castle, Spiez Castle, Thun Castle, and Schadau Castle around Lake Thun, SwitzerlandOberhofen Castle, Spiez Castle, Thun Castle, and Schadau Castle around Lake Thun, Switzerland
Oberhofen Castle, Spiez Castle, Thun Castle, and Schadau Castle
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You can go on a fancy cruise with sumptuous lunch to get from one town to another. You can also have a scenic hike or drive between them if you like!

During your stay, you can try some water activities. There are also once-in-a-lifetime activities like helicopter rides and tandem paragliding!

Although these activities are epic and can be really refreshing, I still think the best way to spend time in Lake Thun is to have Lake Thun’s unique experiences instead of the typical activities you can also have anywhere else in the Alps.

In short, the best way to spend a day in Lake Thun is to have one town to explore, one castle to see, and at least one natural attraction on your Lake Thun itinerary. What should you not miss? The best ones I can suggest are Thun, Oberhofen, and Mount Niesen. 

You can learn more about the different tourist attractions surrounding Lake Thun from my other post, 10 Beautiful Places to Visit around Lake Thun.

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Transportation in Lake Thun

Now, you have an overview of the overall experience that you can have in Lake Thun. Let’s now discuss how visitors like us can travel around the lake and see different places in one day.

Situated within a well-developed country, you can expect convenient commuting on and around Lake Thun. Having your own car to go around the lake may not be necessary unless you want to try scenic drives along the northern side of the lake near Sigriswil. 

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A road with scenic overlooking view of Lake Thun, Switzerland
A road with scenic overlooking view of Lake Thun
Dramatic morning scene along the roads over Lake Thun, Switzerland
Dramatic morning scene along the roads over Lake Thun
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Buses and trains service both sides of Lake Thun, connecting the different towns and villages surrounding the lake. Of course, you can also utilize the boats that connect towns across the lake. 

Boat rides last relatively, depending on the distances between the towns/tourist attractions you plan to visit. A boat ride between two neighboring towns/villages takes about approximately 10 minutes (for example, Gunten to Spiez)

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Map of Lake Thun (with public transportation) credits to bls-schiff.ch
Map of Lake Thun (with public transportation) credits to bls-schiff.ch
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Note: The last time I checked, the boat ride information in Google Maps was not updated. Check the interactive timetable of the Lake Thun boat cruise in bls-schiff.ch (BLS cruise) for more accurate travel time approximations. I linked the timetable in the resources section of this post. 

The longest cruise in Lake Thun lasts for 2+ hours, across its 17-kilometer length, from Interlaken to Thun (and vice versa)—the towns on the two tips of Lake Thun.

Of course, the travel time is shorter using trains and buses. The railway is located on the southern shore of Lake Thun, while buses (bus #21) ply on the lake’s northern shores. 

That being said, a Swiss Travel Pass would be more worth it if you have it during a week-long or longer Switzerland trip and you want to spend a day in Lake Thun.

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Lake Thun One Day Itinerary

Located in central Switzerland, Lake Thun visitors can have several jump-off locations for their trip to the lake. The most common are:

  1. Spiez (visitors from Gstaad, Montreux, Visp, Kandersteg, Brig, or Zermatt)
  2. Interlaken (travelers from Lucerne and the rest of Bernese Oberland)
  3. Thun (tourists from Bern, Basel, and Zurich)

Regardless of where you are from, I suggest starting the trip at the northern part of Lake Thun. And that’s for a few reasons.

  1. It is the portion where Thun is. This city has a great shopping district. And there, you can find stores where you can buy necessities you may have forgotten to pack for a day in Lake Thun. (For example, an extra layer of clothing if the weather becomes suddenly cold)
  2. The tourist attractions at the northern portion of the lake are close to each other. This means you can spend the early part of your day visiting more places without sharing the space with many other tourists. (More travelers are visiting the places of interest during midday).
  3. Thun is the gateway to the Bernese Oberland. And the views from this city can show you why. The stunning panorama of the Bernese Alps and Lake Thun from the city is the “appetizer” for all the beautiful experiences you’ll have later in the day. 
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Thun Old Town, Lake Thun, and the Bernese Alps in the backdrop. Shot taken at The Castle’s Tower in Thun, Switzerland
Thun Old Town, Lake Thun, and the Bernese Alps in the backdrop. Shot taken at The Castle’s Tower in Thun
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So yes, this itinerary starts at Thun. And from that city, we’ll unfold the beauty of Lake Thun, going south closer and closer to the even more spectacular mountains of the Bernese Alps. 

Not convinced why you should visit Thun and start your Lake Thun journey in Thun? 

Well, you have to discover these:

  1. 15 Best Things to do in Thun (with a map)
  2. 5 Picturesque Places in Thun Old Town Worth Seeing
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Looking for different ways to travel in Switzerland? Check my itineraries below.

4 Days Switzerland Itinerary: Visit Lucerne and Bern

6 Days In Switzerland Itinerary: Bern, Interlaken, and Thun

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Let’s now get into details on how you can spend a day in Lake Thun!

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Morning in Lake Thun

For the morning of your trip to Lake Thun, I suggest the following activities:

  1. Thun Old Town Walking Tour
  2. Visiting Oberhofen Castle
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Kunstmuseum Thun (in Thun) and Oberhofen Castle’s Water Tower on Lake Thun, Switzerland
Kunstmuseum Thun (in Thun) and Oberhofen Castle’s Water Tower
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Having these activities, you can discover why Lake Thun is unique compared to other natural attractions in Switzerland. At the same time, they will also let you see the beauty of Lake Thun beyond its natural appearance.

But before you start exploring Lake Thun on the morning of your Switzerland journey, you might like to consider the place of your origin in Switzerland. 

Although Lake Thun can be done as a day trip from other cities in Switzerland (for example, Bern, Basel, and Zurich), it is recommended that you have accommodation in Thun and stay in Thun the night before the day you plan to tour the lake.

For obvious reasons, it can give you more time to enjoy the city and less tendency to rush seeing things.

Besides, if you’re like me, who wants to photograph the beautiful scenes in Thun, I’m sure you won’t miss catching the first hour after the sunrise. Of course, you will probably only do that if you are already in Thun and the viewpoints are only steps away from your hotel, correct?

The serene and calm appearance of Lake Thun and River Aare, reflecting the beautiful buildings along the town’s quays, will inspire you to pull your cameras out of your pockets and shoot!

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View of Thun Old Town and Aare River near Sinnebrücke in Thun, Switzerland
View of Thun Old Town and Aare River near Sinnebrücke
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If you also need to stay in Thun before your Lake Thun trip, here’s the link to find the best hotel deals in Thun.

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Destination no. 1 Thun Old Town Walking Tour

Of the towns around Lake Thun, for me, it’s Thun that has the most charming appearance. I recommend exploring Thun (specifically Thun Old Town) because, aside from the reasons I mentioned earlier, it’s free and packed with little wanderlust-satisfying scenes.

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Untere Schleuse brücke in front of Thun Old Town houses and Thun Castle in Thun, Switzerland
Untere Schleuse brücke in front of Thun Old Town houses and Thun Castle
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Thun has a long history, dating as early as the Romans and beyond. Although there’s no longer a trace of the Romans in Thun, it still has timeless landmarks to give you a glimpse of life in Thun and its surrounding area. 

One of Thun’s landmarks is Thun Castle. It’s a castle from the 12th century, constructed on a hill with breathtaking overlooking views that goes beyond Thun Old Town to Lake Thun and until the Bernese Alps. 

Don’t miss Obere Hauptgasse or the Upper Main Street of Thun Old Town. It’s a unique street architecture that has a raised pavement. The quaint houses and the flower-embellished railings of the elevated pavements make the camera shutter-presser scenes.

Of course, in exploring Thun Old Town, you must also see its two wooden covered bridges: Obere Schleuse Brücke and Untere Schleuse Brücke. They are the quaintest bridges in Thun. Sometimes flowers decorate them, which makes them so lovely to look at over the turquoise Aare River.

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Obere Hauptgasse, Mühle Lock, and Thun Town Hall in Thun, Switzerland
Obere Hauptgasse, Mühle Lock, and Thun Town Hall
Photogenic spots (Ballizbrucke, Rathausplatz, and Schlossberg) in Thun, Switzerland
Photogenic spots (Ballizbrucke, Rathausplatz, and Schlossberg)
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Wandering in Thun Old Town, exploring its streets, visiting the picturesque spots, and seeing its landmarks may take approximately two hours or shorter, depending on how quick you check things out. During that duration, you can already visit the highlights of the city, which are:

  1. Obere Schleuse Brücke
  2. Kirchtreppe
  3. Stadtkirche Thun
  4. Thun Castle
  5. Obere Hauptgasse
  6. Untere Schleuse Brücke
  7. Rathausplatz

Need help exploring Thun Old Town? I have prepared a DIY Thun Walking Tour for you. Check it out here: Thun Walking Tour: Do It Yourself (With Route And Map)

I suggest you begin exploring Thun Old Town by 7:30 or 8:00 am because we need to get to the Oberhofen Castle (next attraction) as early as possible, but not earlier than 9:00 am (the castle’s opening hours). 

Exploring Thun Old Town is an all-year activity, so you don’t need to worry about finding alternatives for this. 

But if the weather isn’t cooperating during your stay in Thun, you can spend more time inside Thun Castle instead. There are hundreds of exhibits inside this castle to give you an insight into the history of Thun and its surrounding regions. 

Note: Thun Castle is open only from April to October (10:00 in the morning onwards until 5:00 in the afternoon)

Entering the castle museum requires a small fee, though. But it should be an excellent experience, especially if you like discovering medieval artifacts and want to see breathtaking views from the castle’s tower. 

You can learn more about Thun Castle from my post, Thun Castle: View Points, What To Expect & How To Visit.

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Destination no. 2 Oberhofen Castle

Among the castles in Lake Thun, I find Oberhofen Castle the most picturesque. This castle literally sits on the shores of Lake Thun. It’s truly a fairytale destination—the reason why I included it in this Lake Thun itinerary. 

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Misty day in Oberhofen (captured from Oberhofen am Thunersee Ferry Dock)
Misty day in Oberhofen (captured from Oberhofen am Thunersee Ferry Dock)
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You’ll realize that Oberhofen Castle is a fairytale destination when you see its water tower dipping on the surface of Lake Thun. It looks ultimately eye-catching when it is sunny when you can clearly see the Bernese Alps behind it. 

Like Thun Castle, Oberhofen Castle has a long history. It dates back to the 13th century and has been owned by different families throughout its timeline. 

Appreciating Oberhofen Castle’s appearance from the lake and sending your imagination to the historical and magical realm of the Swiss Alps are only the start of the memorable experience in Oberhofen Castle. A visit to Oberhofen Castle has three parts: the park, museum, and restaurant. 

Park: absolutely stunning Lake Thun scenery from a beautifully gardened park.

It also has an interesting playground for kids and relaxing spots (surrounded by rare trees) for adults. If you travel with your special someone, you can both have the most memorable stroll of your life there!

Museum: it’s a gem for architecture enthusiasts visiting Lake Thun or Bernese Oberland. 

You’ll be exploring lavish rooms where aristocrats spend their days during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The unmissable part is definitely the Oriental Smoking Room, commissioned by a Prussian ambassador in Istanbul in the mid-19th century. 

Restaurant: it must be one of the most scenic restaurants around Lake Thun. 

Restaurant Schloss Oberhofen has a giant window where you can dine with the views of the lake. You can also try alfresco seating, which gives visitors a nostalgic dining experience.

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Fairytale scenes inside Oberhofen Castle beside Lake Thun Switzerland
Fairytale scenes inside Oberhofen Castle
A glimpse into Oberhofen Castle Museum beside Lake Thun, Switzerland
A glimpse into Oberhofen Castle Museum
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There is a lot more you should know about Oberhofen Castle. I suggest reading my article, Why You Should Visit Oberhofen Castle & How To Visit it. In that post, you’ll find the little details inside Oberhofen Castle, which I bet you also wouldn’t want to miss!

How long will your visit to Oberhofen Castle be?

Overall, visiting Oberhofen Castle would take about two to three hours. And that includes wandering in the castle park and seeing the castle museum only. 

The time you might spend in Oberhofen Castle may vary depending on the season you’ll be visiting Oberhofen Castle. The castle park is open all year round, but their castle museum is open only from mid-May to October. Your trip to Oberhofen Castle will definitely be shorter during the winter months. 

Please check the official website of Oberhofen Castle for the latest announcements and schedule to be sure. Their website is linked in the resources section of this post.

By the time you finish exploring the castle, it must be lunchtime already. You have three options:

  1. Dine in Restaurant Schloss Oberhofen
  2. Try the restaurants in Oberhofen (2 to 5) minute walk from the castle
  3. Eat after the boat ride when you arrive at the next destination: Spiez. (Preferable)

While selecting the restaurants where you’ll have your lunch, please don’t forget to consider the boat departure times to the next destination (Spiez) and also the time you will need to buy boat tickets (better if you can buy online).

We want to maximize our time having new experiences and seeing new places. We don’t want to have idle moments like waiting for the next boat to come and depart. 

If you want to check for the boat schedule (in bls-schiff.ch), please use the following places for departure and arrival:

  • Departure (point A) — Oberhofen am Thunersee
  • Arrival (point B) — Spiez Schiffstation

You can also get to Spiez from Oberhofen by bus and train. However, it would take you much longer and would cost more (unless you already have a Swiss Travel Pass). 

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Afternoon in Lake Thun

After your lunch, you are ready for the second part of your journey in Lake Thun. For the afternoon part of this Lake Thun trip, I suggest:

  1. Sightseeing in Spiez and Spiez Castle
  2. Going to the summit of Mount Niesen
  3. Relaxing in Niederhorn (winter alternative)
  4. Exploring Saint Beatus Caves (weatherproof alternative)
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Spiez Castle, Mount Niesen, Niederhorn, and Saint Beatus Caves located around Lake Thun, Switzerland
Spiez Castle, Mount Niesen, Niederhorn, and Saint Beatus Caves located around Lake Thun
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By going to Spiez and Mount Niesen, you can see the other side of Lake Thun and get a chance to witness a rare spectacle that only happens in Lake Thun.

And if you miss seeing that spectacle, you can still behold the overlooking panorama of Lake Thun—the most breathtaking views in Bernese Oberland, outside of the Jungfrau Region. 

As the funicular to the summit of Mount Niesen only operates during non-winter months (typically from the last week of April to the first week of December), you may instead go to Niederhorn after seeing Spiez if you plan to conduct your Lake Thun trip in winter. 

Niederhorn is another fantastic vantage point of Lake Thun, opposite Mount Niesen. Visitors also see stunning views of the Jungfrau massif from Niederhorn. 

On the other hand, Saint Beatus Caves is the place to be if the weather gets ugly during your visit to Lake Thun.

As its name suggests, it’s an underground wonderland with a twist: it involves a local legend of a fire-breathing dragon killed by a hermit, whom we now call Saint Beatus. 

Okay! I hope I have introduced the afternoon destinations in Lake Thun briefly well. 

Let’s go back to where we stopped a while ago: Oberhofen Castle. 

From Oberhofen Castle, you can quickly get to Spiez by a 20-minute boat ride (the last time I checked, there was a 12:00 pm departure time from Oberhofen). The boat stops at Gunten first before it arrives at Spiez. 

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Destination no. 3 Spiez

Aside from Thun, Spiez is another town worth seeing around Lake Thun.

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View of Mount Niesen and Spiez from the boat approaching the harbor in Lake Thun, Switzerland
View of Mount Niesen and Spiez from the boat approaching the harbor in Lake Thun
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This town, perched on the southern shores of Lake Thun, has 180-degree views of the lake and the Emmental Alps. The pyramid mountain of Switzerland, or Mount Niesen, dominates the skyline of Spiez with its triangular appearance.

I recommend visiting Spiez because it often gives its visitors a slight twist to their Lake Thun journey. Somehow Spiez has this Mediterranean vibe, often surprising people as they thought they were in the Swiss Alps. 

The Mediterranean flair should hit you by the time you disembark from the boat. Like, you can notice the palm trees and the boats parked inside Spiez harbor.

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The Mediterranean flair in Spiez Harbor beside Lake Thun, Switzerland
The Mediterranean flair in Spiez Harbor beside Lake Thun
View of Spiez and Spiez Castle from the nearby vineyards
View of Spiez and Spiez Castle from the nearby vineyards
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After a short stroll in the harbor, it’s time to go to Spiez Castle—the main landmark of the town.

Getting to the castle from the dock takes only approximately 3 to 5 minutes. It’s also pretty straightforward as you can already find the way to the castle along Seestrasse (the only road to the town center).

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Spiez Castle and Lake Thun, Switzerland
Spiez Castle and Lake Thun
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Spiez Castle, like the aforementioned castles, has a long history. It’s more than 1000 years old by now!

However, unlike Thun and Oberhofen Castle, you can clearly see from Spiez Castle how its architecture evolved over time. You can notice that with the castle’s tower keep and the remaining parts of the castle.

The castle grounds of Spiez Castle consist of a beautiful park, a chapel (Schlosskirche Spiez), and the main castle. If you want to know what’s inside Spiez Castle, please kindly check their official website linked at the resources section of this post.

But, assuming you have been inside Oberhofen Castle’s museum, Spiez Castle’s museum would be a redundant experience already.

Don’t worry if you won’t come inside Spiez castle and climb to the tower, which is a stunning vantage point of Schlosskirche Spiez and Lake Thun. I think you can already enjoy Spiez castle by wandering in its splendid garden, beautifully lawned and decorated with flowering plants.

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The picturesque Spiez Castle park, Schlosskirche Spiez beside Lake Thun, Switzerland
The picturesque Spiez Castle park, Schlosskirche Spiez beside Lake Thun
Spiez Castle and Lake Thun, Switzerland (2)
View of Mount Niesen from Spiez Castle
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At the same time, you can already have an overlooking view of Lake Thun and Spiez’s harbor from the park. If you want, you can go behind the Schlosskirche Spiez for an unobstructed view of the Lake. 

Actually, there’s a beautiful house in front of Schlosskirche Spiez. It’s a beautiful architectural gem, and I marvel at its gorgeous facade. I think there are murals inside its terrace.

Spiez Castle’s park has several benches, and it’s a nice place to hang out for a while—savor the moment you are in the castle! However, I suggest spending not too long in Spiez Castle. I think less than an hour is enough, especially if it’s the breathtaking scenery of the Bernese Oberland and Lake Thun you like to see.

Appreciating the architecture of Spiez Castle, strolling in the castle’s beautiful park, a short meditation in the chapel, and a few photos may be enough, and it’s time to go to the next destination (Mount Niesen).

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Destination no. 4 Mount Niesen

Lake Thun has awe-inspiring mountains surrounding it. You will start to really appreciate them as you reach the lake’s southern half, where the peaks reach above 2000 meters.

Among these 2000-meter-high mountains, it’s Mount Niesen that can definitely catch your attention. Some people call it the “Swiss Pyramid,” and indeed, it will get your attention, especially when you reach Spiez, where this triangular mountain dominates the view of the horizon.

Did you know? Mount Niesen, with its nearly perfect triangle form, has inspired artists like Paul Klee, who is famous for his Modern artworks about cubism and expressionism. 

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View of Mount Niesen from Spiez beside Lake Thun, Switzerland
View of Mount Niesen from Spiez
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Anyway, I included Mount Niesen in this one-day Lake Thun itinerary for several beautiful reasons. 

Mount Niesen is worth visiting because its summit is one of the best vantage points of Lake Thun and of the Bernese Oberland. From the top, you can literally see not only the entirety of Lake Thun but also Lake Brienz—the lake with a milky turquoise blue water on the other side of Interlaken.

Learn more about Lake Brienz, 7 Things To Do In Lake Brienz (And Visiting Information)

Also, the sense of adventure will already fill you up even if you haven’t reached the top of Mount Niesen. To get to the summit of Mount Niesen, you have to ride a funicular.

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Niesen Funicular near Lake Thun, Switzerland
Niesen Funicular
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The metal sound created by the climbing funicular, the steep railway inclination, and the scenic views you’ll see as you move to the summit is truly breathtaking.

Overall, it is a 30-minute ride to the top, passing through forests and tunnels—all to make you admire the ingenuity of Swiss engineers. 

I intentionally put Mount Niesen in the afternoon part of this one-day Lake Thun itinerary because it’s the time that you can witness the spectacle Mount Niesen creates.

Between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm, Mount Niesen casts a perfectly triangular shadow over Lake Thun. It is a rare natural phenomenon that only occurs, and you can only clearly see it from the summit of Mount Niesen. The perfect triangular shadow appears from the beginning of October

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Shadow of Mount Niesen over Lake Thun, Switzerland
Shadow of Mount Niesen over Lake Thun
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How to get to Mount Niesen?

Going to Mount Niesen from Spiez is simple, yet it can be time-consuming if you aren’t aware of Spiez’s public transportation departure times. It only involves two train/funicular rides from Spiez (Spiez train station to Mülenen and Mülenen to Niesen). 

However, since you’re from Spiez castle, you still have to do a 20-minute scenic hike or take the 11-minute bus ride (no. 61) to get to Spiez train station. The bus station is located in the harbor (near Seestrasse junction), and the buses depart from it every hour.

You can check Rome2Rio or SBB.ch for updated departure times.

Although the funicular to Niesen starts in Mülenen, you will still need to walk from Mülenen train station to the funicular valley station as they are located separately. They are close to each other, so there are no worries about another long hike.

Once you reach the Niesen funicular valley station, you are now only 30 minutes away from the summit. The funicular ride lasts for half an hour, which is the same as the departure interval.

Just be aware of the departure times of the trains heading to Mülenen from Spiez, especially if you are aiming to see Mount Niesen’s shadow over Lake Thun. Although the train ride to Mülenen lasts only 5 minutes, the internal between train departure times are 30 minutes.

Missing a train means 30 minutes wasted. We don’t like that!

Lastly, the last funicular departure time from Mount Niesen is 5:45 pm. 

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Alternative Destination: Niederhorn (winter)

If you plan to visit Lake Thun during winter, Niederhorn is the place to go if you also want to see panoramic views of Lake Thun, similar to what you can see from Mount Niesen.

Niederhorn is not only accessible during winter, but it also offers a wide range of winter outdoor activities, from skiing to snowshoeing, sledding, paragliding, and more. 

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Overlooking view of Lake Thun from Niederhorn, Switzerland
Overlooking view of Lake Thun from Niederhorn
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So, where is Niderhorn?

Niederhorn is one of the peaks in the Emmental Alps (north of Lake Thun), almost 2000 meters tall. It is one of the mountains you can find on the other side of Lake Thun if you are currently in Spiez. 

Aside from being a stunning vantage point of Lake Thun, you would also like to come here because it is also a beautiful viewing point of the Jungfrau Region. 

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View of the Jungfrau Region from Niederhorn near Lake Thun, Switzerland
View of the Jungfrau Region from Niederhorn
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Niederhorn’s slopes decline facing south, toward the Jungfrau massif. It’s like a giant natural theater for the three Bernese Oberland superstar peaks: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. 

By the way, check out Harder Kulm if you want to see better and closer views of the Jungfrau Region’s Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. It’s easier to reach compared to Niederhorn. Learn more about Visiting Harder Kulm (Here’s What You Can Expect To See) here.

The opposite side of Niderhorn has natural scenery to also convince you to come to this mountain. If you’re a landscape photographer, you’ll probably take numerous photos of the spectacular valley, ridge, and cliffs formed by this mountain and Rothorn.

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Alpine animals in Niederhorn near Lake Thun, Switzerland
Alpine animals in Niederhorn
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Awe-inspiring landscape, indeed!

There are a few ways you can get to Niederhorn from Spiez.

But since you will be coming from Spiez Castle, which is very close to the town’s harbor, I recommend going for a boat ride. 

Unlike Niesen, there’s no specific time that you need to catch in Niederhorn. You can go to Niederhorn anytime you want and not miss anything. 

From Spiez Schiffstation, you have to get a boat ride to Beatenbucht. It is usually a 25-minute boat ride, dropping by a couple of towns in between. 

Alternatively, you can also hop in a boat that has a stop in Gunten (See). Disembark there, and walk to Gunten Dorf (a 5-minute walk). In Gunten Dorf, you can find buses #21 (heading to Interlaken), which would also bring you to Beatenbucht. This route takes a little longer, about 30 minutes of travel time. 

Once you reach Beatenbucht, ride the funicular up to Beatenberg-Niederhorn cable car valley station. Continue to Niderhorn summit by riding the cable car. Overall, the journey to Niederhorn from Beatenbucht would take not more than 45 minutes. 

I linked the official website of Niederhorn in the resources section of this post. On their website, you can find different programs and activities to make your visit worth it. 

Also, kindly check the updated timetables and availability of the facilities before heading to the mountain. 

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Alternative Destination: Saint Beatus Caves (all weather)

Bad weather is the worst thing that could happen when traveling in the great outdoors, especially in the mountains, where fog and rain clouds are a total bummer.

Like, if there is no cloud clearing, the gorgeous alpine scenery you are supposed to see is replaced by an upsetting white wall of clouds.

This is why before you go to the mountains (Niederhorn or Niesen), you should not forget to check the summit view through the live webcam broadcast, which you can find on the mountain’s official websites you want to visit.

These live broadcasts will save your day; they will give you hints if going to the summit is worth it or not. 

If, unfortunately, you come to Lake Thun with the weather not cooperating, you don’t need to worry. Saint Beatus Caves got your back! 

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Stalagmites, stalactites, and mirror pools inside Saint Beatus Caves, Lake Thun, Switzerland
Stalagmites, stalactites, and mirror pools inside Saint Beatus Caves
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Saint Beatus Caves is a network of caves above the shores of Lake Thun in the Niederhorn Massif, near Interlaken. It is a popular tourist attraction which showcases a kilometer of underground beauty that includes numerous impressive stalactites, stalagmites, and other unique rock formations.

For me, Saint Beatus Caves is another twist in a journey in Lake Thun.

Like, who would expect that there are more to see in Lake Thun other than blue water, charming towns, magical castles, and awe-inspiring mountains?

Most importantly, visiting Saint Beatus Caves is both entertaining and educational.

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Inside Saint Beatus Caves near Lake Thun, Switzerland
Inside Saint Beatus Caves near Lake Thun
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Along the pathways inside the cave, you’ll see the rock formations made even more spectacular by the light installations inside the cave. Information screens are placed beside them to quench the curiosity about the rocks that they can spark in you. 

You also get to discover a part of Bernese Oberland’s heritage when you visit Saint Beatus Caves. Right at the beginning of your tour inside the cave, the legend of Saint Beatus is narrated by informational screens and boards. 

In a brief summary, the legend says that Saint Beatus, a hermit, killed a fire-breathing dragon that lived inside the cave. 

If you are a fan of Lord of the Rings, I’m sure you’ll love the waterfalls that cascade into several streams outside Saint Beatus Caves. The waterfalls spout out under the quaint medieval-looking pathway, which should remind you of Rivendell—the home of the elves. 

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Bottom view of the waterfall outside Saint Beatus Caves in Lake Thun, Switzerland
Bottom view of the waterfall outside Saint Beatus Caves
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It sounds interesting, right?

So, how can you get to Saint Beatus Caves from Spiez?

There are a few ways to get to Saint Beatus Caves from Spiez. The quickest and most scenic route is by boat. 

Saint Beatus Caves has its own ferry terminal (Beatushöhlen Sundlauenen), and you can find boat rides in Spiez that have a stop on it. The boat ride is approximately 50 minutes long. After arriving at Beatushöhlen Sundlauenen, you still have to hike for 20 minutes to reach the entrance to the cave. 

Saint Beatus Caves also has a restaurant, and if you want, you can have your dinner at it. The restaurant also has an epic overlooking view of Lake Thun—have your tummies and eyes satisfied!

Disclaimer: Saint Beatus Caves’ restaurant is also a tourist favorite. If you really want to eat there, it’s better to book a table ahead of time. The restaurant gets full quickly, especially during the peak season. 

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One Day Lake Thun Sample Itinerary (With Time Stamps)

So, that’s it! That’s how you can spend a day in Lake Thun, regardless of season or weather. If you are wondering how you can execute this itinerary, here’s the sequence with timestamps:

Morning in Lake Thun

  • 6:00 am — Breakfast
  • 7:00 am — Thun Old Town Walking Tour (snack time after the tour)
  • 9:30 am — Bus to Oberhofen Castle
  • 10:00 am — Oberhofen Castle

Afternoon in Lake Thun

  • 12:00 pm — Boat to Spiez (last time I checked, 12:05 pm was the departure time of the boat)
  • 12:30 pm — Lunch at Spiez castle restaurant & explore the castle park. 
  • 1:45 pm — Head to Spiez train station (last time I checked, 1:49 pm was the bus departure time from the harbor)
  • 2:00 pm — Depart Spiez (last time I checked, 2:12 pm is the train departure time)
  • 2:30 pm — arrival at Mülenen and walk to Niesen funicular valley station
  • 3:00 pm — Funicular ride to the summit
  • 3:30 pm — Enjoy and relax at Niesen’s summit
  • 5:45 pm — Descent from Niesen
  • 6:15 pm — Head back to the hotel

In this one-day Lake Thun itinerary, you may skip Spiez Castle (since you already have Oberhofen Castle before that) if the schedule looks hectic to you. 

I suggest booking the tickets (boat, trains, and funicular) online and ahead of time so you may save time buying tickets at the stations’ counters. A Swiss Travel Pass and other regional day passes (see resources section) are really helpful in saving time and being on time.

Note that the time stamps above are only estimates. Please double-check the schedules and timetables of the public transportation involved for your Lake Thun trip. Also, please expect adjustments you may apply considering the following factors:

  1. weather
  2. preventive maintenance of the facilities
  3. local events
  4. holidays

That would be all! I hope you enjoy your journey in Lake Thun. 🙂

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Is One Day Enough In Lake Thun?

As you may have discovered throughout this Lake Thun itinerary, it’s impossible to visit every tourist attraction around Lake Thun in one day. So, do you still need another day in Lake Thun?

One day should be enough to visit Lake Thun and see its highlights: a charming town, a fairytale castle, and a breathtaking mountain-top destination. However, you might want to give more time if it’s a relaxing, laid-back Lake Thun trip you like to have. 

Although it may look enticing to spend more than one day in Lake Thun, I don’t recommend it much, especially if it’s your first time in Switzerland. This beautiful country has more to offer where you should spend more time, like the heaven-on-earth Lauterbrunnen valley in the Jungfrau region, the iconic Matterhorn in Zermatt, and more. 

Also, instead of focusing only on Lake Thun, why not try going to Lake Brienz or Lake Oeschinen in Kandersteg after seeing Lake Thun?

However, suppose you really want to spend more time in Lake Thun, and you are a history lover like me. In that case, you should also include Thun Panorama in your longer-than-one-day Lake Thun itinerary. 

Learn more about Thun Panorama from my post, Thun Panorama: Why You Must See It & How To Visit.

Also check: 

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Is Lake Thun Worth Visiting?

As you may have read previously, Lake Thun isn’t the only beautiful place in Switzerland. Let’s say you are still planning your Switzerland trip. And if you ask me whether Lake Thun is worth visiting or not, my answer would be…

Considering the natural beauty of Lake Thun and the fairytale experiences you can have from it, there’s no doubt that Lake Thun is worth visiting! However, Lake Thun also has other alternatives to consider, like Lake Lucerne, Lake Brienz, and Lake Geneva, to give you similar lake experiences.

If you are looking for more places to visit in Switzerland, I recommend Bern and Lucerne. Spark your wanderlust to visit them from my posts:

  1. 10 Free Things To Do & Must-See Landmarks In Lucerne
  2. 10 Beautiful Things To Explain Why Lucerne is Beautiful
  3. 10 Things You Can Experience/Discover In Lucerne
  4. 10 Beautiful Landmarks in Bern
  5. 10 Charming Fountains in Bern (with walking route)
  6. 7 Views You’ll Love in Bern
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Sources & References: Lake Thun Itinerary

Here are the links that can help you plan further and prepare your Lake Thun trip. 

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