Lying at the opposite end of Lake Thun from Interlaken, the town of Thun is an interesting place for a day trip if you’re staying in the Bernese Oberland. It has a vibrant shopping area as well as plenty of historic buildings to explore in the old town.
Depending on the time of year that you visit, there are several transport options available to get there: train, bus, car or even boat. We travelled there during our stay in Grindelwald and decided to go by train and return in a more leisurely fashion by boat.
Thun castle towers over the old town and is a striking landmark in the surrounding area. I remember visiting the castle when my wife and I came to Switzerland on our honeymoon in 2003. It was nice to revisit with the kids and show them what we had discovered.
My daughter enjoyed taking part in a search around the castle for Minette the maggot and her friends. It’s one of the children’s activities in the castle. We weren’t particularly great at the search but another family with older children helped us along the way! Each of the maggots found provided a letter which spelt a German word. I forget what it was but we managed to find all of them in the end.
Thun has a main shopping street that’s pedestrianised. There are also other side streets with boutique shops in them for you to discover. I recognised a couple of high street stores from the UK as well as one which disappeared some time ago, C&A. They were preparing for a street party the day we were there as part of the Swiss National Day celebrations. If you’re in Switzerland in August, there’s lots going on!
Previously when we visited Thun, we found a great italian restaurant by the Aare river and had lunch. I don’t remember exactly which one it was though. This time around as soon as the kids saw McDonald’s, we were fighting a losing battle. They don’t have food from there very often but it was something familiar from home, so we gave in!
Travelling Back By Boat
On our return journey back to our hotel in Grindelwald, we decided we’d take a boat back. The weather was glorious and the temperature was very hot. It was nice to get out on the lake and feel a slight breeze as the boat meandered it’s way back to Interlaken. It’s definitely a slower way to travel but it gives you a different perspective on the scenery and what the area has to offer.
The kids took the opportunity to unwind although they did become a bit restless due to the slower pace of getting to our destination. The journey from Interlaken to Thun by train is about half an hour whereas the boat takes about two and a half hours. A couple of snacks and some time on their electronic devices kept them entertained for most of the journey though.
Overall we had a great day out in Thun. It’s well worth a visit if you’re staying in the Bernese Oberland.