Thun is a town with nearly 44,000 inhabitants, located in the canton of Bern (the seat of the government is 29 km away), and a capital of the district of Thun. It is Switzerland’s eleventh most populated city. It lies on the shore of Lake Thun, but the historic city centre occupies a small island in the middle of the Aar that crosses the town. To understand why Thun allures visitors, it is enough to look at the majestic peaks of the Bernese Alps: the Eiger (3970 metres), the Mönch (4107 metres) and the Jungfrau (4158 metres), from the peaceful lake shores. Thun is home to Ruag Munition, a company from Ruag Holding AG, specialising in aerospace and defence. Additionally, the oldest and most important military unit of the Swiss Army is based in Thun (its mission is autonomous defence of the territory). The historic city centre, located on an island in the middle of the Aar, c.a. one kilometre from the lake, is perfectly preserved. The city’s attractions include a castle with a fortified tower, which today houses a historical museum, a 14th century parish church and a 16th century town hall, as well as the numerous cafés and restaurants scattered along the river. There is also the baroque castle of Schadau, a candy-pink wonder on the lake shore, which you should not miss, even if it means you need to take a detour.
Thun is one of the gateways to the Bernese Oberland, the most elevated region in the canton of Bern. It has all the assets to attract affluent visitors and demanding tourists: a rich history reflected in the beauty of the buildings; a superb lake surrounded by castles and exquisite restaurants that can be reached by steamboat, the Niesen, a pyramid-shaped mountain (2360 metres) with stairs that can be reached only once a year during a sports event, after climbing 11,600 steps, an old town with a pedestrian-only zone, beautiful shops, Wednesday market, narrow streets and old flowery bridges and, finally, bars and restaurants on the shores of the Aar River. However, it is not easy to find accommodation in this elegant town, as real estate prices are very high. The local delicacies are similar to those typical of the entire canton of Bern, plus the city hosts a cheese festival, which offers the visitors an opportunity to try local cheese types produced in the Alpine pasturelands and taste wine from vineyards surrounding the lakes.