Thun, Switzerland, is a well-established market town 15 mi/25 km southeast of Bern that also makes an excellent place to begin an exploration of the Bernese Oberland region. It's much less touristy than Interlaken (just a two-hour steamer trip across Thuner See).

Thun is one of Switzerland's largest military training areas, and relics of the town's early military origins remain. Thun Castle, built in 1190, still dominates a protective ridge above the town (a historical museum inside contains the beautifully furnished Knights' Hall). A stroll from the medieval Rathausplatz to the lakeshore provides wonderful views.

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