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Castle-hopping from Wengen

Corona del Mar...
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Castle-hopping from Wengen

My family and I will be in Wengen for 4 days in August. I was reading about some of the castles around Thunersee (Spiez, Thun, Hunegg, Oberhofen) Would this be an easy day trip from Wengen? Since we will not have a car, would we need a tour guide to drive us around?

Would also like to see the Swiss Open Air Museum Ballenberg - could this be combined with the castles?

Thank you in advance for any input - Melissa

Haverhill, United...
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1. Re: Castle-hopping from Wengen

The castle you describe are all on Lake Thun to the west of Interlaken, you don't need a guide to visit them you may find it a better idea to ditch your car and use the lake boat it would be much more relaxing for all. www.bls.ch

The ballenberg museum is to the East at the far end of Lake Brienz it is probably too far to do all in one day.

Kent, England
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2. Re: Castle-hopping from Wengen

mefroq No you can easily visit all the castles on Lake Thun by taking the train to Interlaken Ost and walking through the town to the West station and the boat landing stage. If you don't have a pass of any kind buy a day ticker and then you can hop and off the boats as you wish. I would suggest starting at Thun and working back. You may prefer to take the train to Thun from Interlaken Ost and working your way back on the boat. Otherwise you will need to take the post bus from Thun to reach Oberhofen, it is the opposite side of the Lake to the railway.

Save Ballenberg for another day, you can easily spend all day there and you won't manage anything more than a rushed visit to the castles if you try and do all in a day

Edited: 23 July 2012, 03:45
Corona del Mar...
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3. Re: Castle-hopping from Wengen

thank you for the information. Can we walk to the boat departure from the train station in Thun? Do we need to buy tickets for the boat ahead of time? Are all of the castles open to the public?

Is Ballenberg something not to be missed? We were planning on hiking for the majority of our stay in Wengen but if Ballenberg is terrific for our family of four (2 teenagers) to visit, then we will make it happen - opinions?

thanks very much! Melissa

Canandaigua
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4. Re: Castle-hopping from Wengen

I have been to Ballenburg four times with my family of three children- starting as toddlers in strollers and most recently, college age. We all really love it. it is a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities, and lots of hands-on. bring cash to buy some of the fresh smoked dry sausage.

it gives you a great overview of the richness of Swiss culture. I would rate it as a must- see if culture and history are important to you.

it really takes an entire day- train or boat from Interlaken, bus to Ballenburg perfectly coordinated with the train, explore Ballenburg - there is a restaurant or bring bread and buy some of the famous sausage and cheese for a picnic- then bus back to the station, train or boat back to Interlaken. there are some wood- carving workshops in Brienz that are mildly interesting as well.

The best castle in Switzerland IMHO is Chillon on Lac Leman near Geneva. I was underwhelmed by the ones in Thun and Spitz. if you want to see real castles, go to Neuschwanstein in Germany, or Carcasson in France. I wouldn't miss a minute of hiking for any of them.

You don't have to buy any tickets for a boat beforehand. However, if you are late, you may not get as good a seat, tho honestly, standing at the rail is better anyway.

Edited: 31 July 2012, 06:17
Canandaigua
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5. Re: Castle-hopping from Wengen

With only 4 days I would just hike unless it is raining. then I would go to Ballenburg.

Martigny...
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6. Re: Castle-hopping from Wengen

I would certainly not go to Ballenberg if it is raining! It would be really a nuisance having an umbrella and having to be wet and go in and out of the buildings. And you could not picnic either! Ugh! if the weather is not good for hikes it isn't for Ballenberg.

Back to the castles... you can take the train from Interlaken Ost to Interlaken West station (the town is really not worth walking through and this will save you time!) Then pick the BLS boat up right there at the station. You walk through a small tunnel and you are on the canal bank where the boat is moored. For schedules:

http://www.bls.ch/e/schifffahrt/fahrplan.php

I think this will make a lovely day for you and I agree that Ballenberg AND your castles cannot be done in a day. Plan another (sunny!) day for Ballenberg and picnic there at one of their many picnic spots - BBQ equipped as well so you can bring your sausages! To get there you can take a lake boat OR train from Interlaken to Brienz and then postbus which runs about every 20mins.

7. Re: Castle-hopping from Wengen

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