Thun : practicalities
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The train station is five minutes southwest of the centre, with bikes for rent; adjacent is the town tourist office (July & Aug Mon–Fri 9am–7pm, Sat 9am–4pm; Sept–June Mon–Fri 9am–noon & 1–6pm, Sat 9am–noon; 033/222 23 40). There’s a weekly walking tour of the town, starting from Rathausplatz (July & Aug Wed 6.30pm; Fr.8). For information on the whole lakeside region, consult Thunersee tourist office (033/251 00 00, www.thunersee.ch). Boats around the lake, and to Interlaken, depart from outside the station.

For accommodation, walk right from the station for the spotless Herberge zur Schadau hostel, Seestrasse 22 (033/222 52 22, www.herberge.ch; a), an old house in a quiet location, newly renovated but pricey at Fr.35 for a dorm bed; or you could plump for a bunk in a metal tubular module at Swisstube (033/336 40 67), part of the Younotent lakeside campsite at Gwatt, a 3km bus-ride southwest. Of the hotels, quiet Metzgern on Rathausplatz (033/222 21 41, fax 222 21 82; b) – an inn dating back to 1361 – is most atmospheric, and has exceptionally good-value rooms overlooking the cobbled square. Emmental, Bernstrasse 2 (033/222 01 20, fax 222 01 30; b) is a colourful old guesthouse that’s now also a venue for live music, with a handful of pleasant, comfortable rooms. Krone on Rathausplatz (033/227 88 88, fax 227 88 90, www.hauensteinhotels.ch; c) is a step up in both ambience and quality.

The many restaurants around Scheibenstrasse are varied and competitively priced, while Bälliz, a central shopping street with a twice-weekly market (Wed & Sat), is lined with pavement cafés, most relaxed of which is the Altes Waisenhaus, perfect for a beer in the sun or a meal of quality Italian food (menus around Fr.25). Trattoria Rimini, Bernstrasse 26, has good inexpensive pasta dishes, and the atmospheric restaurant attached to Hotel Metzgern serves Swiss and Italian menus for around Fr.20 (closed Mon). Scheibenstrasse also has numerous bars, while Mokka, Allmendstrasse 14, is a surprisingly exciting club and venue (closed Mon).

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