Skip to main content.
Schloss Burgdorf thront majestätisch auf einem Felsvorsprung, umgeben von sattgrüner Natur und einem klaren Himmel, was eine Atmosphäre von historischer Bedeutung und zeitloser Schönheit vermittelt.

Bern’s Castles

Published: 10.05.2024

Abandoned dungeons, fairytale towers and legendary knights' halls - the historic castles in Bern with their beautiful parks invite you to discover, learn and linger.

Belp Castle and Museum

Once described as a “stone house with a garden on the Gürbe river”, this building is now known as Belp Castle and Museum. At the beginning of the 16th century, it was chosen to be the official residence of the Baron of Belp. Today, it is a lively cultural space for all ages, with a music school, the local history museum, a castle gallery, and different function rooms. Its “Chefiturm” just a few steps away is also well worth a visit: it was built in 1542 as a prison tower and is one of the last of its kind. For families and schools, there’s an interactive tower search game upon request.

Laupen Castle

This castle was built in the year 930 as part of the fortification line between Grasburg and Gümmenen. Some parts of the building have been standing in the same spot for over 1,000 years! Today, Laupen Castle can be visited every first and third Sunday of the month from April to October. From the great hall to the castle cellars to the prison tower, everything is open for visitors to explore. Learn more about the Laupen War as well as interesting facts about the history of the castle and the town of Laupen in the castle’s different child-friendly temporary exhibitions. An eventful visit is guaranteed!

Burgdorf Castle

Burgdorf Castle is known way beyond the region. The Zähringen fortress is some 800 years old and a popular destination for explorers of all ages. The integrated museum gives visitors a glimpse into the lives of the people who used to live at the castle. Spread across five floors, it provides insight into how the court worked back then, the cheese trade, gold panning, and the construction of the castle. There are regular guided tours of the castle both for children and adults. If you decide to go exploring on your own, just beware: the castle is said to be haunted by a cheeky little ghost!

Schwarzenburg Castle

This castle was built in 1576 to replace the expensive Grasburg fortress and served as a home for counts. Every first Friday of the month from April to September, the building now opens its doors for visitors to explore and discover its past. A special highlight is the old “Tätschdachhaus”, a building with a slightly sloped roof characteristic to the region. It used to stand at 17 Junkerngasse and was relocated to castle grounds for preservation purposes. Today, it is considered a cultural monument and open to the public.

Thunstetten Castle

Dubbed “Little Versailles”, this baroque castle with its breathtaking view of the Bützberg and the Jura range is definitely worth a visit. Discover the 300-year history of the building in its museum and then sit back and relax in the castle café. There are public guided tours of the exhibition with photographs, valuable historic documents, and many interesting facts and figures. And if you really want to dive into baroque castle life, you should visit Thunstetten Castle on Barocktag (baroque day) for an introduction into the art of dancing at court and the customs of the era.

Jegenstorf Castle

This castle used to be surrounded by a moat, now it stands in the middle of a beautiful park. On the inside, it wows visitors with impressive exhibits and decor in the baroque, rococo, and classical styles. Among other things, Jegenstorf Castle also houses the largest collection of 18th-century Swiss tiled masonry heaters. Its park features some of the oldest sycamores in the canton, a baroque carp pond, and a former washhouse that now houses the castle café. Enjoy an insightful tour through the exhibitions and end your visit with a slice of pie or an ice cream in the serene park.

During the Berner Schlösser Saison (castle season), you can discover fascinating exhibitions, participate in interesting guided tours, and attend special events at the different castles of the region.

Landshut Castle

In the Emmental, you can dive right into a veritable fairy-tale world: Landshut Castle, the canton’s last existing moated castle, sits high up on a sandstone hill and enchants visitors with its old walls and beautiful park. When the sun is out, you can enjoy the weather on a stroll on the castle grounds or with a cup of coffee in the castle restaurant. It has also housed the Swiss Museum of Wildlife and Hunting since 1968. There are various events at the castle during the season from May to October, such as evening tours of the museum, open-air film soirées, or book readings for children. The perfect activity for a relaxing Sunday in the countryside!

Riggisberg Castle Garden

This is a very special place: it gives people with physical or mental disabilities a home and the chance to live as self-determined a life as possible. For several centuries, the castle belonged to statesmen, today, beautiful nature and historic architecture create a dreamy ambiance for visitors. The castle park is perfect for playing, relaxing, and enjoying. And if a trip to the garden is not enough, you can hop on an e-bike and discover gripping tales and beautiful landscapes along the “Tales of the Gantrisch” E-bike Route.

Gerzensee Castle and Hotel

With its own lake, boathouse, and idyllic park, this is one of the most beautiful castles in the Bern region. It’s the ideal place to visit on a sunny day: the boathouse invites you to linger, and the lake is perfect for a refreshing swim. As we all know, swimming makes you hungry – good thing that the castle’s restaurant is only a few steps away from the water. Or pack your own picnic and enjoy it while taking in the sunset over the crashing waves and the view of the Bernese Alps.

Köniz Castle Kulturhof

Once the home of Bernese “Landvogt” bailiffs, this castle is now open to the public and has established itself as a lively meeting and culture hub. “Kulturhof” translates to “cultural centre”, and that name says it all: concerts and exhibitions are daily business here, but dancing and theatre productions are also on the agenda regularly. In summer, visitors can enjoy the sunshine under the large linden in the castle courtyard or in the adjacent castle garden. And if you get hungry, there’s a restaurant that serves meals fit for a queen or king.

Thun Castle

It is the epitome of a fairy-tale castle, towering above the town of Thun with its four characteristic towers. Today, Thun Castle is a museum and the perfect place to visit with little princes and princesses. Visitors are taken back to the Middle Ages inside the old castle walls. Pass through the great hall, the sleeping chambers and the towers and dive into stories of the past. It’s also worth taking a look at the event calendar: there are numerous events such as the “Night at the Museum”, screenings of “Ds chline Gspängst” (“The Little Ghost”, a popular children’s story) for kids, and interesting guided tours.

Not enough? Discover more castles at