St. Beatus Caves Overview

Imagine your most beautiful screensavers coming to life; that’s what the St. Beatus Caves look like. Situated majestically on the shore of Lake Thun, these caves are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, located close to Interlaken in Switzerland.

Few geographical structures in the world feel so otherworldly like St. Beatus and a visit to the Caves will surely leave even the most well-travelled tourists spellbound. Stretching over 14 kilometres underground, the comfortably accessible Caves are well-lit and safe for individuals and families to explore for hours. This natural wonder becomes a must-see on your Switzerland tour, promising a journey into the mysterious depths that add enchantment to your Swiss exploration.

The guided tours will take you through stalactite and stalagmite formations, underground waterfalls and gorges, and peculiar contours and patterns sculpted in limestone over millions of years. It’s a breathtaking work of art perfected by nature, preserved in its flawless form.

The journey to the Caves, through lush forests and gorgeous waterfalls, is a spectacular adventure by itself. Over a kilometre underground, the Caves are nourished by the pristine waters of Lake Thun. With tunnels and caves and unexpected protrusions and grottos, a walk through the pathways will never be monotonous and will surprise you every few feet.

St. Beatus isn’t just for families or couples. This is an ideal destination for those interested in preservation, ecology and sustainable tourism that doesn’t negatively impact the environment. Over the years, thousands of students from schools and educational institutions in and around the area have visited the Caves to gain a deeper understanding of natural history and profound respect for the environment.

How To Reach

Switzerland has an excellent system of public transport that makes it easy to get to most destinations in the country and St. Beatus is no different. From Interlaken, you can either take a private cab or a public transport bus to reach the Caves. Bus 21 connects Interlaken Ost with Thun.

This trip lasting 22 minutes will get you to Beatushöhlen. The second option is to take a bus from Interlaken to Beatenberg, a trip that covers a distance of around 10 kilometres. The third option is to take the boat for the Caves, a trip that will give you panoramic views of the mountain ranges.

Best Time To Visit

Switzerland attracts tourists throughout the year, as the landscape changes magnificently from season to season. The temperature in the Caves drops significantly during winter. Even in summer, the average temperature hovers 10-degree celsius.

Therefore, the Caves are open from mid-March to mid-November. Interestingly, many tourists have pointed out that the Caves seem to change their character and come to life during the rains. The sights and sounds on a rainy day are supposed to be markedly different from the others.

Other Essential Information


St. Beatushöhlen-Genossenschaft, Staatsstrasse 974, 3800 Sundlauenen, Schweiz

Entry fee: 
- Adult: CHF 18
- Child (6 – 16yrs included): CHF 10
- Family Pass: CHF 49
- Dogs: CHF 10
- Groups (10 to 50 people): CHF 16
- Groups(50 people+): CHF 15

Opening hours:
The St. Beatus Caves are open every day from 9.45 am to 5 pm, from 14th March till 15th November

Distance from the nearest airport:
The nearest airport to St. Beatus Caves is the Bern Airport. It’s around 40 kilometres from the Caves, a distance that can be covered in around 45 minutes

Legend of St. Beatus and the Dragon

The Caves have a history that’s as captivating as the destination. The folklore centres around St. Beatus, a Christian monk and hermit, also known as Beatus of Thun or Beatus of Beatenberg or the Apostle of Switzerland. Some sources trace his lineage to Ireland while others claim that he was a king in Scotland.

Saint Barnabas baptised him in England and St. Peter the Apostle ordained him as a priest in Rome. Afterwards, he was sent to evangelise various communities in Europe. According to legend, St. Beatus reached Lake Thun and decided to live there.

As a hermit, the isolated village of Beatenberg - now named after him - beckoned him with its rustic charm and simplicity. He decided to move into the safe and secluded Caves. It was there that he found a fire breathing dragon. St. Beatus fought the dragon, vanquished it and then lived in the Caves.

His grave can be found near the entrance of the Cave. As the country’s apostle, the Saint is worshipped everywhere in Switzerland and the story of him defeating the dragon has shaped the narrative of the might of good expelling evil. The official coat of arms of Beatenberg features St. Beatus defeating the dragon.

The Restaurant at St. Beatus Caves

If the intricately composed caves and their stunning geographical features aren’t enticing enough, how about dining at a restaurant with few parallels in the world? The highly-rated restaurant at St. Beatus Caves, located close to the parking area, offers spectacular panoramic views of Lake Thun.

After exploring the underground, tourists can relax and enjoy this immaculate view of the verdant green hills enveloping the lake, with the Alps in the horizon, the kind of luxury usually reserved for high-end resorts and exclusive villas. Whether it’s a cup of hot chocolate, traditional lunch or light snacks, the restaurant offers tourists a delicious mix of hot and cold meals during the day.

For dinner, because of the rush, you will have to book your table in advance. All the food served here is made from locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients, with the utmost commitment to environmental preservation.

Tips on visiting St. Beatus Caves

The guided tours, accompanied by an English-speaking guide, are free of cost.

The guided tours depart every 45 minutes. Each tour can last up to 75 minutes.

You are permitted to film and take photographs in the Caves, but the rules do not allow tripods inside.

As the temperature inside is between 8 and 10°C, it’s advisable to wear or carry warm clothing. 

Pets are not allowed in the caves.

Please book in advance for dinner at the restaurant.

If you are planning to stay overnight nearby, do keep in mind that along with hotels, there are also hostels around.

If you want to spend a night under the Swiss stars, it’s an excellent idea to camp outdoors near the lake. There are many affordable choices around the lake.
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