Bern

The de facto capital of Switzerland.

Explore Bern's medieval center, a UNESCO site with historic streets and architecture, plus parks, Swiss treats, and easy access to the Alps.

3.8
out of 5
Photo of Rosengarten in Switzerland

Panoramic Rose Garden

Discover the peaceful Rosengarten in Bern, Switzerland, a park with beautiful rose displays, scenic views, trails, and family-friendly areas.

Bern, the de facto capital of Switzerland, is distinguished by its well-preserved medieval city center which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors to Bern can explore the Zytglogge, an iconic clock tower with moving puppets, walk under the city’s extensive arcades, and visit the Bear Park, where bears have been kept since the 16th century. The city also hosts the Federal Palace of Switzerland, where the Swiss Federal Assembly and the Federal Council are housed. Bern’s Aare River, with its distinct turquoise hue, invites both locals and tourists for seasonal swimming and riverside relaxation.

Zytglogge and Historical Landmarks

Bern's historical centerpiece is the Zytglogge, an ancient clock tower that has been keeping time since the 13th century. The tower's clock features moving puppets that perform several minutes before the hour strikes, providing an entertaining show for onlookers. Another historical landmark worth visiting is the Federal Palace of Switzerland, offering insight into the country's political workings. For a unique experience, head to Einstein House, the former residence of Albert Einstein where he developed the Theory of Relativity.

Traditional Swiss Cuisine

Swiss cuisine is a must-try when in Bern. Visitors can sample traditional dishes such as rösti (grated and fried potatoes), fondue, and raclette at local restaurants like Klösterli Weincafe or Altes Tramdepot. Bern also has its own regional specialty, Berner Platte, which is a hearty platter featuring various meats and sausages, often enjoyed with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes.

Cultural Practices and Everyday Life

Immerse yourself in Bernese life by visiting the weekly markets held in the Bundesplatz, where farmers and artisans sell fresh produce and handmade goods. Join locals in one of their favorite activities by taking a swim in the Aare River, a popular pastime during the warmer months. You will notice how local customs blend seamlessly with contemporary living in Bern, creating an inviting atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.

Top Tourist Attractions

Bear Park

One cannot visit Bern without stopping at the Bear Park, an emblematic site home to a family of bears, an animal deeply rooted in Bernese lore and legend. The park provides these symbolic creatures with a natural and spacious environment.

Rosengarten

For a panoramic view of the city, Rosengarten is the place to go. Located on a hillside, this rose garden features over 200 varieties of roses, along with irises, rhododendrons, and a restaurant where you can dine overlooking the Old Town.

Affordability and Budget Considerations

While Bern is not the most economical city in Switzerland, there are ways to stretch your budget. Many of the city's attractions can be visited for free or for a nominal fee. The Bern Card offers free public transport throughout the city and discounts at certain museums and attractions.

Natural Landscapes Around Bern

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the close proximity of natural landscapes like Gurten, a local mountain offering hiking trails, picnic spots, and a funicular railway. For those willing to venture further, the Bernese Oberland is within reach for day trips to mountains and lakes, offering breathtaking scenery and outdoor activities.

Public Transportation and Mobility

Navigating through Bern is made easy thanks to its efficient public transportation network. Trams and buses cover the city extensively, and with the aforementioned Bern Card, travelers can utilize these options effortlessly. The city is also very walkable, with most tourist sites located within a reasonable distance from each other.

With its combination of historical sites, culinary delights, cultural practices, and natural landscapes, Bern offers visitors a comprehensive experience that is both enriching and enjoyable.

Average temperatures during the day in Bern.

What people say about Bern

3.8
People
5
Food
5
Spaces
5
Value
4
Safety
5

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