Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is a city with a rich history and plenty to offer. From stunning architecture to breathtaking natural scenery, Bern is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique cultural experience. Whether you’re looking for some outdoor adventure or cultural immersion, this small city has something for everyone. From historical sites to nature trails and more, here are the top 10 things you can do in Bern that promise an unforgettable experience!
The Old City of Bern
The Old City of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best-preserved medieval city in Europe. The narrow streets, sandstone buildings, and fountains are straight out of a fairytale. The Zytglogge (clock tower) is the symbol of the city and has been ticking since the 13th century. The Gothic Cathedral of St. Vincent is another must-see. For views of the city, climb to the top of the Munster tower or take a leisurely stroll along the Aare River.
The city is full of museums and galleries, from the Einstein Museum to the Historical Museum of Bern. There are also many cultural events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and food markets. The Old City of Bern has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of pubs and bars to choose from. There’s also a thriving shopping scene with boutiques, antique stores, and art galleries.
The Bern Cathedral (Bern Minster)
The Bern Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city of Bern. The cathedral is a Gothic-style church that was built in the 13th century. The exterior of the cathedral is decorated with many intricate sculptures and carvings. The interior of the cathedral is just as beautiful, with its high ceilings and stained glass windows. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for stunning views of the city below.
The Bern Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bern and is one of the most important churches in Switzerland. Throughout its history, it has been used for important religious ceremonies, such as coronations and weddings. Today, the cathedral is open to visitors who can explore its many features, including the crypt beneath the main altar. The Bern Cathedral remains an iconic and impressive structure that is beloved by locals and visitors alike.
The Zytglogge is a medieval tower in the old city of Bern that has served as a clock tower, guard tower, and prison. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in Switzerland and definitely worth a visit. The Zytglogge was built in 1218 and has undergone several renovations over the centuries. It is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The tower is 50 meters tall and features a clock with four figures that move when it strikes the hour. Inside, there is an astronomical clock that shows the position of the sun and moon. The Zytglogge is also home to a bell tower with eleven bells that play special tunes to celebrate holidays and important events.
Visitors can explore the interior of the tower, which includes an old prison, torture chamber, and guardroom. The top of the tower offers stunning views of Bern and the surrounding Alps. The Zytglogge is an iconic symbol of Bern’s history and a must-see for any visitor to the city.
The Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Located in the south of Switzerland, the Alps offer breathtaking views, world-class skiing, and a variety of other outdoor activities.
There are many ways to explore the Swiss Alps. Popular options include taking a cable car up to the Jungfraujoch, hiking or biking through the mountains, or enjoying a scenic train ride. No matter how you choose to experience the Alps, you’re sure to be impressed by their natural beauty.
From Bern, you can go to the idyllic village of Mürren by train and then you can take a cable car to Schilthorn, one of the peaks of the Swiss Alps, where the James Bond movie was filmed.
Lake Brienz is one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland and offers a variety of activities for visitors. Take a boat ride to explore the lake, go for a swim, or hike one of the many trails that offer stunning views of the water. For a more relaxing experience, take a seat at one of the cafes along the lakefront and enjoy the view.
There are also a number of historic attractions around the lake, such as the picturesque Giessbach Falls. In addition to these natural features, there are several small towns and villages located on the shores of Lake Brienz that offer plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
The lake is one hour drive or a train ride from Bern, and it is recommended to also pass by the picturesque town of Thuin on your way there.
The Bear Pit
The Bear Pit is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bern. It is home to two bears, Bär and Berna, who are cared for by zookeepers. Visitors can watch the bears as they play, eat, and sleep. The Bear Pit is open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is free.
The Bear Pit is also a popular spot for kids. There are educational activities and presentations available to teach kids about bears and other animals. Visitors can also purchase souvenirs, including t-shirts and stuffed animals, from the gift shop.
The Bear Pit is home to more than just bears: there are also foxes, hedgehogs, turtles, and birds that can all be seen in the enclosure. It is a great place for visitors of all ages to learn about wildlife and get up close with some of Bern’s most beloved inhabitants.
The Einstein House
If you’re a fan of history or science, then a visit to the Einstein House is a must. Located in Bern’s Old Town, the house is where Albert Einstein lived from 1903 to 1905 – a time during which he developed his theory of relativity. Today, the house has been turned into a museum, and visitors can explore Einstein’s old apartment, learn about his life and work, and even see some of his original manuscripts.
The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bern. Located in the old city, the garden is home to over 200 different varieties of roses. Visitors can stroll through the garden and take in the beautiful flowers. The garden is open from May to October and is free to enter.
The garden also features water features and sculptures, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery. Visitors can also purchase roses at the garden shop or have tea in one of the charming cafés. The garden is a great place to take photos or simply sit and appreciate nature.
The Nydeggbrücke is one of Bern’s most iconic landmarks. Spanning the River Aare, it connects the old city with the new city and is a popular spot for photos. The bridge is also a great place to take a break and people-watch. The bridge is one of the 18 bridges over the River Aare in the Bern area.
The bridge is made of brick and stone, with a total of three arches. It was first built in 1834 and has been rebuilt several times since then. The most recent renovation was in the 1990s. From the bridge, visitors can see stunning views of both the old and new cities. At night, it’s illuminated by colorful lights that make it even more beautiful.
Kunstmuseum Bern is the oldest art museum in Switzerland and houses an impressive collection of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum is particularly well-known for its paintings by Swiss artists such as Ferdinand Hodler and Albert Anker. Kunstmuseum Bern also has a beautiful setting, located in a former Benedictine monastery near the River Aare.
The museum’s collection includes an impressive range of sculptures, drawings, photos, and prints. It also has a large collection of modern and contemporary art from Europe, America, and Asia.
Kunstmuseum Bern is open daily (except Monday) from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free for all visitors, though there are additional charges for special exhibitions.
With its stunning architecture and interesting activities, Bern is a great place to explore. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll through the old town or an adrenaline-pumping activity such as bungee jumping off a bridge, there’s something for everyone here. The top 10 things to do in Bern will ensure that your trip is both fun and full of memorable experiences. So why not start planning your next getaway and experience all that this Swiss city has to offer?