Bern is situated in the heart of Switzerland at the center of Europe, Switzerland’s capital city and gateway to the Swiss Alps.
Bern’s central location makes it the ideal hub for trips throughout all of Switzerland, the big Swiss cities Zurich and Basel are within an hour. The city of Bern can be reached easily via Bern Airport and bus connections to the city center. With the Bern Ticket visitors staying in Bern travel for free. If you’re staying at least one night in a tourist accommodation in the city of Bern you’ll receive this complimentary ticket, which lets you travel for free on public transport throughout your entire stay. The ticket also includes the popular Marzilibähnli and Gurtenbahn funicular railways, as well as transfers to and from Bern Airport.
Bern has a beautifully intact medieval cityscape, the Swiss Capital was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. With its time-honoured sandstone buildings, 4 miles of arcades, historic towers and 11 unique Renaissance figure fountains, Bern is one of the finest examples of medieval civic architecture in Europe.
One of the highlights of Bern is the BearPark with its live bears, located at the east end of the Old Town of Bern. A visit to the BearPark is a special experience for children as well as adults. On paths throughout the park to the Aare riverside path, visitors get a great insight into the lives of the bears. They can watch the bears play, bath and climb right in front of their eyes whilst enjoying a great view of Bern’s Old Town.
Switzerland’s most famous St. Bernard rescue dog, Barry, died almost 200 years ago, but his legend lives on. The Bern Natural History Museum has devoted a permanent exhibition to the legendary St. Bernard, depicting the stories surrounding him, which have ensured that he is remembered as a heroic rescuer to this day.
Bern is the city of Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) who was living in the city when he created his famous formula E=mc² in 1905 and with his Relativity Theory revolutionised our conceptions of space and time. At the Einstein House and the Einstein Museum visitors can explore Einstein’s life and work. The exciting exhibition at the Bern Historical Museum shows original memorabilia, written records and film documentaries of the genius’ life. Animation films, experiments and a virtual journey through the cosmos explain Einstein‘s revolutionary theories in a clear and easy-to-understand way.
Another attraction is the Zentrum Paul Klee which is presenting to the public the world‘s most important collection of works by Paul Klee (4000 works, or 40% of his oeuvre). The museum is also worth a visit due to its brilliant architecture with the three waves designed by Renzo Piano. Zentrum Paul Klee also offers art experiences at the Children’s Museum Creaviva, organises concerts, theatre and other events.
Whether rain or shine, Bern offers ample possibilities to go shopping. The famous arcades, which are about 4 miles have given Bern one of the longest covered shopping promenades in Europe and invite you to indulge in a very special shopping experience. Bern also offers everything you could desire from ultra-modern shops, fashion boutiques through to exquisite specialist stores can be found in the Swiss capital. Vegetable, fruit and flower markets are as well an important part of the city all year round.
From October to November Parliament Square will transform into a rendezvous of the senses with a spectacular light and sound show lasting 25 minutes, starting every evening at 19h00 and 20h30. The show converts the Parliament Building in a completely new light. From December to February an ice rink on Parliament Square invites you to skate in the middle of wintery Bern. Glide across the ice right in front of the impressive Parliament Building.
A special event is the “Zibelemärit” (Onion Market), a traditional folk festival held every November, this year on November 24. Farmers from the surrounding area bring over 50 tons of onions artistically woven into braids to the capital, along with garlic. Colourful market stalls offer ceramic pots, vegetables, traditional market goodies and mementos. To help resist the winter cold, don’t miss the Glühwein stand with its hot mulled wine.
Starting at the end of November, the magical Christmas markets last for a month and enchants the Old Town of Bern. The streets and alleys are aglow with the warm light and little Christmas trees decorate the facades of the houses, adding to the romantic mood during the Christmas season.