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15 Best Things To Do In Bern

Bern is the capital of Switzerland and it is known for its amazing views, delicious food and a variety of activities. Whether you’re looking for something to do during a weekend getaway or a longer stay, Bern has plenty of tourist attractions to offer. From medieval architecture to outdoor activities and unique festivals, visitors have many options when it comes to exploring this beautiful city. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at some of the best things to do in Bern.

1. Old Town

Old Town in Bern

The Old Town of Bern is a wonderful place to explore and learn about Swiss history. Located in the heart of beautiful Bern, the Bern Old Town is one of the largest UNESCO World Heritage sites in Switzerland. The area has numerous historical buildings, monuments, and sculptures that reflect Bern's rich cultural heritage. Visitors can admire the architecture from many eras like Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo as they stroll along the Old Town's cobblestone streets.

The Zytglogge clock tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in the Old city, which dates back to 1218 AD. The clock tower chimes every 15 minutes and visitors can climb up to enjoy the best views over the city from its observation deck. There are also two other famous towers nearby called the Käfigturm and the Christoffelturm which feature Gothic style architecture and were built in 1344 AD.

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2. Zentrum Paul Klee

Zentrum Paul Klee

The Zentrum Paul Klee is an art museum that celebrates the life and work of Swiss artist Paul Klee. The museum was designed by Renzo Piano and opened to the public on June 18th, 2005, as part of a larger cultural complex called “Kultur-Bahnhof”. Located in Berne, the unique structure of this art museum is meant to capture some of Klee's creative spirit.

The glass façade creates a light and airy atmosphere for visitors to explore works from over 4,000 pieces created by Klee during his lifetime. One can also find fascinating paintings from other notable artists such as van Gogh, Monet and Kandinsky which are also exhibited throughout the building.


Address: Monument im Fruchtland 3, 3000 Bern, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 359 01 01

3. Zytglogge

Zytglogge in Bern

Standing in the heart of Bern’s Old City, it is impossible to ignore the Zytglogge. This historic clock tower has been a symbol of the city for centuries. The first structure was built in 1218 and had a defensive purpose. It was used as a prison and many executions took place here. Over the years, it has been expanded and modified, becoming what it is today – an incredible monument that stands tall at 25 meters above ground level.

The exterior is truly breathtaking; its neo-renaissance style facade adorned with carved figures that evoke old-world charm. Inside, tourists can find intricate astronomical clocks which were installed between 1527 and 1530 by Josias von Wyl. The main attraction however are the four mechanical figures including two bears and two jesters that appear every hour with bells tolling in


Address: Bim Zytglogge 1, 3011 Bern, Switzerland

4. Bern Cathedral

Bern Cathedral

The breathtaking Bern Cathedral or Bern Münster is the largest church and one of the most iconic landmarks in Switzerland. Located in the heart of the city centre of Bern, it was built between 1421 and 1893. Its impressive size and striking Gothic architecture have made it a popular destination for visitors from around the world.

The most prominent feature of Bern Cathedral's exterior is its tower, which rises to a height of over 100 meters and offers stunning panoramic views of the city below. Inside, visitors can explore over 500 years' worth of religious history housed within its halls, along with many ornate sculptures, paintings, carvings, stained-glass windows and other decorations that reflect its long history. You can also climb one of three towers to the top to experience sweeping views across Switzerland's picturesque landscape during your stay in Bern.


Address: Münsterpl. 1, 3000 Bern, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 312 04 62

5. Gurten

Gurten in Switzerland

If you want to take a day trip from Bern, the Gurten is a hill just outside of Bern and definitely worth a visit. It rises to 858 meters above sea level and is one of the few green areas available in the city. The Gurten offers spectacular views of Bern and its surrounding area, including the Alps on certain days. The peak has been a popular spot for hikers since the 19th century when it was still forested land.

The summit can be reached by footpaths or via the funicular railway that takes visitors directly to the top from Wabern station. There are several trails leading to different points around the hilltop where hikers can view panoramas that stretch out into Germany, Austria and France as well as across Lake Thun and towards Interlaken.

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6. Bern Historical Museum

Bern Historical Museum

The Bern Historical Museum is a must-see for those who have an interest in history. Inside this museum, Guests will find thousands of artifacts that tell the story of Bern throughout its long and fascinating history. The museum is composed of six different sections, each one focused on a different era or theme from Bern's past.

Travelers can explore ancient Roman remains and learn about medieval guilds and cantonal law. Additionally, you can gain insight into the daily life of citizens during various points in time through replicas like kitchens and bedrooms from different centuries. In addition to exploring these pieces from the past, visitors to the Historical Museum of Bern can attend special exhibitions held throughout the year.


Address: Helvetiapl. 5, 3005 Bern, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 350 77 11

7. Bundeshaus (Parlaiment Building)

Bundeshaus in Bern

The Bundeshaus (Federal Palace) is the seat of the Swiss Federal Assembly and Federal Council. It is a home to the country's legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. Located at the Bundesplatz in Bern, this building has been an iconic symbol of Switzerland’s federalism since its completion in 1902. The magnificent structure was designed with elements from both the Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival styles, making it one of the most remarkable buildings in all of Switzerland.

The Swiss parliament building its facade features three statues that represent Justice, Strength and Prudence – all fundamental values for any democracy – as well as a number of large fountains that reflect its historical significance. Inside, visitors can explore a variety of impressive galleries filled with paintings by some of Switzerland’s most renowned artists.


Address: Bundesplatz 3, 3003 Bern, Switzerland

8. BärenPark


BärenPark is a renowned park situated in the heart of the Swiss capital. Located near the Aare River in Bern, it stretches over 11 acres and is home to several beautiful gardens, fountains, and sculptures.

The central feature of BärenPark is its grand fountain which was constructed between 1892 and 1899. This grandiose structure stands at 25 meters tall with a basin that can hold up to 2000 cubic meters of water. Visitors to this majestic fountain are surrounded by four sphinxlike figures sculpted from Italian marble on each corner of the basin.


Address: Grosser Muristalden, 3006 Bern, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 357 15 25

9. Rosengarten

view from the Rosengarten in Bern

The Rosengarten is a beautiful public park filled with endless Bern attractions. Located just outside of the Bern city center, the park provides visitors with a peaceful and relaxing respite from their everyday lives. One of the most popular features is the large rose garden located at its entrance. The vibrant colors of each bloom provide a stunning backdrop for photos and provide an enjoyable experience for those seeking to take in nature’s beauty.

In addition to its gorgeous floral displays, there are plenty of fun things to see and do in Bern for families while at Rosengarten. Kids will find plenty to entertain them in the playground area while adults can take in some fresh air on one of the many jogging paths surrounding the park. Or if you prefer something more leisurely, you can grab your friends or family and head out onto one of several rowing boats available for rent throughout the summer months.


Address: Alter Aargauerstalden 31B, 3006 Bern, Switzerland

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10. Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts in Bern

The Museum of Fine Arts is an impressive cultural destination that offers visitors a wealth of educational and aesthetic experiences. Located on the east side of the city of Bern, this historic museum has been around since 1879 and has grown to be one of Switzerland's most compelling institutions for fine art.

Inside, guest can peruse collections from over five thousand years of art history, with works from across Europe as well as ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The museum also hosts frequent exhibitions featuring contemporary artists from around the world and working in all mediums - giving you a chance to experience modern day creativity alongside traditional cultural artifacts.

As it stands today, the Museum of Fine Arts is home to over 200 galleries full of sculptures, paintings, photography and more - providing tourists with countless hours' worth of exploration through its rich collections.


Address: Hodlerstrasse 8, 3011 Bern, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 328 09 44

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11. Tierpark Dählhölzli

Tierpark Dählhölzli bern

Tierpark Dählhölzli is a beautiful wildlife park, and home to over 200 species of animals. This park offers visitors a chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing creatures. The expansive grounds stretch across 70 hectares of lush green space and are home to everything from parrots, monkeys, and reptiles to camels, horses, and goats.

Not only can you marvel at the wide variety of wildlife on display here but you can also take part in educational tours throughout the year that focus on animal welfare and respect for nature.

The park is especially popular with families due to its many interactive activities like spotting different kinds of birds or taking part in farm-related experiences.


Address: Tierparkweg 1, 3005 Bern, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 357 15 15

12. Museum für Kommunikation

Museum für Kommunikation

When it comes to cultural attractions, the Museum für Kommunikation is one of the best places to see in Bern. This vibrant museum is home to a wealth of fascinating artifacts and collections that explore communication over time.

The museum houses an impressive array of items, ranging from ancient telegrams and postcards to modern day mobile phones and computers. From its permanent exhibitions, visitors can trace the history of communication technology from its beginnings in postal services through to the internet age. There are also interactive displays which demonstrate how recent changes in technology have changed our lives for better or worse.


Address: Helvetiastrasse 16, 3000 Bern, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 357 55 55

13. Einsteinhaus


The Einsteinhaus is a museum located in the house where Albert Einstein lived from 1903 to 1905. This address, Kramgasse 49, became famous when he wrote his most famous work “The Annus Mirabilis Papers” here in 1905. The Einstein museum contains numerous documents about the life and works of the legendary physicist and Nobel laureate. It also offers an interactive multimedia experience that allows guests to learn more about the life of Albert Einstein.

One of the highlights of the Einstein museum is its permanent exhibition which details how Einstein developed his theory of relativity and other important contributions to science. Visitors can explore different aspects of his life including his school years, travels and employment as well as his political activities during World War I and II. Additionally, there are several interactive exhibits such as a virtual reality tour that lets you explore certain locations related to Albert Einstein's life.


Address: Kramgasse 49, 3011 Bern, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 312 00 91

14. Aare River

Aare River in Bern

The Aare river is one of the top places to visit in Bern. Not only does it provide stunning visuals and plenty of recreational activities, but also offers a unique cultural experience. For starters, the Aare river has a wide range of stunning landscapes – from lush green meadows and rugged mountains to dreamy valleys and majestic waterfalls.

Apart from that, the river Aare offers various recreational activities such as rafting, kayaking, swimming and fishing. If you're looking for something different than the classic tourist attractions in Bern then the Aare river should be your go-to spot.

15. Botanical Garden

Bern Botanical Garden

The Bern Botanical Garden is a stunning and lush display of the native flora of Switzerland. Located in the middle of the city of Bern, this botanical garden allows visitors to explore and appreciate its extensive variety of plants and flowers. The gardens’ many pathways entice guests to take their time as they wander amongst blooming roses, fragrant lilies, towering trees, and myriad colorful displays that are sure to amaze.

The Botanical Garden plays an important role in educating visitors about local species while providing an ideal environment for research projects conducted by botanists from all over Europe. This unique opportunity to learn more about native plant life is invaluable for students at the University of Bern studying horticulture or ecology.


Address: Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern, Switzerland

Phone: +41 31 684 49 45

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Q: Is Bern worth visiting?

A: Bern may not be as well-known as its more famous counterparts like Zurich or Geneva. However, this charming city  has plenty to offer visitors. One of the main draws of Bern is its well-preserved medieval old town. As a  UNESCO World Heritage site, this picturesque area boasts cobblestone streets lined with ornate fountains and colorful facades. The Zytglogge clock tower is a must-see attraction in the old town, with its intricate astronomical clock that dates back to the 16th century.

Q: What is Bern best known for?

A: Among its most famous landmarks is the Zytglogge, a medieval clock tower that dates back to the 13th century. The Zytglogge not only tells time but also features an astronomical clock with moving figurines that perform at every hour. Another notable feature of Bern is its unique arcaded shopping promenades. The city boasts six kilometers of covered walkways lined with shops, cafes, and boutiques. These arcades provide shelter in all weather conditions and are perfect for leisurely strolls or window shopping.

Q: What food is Bern famous for?

A: One iconic dish that Bern is famous for is Rösti. This hearty Swiss potato dish consists of grated potatoes that are fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is often served as a side with various meats or topped with cheese and accompanied by a fried egg.

Another must-try specialty in Bern is the Berner Platte, a mouthwatering meat platter that showcases the rich tradition of Swiss butchery. The plate typically includes an assortment of smoked pork belly, sausages, ham hock, cured beef tongue, and sometimes even game meats like venison or rabbit.

Q: How far is Bern airport from the city center?

A: Bern Airport, also known as Bern-Belp Airport or simply Belp Airport, is conveniently located just 10 kilometers southeast of the city center. Getting from Bern Airport to the city center is a breeze thanks to various transportation options available. One popular choice is taking a taxi, which will get you to your desired location within approximately 15 minutes depending on traffic conditions.

Alternatively, if you prefer public transport, there are regular bus services that run between the airport and central Bern. The journey takes around 30 minutes and offers an opportunity to enjoy scenic views of the beautiful Swiss countryside along the way.

Q: Are people in Bern friendly?

A: The answer is a resounding yes! From our interactions with residents and observations during our time in Bern, we can confidently say that the people here are incredibly friendly.

One of the first things you'll notice when walking through the streets of Bern is how approachable and helpful locals are. Whether you're lost or need recommendations for places to visit, don't hesitate to ask someone nearby – they will likely be more than happy to assist you. Beyond their willingness to lend a hand, Bernese people also exude genuine warmth in their interactions.


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Need a Rental Car In Bern?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Bern here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Bern?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Bern, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Bern.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Bern without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you go to Bern. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Switzerland:

Be sure to visit our Switzerland Travel Guide for even more travel tips.

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