The Bear City Bern - in the heart of Switzerland
The Swiss capital has largely preserved its historic features and welcomes visitors with medieval charm. In particular, the numerous fountains, sandstone facades, alleys and historic towers characterise the cityscape and create a historic atmosphere. Bern's origins date back to the 12th century. The city has always been regarded as an outstanding example of a progressive and clear city foundation. Not only the facades of the famous old town houses impress, but also the valuable interior, such as historic staircases or magnificent salons, take you back in time. In and around Bern, visitors are offered one thing above all else: Variety! In addition to the cultural attractions of the city, nature and many shopping opportunities await visitors. Thanks to its central location in Switzerland, Bern is also ideal for further explorations.
Art and culture in Bern
Art and culture enthusiasts will find numerous highlights in Bern that invite them to discover. These hotspots are a must-see in Bern.
The most famous landmark of the city is the Zytglogge, the clock tower. It once served as a town gate and is located in the lower old town of Bern. Visitors are attracted every hour with a small spectacle: the figure game with bear, jesters, golden cock and Chronos, the god of time, traditionally greets the spectators in the city. The Zytglogge also offers a fantastic view of Bern's old town and - if the view is clear - even the peaks of the Bernese Oberland.
The Bern Minister
The construction of the Bern Minister lasted centuries. The construction of the largest sacred building in Switzerland began in 1421, but the tower was not completed until 1893. By over 344 steps visitors reach the highest church tower in Switzerland and enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the Bernese Mittelland.
Switzerland's seat of government is located in the Bundeshaus, which was completed in 1902. In the impressive cupola hall between the town halls, many representations depict Swiss history. Bern has been the federal capital since 1848 and thus the seat of the Swiss government. Regular group tours provide a detailed insight and the cosy Bundehaus Terrace invites you to linger.
Thanks to the unique architecture of star architect Renzo Piano, the “Zentrum Paul Klee” on the outskirts of Bern has been impressive already from the outside since 2005. Inside the museum visitors will find the world's most important Klee collection as well as a wide range of other offerings from the lively cultural scene. The “Bernische Historische Museum”, on the other hand, has ten permanent exhibitions, including history, archaeology and ethnography. The museum also houses the Einstein Museum, which depicts the life of the physicist.
Nature and animal diversity
Bern already has a lot to offer thanks to its location on the river and offers visitors the perfect mix of city and country.
The three brown bears Finn, Björk and Ursina are at home in the heart of the city. From the former bear pit to the banks of the river Aare, the bears live on over 5000 square metres and can be admired by visitors. At the Dählhölzli zoo in Bern, visitors can also find a great variety of animals all year round.
The Bern Rose Garden offers visitors a fantastic view of the historic old town, the cathedral and the river. The cherry blossom and above all the 250 flowering rose species are the highlight of the park in spring. But also in autumn there is an extensive flowering season, which invites you to relax and linger.
Shopping in Bern
Bern is ideal for a shopping trip in any weather: thanks to the six-kilometre-long arcades, shopping is not interrupted by bad weather. The canopies give Bern its special charm and are home to numerous shops. The colourful weekly markets are also well worth a visit. Visitors can find regional and fresh products from Bern and the surrounding area and experience the real Bernese way of life.
Hotel tips around Bern
Not far from Bern's old town, the Romantik Hotel Landhaus Liebefeld welcomes guests in a quiet location in a cosy patrician house. Here, culinary delights and hospitality are of paramount importance. In the gourmet restaurant Rôtisserie and in the restaurant, guests are spoiled with regional specialities.
Only 30 kilometres from Bern, the Romantik Hotel Stadthaus Burgdorf welcomes guests in the heart of the city. Tradition and modernity meet in the luxurious rooms and suites in the magnificent sandstone building. The restaurant La Pendule, in particular, offers gourmet menus and a first-class selection of wines.