Switzerland City Guides - Bern

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Switzerland’s capital surrounded on three sides by the River Aare is often overlooked on a European itinerary, I went last winter and explored for two days which I found more than enough for the old city… it’s a good place to stay more if you’re planning to do some day trips or explore around, for example Lucerne is only an hour and a half away and Interlaken where two of the most spectacular lakes meet is an hour away from Bern. 

Get ready to get marveled with history in every corner - UNESCO named the old city of Bern a world heritage site in 1983 because it is a positive example of a city that has conserved its medieval urban structure whilst responding, over time, to the increasingly complex functions of a capital city of a modern State. 

Navigating the city is easy, it offers an excellent public transport system, and it’s also very walkable.

Like in Geneva, when staying at a hotel, you get a complimentary Transport Card that gives you access to the bus and rail system. (Access is from the day u check-in until end of the day you check out.) I stayed at the Hotel National Bern – hotel which I found at a great price and so close to everything specially to the train station (thumbs up)  

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WHAT TO DO 

Zytglogge – Astronomical Clock

Is one of the most popular historical attractions, given the swiss reputation for quality time pieces, it’s not surprising that it’s still working – legend says that Albert Einstein, who lived near the clock, was watching the buses come around the tower and wondered what would happen if they moved at the speed of light – this, they say, led to his theory of relativity. 

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Old Town & Statues

Walk around old town is one of the best plans, you can find medieval sandstone arcades and narrow streets with hiding shops, bars and cafes. Be sure to stop at Einstein’s house where he lived from 1903 to 1905 and developed his Theory of Relativity here. - Kramgasse 49

There is over around 100 fountains in the city of which eleven are crowned with Renaissance allegorical statues here are some of the most relevant one’s 

Läuferbrunnen– runner fountain

Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen – justice fountain

Vennerbrunnen-The Venner was military-political title in medieval Switzerland

Mosesbrunnen - with the ten commandments

Simsonbrunnen - Samson biblical story

Zähringerbrunnen – as a memorial to the founder of Bern

Kindlifresserbrunnen – Child Eater Fountain but often translated Ogre Fountain(One of the most interesting)

Anna Seiler Brunnen - Founder of the first hospital in Bern

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Münster Cathedral

Is the most important late medieval church in Switzerland, the bell tower is 100 m (328 ft) and is the tallest in Switzerland – you can climb it for an incredible view. 

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Rosengarten

I sure loveeee to visit the best view spots in every city and this one its definitely the one in Bern.  Is on high ground, close to the Bären Park and with a very satisfying vista of Bern’s Old Town from the right bank of the Aare. Families, friends and couples come to meet up and take picnics with Bern at their feet. 

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Baren Park

You’ll find yourself in the company of three brown bears. Bern has long had an affection for bears, and the animal was adopted as an emblem as long ago as the 12th century. They hibernate during winter but can be seen during the warmer months.

Nydeggkirche – Nydegg Brigge

A walk over the bridge will take you to the Baren Park while you enjoy the view of the River Aare. 

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OTHER THINGS TO DO 

Gurten – amazing view point | Bundeshaus - Swiss Federal Assembly | Museum of Fine Arts | Museum für Kommunikation | Tierpark Dählhölzli – animal park | Zentrum Paul Klee |Bern Historical and Einstein Museum

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Have you visited the Swiss capital of Bern?  What were your favorite things to see and do?


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