There’s more to Bern than just cuckoo clocks and yodeling! This beautiful Swiss city is teeming with history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are the top 11 things to do in Bern, Switzerland.
1. Climb the Clock Tower
For incredible views of Bern, make your way to the top of the Zytglogge clock tower. The 13th-century structure is one of Bern’s most iconic landmarks. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for breathtaking 360-degree views of the city. On a clear day, you can even see the Swiss Alps in the distance. The Zytglogge is more than just a pretty view, however. It is also a working clocktower, and its elaborate mechanisms are a fascinating glimpse into the past. The tower is open to visitors daily, and climbing to the top is well worth the effort.
2. Stroll Through the Old Town
Bern’s Old Town is a must-see for any visitor to the Swiss capital. It is one of the best-preserved medieval city centers in Europe, and its quaint cobblestone streets and picturesque architecture make it feel like something out of a fairytale. There is plenty to see and do in the Old Town, from exploring the many shops and cafes to visiting the many museums. The Old Town is also home to the Swiss parliament building and the famous clock tower, which is definitely worth a visit. Whether you’re looking to explore Bern’s history or just take in the sights, the Old Town is definitely worth a visit.
3. Visit the Bear Pit
The Bärengraben is a large pit in the center of Bern, Switzerland that has been home to brown bears since the 16th century. The pit is currently home to two bears, who are well-fed and often put on display for the public. While the practice of keeping bears in captivity may seem cruel today, it was actually quite common in medieval Europe. The Bear Pit is a fascinating glimpse into Bern’s history, and it’s definitely worth a visit. The bears are typically very docile and easy to approach, making it a great place to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. If you’re lucky, you might even see them playing or lounging in their pool. So if you’re ever in Bern, be sure to swing by the Bear Pit – you won’t be disappointed!
4. Relax in the Rose Garden
The Rosengarten is a beautiful park located in the center of Bern, Switzerland. The park is home to over 250 varieties of roses, as well as a number of other flowers and plants. The garden also has a playground and a cafe, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. The Rose Garden is open year-round, and admission is free. So whether you’re looking for a place to take a leisurely stroll or just want to relax in a beautiful setting, the Rosengarten is definitely worth a visit.
5. Visit The Einstein Haus
The Einstein Haus is the former home of world-famous physicist Albert Einstein. The house is now a museum, and it features a number of exhibits on Einstein’s life and work. The apartment on the second floor, which Einstein rented in 1903 and 1905, is decorated in a manner popular at that period and evokes the Bernese era, which was significant to Einstein. On the third floor, there is an exhibition room containing Einstein’s life and work, which are described in brief on display boards. In addition, a 20-minute video introduces his life, thoughts, and work. The Einstein House provides visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about one of the most influential scientists in history.
6. Shop at a Bernese Farmer’s Market
The Bernese farmer’s markets are a great place to find fresh, local produce. The markets take place every Tuesday and Saturday, year-round, on Bundesplatz. You’ll find everything from fruits and vegetables to baked goods and cheese. The markets are a great way to support local farmers and get your hands on some delicious fresh food. Plus, you’re sure to find some bargains! So next time you’re looking for groceries, be sure to check out the Bernese farmer’s markets.
7. Spend Time At The Aare River
The River Aare is a beautiful river that runs through the center of Bern. In the summertime, the river is a popular spot for sunbathing, picnicking as well as rafting and swimming. There are a number of beaches along the river where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. The water is clean and clear, making it perfect for swimming. So if you’re looking for a place to cool off on a hot day, the River Aare is definitely worth a visit. Make sure to follow local safety rules and regulations, and note that swimming the Aare is only recommended for experienced swimmers. Many locals take colorful dry bags to store their clothes while swimming!
8. Visit the Bern Historical Museum
The Bern Historical Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of Switzerland. The museum chronicles the history of Bern from its earliest days as a small medieval town to its present-day status as the capital of Switzerland. Visitors can see exhibits on the city’s past, including its architecture, culture, and economy. The museum also has a section on Swiss history, which covers topics such as the Reformation and the Swiss Confederation. There is also an extensive collection of artifacts from Bern’s many years as a major European city. With so much to see, the Bern Historical Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Swiss history.
9. Visit the Cathedral of Bern
The Münster Cathedral is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bern. The cathedral was built in the 13th century, and it features a number of stunning architectural details. The exterior of the cathedral is decorated with gargoyles, stained glass windows, and intricate carvings. The interior of the cathedral is no less impressive, with a soaring ceiling and a large organ. Visitors to the Münster Cathedral can also climb to the top of the tower for breathtaking views of the city. Whether you’re interested in architecture or simply looking for a unique place to explore, the Münster Cathedral is well worth a visit.
10. Hike up the Gurten
The Gurten is a small mountain located just outside of Bern. The hike to the top of the Gurten is relatively easy, and it’s a great way to see some of the city’s best views. Once you reach the top, you can relax in the park or enjoy a meal at the restaurant. If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip, the Gurten is the perfect spot. The mountain provides stunning views of the city, and it’s a great place to get some fresh air. You can take in the sights of the city while enjoying a peaceful hike. After reaching the summit, you can enjoy a picnic lunch or spend time exploring the park. The Gurten is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some time in nature.
11. Visit the Zentrum Paul Klee
The Zentrum Paul Klee is a must-visit for any fan of the Swiss artist. Located in Bern, the museum houses the world’s largest collection of Klee’s art, as well as exhibits on his life and work. The museum is designed to showcase Klee’s unique approach to color and form, and it is sure to inspire visitors of all ages. In addition to the artworks on display, the Zentrum Paul Klee also offers a variety of educational programs and events. Whether you’re a lifelong fan of Klee or you’re just discovering his work, a visit to the Zentrum Paul Klee is sure to be a memorable experience.
Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping activities or simply want to relax and enjoy the sights, Bern has something for everyone. With its stunning architecture, rich history, and natural beauty, Bern is a must-visit destination. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Bern! Check out our recommendations for the best hotels in Bern, Switzerland.