Bern – the Swiss capital – is surely one of the most fascinating cities in the country and offers several attractions, going from the parks to the medieval buildings and enchanting fountains. Let’s discover more!
What to see in Bern
1. Bern's Old City
First, we suggest you stop at Bern’s Old City – UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 – to be amazed by its charm and attractions, including:
- Zytglogge – The Clock Tower: one of Bern’s landmarks, where you’ll admire the one-of-a-kind performance that takes place every time the clock strikes the hour, involving mechanical figures like the bears parade, Chronos, the jester, and the golden rooster;
- The arcades (Lauben): the six-kilometers arcades that protect the citizens from sun and rain, hiding several shops, cafes, and restaurants.
2. The Bear Park – Bärengraben
The bear was adopted as the city’s emblem in the 12th century: the Bear Park, indeed, shows all Bern’s affection for bears, housing three of them in a healthy and wide habitat. It consists of a modern 6,000 square meters park that stretches from the bear pit to the river and can be visited through a guided tour that shows you the history of the park, the caves, and the ‘Bear Bath’.
3. Bundeshaus – The Parliament Building
Another unmissable attraction in Bern is the Federal Palace – or better, The Bundeshaus. Opting for a guided tour, you can visit it inside and discover some interesting facts about the Swiss federal government, marveling at the building’s impressive interiors, Neo-Renaissance facade, and stained glass.
4. Berner Münster – The Bern Cathedral
In addition, we recommend you to visit the Berner Münster – Switzerland’s tallest cathedral. As soon as you enter the building, you can marvel at the ‘Last Judgement’ and the wonderful architecture, while the high church spire offers a beautiful view of the Old City and the Bernese Oberland’s peaks.
5. The Bernese Fountains
Some other unmissable spots are surely the Bernese fountains, with their colorful figures and wonderful decorations: namely, over 100 public fountains that are spread across Bern’s Old City and offer drinkable, free water. Among them, you shouldn’t miss the Allegorical Fountain Figures, such as Lady Justice and the Ogre: eleven historical fountain figures that have a polychrome statue of a real personality or an allegorical figure, representing heroes, historical events, or social ideals.
6. Rosengarten – The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is the perfect place to meet up with friends or take picnics in a relaxed atmosphere, immersed in 223 types of roses and 200 iris species, as well as a graceful pond with lilies, some fountains, walkways, and a restaurant. Yet, what really sets The Rose Garden apart is the view: a wonderful landscape of Bern’s Old Town, the right bank of the Aare, and the Münster.
7. Zentrum Paul Klee
Finally, you should visit Bern’s modern museum dedicated to one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Paul Klee. In 1997 Klee’s daughter donated all her inheritance to the city, which hired the architect Renzo Piano to design a museum that houses all Klee’s 4,000 paintings in ever-changing temporary shows, offering various artistic programs, recreational opportunities, and an event location.