The Swiss capital, Bern, is a city rich in history. Bern is a beautiful city with many beautiful parks and gardens in addition to its many palaces. It’s difficult to envisage a more gorgeous holiday spot.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Bern
One of the city’s most prominent features, the River Aare can be seen from countless locations throughout the city. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or a nature enthusiast, Bern has something for you.
1. Zentrum Paul Klee
The undulating structure of the Zentrum Paul Klee is a spectacular landmark all on its own. Internally, however, it continues to impress. The Zentrum is the world’s most spectacular collection of works from Paul Klee. Klee’s paintings are Expressionist, Surrealist and Cubist compositions, and they were heavily influenced by Bauhaus design and architecture.
In the Zentrum Paul Klee, you may explore two enormous exhibition halls holding notable paintings like Park Near Lu, a vibrant painting that contrasts the black lines of the tree with the colourful leaves that surround it.
2. Bern Historical Museum
The Bern History Museum is among Switzerland’s largest museums. The museum’s displays cover time periods ranging from prehistory and antiquity to present times, highlighting Switzerland’s amazing history along the way.
There are a tonne of displays, but the Burgundian Tapestries and the 16th-18th century gold and silver collections are highlights. The Einstein Museum, located within the Bern History Museum, is an excellent resource for learning about Einstein’s life and scientific achievements.
The Gurten Hill is well-known among Bern residents as a beautiful, tranquil, and sunny destination. Unfortunately, a large percentage of sightseers ignore it. Gurten is a sizable hill located on the city’s outskirts that has breathtaking panoramas.
You can see the Bernese Alps to one side and the city on the other. Hiking the region’s many paths is a great way to burn off some calories before indulging in a traditional Swiss meal. You can go to the Gurtenbahn by foot from the tram stop, although the tram could be quicker. In just five minutes, you may take in breathtaking scenery from the comfort of this train.
From 1903 through 1905, Albert Einstein called 49 Kramgasse in the heart of Bern home. Einstein and his family, including wife Mileva and son Hans, stayed there. The Annus Mirabilis Papers, foundational to modern physics, were written by Einstein during his time spent at this house.
You can take a tour of his apartment and see authentic furnishings and decor from the year 1905. Take the elevator to the second floor to learn more about Einstein’s time in Bern and Switzerland.
5. Bear Pit
Bears have played a significant role in Bern’s history and culture, and the city’s name is said to be derived from the term meaning bear. The Bärengraben, or bear pits, are no longer used solely as a place to exhibit bears.
Instead, the bears’ habitats have been greatly expanded, and you can now see them in the River Aare, where they often go to cool down. Since in the 16th century, people as diverse as Albert Einstein and Vladimir Lenin have visited bear pits to gawk at the animals on display.
Although though they are still an integral part of the city’s history, bears are given far better care these days than they ever did in the days of yore.
6. Federal Palace
The Swiss Federal Parliament and Federal Council both hold their meetings at the Bundeshaus, also known as the Federal Palace of Switzerland. Having the legislative and executive departments housed in separate wings makes this a very significant structure.
The Federal Palace, or Bundeshaus, was constructed in the nineteenth century and has the distinction of being the seat of government for one of the world’s first modern democracies. The federal building can be visited for tours while parliament is not in session. Visitors visiting Bern often stop at the fountain on Bundesplatz Square, which is right in front of the Bundeshaus.
You must visit the Rosengarten if you are going to spend any time in Bern’s historic centre. The little urban park is perched on a hill, providing breathtaking views of the city below.
The garden is home to several plant species, including over 200 different types of roses, dozens of different irises, and even a small collection of rhododendrons.
A little playground is available for the youngsters, and there is a nice restaurant where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a light meal while looking down on the bustling city below.
8. Bern Minster
The Bern Minster, also known as the Swiss Reformed Cathedral, was not completed until 1893, although work began in that year. It stands as Switzerland’s tallest cathedral and the highest church building in the city.
The three knaves and majestic spire of the Gothic architecture dominate the skyline. The gateway, which depicts the Last Judgment in exquisite detail, is one of the most stunning features of the Bern Minster.
The best outside views and photographs can be taken from the Kirchenfeldbruecke bridge. Seeing the cathedral up close and touring the interior is highly recommended.
The Zyglogge, a clock tower built in the 13th century in the centre of Bern’s Altstadt, is one of Switzerland’s most well-known sights. The clock has several other functions besides simply displaying the time.
Every hour on the hour, a jester begins drumming and playing music a few minutes before the hour. Characters depicting the king and his bears emerge from the clock at the top of the hour and begin entertaining the crowd below.
The historical significance and endurance of this clock to the city of Bern will delight young visitors and their parents alike. The clock’s face will tell you the date and the zodiac sign for the day.
The historic district of Bern is truly one of Switzerland’s most picturesque. Some of Bern’s oldest and most important landmarks may be seen wandering its cobbled streets adorned with sandstone arcaded buildings that have changed little in 500 years.
The Altstadt’s historic district is delimited by the Aare River on three sides. Arcades from the 15th century and fountains from the 16th can be found in this mediaeval area.
The river and the most spectacular fountains and their sculptures can be seen from the trams that pass through the Altstadt, but exploring on foot is the best way to take it all in.