Bern, Switzerland is a beautiful city full of amazing attractions and things to do. From picturesque parks and historical sites to vibrant shopping and dining experiences, Bern has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or simply a relaxing day in the park, this city has it all. Here’s a list of the top 20 attractions and things to do in Bern, Switzerland.
From beautiful landmarks to delicious local cuisine, there’s plenty to explore in this stunning Swiss city.
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1. Bern Old Town – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
Located in the heart of the city, Bern Old Town is a must-see when visiting Switzerland. This ancient city is full of charming medieval buildings, hidden alleys and cobbled streets, and plenty of cultural attractions. Start your exploration of Bern Old Town at the imposing Münster Cathedral. Here, you’ll find a magnificent 11th-century bell tower and the dazzling Bern Astronomical Clock. Just steps away are the historical Zytglogge, which dates back to the 13th century. Other highlights of Bern Old Town include the iconic Bärengraben Bear Park and the lively Kornhausplatz square. Of course, no visit to Bern Old Town is complete without sampling some of its delicious local specialties such as fondue or raclette. So make sure to indulge in these delicious Swiss treats!
2. The Münster of Bern
Located in the heart of Bern, the Münster of Bern is one of the most impressive attractions in the city. Built between 1421 and 1893, the Münster is a beautiful gothic-style cathedral with tall towers that stand proudly against the Swiss skyline. Inside, visitors will find an incredible altarpiece, intricately painted and detailed woodwork, and numerous stained glass windows. The Münster of Bern is also home to the largest clock face in Europe, which was built in 1530 and weighs over 24 tons!
If you’re looking for breathtaking views of Bern and its surroundings, head to the top of the tower. Here, you’ll be able to see the Aare River winding through the city, as well as the famous Einstein Tower and the Niesen mountain. On special occasions, such as Easter and Christmas, you can even watch a fireworks show from up above.
No visit to Bern would be complete without taking in the beauty of the Münster of Bern. The stunning architecture and incredible views make it a must-see attraction in this lovely city.
3. Bernisches Historisches Museum / Einstein Museum – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
This museum is an absolute must-see for visitors to Bern. Located in the heart of the city, the Bernisches Historisches Museum/Einstein Museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of historical artifacts and documents. Its three floors of exhibits focus on Swiss history, from the Middle Ages to the present day. One highlight is a full-scale recreation of Einstein’s laboratory, giving visitors a glimpse into his life and work. The museum also houses several art galleries with rotating exhibitions and other displays that explore the city’s culture and traditions. With interactive elements and audio tours, visitors of all ages can get a fascinating insight into Bern’s history. Be sure to take a few hours to explore this incredible museum and learn about its rich cultural heritage.
4. Zentrum Paul Klee – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
Located in the hills overlooking Bern, Zentrum Paul Klee is an art museum dedicated to one of Switzerland’s most renowned artists: Paul Klee. The building, which was designed by Renzo Piano, opened in 2005 and houses more than 4,000 works by Klee. It also has a collection of works from other Swiss and international artists such as Auguste Rodin, Franz Marc, and Wassily Kandinsky. Visitors can take guided tours of the museum and its many exhibitions, or explore the museum on their own. There is also an outdoor sculpture garden, which features several of Klee’s works, as well as a cafe and gift shop. The museum also hosts some events throughout the year, such as concerts, lectures, and educational programs for children.
5. Zytglogge, a Beautiful Medieval Clock
Located in the heart of Bern’s Old Town, the Zytglogge is a medieval clock tower that dates back to the 13th century. The tower stands at an impressive height of 45 meters and is one of Bern’s most iconic landmarks. As visitors ascend the steps to the top of the tower, they can enjoy views of the city’s red-tiled roofs and lush green hills. At the top, there is an automated 15th-century astronomical clock that chimes every hour on the hour, delighting visitors. Throughout the year, the clock is a popular site for celebrating special occasions, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The nearby Spiegelgasse is also home to some beautiful baroque-style architecture, making it well worth a visit. Whether you come to admire the Zytglogge from below or ascend to the top for a stunning view, it is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Bern.
6. Einsteinhaus – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
This is a museum located in Bern, Switzerland dedicated to the life and works of the famed scientist Albert Einstein. Located in the old part of town, the museum features interactive displays, historical artifacts, and photographs depicting the development of Einstein’s theories and how they changed the world. The museum houses numerous original documents and personal items, such as furniture and papers, that belonged to Einstein himself.
Visitors can also take a tour of the house and learn more about Einstein’s life and legacy. The museum also hosts several lectures, seminars, and events related to science and Einstein’s work.
For those wanting to experience more of Bern’s history, visiting Einsteinhaus is an excellent choice. The museum provides an interesting insight into the scientific genius that shaped the modern world. Whether you’re a fan of physics or simply curious about Einstein’s life, this attraction is worth the visit.
7. Universität Bern Botanical Garden
Located in the city center of Bern, the Universität Bern Botanical Garden offers visitors a unique experience. The garden is home to an impressive collection of plants from around the world and is divided into four sections: the alpine area, the Mediterranean area, the subtropical area, and the Arboretum.
The alpine area consists of plants that are native to the Alps and includes some rare species, such as the alpenrose (Rhododendron ferrugineum) and Gentiana acaulis. In the Mediterranean section, you will find species that originate from southern Europe and North Africa, such as the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) and the olive tree (Olea europaea). The subtropical area features plants from warmer climates like South America, Africa, and Asia, including cacti, bromeliads, and tropical fruit trees. Finally, the arboretum consists of more than 200 different species of trees, shrubs, and vines.
Visitors to the Universität Bern Botanical Garden can take part in a guided tour or explore on their own. There is also a cafe and gift shop onsite. Whether you’re a botanist or simply want to enjoy the beauty of nature, a visit to this garden is sure to provide a unique and memorable experience.
8. Kleine Schanze – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
This is a beautiful hilltop park located in the center of Bern, Switzerland. This charming park offers stunning views of the Alps, the Aare River, and the Old Town. It’s a great spot to spend a peaceful afternoon outdoors and take in the sights of Bern.
At Kleine Schanze you’ll find plenty of seating and green spaces, perfect for relaxing and soaking up the scenery. There are also plenty of paths and trails winding through the park, making it ideal for an easy stroll or bike ride. In addition to its breathtaking views, Kleine Schanze is also home to several monuments and historical buildings, including the 15th-century Schlosskirche, where Martin Luther gave a speech in 1524.
If you’re looking for some more adventurous activities while visiting Kleine Schanze, you can also try to hang gliding or paragliding from the top of the hill. This will give you a unique perspective on Bern and its surroundings from the air!
9. Gurten Park
Located at the edge of the city, Gurten Park offers visitors a great way to explore and appreciate nature. The park covers an area of 32 hectares, with trails winding through the forest. It’s a great place to take in views of the city and surrounding landscape.
There is plenty to do and see here, including a playground, barbecues, and a mini-golf course. For those looking to be more active, you can also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and other sports activities such as football or volleyball. You can even rent bicycles or roller skates.
When you’re ready for a break, grab a bite at the restaurant on site and treat yourself to a nice view of the city from the hilltop. If you’d rather not bring your picnic, there are also several food vendors within the park offering local specialties.
In addition to its natural beauty, Gurten Park also hosts many cultural events throughout the year, such as music concerts and theater performances. So no matter when you visit, there’s sure to be something interesting going on!
10. Hammam & SPA Oktogon – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
Situated in the heart of Bern, Hammam & SPA Oktogon offers guests the chance to relax and enjoy a unique spa experience. Featuring a sauna, steam room, massage rooms, whirlpools, and heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the spa has something for everyone. Those looking for a little extra pampering can also opt for facials and beauty treatments. The Hamman & SPA Oktogon is a tranquil oasis in the middle of the bustling city and is perfect for a relaxing afternoon or evening.
11. Église du Saint-Esprit de Berne
Situated in the heart of Bern’s old city, Église du Saint-Esprit de Berne (Church of the Holy Spirit) is an important Catholic place of worship. This late-Gothic church was built in the early 1500s and is one of the most important and recognizable churches in Bern. Inside, visitors can find beautiful frescoes, ornate stained glass windows, and detailed altarpieces. A large sculpture of the Crucifixion stands in front of the church, while its interior features statues, wall paintings, and works of art.
The church also houses a large organ and hosts numerous concerts yearly.
Located in the center of Bern, Bundesplatz is a great place to visit for a stroll or a picnic in the park. Surrounded by many cafes and restaurants, this square is the perfect spot for people-watching. On one side of the square stands the Swiss Parliament building and on the other, the Federal Palace. Nearby you can find a delightful fountain with four life-size bronze figures, as well as plenty of greenery and trees that provide welcome shade in the summer months. Many events take place here such as concerts and markets, so make sure to check what’s happening before you visit.
13. Münsterplattform – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
Perched atop the Münster hill, the Münsterplattform is a terrace overlooking the old town of Bern. With stunning panoramic views of the city, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a sunny day and take in the beauty of Switzerland. This terrace is especially popular for weddings, as the backdrop is quite breathtaking. The Münsterplattform also offers excellent opportunities for photography and the chance to soak in Bern’s rich history and culture.
Be sure to bring your camera and take advantage of the stunning views!
14. Vivell Schwimmbadtechnik AG
Take a dip in the warm waters of the Vivell Schwimmbadtechnik AG. Located at Lischmatt 17, 4616 Kappe, this popular swimming spot is one of the most beautiful in all of Bern. The outdoor pools are split into two parts; the lower pool which is 50 meters long and the upper pool which is half that size. There is also a large terrace area with deck chairs and umbrellas, ideal for lounging in the sun.
The Vivell Schwimmbadtechnik is open in the hot season, making it a perfect spot for a summertime swim.
15. Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
The Fountain of Justice is one of the most iconic and visited sites in Bern, Switzerland. The fountain is located in the city center in front of the Bundesplatz and dates back to 1543. It was built by Niklaus von Flüe and shows three statues of Justice, Strength, and Prudence. The fountain is decorated with figures such as a lion, a mermaid, an angel, and a monk, representing justice, strength, and patience.
The Fountain of Justice is a popular tourist destination and is often the first thing visitors see when they arrive in Bern. It’s a great spot to take photos or just admire its beauty. The fountain has become a symbol of justice and democracy in the city, as well as an important part of the city’s cultural heritage.
16. Church of St. Peter and St. Paule – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
Located in the heart of Bern, the Church of St. Peter and St. Paule is a beautiful Catholic church built in the late 14th century. It is one of the most popular churches in the city and is a great place to explore and learn more about the history of Bern. Inside the church, visitors can admire the many stunning works of art, including several frescos, an altarpiece by Füssli, and a sculpture by Bernese artist Peter Vischer. The church also houses a magnificent organ that is said to have been used by Charles Gounod during his stay in Bern. Visitors can also take a tour of the crypts which contain ancient tombs, some of which are still intact. The Church of St. Peter and St. Paule offers a wonderful opportunity for visitors to learn about the city’s history and culture.
17. Plaza Federal – Attractions and Things to Do in Bern
This is a bustling square filled with vibrant culture in the heart of Bern’s old town. This large public space is lined with beautiful historical buildings, including the National Council and the National Bank of Switzerland. Visitors to the Plaza can find numerous restaurants and shops as well as a farmers’ market that operates every Friday. The square also serves as a hub for many events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Zurich Film Festival, the Street Parade, and the Christmas Market. Those looking for some fun entertainment should check out the clowns, jugglers, fire breathers, and other performers who often take over the plaza. Finally, the nearby Church of St. Peter and St. Paule provides a tranquil backdrop for a relaxing stroll around Plaza Federal.
18. Elfenau (Elfenaupark, Bern)
This is a magical outdoor park situated in Bern, Switzerland. Elfenau Park offers a variety of attractions that make it an ideal destination for families and couples alike. The park is located on the banks of the River Aare and is surrounded by lush green forests, making it an ideal place to explore nature.
The park’s main attractions are its beautiful gardens and meadows, a paradise for photographers. There are also numerous pathways through the park, which provide perfect spots for leisurely strolls. In addition, the park has several ponds, streams, and lakes, which add to its beauty.
At Elfenau, visitors can also enjoy a wide range of activities such as picnicking, cycling, fishing, and kayaking. The park also hosts various festivals and special events throughout the year, making it an ideal place to spend time with family and friends.
If you are looking for a great spot for a relaxing day in Bern, look no further than Elfenau Park!
19. Meret Oppenheim Fountain
Located in the heart of the city, the Meret Oppenheim Fountain is a must-see attraction when visiting Bern. This beautiful fountain was created in honor of the Swiss artist and sculptor Meret Oppenheim and is adorned with symbols and motifs which reflect her life and work. In the middle of the fountain is a sculpture of Meret herself, surrounded by a pool of water. Take some time to admire this stunning work of art, and be sure to take a few photos as you explore the area. The Meret Oppenheim Fountain is a great way to get to know Bern and its culture.
20. French Church
The French Church, located in Bern’s Old Town, is a stunning Baroque church that dates back to the 18th century. It stands tall with its distinctive dome and gold spire and is surrounded by stately homes and elegant streets. The interior of the church features elaborate frescoes and ornate stucco work. Its renowned organ was built in 1746 and still functions today. There are many concerts and special events held in this beautiful church throughout the year. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about its history and explore the intricate artwork. The church is also home to a library with a wide collection of books and documents related to its past.
Bern, Switzerland: Travel Trips
If you’re looking for a unique European experience, then you must visit Bern, Switzerland. This city has an amazing history, with many attractions to explore and things to do. Here are some tips on how to make your visit to Bern even more enjoyable:
- Take advantage of free public transportation – As a tourist in Bern, you’ll be able to take advantage of free public transportation. With buses, trams, and boats all running regularly, you won’t need to worry about buying a ticket to get around.
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes – With so much to explore and see in Bern, you’ll want to be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Walking around the cobbled streets and hilly terrain can be quite tiring, so make sure to wear something that will keep your feet comfortable throughout your day.
- Visit the historical sites – Many important historical sites in Bern are worth visiting. Make sure to check out the Münster of Bern, Zentrum Paul Klee, Kleine Schanze, Gurten Park, and Église du Saint-Esprit de Berne.
- Have a picnic in the park – One of the best ways to enjoy your time in Bern is to have a picnic in one of the many parks. The Universität Bern Botanical Garden and Gurten Park are both popular spots for picnics with beautiful views of the city.
- Shop at the local markets – The markets in Bern are filled with fresh produce and local delicacies. If you want to take home some souvenirs from your trip, these markets are great places to find unique items.
- Explore the nightlife – Bern is known for its vibrant nightlife scene with bars, clubs, and pubs spread all around the city. Make sure to check out what’s happening during your stay and head out for an evening of drinks and dancing.
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