Looking out to the alps, Bern is the fifth largest city in Switzerland and has been the capital of the nation for almost 180 years now.  It is a UNESCO listed town that is tucked along River Aare. Numerous features make the town one of the most go-to destinations in Switzerland. It is imperative to note that Bern was also Albert Einstein’s home for the first decade of the 20th century.  There is a historical museum that depicts how the city has grown over time. 

The town traces back to the 12th century and it has a medieval architecture that is preserved in the old town. The Swiss parliament and diplomate usually congregate at the federal palace.  The French church and a medieval tower in the vicinity have been there since the 13th century. High-level bridges link the city with higher ground on the river bank with new buildings. The charming character of a well-preserved old town is integrated into the everyday life of the city and UNESCO recognizes it for its unique features. Bern is rich in fun activities to do because it is quite comprehensive in terms of structure and diversity.

How to get to Bern

Bern is at the center of Switzerland and it is well connected to the rest of the country in terms of transport systems. You can get to Bern by using Bern international airport which is just a few kilometers south of the city. You will get direct flights from different cities across Europe.  On the other hand, you can also use the train from any major European town to travel to Bern.  However, you should check out the train schedule to ensure that you are on time: Swiss trains. You can also drive to Bern via the A1, A6, and A2 motorways.

What to do in Bern


1. Visit the old town


Bern’s old town is more than many people might tend to assume. The town is rich in infrastructure and art that dates back to many centuries ago.  It was listed under the UNESCO heritage site as it has managed to keep the ancient town planning and modernized different aspects as well. The town is surrounded by stunning aquamarine waters and the planners preserved much of the medieval character of the town. On the lower levels of the buildings, you will find cafes, shops, bookstores, and restaurants while on the upper floors will be apartments. The old area is the best tourist attraction as there are many things to do including seeing old status, checking out the famous clock tower, public fountains among others.


2. Explore the Kunstmuseum


To the western part of Waisenhausplatz, you will find the famous museum of art.  This is a massive and exceptional museum that is house to over fifty-thousand drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, and films. It is the oldest museum in Switzerland and it has an international reputation for its features. The collection of art includes swiss art from the 15th century, Italian, 19th, and 20th centuries from Picasso, impressionism, and those focusing on Paul Klee. There are both the national and international art trends and you can never miss something to do in this destination. The museum offers public and private yours and you should check out their costs and schedule.


3. Visit the Einstein museum


This museum is unique as it is housed in a 130-year-old house that is based on the 15th-century castles. The historical museum combines with the Einstein museum and there are numerous components that you can enjoy looking at and appreciating how art has developed over time. The display includes more than half a million objects that date back to the stone age, middle age, and Napoleonic era.  The Einstein museum is focused on the life of the great scientist depicting how he lived through dozens of original letters, original objects, and old films. You will see his 1921 Nobel prize certificate. 


4. Explore the Rose Garden Park


This is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places that you can visit in Bern. The garden has an open sitting area and there is a hill sloping across the river to the center of the town.  The area has become one of the main tourist attractions as you get time to unwind in a beautiful garden.  The garden was redesigned in the late 50s and more than 200 types of roses were included and some species of azalea, irises, and rhododendrons. There are a picnic area, a large pavilion and a restaurant where you can enjoy a drink as you relax.


5. Explore Berner Münster


Perhaps this is the most popular building in Bern. It is commonly referred to by other names such as Bern cathedral or cathedral of St. Vincent. The cathedral of Switzerland is one of the largest churches in Switzerland from the middle ages and it played an integral role in the development of the city’s architecture.  The late gothic creation features a 3-aisled pillared basilica that was created from 1421 to 1893.  There is so much history that you can learn when you visit the church.  When you are at the Bern Minster terrace you will have a perfect view of the Aare valley and you can see the alps in the backdrop on a clear day.


6. Visit Clock Tower


The clock tower is 800 years old and it is one of the most famous landmarks in Bern. It is worth visiting it as it dates back to 1530 and it is located just above the western gate tower in the old town.  Three minutes before every hour a circus of mechanical creatures The Piper, The Rooster, and The Fool will put a little show.  This has become a common phenomenon and you will be amazed at how times have changed. Inside you will see the popularity of the ancient structure from a hundred and thirty stone steps off the tower. You can climb to the observation platforms where you will have an amazing view of the city below you.


7. Explore Paul Klee Center


Switzerland is known to be a country that is rich in art and is one of the major locations in Europe, the Paul Klee center is the best place to visit.  The German-Swiss painter has some of the famous and recognizable work across the world and you will find them in this museum.  Most of the notable work transcends abstraction, cubism, and surrealism and he combines different techniques in delivering his pieces.  His writing form and design theory are considered as pone of the most futuristic and you will learn more about art by visiting this destination.  The center has over 4000 pieces of Klee including that of the woman with Parasol and death under fire. The building that houses the art is amazing and you will never miss something that you can learn in this destination. It was designed by Renzo Piano and it takes the form of the rolling hilly landscape.


8. Visit the Ancient Fountains


These are scattered in the old town and they are usually for the public, you do not need to carry your water. all you need is a bottle and you can refill it when in the city. These fountains were installed in the 16th century. Other statues praising the power of Bern including the Läuferbrunnen and the bear in full armor. The fountains have been replaced with wooden ones once the city began gaining more wealth and there are over a hundred fountains with most retaining the original status.


9. Explore the Botanica Garden


The beautiful botanical garden is a location that you should not miss because of it rich in diversity and you will have fun visiting the location. The garden has numerous sections and it has one of those exceptional ecosystems with different kinds of plants. The plant species are from Africa, Asia, North America, Europe, and South American continents. There is a unique display of endangered species as well. 


10. Gurten


Perhaps this is one of the most amazing places to visit while in Bern because it is located in the south of the city and it is a high mountain about 870 meters high with a panoramic view. You can see the entire city and the surrounding areas. You will see the spiky alps from distance and the three lakes that make the Jura mountains amazing. You will never lack something amazing to see in this location.

Top things to do in Bern conclusion

It is imperative to note that you are not limited to the areas indicated above. You can be adventurous and add more areas whenever you have time in Bern. Bern is an amazing city to visit any time of the year.

If you have any questions about Bern, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.

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