The historical world heritage town center of Bern is well worth a visit.
These are the hotels we would suggest for your stay.
Rent an apartment or holiday home in or around Bern.
Any questions left about Bern? Feel free to post to the forum!
Location and scenery
Bern is situated on the relatively flat Swiss Plateau, not in the mountains. It is surrounded by hills and several forests. On clear days, the Bernese Alps can be seen from several higher locations throughout Bern.
Pros and cons of Bern
Bern is a pretty town. The historical city center is romantic and there's a lot to do and see within a small area.
The mountains can be reached within an hour. Bern is a good base if you want to do a city trip and combine that with occassional day trips to the Alps. If you want to visit the Alps on a daily basis we would advise to pick a base town closer to the mountains such as Thun, Interlaken or Grindelwald.
Must sees in Bern
Below are some suggestions for sightseeing in Bern. Visit the Bern Tourism website for more tips. Be sure to check the features of your rail pass, as it may get you discounts on several attractions.
- The historical town center can be explored on foot from the main rail station. This unique area has been declared UNESCO World Heritage. The many arcades allow for comfortable shopping, even in bad weather.
- The Clock Tower in the heart of Bern (free)
- The Bear Park (free)
- House of Parliament (free)
- Münster Cathedral
- Viewing point, restaurant and playground at the Gurten mountain. If there's snow, skiing and sledging can be done here too.
- You can watch numerous types of roses in the Rose Garden, and enjoy a good view on the Old Town and river Aare.
Please find more things to do here.
Sightseeing off the tourist trail
Bern in winter
Bern is not in the Alps, so don’t expect a snowy landscape in and around town. However, Bern is a nice winter city. You can make beautiful train journeys or visit other cities and their Christmas markets.
Winter fun in Bern is possible. There’s an ice rink in front of the Parliament Building. If there’s enough snow, you can enjoy tobogganing from the slopes of the nearby mountain Gurten. You can make day trips to ski areas. For example: Grindelwald can be reached by train in 1h35, Kandersteg in 1h01.
Visit Bern in late November or December for its Christmas markets and holiday atmosphere. Visit the city in January or February for the best chances of snow in nearby ski resorts.