Welcome or welcome back to all travelers. Today we have a new destination to visit, this is Bern’s turn. Before starting let’s warm up by starting to present this new destination.
Bern is the capital of the Swiss Confederation and is the seat of the Swiss parliament and government. The city of Bern is also the capital of the Canton of Bern, the second largest by population among the 26 Swiss cantons. It is also surrounded by the River Aare. The Bern region is the main economic center of the Canton of Bern. It hosts major companies and has the highest density of economic consultancy firms, legal offices in the whole of Switzerland. Culture also has a fundamental value for this city. Furthermore, Bern is well localized. It has an extensive railway network that perfectly connects Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The city is also called the “bike capital” for its countless cycle paths. A curiosity about the name “Bern” is that legend wants that the founder of the city chose the name of the first animal he met while hunting, which turned out to be a bear (Bär). The bear has been the animal of the seal and coat of arms of Bern at least since ancient times. Another hypothesis was that the city takes its name from the Italian one of Verona, at the time it was known as Bern in the German high Middle Ages.
Said that, let’s start our adventure.
To know more (what to eat, where to eat, where to have fun, things to visit…) continue to read.
We start with… the culture.
PLACES TO VISIT (MUSEUMS/THEATERS…)
- Munster Kirche: Gothic cathedral dating from the 15th century. The first thing that will catch your eye is certainly the large entrance portal which depicts the Last Judgment on which 294 figures are carved. The interior is as majestic as the exterior, with three large naves and wonderful stained glass windows. Finally, we find the bell tower (super illuminated in the evening), inside which the largest bell in Switzerland is kept.
- Zentrum Paul Klee: is an art museum dedicated to the artist Paul Klee. This place of culture is not limited only to the presentation of the works, but also to the life and presentation of the artist and his works. There are also many private objects and various manuscripts that act as an intermediary between the works and the life of the artist. However, inside you can also find works by other artists. The building externally is very special. It is not one building but three low rise buildings with a wave roof. It is easier to see than to explain! Really nice.
- Historisches Museum Bern: it is the second largest historical museum in Switzerland, located a few steps from the center. The building resembles the entrance to a beautiful princely castle. So much is its beauty and importance that it is included in the list of sites of national importance. The interior of the museum contains evidence of the history of Bern and its territory from prehistoric times to the present, and also hosts some permanent exhibitions about Asia and Egypt. To this was also added a section on Albert Einstein concerning his works and his life. So it is easy to say that it is a museum not to be missed!
- Bundeshaus: this is the building where the sessions of the Federal Assembly and the Swiss Federal Council are held. In addition, the structure has a dome with a hall inside. The inside is just as beautiful as the outside. The palace can be visited but it is necessary to book in advance. The market takes place in the square in front of the building. So this stop is not to be missed, even if only to see it from the outside, as it represents the emblem of the homeland.
- Kunstmuseum: is a museum of ancient, modern and contemporary art. The main collections of the museum are the Italian fourteenth century, Bernese art, French art, German expressionism, the new artistic trends up to the present day. Therefore in the museum there are works by Paul Cézanne, Franz Gertsch, Ferdinand Hodler, Franz Marc, Henri Matisse, Meret Oppenheim, Pablo Picasso and many more. This museum is an unmissable stop for art lovers, as it manages to embrace multiple currents from various historical periods.
- Museum of Communication: museum of communication. The task of a museum is to leave food for thought and it succeeds perfectly by making visitors participate. The museum retraces all the steps of the advent of communication, revisiting the historical steps in a fun and playful key that can be touched by hand (in the true sense of the word!). Perfect for children but also for adults. Impeccable organization and another plus is its easy accessibility.
- Einstein House: this is a museum, once the residence of physicist Albert Einstein. We find a real house furnished with period furniture. Knowing the various rooms you will also know his life and his theories. You just have to let yourself be carried away by the suggestiveness of the place.
- Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern: natural history museum which collaborates with the University of Bern in its teaching and research. Much visited by millions of tourists every year, the museum houses various collections but not only. The exhibits on display are truly excellent and unique and the exhibition is arranged in a clear and organized way. There are sections dedicated only to crystals of various sizes, skeletons, animal sculptures (extremely similar to real ones!), images, remains, virtual reality. Really nice!
- Käfigturm: it is a medieval watchtower from which you can pass through an arch (once an entrance door). The interior can be visited and you reach the top where there is a room that contains the mechanism for the functioning of the clock located on the top of the tower. In addition, you will be able to learn about the history of the tower. The tower is located in the historic center, impossible not to notice it! We almost forgot, it is right to inform you that in the city there is another tower with a clock Zytgloggerturm. Don’t get confused with the one just described (if you have time visit it as well).
- Jegenstorf Castle: is a castle in the municipality of Jegenstorf in the Canton of Bern. It is a Swiss heritage site of national importance. The castle (it seems almost needless to say) is so beautiful! Surrounded by greenery and adorned with a small lake at the entrance. Inside there is a museum inviting you to go on a journey to discover the furnishings of the past. On the other hand the interiors contain furnishings from bourgeois and patrician houses of the Republic of Bern. Plus an exhibition of baroque majolica stoves so famous in the city.
- Klingendes Museum: for music lovers this is for you. The sound museum houses a collection of Karl Burri’s instruments. Double-sounded, dragon-headed instruments… so many! The museum also offers many possibilities for interaction.
Among the theaters in Bern we find: Schlachthaus Theater, Stadttheater, Theater am Käfigturm.
Now it’s time for some fun!
- Bärengraben: the bear park is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bern, and now you will understand why. This park overlooks the Aare River. The wonderful thing is being able to admire the free bears in the center of Bern and very close to you. You will be separated by a watercourse and a glass partition. Adjacent to the bridge, the place is made up of abundant vegetation. In this way, bears can find an environment quite similar to the natural one from which they come. In addition, thanks to suitably arranged paths, tourists can observe the bears from different perspectives without disturbing and annoying them.
- Oeschinen: it is a very famous and very beautiful lake. Enclosed in the mountains it is a place just like a postcard. The activities to do there are endless. You can decide to park the car first and get to the destination through a healthy excursion or have a nice picnic on the lawn or even rent a boat but also much more (such as the sled route). What is no less important among the activities are the millions of photos that can be taken thanks to its crystal clear water and its play of lights according to the weather. Perfect place whatever the season you decide to go.
- Botanischer Garten Bern: it is a botanical garden included in the national cultural property list. Visitors will encounter a wide variety of plants from around the world, including medicinal plants, numerous native species, but also a variety of exotic flowers, shrubs and trees. The feeling of being able to immerse yourself in a tropical world or a world where the forest reigns is really nice, all in one place. In addition, here in the summer there are various summer themed shows, plus there is a café in the structure.
- Gurten ParkFlorido: Gurten ParkFlorido: is a scenic mountain park not far from the center of Bern. Here you will find really everything, a restaurant, hotel, observation tower, hiking trails, playground and many other attractions and wonderful experiences to do. Suggestive, fun and fascinating.
Definitely another enchanting park to get lost in is the Kleine Schanz. A full, well-kept place with a remarkable view.
- Tierpark Dahlholzli: a large zoo-park so far from the traditional concept of a zoo. Inside the area there are many animal species totally in freedom. A great experience if you want to know more about Swiss fauna and flora.
- The structure of the old city has remained almost unchanged over time, maintaining its medieval character to this day. Now let’s see what to do and see in the center: Zähringerbrunnen is a UNESCO heritage fountain located in Kramgasse street. It was built as a memorial to the founder of Bern. The stature represents a bear in full armor holding a flag and a bear cub at his feet. However, this fountain is not the only one. Almost identical to the latter is the Kindlifresserbrunnen. A fountain placed in the Kornhausplatz. The main figure represents an ogre, seated on a column intent on devouring naked children. Beside him, a lot with other children. It has been hypothesized that the statue symbolizes a widespread belief in Europe at the time, the so-called “blood accusation”, according to which Jewish rites involved the killing of children. There are many elements that make it believe but also many other theories about it. Nydeggbrücke is a bridge that connects the eastern part of the old town to the new part. Cross the Aare River. The panorama is very impressive. Another beautiful bridge over the Aare river is that of Lorrainebrücke which connects the city of Bern with Lorrainequartier. The bridge also features a pedestrian zone and bike path. Münsterplatz is a very nice little square, with a statue in the center and the cathedral in front. Kramgasse is one of the main streets in the old town of Bern. Today it is a popular shopping street and many of the buildings located there are part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.
- Other fun activities to do in the center are: Ropetech Rope Park Bern, an adventure park or Bernaqua center where you can relax, go to the pool, play sports and much more.
Bern has a very active and intense nightlife with a great variety of places for recreation and lots of fun. The most popular areas are the historic center or the Matte district (where there are several discos).
Here are some of the bars that we find in the city:
- Karma Club & Shisha Lounge
- Studio Club Bern: nightclub
- Dead End: nightclub
- Propeller Club: disco
It’s time for food. Are you ready? So let’s see what amazing food awaits us!
Bern offers cuisine ranging from classic Swiss dishes to international cuisine. This is also due to the influence that Bern had from the three neighboring cantons; precisely for this reason there are dishes with a mix of French, German, Austrian but also Italian cuisine. Let’s get to know them!
- Berner Platte: it is a meat dish. In particular it is composed of different varieties of meat such as sausage, pork, beef, smoked, bacon. Everything is accompanied with potatoes and green beans.
- Älplermagronen: is a dish consisting of pasta, potatoes, cream, cheese and onions. A classic of Swiss cuisine, very good!
- Spätzle: these are small dumplings made from soft wheat flour, eggs and water. These are seasoned in various ways, with spinach, cheese, cream and speck, leeks and so on.
- Blauer Kuchen: a very special and beautiful blue cake (we specify that despite the name, it is not always blue). It is a typical dessert from Bern. This is composed only of puff pastry, in fact it is often accompanied with butter or jam. Simple but tasty!
- Meitschibei: this dessert is made of puff pastry too, but this time it has the shape of a horseshoe. The filling is a delicious mixture of hazelnuts, sugar, cinnamon and candied fruit.
WHERE TO EAT (RESTAURANTS/CAFE’…)
Let’s find out now where to taste the typical dishes just known.
- Wein&Sein mit Haerzbluet: Swiss, European cuisine.
- Buner: Swiss, Mediterranean, European cuisine.
- Klosterli Weincafe: Swiss, European cuisine.
- Brasserie Obstberg: French, Swiss, Mediterranean cuisine.
- Metzgerstuebli: Swiss, European cuisine.
- Restaurant Aarbergerhof: Swiss, European cuisine.
- Restaurant Kirchenfeld: French, Swiss, European cuisine.
- Entrecote Federale Bern: Swiss, European cuisine.
- Moléson Gourmanderie: French, Swiss cuisine.
Our trip to Bern ends here, but not the Swiss one. Keep traveling with us to find out what the next destination will be.
Let us know your opinions about this place. If you liked it or not, if you’ve been there or you’re going to go there? What you liked the most or least? We’re curious to read your opinions.
A big kiss to everyone.