Hardly any other city has preserved its historical heritage as impressively as Bern, the capital of Switzerland. Bern’s old town was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983 and received an award. Particularly noteworthy are the 6-kilometer-long arcades, also known as “Lauben”, which form one of the longest weather-protected shopping streets in Europe.
Immerse yourself in the historic ambience of Bern’s Old Town and enjoy strolling along these picturesque arcades while discovering the city’s diverse shopping opportunities and unique heritage. Bern is undoubtedly a cultural treasure to be admired.
Note: Visit of Bern is part of our Luxury Tours Switzerland.
Federal Palace in Bern and seat of the Swiss government
Bern sits enthroned in the heart of Switzerland as the country’s seat of government. Just a short walk from the main railway station, the imposing Federal Palace rises majestically above the city. Visitors often have the privilege of entering the doors of the parliament building and witnessing political events up close.
But Bern’s fascination goes beyond the political arena. While exploring the picturesque alleyways, with a bit of luck you might even bump into one of the members of the government moving between the historic walls. A city where politics and history merge into a harmonious interplay.
Bernese Old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site
With its unique medieval atmosphere, Bern enchants visitors with its numerous fountains, sandstone facades, picturesque alleyways and historic towers.
In 1983, the Old Town of Bern was rightly added to the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List. This honor is an undeniable recognition of the inestimable value and irreplaceable importance that this historical jewel has for all of humanity.
Berns Altstadt ist eine wahre Perle, die mit ihrer reichen Geschichte, ihrer architektonischen Pracht und ihrem kulturellen Erbe Besucher aus aller Welt verzaubert. Ein Spaziergang durch die verwinkelten Gassen und vorbei an den malerischen Plätzen dieser UNESCO-Welterbestätte ist wie eine Reise in die Vergangenheit und ein unvergleichliches Erlebnis für jeden, der die Schätze der Menschheit schätzt.
To enjoy the best view of the Old Town, which is embraced by the Aare, we recommend the elevated rose garden above the BärenPark or the platform of the imposing 101-metre-high cathedral tower. The former redoubts and bastions slope steeply down to the river, giving the city a special topography.
The old town is home to charming boutiques, bars and cabarets, some in the cellar vaults, as well as cozy street cafés that attract both locals and tourists. Although Bern has a well-developed public transport system, the city center is best explored on foot to fully appreciate all its beauty and charm.
The Zytglogge, also known as the Zeitglocke or Zeitglockenturm, is a historic clock tower in the city of Bern. It dates back to the Middle Ages and is home to one of the oldest tower clocks in Switzerland.
The Zytglogge is one of the most visited attractions in Bern and was once part of the city wall in the early 13th century. The imposing bell, which was initially rung manually, was installed in 1405. The clock, on the other hand, is somewhat younger: the clockwork by the German armourer Kaspar Brunner was installed in the Zytglogge in 1530.
The movement of the Zytglogge consists of five combined movements housed in a common case. It comprises the going train, two striking mechanisms and two movements for figure movements. The hands of the clock are controlled by the hour axis of the going train and move above the two large 12-hour dials and the impressive astrolabe clock. The Zytglogge is a fascinating testimony to the art of clockmaking in past centuries and a striking landmark of Bern.
BärenPark – landmark of Bern
The BärenPark Bern is a modern animal enclosure that was opened in 2009 to house brown bears in a species-appropriate environment. It replaced the old bear pit, which no longer met the requirements of species-appropriate husbandry. The BärenPark is located in the Bärenpark district, opposite Bern’s old town, on the banks of the River Aare. It is part of the Bern Zoo, the main part of which, the Dählhölzli, stretches along the Aare about two kilometers to the southwest.
The BärenPark and the old bear pit are among the most famous sights in Bern and are closely associated with the bear as the heraldic animal of the city and canton of Bern.
The Bernese bears find an exclusive home in the BärenPark with a view of Bern’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The “Mutzen”, as the bears are affectionately known, live in an extensive park on the banks of the River Aare.
Paul Klee Center
The Paul Klee Center, a new architectural highlight, was created in 2005 as a landmark for the federal city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bern. The wave-like construction made of steel and glass, designed by the renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, is worth a visit in itself. The three curved hills and delicate lines of the building blend harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. Surrounded by fields and a spacious park, the center invites you to take a relaxing stroll.
At the Zentrum Paul Klee, you can admire more than 4,000 of the almost 10,000 works by Paul Klee, including paintings, watercolors, drawings and biographical material of the artist, who spent a large part of his life in Bern.
The museum building, designed by the multi-award-winning architect Renzo Piano, is an architectural masterpiece. It forms a green oasis from which three hills of steel and glass rise up. Here you will find exhibition rooms, a music and event hall, a children’s museum as well as plenary halls and seminar rooms.
Bern ideal starting point for tourists
Located in the heart of Switzerland, Bern is the gateway to the Alps and offers countless opportunities for travelers. The capital is easily accessible by car via well-developed roads or even by plane via Bern-Belp Airport. Thanks to the excellent bus connections, you can easily reach the city center. For rail travelers, Bern offers a dense rail network with direct connections to major European cities.
With its central location, Bern is the ideal starting point for exploring the whole of Switzerland. Whether majestic mountain peaks, idyllic lakes or picturesque towns – from Bern you can easily reach the most fascinating places in the country. After an eventful day, the numerous accommodation options in Bern are ideal for resting and recharging your batteries for further explorations.
Bern is therefore not only a political and cultural stronghold, but also a transportation hub that opens the door to unforgettable alpine adventures for visitors.
Read more: 5 top highlights of the city of Bern
Video Bern Switzerland in 4k – shots from above of this beautiful city | Switzerland Travel
Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is a truly beautiful city with a well-preserved old town. With its medieval city center, Bern was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Video Top 10 Places to Visit in Bern | Switzerland – English
Bern is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Switzerland having many best places in Bern…