Top attractions in Bern
Nestled in the Alps, a visit to Bern is as much about the activities as it is about the sights.
While he was working at Bern's Swiss patent office, Albert Einstein rented an apartment here with his wife. It's said that this is where his general theory of relativity was born!
The Saxeten Gorge is in the Bernese Uplands. Canyoning involves getting across canyons in whichever way you see fit - rappelling, swimming, and so on! There are also opportunities to kayak around the waters.
This unusual, wave-shaped building houses original, interesting, and wonderful works by German-Swiss painter Paul Klee.
There's a reason the Swiss are famous for their clocks! The Zytglogge dates from the 13th century and boasts an entertaining puppet show on the strike of every hour...
Although roughly a couple of hours out from Bern, visiting the glacial pass of the Jungfraujoch - a UNESCO site - and admiring the majestic view while inhaling the clean Swiss air is an essential way to spend a day.
"Helvetia" is Switzerland's Latin-derived patron, so it's fitting some of its capital's best museums are to be found at Helvetiaplatz. The Historical Museum and the Swiss Alpine Museum show pieces of history from the Stone Age to the present day.
Would you have guessed that Bern has its own ice hockey team - and also the highest average audience turnout outside the NHL? Come show your support at the second-biggest stadium in Europe.
Bern is generally a safe place, but normal caution is to be exercised - keep your valuables hidden away and don't leave your belongings unattended!
Make sure you don't miss out on any of that tasty Swiss chocolate - just wander the central streets of Bern and you'll find more varieties than you ever thought possible!
Bern has a steady network of buses and trams - maps are available from any local tourist office.
The country of Switzerland counts no less than four official languages - German is the language of Bern, but just a drive away and you could be speaking French, Italian, or even Romanch!
- Franc (CHF)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+02:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- The spring and fall are best for cool weather temperatures, although summer is when locals and tourists take advantage of many of the water activities and winter is a magical time to see the Alps covered in snow.
Things to Do in Bern
Cities in Switzerland
Other Sightseeing Options in Bern
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What people are saying about Bern
This tour gives you an up close look at the workings of a 500 year old clock. The climb up the inside of the tower is a little strenuous and not wheel chair accessible, but my 8 year old daughter and a person recovering from knee surgery made the ascent with no problem. The views of the old city from the top are worth the climb. Anyone who is interested in clocks and time pieces will enjoy seeing the mechanism in action. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and spoke good English (and undoubtedly spoke German as well). I thouroughly enjoyed the experience, and would recommend the tour to anyone interested in clocks and historic buildings.
Interesting and informational behind the scenes look at Bern, Switzerland's iconic clock in the old city. You'll get a history lesson on the city, and the clock tower, as they go through their constructive history. In addition, you'll get to see the clock mechanism and its functionality. Be aware that to access the clock, stairs are the only way and some of it are narrow and steep. But it was fun and informative tour if you have an hour to spend in Bern.
It is always much more interesting when one knows the story behind what one is looking at in an historic city like Bern. Our guide, Ursula, explained everything in a very clear, well-modulated speaking manner and her interest in what she was telling us, made us interested too. She did a good job and our experience heightened the pleasure of our visit. Thank you.
The BEST guided tour on medival horology and astronomical clocks available at any of the surviving specimens. Better done than comparable lectures/demos in Strassbourg, Praha, Strahlsund, Olomuk, etc. Thank you Zytrichter Marti and his team Scollarly accurate, yet entertaining. Fortunat M.-M Founder Bibliographia Horologiae Mundi
Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and explained in great detail the way this amazing clock worked. You should know there are winding stairs and steps like ladders, but we were able to do this climb. The city views at the top made it all worthwhile. I highly recommend making a reservation for this tour!