Switzerland is so pretty that some other areas might look more attractive than Bern – however, Bern is a beauty and you´ll find out about best places to visit and the best things to do in Bern in this post.
Capitals tend to have the reputation of being crowded, busy, and hectic. Switzerland´s capital is different.
So, if you plan your trip to Bern (spoiler, I think Bern should be on your Switzerland and Europe itinerary) take your time and accept that everything takes a bit longer – however, I think, it is worth it as Bern is a pretty great place to visit in Switzerland.
Best Places to Visit in Bern and 10 Best Things to Do in Bern
- 1 Best Places to Visit in Bern and 10 Best Things to Do in Bern
- 2 Visit Bern – Important Travel Information
- 3 Top Things to do in Bern Switzerland
If you are asking yourself questions like “What to do in Bern” “Where to stay in Bern” “Best things to do in Bern” or “How to spend 1 day in Bern” this post is perfect for you as it will answer all yours questions and even more – you´ll also find some important travel information for Bern Switzerland.
- Where to stay in Bern
- How to get around
- Solo female travel tips
- Best things to do in Bern
- Best places to visit in Bern
Visit Bern – Important Travel Information
Find the most important travel information for Bern.
Where to Stay in Bern
I stayed at the 3* hotel Goldener Schlüssel for 1 night which is located in the city center/old town. The old town is also my tip to stay in Bern.
Though my hotel room was pretty small though, no direct (and free) parking options and the breakfast was simple, the location was perfect and made up for it. It was also pet-friendly (I had my dog with me).
How to Get Around in Bern
Bern, as basically all of Switzerland, has a pretty great public transportation system and getting around by bus and tram would be the best option. You can get anywhere easily. If you book a hotel you will get a card that allows you to use public transportation for free.
If you get around by car you should know that parking in the old town is difficult and pricey.
Security Tips for Solo Female Travelers
I visited Bern with my Puppygak. I had a great time, and though, I did a 1-hour guided tour, I did most activities as a solo female traveler (with a small dog, nobody is scared of). Switzerland in general, and Bern in particular, are pretty safe places and I can only recommend traveling to Switzerland as a female traveler.
Budget Tips for Switzerland
TIP: As probably everyone knows, Switzerland is sooooo expensive, and so I put all my favorite saving money tips in Switzerland in one post.
Top Things to do in Bern Switzerland
One of the first things I do when I travel is to find great spots which offer the best views over a city/place. Bern has quite some places that give you stunning views and here are my favorite places for the best views over Bern.
Best Places to Visit in Bern Switzerland
Let´s start with the best places to see in Bern.
One of the best places to visit in Bern is definitely the Rosengarten (Rose Garden and the name does not promise too much) which is at the end (or beginning?) of the old town in Bern and close to the Bear Park (more on that later).
Getting up there (probably 5 minutes walk) rewarded me with beautiful views over Bern and I also got the chance to rest and chill in the park. The Rosengarten is one of the best places to see in Bern and it is also a good place to visit in Bern with families.
There are some great spots to get good views on Bern. A view from Rosengarten, the Gurten – the house mountain of Bern – or from the Münster Cathedral are probably the best locations to overlook Bern.
The Gurten (above 860 meters above sea level) another great place to visit in Bern. It is a bit offsite the city center so I would actually recommend starting or ending a Bern trip with visiting the Gurten.
Good news, if you stay at an official hotel, Airbnb, B&B, etc. you will get a Bern ticket which allows you to use public transport for free which include the cable funicular ride up to the Gurten).
Tip: Do not try to go there by car. I did and it was a bad choice because I could not find any parking space close by (at least not on a sunny day). Hiking up or riding your bicycle is also possible.
Looking for More Beautiful Places in Bern?
Here are some tips for things to do in Bern Switzerland.
#3 Münster Plattform
Another top thing to do in Bern is to visit the Münster Platform.
The views from the Münster Platform are great, and it is also worth to check out the Cathedral (since I was with a dog I had to skip that part), but it is probably one of the best places to see in Bern.
Places to Visit in Bern in 1 Day
#4 Bären Park
The Bären Park in Bern (Bear Park in Bern) is just a few minutes walk from the Rosengarten and a definitely one of the best things to do in Bern – and surely a surprising sight.
Though there are many more great Bern points of interest, this Bern attraction is surely unique – and since it does not feel like visiting a zoo it is also a good place to visit for those hesitating visiting zoos.
A friend told me a couple of years ago about some bears living in the city center of Bern (that is where according to some myths Bern, German=Bär, has got its name from). I could not believe it and was very curious about finding out. It is one of the best places to visit in Bern with kids.
The bears “moved“ a couple of years and they do not live where they used to live anymore – now they live next to the river with their own “pool” (located on the Aarenhang).
There is also a little place with information about the bears and fake bears are displayed (but the bear family is seriously real).
#5 Stroll Along the Aare River
Personally, I think the Aare river is the most beautiful river in Switzerland.
The Aare river is just pretty, and strolling along and enjoying these views was fun and as mentioned – the people in Ben take it slowly, and so blend in and do the same.
The total length of the Aare river is almost 300 km – so you will only get a glimpse in Bern.
#6 Old Town
If you are looking for more ideas on “What to do in Bern?” then this is one of the most interesting places in Bern.
The old town in Bern is close by other important Bern sights and, interestingly, the whole old town has become a UNESCO World heritage site in 1983.
It is easy to walk along and I normally know only old towns with small and narrow streets – I was so surprised to see that Bern´s old town is not like this at all.
I recommend strolling through the streets and discover beautiful old and colorful houses (with flower pots everywhere). But not only the amount of flower pots surprised me. I was also surprised to see little cafes/shops in the basics – so watch out for those shops and if you stay a bit longer you might be able to check one out as well.
Here are many Bern attractions. Tip: Do not forget to visit the Clock Tower (Zytglogge) – probably the most famous sight in Bern, the Town Hall, the Muenster Cathedral and the Parliament.
Clock Tower (Zytglogge)
One of the main tourist attraction in Bern is the clock tower which is also located in the old town.
Taking the left or right stairs? it says a lot about you – according to a myth the decision tells a lot about your personality.
If you like discovering Bern via a tour, you can book your tours here. I mainly use Viator or GetYourGuide and like both, though I nowadays book tours more often via GetYourGuide. I have picked a few tours that might help you exploring the Old Town of Bern.
Still have some time left and would like to do more? Then find out about more Bern activities that are fun.
#7 Visit the Lido in Bern
Why not swim in the Aare river?
If it t is sunny and you have some time on your hands,sSwimming in the Aare might be the perfect spot to swim. If you take a swim go to Marzili Lido, which is close to the Parliament Building.
Okay, tip number 8,9,10 sound super interesting and these are tips I recommend to you though I have not done them myself (traveling with a dog sometimes limits your availabilities) so I would love to do them, what about you?
#8 Night Watchman
You cannot visit Bern and skip the old town – but why not visit at night and do a night watchman tour through the Old Town?
#9 Find out about the Spooky Side of Bern
If you are into spooky little stories and like to get some goosebumps you can head to listen to some horror stories while doing a scary tour and learn about the spooky side of Bern.
#10 Sightseeing in Bern with a Scooter
Bern is always a beauty – whether you walk or do a tour with an electric scooter. But honestly, does not it sound more fun with an electric scooter to discover Bern?
By the way, this is a lot to put in a one day Bern itinerary. It is doable, but why not extend your stay a little. If you have more time these are things to do in Bern in 2 days actually.
Have we missed important sights in Bern that should be on everyone´s Bern itinerary? Let us know and share the most beautiful places in Bern with us!
Great Things to Do in Bern in 1 Day
Disclaimer: I was invited by Bern Tourismus, but, as always, all opinions are my own. For more information about Bern check out the website of Bern Tourism Board here.
A beautiful short video has been produced by Elaine and Stuart from SomedayTrips which shows the most beautiful spots of Bern – Click here to watch a video of Bern to watch it.
More about travel tips for Switzerland here – you will not find only reviews about vegetarian dining, but also find travel tips for Switzerland and hotels review. Find out more about a business trip to Basel.
Places to Visit in Bern in 1 Day