Are you planning a trip to Switzerland´s capital and wondering about the best things to do in Bern in one day? Well, then this post is perfect for you as I am happy to introduce you to my favorite activities and best places to visit in Bern in one day (or longer),

Switzerland is so pretty that some other areas might look more attractive. However, the city is a beauty, and you´ll find out about the 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. But promise, Switzerland´s capital is different.

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Find the most important travel information for one day in Bern (or longer) before we discuss the best things to do in Bern.

Where to Stay in Bern

Mid-Range Hotel: I stayed at the 3-star hotel Goldener Schlüssel for 1 night, located in the city center/old town.

The old town is also my tip for staying 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). There are bigger rooms available, though – check out rates here.

Luxury Hotel: If you are looking for a 5-star luxury place to stay, Bellevue Palace is probably the best place to stay for your Bern trip. It is centrally located and is great for those who like to indulge in luxury. To check out rates, click here.

Budget Hotel: Switzerland is no budget-friendly place, and Bern is no exception. B&B in Klee is not directly located in the city center but probably a good place if you have to watch your budget more closely. Check out rates here.

How to Get Around in 1 Day in Bern

As basically all of Switzerland, Bern 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 dog – 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

As probably everyone knows, Switzerland is sooooo expensive, so I put all my favorite saving money tips in Switzerland in one post.

Okay, let’s start with the best things to do in Bern. One of the first things I do when I travel is finding great spots that offer the best views over a city/place.


Let´s start with some of the prettiest places to visit in Bern.


One of the best places to visit in Bern is definitely the Rosengarten. It is at the end (or beginning?) of Bern’s old town and close to Bear Park (more on that later). 

Things to do in Bern in 1 day
There are about 250 varieties of roses (Rosengarten means Rose garden in English), but I admit I am all about the view.

I saw many people reading or chilling with friends and families, and I think, a good place to visit in Bern with families. When I travel solo, I don’t really do the “picnic” thing, but I guess this is a great spot to enjoy your outdoor picnics.

Getting up there (probably 5 minutes walk) rewarded me with beautiful views over Bern, and I also got the chance to rest in the park – this makes it one of the best things to do in Bern.

Things to do in Bern Switzerland
A view from Rosengarten, the Gurten – the house mountain of Bern – or from the Münster Cathedral is probably the best locations to overlook Bern.

Tip: Look out for Albert Einstein – you’ll find a statue of him, sitting on a bench and waiting for people taking selfies with him.

Bären Park

The Bären Park in Bern (Bear Park) is just a few minutes walk from the Rosengarten – and surely a surprising sight.

Bern sightseeing - Bern Switzerland places to visit - the Bear Park

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 Bern’s city center (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, and it is probably 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).

Bern Switzerland attractions - the bear park in Bern Switzerland

Aare River

Personally, I think the Aare river is the most beautiful in Switzerland – even with only one day in Bern you should be able for nice walks. Most attractions are close to the river, so there are enough possibilities to stroll along it.

Bern Switzerland points of interest - Aare river

It is just pretty with its unique color, and strolling along and enjoying these views was fun, and as mentioned – the people in Ben take it slowly and blend in and do the same.

The Aare river’s total length is almost 300 km – so you will only get a glimpse in Bern.

Münster Plattform

Another top thing to do is to visit the Münster Platform-

The Münster Platform views are great, and it is also worth checking out the Cathedral (since I was with a dog, I had to skip that part and could not enter), but it is probably one of the best places to see in Bern.

It is not only about the view though (though, who would not enjoy the views of the Aare River or the Alps?) – you have the option to dine, picnic, relax, stroll the park area or or or.

This place is trendy in the summer months as many trees offer shady places to you.

Old Town

Visiting the old town is a must-see in Bern – no question about that. So, it is close to the other attractions mentioned above and thus easy to put on your itinerary.

Interestingly, the whole old town has become a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 and is a must-see.

What to do in Bern Switzerland - Best Places to See in Bern

It is easy to walk along. 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.

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.

Places to visit in Bern - the old town

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 attractions is the clock tower which is also located in the old town.

Tours are available:

01.04. – 31.10. daily
01.11 – 31.03 every Saturday
26.12. – 31.12. daily

at 2.30 pm (reservations in advance are recommended) and cost around $20 for adults.

What to see in Bern - the famous clock

Town Hall

Taking the left or right stairs? It says a lot about you – according to a myth, the decision tells a lot about your personality. Here at Town Hall is where the cantonal and city parliaments take place.

Bern is also the capital of the beautiful canton “Bernese Oberland,” which includes areas like Grindelwald, Interlaken, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz.

According to my research, you can do a tour of the Town Hall which was built at the beginning of the 15th century – which is also free, but there are only a few every year. You can also do paid tours at other times.

Places to visit in Bern Switzerland - Bern in Switzerland Town Hall in Bern

Muenster Cathedral

The Bern Münster Cathedral (or Muenster Cathedral) is the largest and the most important late-gothic building in Switzerland and attracts many people in Bern – it is open to the public (including the steeple). As I was with my dog, I had to pass going inside.

And I had to pass on climbing the 312 steps to enjoy, as I assume, amazing views over the city, which makes it a popular attraction and one of the best things to do in Bern.

For around $5 you can experience the view (and even see the famous Swiss Skyline- meaning the three mountains of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau)- and the church is free.

Bern attractions in 1 day. Places to Visit in Bern in 1 Day Munster Cathedral
@shutterstock Muenster Cathedral


Bern is also the capital of Switzerland, and so the Parliament Building houses the Swiss Parliament.

While I did not make it inside the building, I think the parliament is also a must-see in Bern – whether you look at it from the outside or do a tour. Tours only place where there are no sessions.

Top thinge to see in Bern
TIP: 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 explore the Old Town of Bern.

Find out more about a guided tour of the Old Town.

Do you have more than 1 day in Bern and would like to do more?

By the way, this is a lot to put in your 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.


The Gurten (above 860 meters above sea level) another great place to visit. It is a bit offsite in the city center, so I would recommend starting or ending a Bern trip 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 includes the cable funicular ride up to the Gurten. If you are a hiker, this is one of the smaller popular mountain peaks you can hike up to. There is also a viewing tower for even better views.

If you are with kids, they most likely will enjoy the playground area or the toboggan runs up there. In the summer months, you can bring your own food, make your BBQ – or have lunch/dinner in one of the restaurants.

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.


If you stay longer than 1 day in Bed, here are a few more tips on this to do and see.


Why not swim in the Aare river? If you visit Bern in the summer, swimming in the Aare is fun. 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?

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, which is a popular activity.

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.

Scooter Sightseeing

To discover Bern’s best places in a unique view, why not try out a scooter sightseeing tour? 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?



One day in Bern is surely not enough to explore all the beautiful attractions, but it will give you a good idea, and with this itinerary, you’ll get to see some of the most beautiful places in Bern.

If time is not the biggest issue, I suggest staying 2 days in Bern to see more of its beautiful spots. 

More about travel tips for Switzerland here

Find out more about a business trip to Basel.


Bern places to visit in 1 day, Arzo Travels

Safe Travels, Arzo


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