The scenic capital of Switzerland, Bern is one of the most adorable cities in entire Europe. With an awe-inspiring setting, unique style of architecture and plenty of landmarks everywhere around it, it is hard not to fall in love with the so-called, Federal City. There different types of tourist attractions in Bern, so you can be sure that with any sort of taste, there is a lot for you waiting in there.
Fantastic Old Town of Bern that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site is not the only landmark in the city that every visitor will fall in love with. There are numerous other tourist attractions in Bern that a visit to the city is not considered complete unless you have visited them as well. The iconic clock tower of Zytglogge, the magnificent Cathedral of Bern, and of course the majestic Bundeshaus are just some of the landmarks Bern has to offer.
Bern is also famous for its festivals. It does not matter in what season you are planning your visit, you can simply find a fantastic festival in that period of time and see how amazing they are. Summer and Winter Jazz Festivals, the Gurtenfestival, and the Buskers Festivals are beautiful cultural events that you should not miss at all. Not only the festivals and the events included in them are adorable, but the atmosphere they bring to the city is also impressively vibrant. That is the reason why you should consider visiting the city when there is a festival running.
In this article, we will talk about some of the most famous tourist attractions in Bern, the beautiful capital of Switzerland. With the information provided here, you will be able to plan your trip with a better approach, so that you will not end up visiting the city without seeing its major sights.
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1. Altstadt: A travel back in time
If you are interested in experiencing a journey in time and visiting the medieval face of Bern, Altstadt is the right place to go. The old town of Bern is a scenic town, rich in beauty and full of colors. It is the perfect place to wander around, as it has a long arcade sidewalk, covered with cobblestone with numerous shops, restaurants, and cafés all around it.
Altstadt is located on a scenic cliff that is surrounded by the adorable Aare River from three sides. The turquoise color of the water, along with the green of the trees and the unique color of the buildings creates a picturesque combination that you probably cannot see anywhere else in the world.
If you want to have a taste of Swiss cuisine, you can find some of the best restaurants in the country in Altstadt. With the delicious Swiss dishes cooked and served in those restaurants, you can enjoy an unforgettable meal in the adorable atmosphere of the old town of Bern.
Bern’s old town has preserved much of the medieval character of itself. Buildings are in the same style and colors as they used to be at that time, and so is the atmosphere. You can enjoy a unique atmosphere in the Altstadt that cannot be described by any words rather than pleasant.
There are different buildings, statues, towers, bridges and fountains located in the old town of Bern that you should visit while you are visiting the area. Altstadt is also a brilliant place to buy souvenirs as the shops there offer a variety of local items that are perfect ideas for something to bring back home.
2. Zytglogge: An iconic symbol of the city
This glowing gem in the heart of Switzerland’s capital is one of the most recognizable icons of the country. This clock tower was installed in 1530 and is measuring the standard time in the Bern Canton since then. Zytglogge is one of the oldest clock towers in the country.
Located in the famous Altstadt, Zytglogge is a highlight in your visit to this old district of the city. It is not just a simple clock tower as the other ones around the world. This iconic landmark of the city is considered one of the main tourist attractions of Bern as it offers a shining show on the stroke of every hour.
A few minutes before the hour, a musical show starts, as the jester of the clock starts playing its drum. When the strike of the hour begins, there comes the real show: the king and his bears, some colorful characters pop out from the clock and present a charming performance. This show is so lovely that it is not a wonder if you stay there for an hour to watch the performance once again.
The clock is a mechanical wonder, as it is being controlled with just one mechanism. This mechanism manages the clock, the astronomical clock that shows the current zodiac symbol, and of course the famous show of the clock.
In addition to just watching the show, you can also see what is going on behind the scenes. There is a tour running every day that shows the clock tower and everything about it. You can book it in advance and enjoy knowing more about this iconic clock tower of Bern.
3. Bundeshaus: The majestic Federal Palace of Switzerland
As a city that is the capital of the country for more than a century and a half, Bern must have some landmarks related to this era and this title. The late 19th-century wonder of architecture, scenic Bundeshaus is exactly that attraction. The Federal Palace of Switzerland is home to both the Federal Council of the country and the Swiss Federal Assembly.
Bundeshaus or as it is translated in English the National House is the home place of one of the oldest democracies in the world. The Swiss Federal Palace is a must-see while you are in Bern. Not only because of the historical and political importance it has, but also due to the impressive atmosphere, you will experience during your visit.
Bundeshaus is a magnificent building, with an awe-inspiring façade, brightly colored with impressive columns and some adorable statues placed on it. The lovely domes of Bundeshaus are one of the most picturesque parts of the building.
The interiors of this landmark, on the other hand, are simply extraordinarily adorable. With impressive sculpture everywhere and artistically carved wood, it is hard not to call it wonderful.
One of the most popular tourist attractions of Bern is the famous fountain located in front of Bundeshaus, on the Budnesplatz. This lovely fountain is formed by 26 jets, the same number as Cantons of Switzerland.
4. Bärengraben: A visit to where the name of the city has come from
Bern is so much in love with bears that since the 12th century, the history of Bern shows an important role played by these adorable animals. It is being said that the name of the city itself is derived from the word bear. Even in the center of the emblem of the Swiss capital, you can see this animal. You can see some signs of the affection of the city in bears almost everywhere in the city, from carvings to the paintings.
Bärengraben or bears’ pit is where these animals are being kept. The brown bears that are really interesting. You can watch them for hours without being bored, as they are really healthy and full of energy.
The enclosures where the bears are being kept are completely different from the cages that were used first, back in the 16th century. The habitat was redesigned and reconstructed several; times, including the modernization of the space in 2009. It is now a spacious place, consisted of two separate enclosures that are linked by a tunnel. The bears also are allowed to swim in the neighbor river of them, beautiful Aare.
Although there might be hesitations about captivated animals, you can be sure that these symbols of the city are safe, sound and healthy, with a professional team taking care of them.
In order to visit these amazing bears, you can visit the BärenPark, a park located on the opposite bank of the river Aare.
5. Einsteinhaus: The world as he saw
Einstein is one of the most important names in the history of science. He played a major role in the process of science becoming what it is now. He also is a great inspiration for everyone, whether he is a scientist or not.
If you have read the history of his life, you probably know that he had spent two years of his prime in Switzerland. From 1903 to 1905, Albert Einstein lived in Bern, as he was employed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.
During that time, he was living in the center of Bern, in Kramgasse No. 49, with his wife Mileva Marić and his son Hans Albert. This residence is a modest house and is kept in the same style as it was back in 1905.
This historical house is where the famous papers of Einstein, Annus Mirabilis was written by the scientist. These papers are one of the vital parts of today’s physics and the way it looks at the universe.
By visiting this historical house that is now turned into a museum, you can have a unique experience. There are a lot to see and a lot more to learn.
6. Gurten: A perfect time with nature
Without the shadow of a doubt, visiting Gurten is a must when you are spending time in the beautiful Bern. This fabulous place is known among the locals as the most scenic and relaxing part of the city that also has the most pleasant weather in Bern.
Gurten is a spectacular hill located just outside of Bern that overlooks the city and its beauty, and at the same time offers a fantastic view of the magnificent Bernese Alps. The green color of nature is so picturesque that people usually consider Gurten Hill as a destination for a one-day visit.
It is some kind of local attraction as a lot of tourists do not take it into account. So you can pay a visit to this shining emerald without being afraid of seeing a lot of crowd in there. Taking hikes in the tracks of the hill and having barbecues are among the popular activities you can have in this amazing place, while just enjoying the view is not something you can skip.
In order to reach Gurten Hill, you can simply catch the funicular by the Aare in Wabern. The path it will take is scenic and can be considered as an attraction itself.
Gurten becomes popular during the middle of July. The famous festival of Bern, the Gurtenfestival, as the name suggests, takes place on this spectacular hill. There are famous musicians and bands playing at this festival that you cannot miss it. A brilliant festival, with famous names, held on top of a scenic hill with a fantastic view, who can say no to all of them?
7. Zentrum Paul Klee: A new definition of the museum
Zentrum Paul Klee is one of the most staggering tourist attractions in Bern. This complex is built in such a great design that the construction itself can be considered a separate landmark.
Paul Klee, the famous Swiss artist who has famous artworks in Expressionism, Surrealism, and Cubism, is one of the most influential artists of the early 20th century. This museum that is designed by the famous Renzo Piano, is built on the grounds donated by the artist’s daughter.
You can find some of the most important works of Paul Klee in the two colossal exhibition halls Zentrum. With a huge collection of paintings, the museum shows them in ever-changing, temporary shows based on different themes. This way, no two visits to the Zentrum Paul Klee will be the same.
As you can see, the beautiful city of Bern has a lot to offer, from magnificent palaces to lovely wildlife and nature attractions. With this variety of tourist attractions in Bern, you just need to plan your visit, book your flight and hotel room and enjoy a fabulous holiday in the capital of Switzerland. The city will never disappoint you.