Bern

From local attractions and upcoming events to art, shopping and more.

Things to do in Bern
Things to do

Things to do in Bern

Some of the best things to do, places to go and attractions to visit in and around the city of Bern.

Bern shopping guide
Shopping

Bern shopping guide

Discover some of the best boutiques, local designers and chic stores in the city.

Bern's quirkiest fountains
Art

Bern's quirkiest fountains

Bern has more than 100 fountains. From a child-eating ogre to a jousting musketeer, here are our favourites

The Rose Garden
Things to do

The Rose Garden

Bern’s Rose Gardens date from 1765 and as you might expect, this public park is a pleasant spot to while away a sunny day. Y

Gurten
Things to do

Gurten

A short ride from Bern city centre by tram and the funicular Gurtenbahn sits this charming mountain area

Bern restaurants and bars

Drink • Sky Terrace
Bars and pubs

Drink • Sky Terrace

Drink • Les Amis
Bars and pubs

Drink • Les Amis

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Eat • Tingel Kringel
Restaurants

Eat • Tingel Kringel

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Eat • Dampfzentrale Bern
Restaurants

Eat • Dampfzentrale Bern

Eat • Restaurant Rosengarten
Restaurants

Eat • Restaurant Rosengarten

Eat and drink • Altes Tramdepot
Restaurants

Eat and drink • Altes Tramdepot

Bern shops

Bern shopping guide
Shopping

Bern shopping guide

Our guide to some of the best local stores and independent botiques in the city.

Fiona Losinger
Shopping

Fiona Losinger

To get the look of a Bern local, a Fiona Losinger leather bag will serve you well.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Aerni
Shopping

Aerni

Fashion and beauty are united at Aerni, an innovative combination of day spa, hair salon and clothing boutique under one roof. 

PAMB
Shopping

PAMB

This Bernese label run by Nicole Verbeek-Burri and Evelyne Pfeffer is clear about what it stands for: uncomplicated fashion that can be worn from day to evening and make all body shapes and sizes look and feel beautiful. 

Local attractions, museums and art venues

Kunstmuseum Bern
Museums

Kunstmuseum Bern

Bern’s Kunstmuseum houses Switzerland’s oldest permanent collection. 

Zentrum Paul Klee
Museums

Zentrum Paul Klee

This combined museum and arts space opened in 2005 to house 4,000 Klee paintings, watercolours and drawings – the most works in one place by a single internationally-renowned artist anywhere in the world. 

Bern Cathedral
Things to do

Bern Cathedral

Even if you’re local, a visit to Bern Cathedral is almost always a pleasant diversion as long as you have a good head for heights. The imposing Gothic Bern Münster dates from 1421, and the bell tower winds skywards up 254 steps that shouldn’t be attempted unless you’re in good physical health. Once you get to the top, though, you’re rewarded by immense views of the Bernese Oberland, with Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau all visible on a clear day. It's a good way to orientate yourself within the city, as the loop of the River Aare and the limit of the UNESCO heritage area are easily discernible. If you don’t succumb to dizziness on the way down, take some time to enjoy the peaceful beauty of the cathedral’s interior amid the soaring ceilings and ornate stained glass.

Gurten
Things to do

Gurten

A short ride from Bern city centre by tram and the funicular Gurtenbahn sits this low mountain, whose summit was developed by the capital in 1999 as an outdoor leisure area. At 858m, the Gurten sports fabulous views over Bern on a clear day, and makes for a welcome getaway from the city. The leafy offering includes a viewing tower, several restaurants, a children’s play area, plus hiking and mountain biking trails. In winter, if the snow descends low enough the Gurten is ideal for beginner skiers and family sledging. The Gurten also hosts several events, including an annual big-name music festival.

Solbad & Spa Schönbühl
Things to do

Solbad & Spa Schönbühl

Less than half an hour from Bern, Solbad Schönbühl boasts the largest natural brine spa in Switzerland. 

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Museum of Communication
Museums

Museum of Communication

Explore human communication, from gestures and body language to media, telecommunications and pop culture, through interactive exhibits and artefacts like horse-drawn mail coaches, early radio sets and retro computers.

Recommended hotels

Bellevue Palace

Bellevue Palace

This elegant five star hotel prides itself equally on its venerable history and its impressive location in the old town. While other luxury hotels woo guests by embracing the latest interiors trends, the Bellevue Palace is wedded to old-world glamour. The period furniture and the on-your-best-behaviour vibe might not suit you if you thirst for the new, but there's nothing stuffy about the service and the rooms are exceptionally comfortable. The flagship restaurant La Terrasse feels like a special occasion-only venue, with its heavy table cloths and impeccable silver, but the bar is a popular nook for an after-work drink, suggesting that the locals have found something to love here. Other amenities include a rooftop sun terrace and a gym, while leisure guests would do well to take advantage of access to the enormous spa at the Bellevue's sister hotel, the Victoria Jungfrau, a day trip away in Interlaken.

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Schweizerhof Bern
Hotels

Schweizerhof Bern

The Schweizerhof is a grand old dame on the Swiss hotel scene and will suit you if your accommodation preferences tend towards grandeur. That said, a recent revamp means that the hotel maintains its five stars in a more modern way than the exterior suggests: while there's still chandeliers draped lavishly about the place, the rooms feel contemporary without the loss of their classic taste. The spa has a variety of saunas and steam baths, and offers luxurious treatments from Sothys as well as day access for non-residents. Wining and dining has a conservative feel, but the surroundings are compensation – from the polished brass of Jack's Brasserie down to the immaculate plates from Sushi.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars

Hotel Belle Epoque

This establishment is possessed of a singular variation on the sense of history that pervades most of Bern. It will not appeal to those who love clean lines and modern simplicity, but the hotel's small size and stated commitment to the 'existential lightness' of its eponymous epoch mean that guests can expect a warm welcome. It's also something of find for art lovers - provided they share the owner's obsessive historical focus - with an unexpected collection of original pieces by Klimt and Toulouse-Lautrec. The in-house restaurant is cosy and specialises in steak tartare; otherwise the fare is simple if not particularly remarkable, but you might be in danger of overdosing on the décor, such is the period attention to detail in the dining room. The bar, meanwhile, offers a suitably authentic setting for a frivolous cocktail.

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Hotel Kreuz Bern

Hotel Kreuz Bern

Set in the medieval Old Town, Hotel Kreuz enjoys a central location in Bern, a 5-minute walk from the railway station. 

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