Book your journey in BernSwitzerland
Switzerland’s capital is hot again
Switzerland’s capital is hot again
With its exceptional location inside a bend of the river Aare, the Swiss capital of Bern is a city that feels more like a charming town. As it possesses a remarkably preserved medieval city center, the Old Town of Bern has also been named a UNESCO World heritage site.
Arriving by train into Bern is quite easy due to its location in the heart of the country. Swiss trains run hourly, if not more, often directly from airport locations. Forget the expensive cab ride or rental car. You can be in Bern from Zurich airport in 75 minutes, and Geneva in less than two hours. The train station itself has many amenities such as luggage lockers, shopping, events ticket sales, restaurants and a post office. When you exit, the Old Town is within easy walking distance.
A popular starting point is the Clock Tower (Zytgloggle). Dating from 1191, this elaborate medieval clock tower delights spectators with moving puppets once an hour. The clock also gave Albert Einstein inspiration for his theory of relativity when he lived in the city from 1903 to 1905.
The Old Town also boasts one of the longest covered shopping promenades in Europe. Find the latest European fashions, lots of cozy cafes and restaurants and endless people watching. Make your way up to the Rose Garden for a fantastic panorama of the city with a beautiful sea of flowers at your back.
Easily go from the capital to the cool mountains using Switzerland’s efficient rail network, which is one of the best in all of Europe. Trains to Interlaken, gateway to the Berner Oberland run every half-hour. In just over 2 hours from Interlaken, you can be at Jungfraujoch – the Top of Europe. At 3,454 meters – that’s over 11,000 feet above sea-level, Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe. The observatory platform has an astonishing view of the mountains and Aletsch Glacier. View a 13-mile ice stream that will melt your heart then have a bite at the "Top of Europe" restaurant. It really is a taste of Heaven. Don’t forget your Swiss Travel Pass!
Want to come down from the mountains and practice your French? Fribourg is just 20 minutes away. Its Old City, one of the best maintained in Switzerland, sits on a small rocky hill above the valley of the Sarine. Just over an hour away, Lausanne has been inhabited since the Stone Age and sits majestically on the shores of Lake Geneva. Once a haven for romantic writers like Rousseau, Shelly and Lord Byron, today it’s a hot spot for water-sports enthusiasts.
If you don’t just want to practice your French, but actually be in France, you can do it easily with a Eurail France-Switzerland Pass. Two countries, two gorgeous backdrops to watch from your train window. Rail Europe – we set the stage for scenery. Try that at 30,000 feet up.
Try local specialities such as the Bernerplatte (slabs of salt pork, beef tongue, smoked bacon, pork ribs, and mild pork sausage cooked down in broth) or Berner Rösti (shredded potatoes fried with onions, butter, and chunks of bacon).
Shopaholics are in for a treat in Bern – there’s six kilometres of arcades along Spitalgasse, Kramgasse, Postgasse, Marktgasse, and Gerechtigkeitsgasse. Visit Puppenklinik for antiques, dolls and toys, and one of the city’s leading chocolatiers, Abegglen, for the Swiss essentials.
Bern Tourist office
Bahnhofplatz 10a, 3011 Bern
Tel. +41 (0)31 328 12 12
The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.
Getting to and from Bern
|From St Gallen||02:17|
|From Baden Baden||02:42|
|From Neuchatel (loc)||00:34|
|To Neuchatel (loc)||00:50|
|To St Gallen||02:53|
|To Baden Baden||03:23|
Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Bern.
Bern city guide
From our travel community