The Top 11 Things to See in Bern, Switzerland

bern switzerland

Switzerland is a wonderfully unique place on earth. It is so beguiling that many people leave their own countries to live there permanently.

When you take a visit, you will certainly not be disappointed. It has a different way of life, which might just be exactly what you need when you take your next vacation.

Switzerland is a dream!

Continue reading as we explore some of the things to see in Bern, Switzerland when you visit the country.

Learn about Bern, Switzerland

Learn about Bern, Switzerland

This city is unique in that for many generations it has been able to retain its rich history. As the capital of Switzerland, Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its arcades that stretch on for upwards of six kilometers.

The people of the area refer to it fondly as “Lauben.”

According to the Switzerland website, it has “one of the longest weather-sheltered shopping promenades in Europe.”

Bern has rich history and this is represented almost everywhere you look. “The medieval air of this city with its many fountains, sandstone facades, narrow streets and historic towers is unique. The elevated Rose Garden above the Bear Park and the platform of the 101-metre-high cathedral tower offer the best views of the old town round which the River Aare flows. The former entrenchments and bastions drop down steeply to the river.”

Visitors to the city are able to explore “the boutiques, bars and cabaret stages of the old town, some of which are located in vaulted cellars, and the small street cafes” are compelling for everyone who visit there, including the locals.

Even though Bern has a reliable public transportation system, we advise that you take in all the sites on foot. It is chockfull of historic goodness and you might miss out otherwise.



We must warn you Bern is a most beautiful city and it could take away your breath, when you lay eyes on it initially.

It is most certainly deserving of being Switzerland’s capital city.

Bern’s Old Town

It is constructed on a sandstone ridge that is surrounded on all sides by a continuously flowing Aare, which continues through the valley. The old city and the new city are linked deservingly and carefully by modern bridges. On the right bank is the high ground of the latest additions to the city.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, shops and house owners of Bern, Switzerland depicted their wealth by having projecting roofs on the street level arcades. Today, this delightful character is reflected and painstakingly preserved in old town.

It has become a way of life and as such, they hold boldly and dearly to being a UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

You will find some of the best sights in this area and you could get caught up exploring it for days on end.

The Kunstmuseum

The Kunstmuseum (Museum of Art) website gladly boasts of its rich art history. It highlights that “works by Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Ferdinand Hodler and Meret Oppenheim have made the Kunstmuseum Bern an institution with an international reputation.

At the present time, the constantly growing and evolving collection consists of over 3,000 paintings and sculptures as well as 48,000 drawings, prints, photographs, videos and films.”

This colossal and extraordinary art museum has so many artworks. It will certainly leave you in awe.

There are films, photographs, prints, drawings, sculptures, and of course paintings.

Even though it focuses somewhat on the works of Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, many other artists have great skills and you will see this on display as you tour the premises.

Make sure to check out 19th and early 20th centuries international painting works.

There are even 15th century pieces by Cuno Amiet, Ferdinand Hodler, Albert Anker and Niklaus Manuel. It certainly showcases many forms of painting including Surrealism, Blaue Reiter, Expressionism, Cubism and Impressionism.

Visit the website, so that you can stay informed about the current pieces on display at the Kunstmuseum (Museum of Art).


If you are looking for a place of peace and relaxation, a place that is surrounded by nature’s beauty then you must visit the Rosengarten.

It is one of the most impressive places in Bern, Switzerland.

It is essentially a huge expanse, which is located on a hilly incline that is situated transversely from the river and insight of the city center.

From 1765 to 1877, the Rose Garden Park (Rosengarten) used to be a cemetery. And then in 1913 it was designated a public park. The last major work on the gardens was in the 1950s. However, today it is home to more than 200 varieties of roses. There are a few other types of flowers including rhododendrons, azaleas and irises.

The Rose Garden Park of Bern is complemented by picnic areas, restaurant, a pavilion and a good-sized pond.

The City of Fountains

Spread across Old Town is quite a few ancient public fountains. They were installed round about the 16th century.

On top of these fountains, you would find scenes like Samson killing a lion plus various biblical scenes or statues of ideas. There is one representative of Bern’s power, a bear in full armor). This is called the Zähringerbrunnen.

The City of Fountains is a right fitting name because there are over 100 fountains.

The present build and design of the fountains replaced a more ancient wooden structure. The people wanted something that adequately depicted their wealth.

Only eleven of them still have the original statues and all are vigilantly preserved and regularly repainted.

You are also able to drink from the fountains.


This is possibly a preferred and well-loved location in the city of Bern. You can travel to the highest point on a mountain, with a 360-degree view. The city is just to the north.

It affords you a view of the city with its towers and domes.

But in the areas beyond, you can also clearly admire the great big pointed Alps as it roses above the countryside. At another point, you can clearly admire the Jura Mountains and everything between it and the Three Lakes Region.

There is a tower at Gurten, which you can climb as well.

With every step, you will be able to see farther than the areas mentioned before.

More than a few trails are there just about the mountain. They allow you to leisurely hike all the way through some flowery grazing land and into deep forests.

When wintertime comes, you can see little children having fun on the skiing and toboggan runs.

Make sure you get a chance to use the century-old funicular and ride on up the mountain. It is a memorable experience.

There is also a Gurten Festival. Like clockwork, this event is kept every summer. Literally, thousands of people flock to Bern, Switzerland “House Mountain.” The event is staged for a few days at this location. The several-day-long Gurten Festival showcases many international music performers. You can look out for this in the month of July.



Bern is a historian’s dream. Simply having only ten things to see in Bern, Switzerland might not be enough.

But do not worry. Check out the Switzerland tourism site for more in depth details on everything that you can possibly hope to do in Bern.

They further recommend:

Museums Night

This annual event ushers in the cultural spring. Museum lovers will be happy to know that the doors are open till daybreak, the next morning. This occurs in March.

Bern Jazz Festival

Thousands of people flock to the local jazz festival. Many agree that its reputation as the most important traditional jazz event is undeniable. This takes place between the months of March and May.

Grand Prix

It is considered the leading racing event in Switzerland. The Grand Prix is a world-class exhibition that is kept alongside the distinctive surroundings of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can look out for this in May.

Bern Dance Festival or the Berner Tanztage

It has exhibitions, discussions, workshops and performances all surrounded the world of dance. It is held in the month of June.

Buskers Bern Street Festival

At this event, many artists follow a strict rotation schedule and do their acts at over 20 different locations. This cabaret of sorts occurs in August.

Onion Market or Zibelemärit

They decorate the streets Bern’s with confetti. Meanwhile people move around shopping for items including onions that are woven into plaits. You can also get onion tarts. This event is held in November, on the fourth Monday of the month.



Visit the old town, which is a UNESCO as a World Heritage Site when you arrive. And check out everything that might be of interest to you.

Bern’s people, its culture, its history and its food are all appealing to visitors. What is there not to love about this jewel? You can visit so many places as well, including restaurants, museums, historic buildings and gorgeous locations.

But you might need to get local advice as well, with so much to do. It could leave your head reeling. Take pleasure in all that this historic treasure has to offer and you will be wishing to return, even before you leave.

Focus Keyword(s): Bern, Switzerland

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