BERN ATTRACTIONS

Bern from the Rosengraben

Bern is a very old city. It was founded in the year 1108. Bern has just 130,000 people but it feels like a big city. Check out Berns website by clicking here.

Fasnacht

Laura with some crazy angels Just one of the great bands

This is a combination of Groundhog day and Halloween. Everyone dresses up in costume and comes out to scare away Winter. It is an opportunity that everyone takes to have a great time drinking, eating and acting crazy. Fasnacht happens on different times in different cities, ususally in late February or early March. During the celebration marching bands play music on crowded streets. The biggest fasnacht celebration is in Basel.

M√ľnster Church

Munster from courtyard

Construction started in 1421. The churches construction is late gothic and it is built using the local sandstone. It has been recently renovated. You can climb to the top of the spire which is the tallest church spire in Switzerland at 100 meters. Climbing to the first level is free. If you'd like to keep going it will cost 3 CHF.

Clock Tower - Zeitglockenturm

Zeitglock from front Zeitglock from back

Since its construction in 1530 this clock has been operating almost without fail. At 4 minutes before the hour the clock begins its slow show. The mechanics can be toured daily at 4:30 in the afternoon, cost 5 CHF.

Bear Pits - Barengraben

Bear Pits

Across the bridge east of Alt Stadt, these holes in the ground contain Berns namesake, the Bear. There is discussion whether the bear pits will stay due to questions of humanity. The bear pits are your typical exhibit, like you see at most zoos.

Parliament building - Bundeshaus

Very impressive national capital building built in 1910. Tours are free and operate at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 3:00 and 4:00 most days. Make sure to check because no tours are conducted when the government is in session. The view of the Alps from the terrace is spectacular. Free!

Old Town - Alt Stadt

This is the oldest part of town that started in the 12th century. There are hundreds of old buildings that include restaurants, antique shops, dance clubs and hotels. The city began at the East end of the peninsula and slowly grew West. Bern as a whole has over 7 kilometers(4 miles) of covered shopping area.

Fountains

One of the beautiful fountains

Throughout Bern you will see fountains adorned with brightly colored statues. There are a total of 11 of these fountains in Bern. The water running out of the fountains is good to drink. The statues usually include the figure of a bear. Most were built around 1545.

Rose Garden - Rosengarten

Slightly further up the pathway from the Graben, these beautiful gardens also offer a great view of the city.

Einstein House

See the house that Albert Einstein did most of his important thinking. Open between 10:00 and 5:00 M-F and till 4:00 on Saturdays. Cost 2 CHF.

River - Aare

On hot summer days you can walk up the river as far as you'd like and jump in for the float back to Bern. Then when you get back to town you can use the public baths and showers free. If you have more time you can go all the way to Thun. Bring your suit.

Art Museum - Kunstmuseum

This museum near the Loraine bridge contains half of all works of the famous Swiss Artist, Paul Klee. The museum also features 1000 years to local art and Impressionism works. Closed Mondays and opened all other days from 10:00 to 5:00 and opened till 9:00 on Thursdays. Cost 8 CHF.

Museums

There are several museums south of the bridge near the Casino. These include the Alpine, Bern History and Postal museums. Closed Mondays and open other days from 10:00 to 5:00. Cost varies.

Zoo - Tierpark

A good place to check out if you have children is always the zoo. This is near the river southwest of the Museums. This is also where the outdoor skating rinks are.

Botanical Gardens

North of town across the Loraine bride are the Botanical Gardens. If you are into plants then this is worth a look.

Cheese and Chocolate

Switzerland is well known for their creamy chocolate and their smelly cheese. Several stores downtown specialize in each of these specialties. The best deal for chocolate will be found at the Denner, Coop or Migros stores. Try to buy the multi packs as they will save you 30-50%. Famous brands include Toblerone, Camille Bloch, Callier and Lindt. The Coop and Migros stores have excellent generic brands as well, Frey is a great chocolate found at Migros. Most of the chocolate you buy here is some of the best in the world. My favorite is Cailler Frigor Noir after taking a factory tour complete with tasting room.