Bern Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Bern is also known for its Bear Pits where you can see real bears - theres a myth saying the city’s name derives from the German word for bear.
Sights include the 12th-century Clock Tower, the botanical gardens, the Kunstmuseum (Paul Klee), the Albert Einstein House and the arcades in the center where you can shop till you drop under the vaulted arcades.
With its time-honoured sandstone buildings, historic towers and unique fountains Bern is one of the finest examples of mediaeval civic architecture in Europe. The city’s appearance has remained virtually unchanged for centuries, earning Bern a place on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Thanks to this honour the city with its popular Bear Pits (the bear is Bern’s heraldic symbol) is on a par with Rome, the Egyptian pyramids and the Taj Mahal. Bern is also the seat of the Swiss government.
Thanks to 6 kilometers of arcades, Bern boasts one of the longest covered shopping promenades in Europe. Under the arcades and on squares and side streets are dozens of restaurants and cafés where you can rest and refresh yourself. And on Tuesday and Saturday mornings this is where you’ll find colorful markets for fresh vegetables, flowers and meat.
Green space galore
The River Aare is Bern’s green artery: ideal for summer dips. The river snakes round the Old Town and offers plenty of room for recreation. Just a few minutes’ walk from the rail station you can stroll along the river bank under leafy trees, surrounded by Nature.
Bern is not only a World Heritage Site but also embraces modern movements of architecture and design. The Museum of Fine Art houses the world’s largest collection of Paul Klee works. Einstein developed his special theory of relativity here in Bern, and Tobler created his world-famous Toblerone chocolate. Concert hall and municipal theatre are only a few steps apart. Besides this, a lively arts scene, modern dance performances and jazz concerts add up to a rich, world-class cultural life.
At the heart of Europe
Bern is easy and fast to reach. The city is near to major European centres as well as the Alps. So it’s an ideal point of departure for unforgettable excursions to Zermatt, Lucerne, the Jungfraujoch, Lake Geneva and lots more.