Many people are astounded by Bern’s location the first time they arrive. The Aare River flows through a valley on three sides, while the Swiss capital is situated on a sandstone ridge. The city is connected to the higher terrain on the right bank as well as to the more recent areas of the city by high-level bridges. In this comprehensive guide about the city, you will discover the best things to do in Bern

The wealth of Bern’s residents in the 17th and 18th centuries is reflected in the houses and businesses, which include street-level arcades and projecting roofs. And because the old town has been so well preserved and has been incorporated into modern life, UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site.

Visitors can enjoy streetside sightseeing at the Zytglogge, a medieval clock tower with moving puppets, as well as the city’s many museums and theaters, which cater to a variety of interests.

Visit Bern’s top attractions with our list.

1. Old Town

The Bern Old Town more than merits its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient town, which is perched on a cliff and maintains much of its medieval charm yet, is flanked by the gorgeous blue waters of the Aare River on three sides. The sidewalks that round the cobblestone streets are covered arcades that extend for kilometers. Shops, cafes, bookstores, and restaurants are located on the lower levels of the buildings, while residences are located on the top floors.

2. Zytglogge Clocktower

Zytglogge, Bern’s Clock Tower, is a stunning tower in the old town. Bern’s western gate and tower housed prostitutes. It’s now a city landmark and attraction. The 1527 astronomical clock is its most intriguing feature. It has always shown small miniatures every four minutes before the hour. The clock features a crowing cock, a bear parade, Chronos with his hourglass, and a dancing jester. This attractive presentation attracts most travelers.

3. Cathedral of Bern

The Gothic Cathedral of Bern, commonly referred to as the Munster Cathedral, is located in central Bern. It is Switzerland’s largest medieval church. The steeple, which required ongoing maintenance, was completed in 1893. By ascending 344 stairs to the church tower, visitors can reach a vantage point that offers panoramic views of the entire city of Bern and the majestic snow-capped Alps.

4. Bundeshaus

The Federal Palace, also known as Bundeshaus, is a prominent attraction in the Swiss capital. Situated above the Aare River, the Parliament building is truly impressive. The central block houses two chambers, including the Swiss Parliament, while the east and west wings accommodate federal agencies and libraries. Construction of the building spanned from 1857 to 1902, and its notable Renaissance dome adds to its grandeur.

5. The Kunstmuseum

The Kunstmuseum located on Hodlerstrasse west of Waisenhausplatz. The amazing art museum houses about 51,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and films. Internationally renowned, the oldest Swiss art museum was built in 1879. With a focus on Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Pablo Picasso, the collection includes Italian Trecento (Duccio, Fra Angelico), Swiss art dating back to the 15th century (Niklaus Manuel, Albert Anker, Ferdinand Hodler, Cuno Amiet), and international painting from the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Impressionism, Cubism, Expressionism, Blaue Reiter, Surrealism).

6. Historical Museum of Bern

The Historical Museum of Bern and the Einstein Museum create Switzerland’s second-largest museum in a 130-year-old Andre-Lambert edifice modeled on 15th-century castles. Over half a million artifacts from the Stone Age, Celts, Romans, Middle Ages, Napoleonic era, and 19th and 20th centuries are on display. Alpine Stone Age tombs rival 15th-century Flemish tapestries and the Königsfelden diptych for the King of Hungary.

7. Einstein Haus

Einstein’s previous home offers a glimpse into his life. Additionally, he resided in this second-floor flat with his physicist wife Mileva Maric and their son Hans from 1903 to 1905. It was during this time that he wrote the Annus Mirabilis papers, which revolutionized physics by introducing concepts such as the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, the special theory of relativity, and E = mc2. The rebuilt apartment provides a decent impression of how Einstein and his family lived while he was working on the groundbreaking paper. Furthermore, visitors can explore a small exhibition on the third floor that explains Einstein’s work and life.

8. Paul Klee Center (Zentrum Paul Klee)

German-Swiss painter Paul Klee’s early 20th-century paintings are among the most famous. Klee often mixed media, transcending surrealism, cubism, and abstraction. One of the most influential art theories is his Writings on Form and Design Theory. Klee’s Dame mit Sonnenschirm, In den Häusern von St. Germain, and Tod und Feuer are among the center’s 4,000 pieces. Outstanding building. Renzo Piano’s hillside design. It is spacious, light, and artistic.

9. Aare River

The crystal-clear turquoise Aare River shapes both the life and landscape of Bern. Additionally, in summer, the river becomes a hub of activity, but it remains beautiful year-round.

Moreover, locals enjoy swimming in the Aare when temperatures rise. The Marzili pool complex, situated on the riverbanks, offers multiple pools and stunning views of the Parliament Building.

Final thoughts

This Bern travel guide should inspire tourists to visit Switzerland’s capital. As you can see, the Swiss capital offers several attractions. This city has something for everyone. City sights will captivate you. Walking around Bern is a terrific way to see and hear the city. The major railway station and excellent public transportation eliminate the need for a car.

If you’re seeking private tours, be sure to check out the options available on our website at Swiss Xplorer!