Bern Travel Guide

The capital city of Switzerland, Bern is an attractive town built in a bend of the turquoise River Aare.

Bern’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site and is home to medieval covered shopping arcades, fountains, cobblestone squares, the Zytglogge clock tower and the tallest Cathedral in Switzerland.

As expected of a capital city, Bern is well connected by train to other towns and cities in Switzerland and across Europe. For those driving to be, the city can be reached by motorway from Zurich in just 90 minutes and from Geneva in less than two hours.

Bern Switzerland

What to See in Bern

Start your sightseeing in Bern with a stroll around cobbled streets of the Old Town before crossing the Aare River to see Bern’s famous brown bears in their specially-built park.  Head up to Rosengarten for great views of the city and then return to the Old Town for a spot of shopping amongst the covered arcades of the Laubengange.

Top Events in Bern

  • Bern Fasnacht Carnival – February > More info
  • Swiss National Day celebrations – August 1st
  • International Jazz Festival Bern – March to May > More info
  • Onion Market – fourth Monday in November
  • Christmas Market – late November and December

How to get to Bern

Bern is well connected to the rest of Switzerland (and Europe) by both road and rail. 

Intercity trains service the city’s main station, Bern Hauptbahnhof, every 30 minutes with the journey to Zurich and Basel taking just one hour, and less than two hours to Lucerne and Geneva.

Journey times by car between the major cities are similar, thanks to the excellent motorway network.

Bern info

Population: 140,000

Canton: Bern

Average high temperatures: January – 2.8C / 37F;  April – 13C / 56F; July – 24C / 75F; October – 13C / 56F

Christmas market dates: 30 November to 24 December  (More info here.)

Read all my articles on Bern by clicking on the links below.