Bern – the more comfortable city trip

Unfortunately , the capital – or better said federal city – completely bypasses many of Switzerland’s vacationers . Winter sports enthusiasts are driven to one of the numerous ski areas, while city tourists tend to go to Zurich, Basel or perhaps Geneva. Bern is often wrongly underestimated. The beautiful and well-preserved old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the view of the Alps and the cozy atmosphere are convincing. But there was one thing that particularly impressed me during my visit: the Aare .

The Aare: river, swimming pool, adventure


View of the Aare loop in Bern


Admittedly, Bern cannot – like Zurich, Geneva or Lucerne – boast a lake. However, to be honest, you don’t even need to look at the river that loops around the old town . If you are used to clear water and clean lakes, where you can see right down to the ground, from other Swiss cities, the Aare added another bonus for me. Completely unexpected and fascinating was the sight of the turquoise water , which is otherwise only known from pictures from vacation spots such as the South Seas or the like. A dream! In summer, the fresh water is a great cooling. It doesn’t matter whether you just hang your feet in the water, for example on the bank of the steps at the Bear Park , or actually for a swim . TheSwimming in the Aare is undeniably one of the highlights in Bern and a tradition for the locals . At more or less safe places on the river, the brave ones throw their waterproof bags and immediately afterwards into the Aare and let themselves be drifted downstream with the current. However, this is only recommended for more experienced swimmers , as the current is already quite tough in some places. As a beginner, this is by no means entirely safe. Alternatively, there is the Marzili (free entry): an outdoor pool with direct access to the Aare.

The medieval old town

Surrounded by the Aare, the old town of Bern appears almost like an island. The special thing about the old town is the still preserved medieval townscape and thus unique flair. From the Clock Tower from a bell tower with astronomical clock, which plays every hour a worth seeing puppetry among others with a tap, line walkways , the Gerechtigkeitsgasse . The arbors are practically covered walkways on the sandstone buildings that are lined up to form arcades. In addition to many shops and restaurants, there are also a few cellar bars that you can descend into via stairs.


Zytglogge and Gerechtigkeitsgasse with arcades in the old town of Bern
The Zytglogge and Gerechtigkeitsgasse with arcades in the old town of Bern

In addition to other sights, such as the Käfigturm or the Bern Minster , fountains – probably more than 100 in number – play an important role in the cityscape. Particularly worth seeing are the figure fountains , which are decorated with artistic figures and have names such as Kindlifresserbrunnen , Simsonbrunnen or Pfeifferbrunnen .

Lookout points with a view of Bern

In order to get a nice view or the first overview of the city, there are various viewpoints in Bern, for example the already mentioned cathedral. On the viewing platform of the 100m tallest church tower in Switzerland, you can get a very good picture of the old town and look at the Alps in good weather .


View from the Bern Minster
View of the Aare from the Bern Minster

Another good view of the city can be obtained from the rose garden . In the park you can also see numerous flowers and a water lily pond.
You have to plan more time if you want to enjoy the view from Bern’s local mountain . Located a bit out of the way, but with a panoramic view of Bern and the surrounding region , the mountain can be climbed in a very sporty way by bike or on foot – for everyone else there is the Gurtenbahn .

Relaxation during the city trip? It works in Bern!

Bern is ideally suited for people who want to take their city trip easy and don’t feel like scouring dozens of sights hectically. The city is manageable and everything is very close together – in short: simply cozy and ideal for relaxing . And you like to be infected by this cozy, romantic flair.
A visit in summer is highly recommended due to the possibility of swimming in the Aare . But even in winter, it certainly has its charm to enjoy the view over the snow-covered roofs to the Alps.

View over the old town of Bern in winter
View over the old town of Bern in winter

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