Small and compact based on the river Aare – this is Bern. City was founded in 1191 and has an interesting history. It is also known as the city of the fountains (more then 100 public fountains). City has a population of 150 000 people and is the fifth largest Swiss city.
Bern was chosen as the Federal City within the new Swiss federal state in 1848 and is de facto capital of Switzerland. Zurich was too German and Geneva too French.
Here is MY LIST of MUST-SEE places in BERN
- Old Town – is the most beautiful part of the city – UNESCO World heritage site (1983) – offers a gem of medieval architecture in Europe.
- Bern Cathedral of St. Vincent – Switzerland’s largest cathedral – (1421 construction started) is a majestic symbol of the Old Town.
- Zytglogge (1530) -just like in London you can admire the Big Ben or in Prague has Astronomical Clock – Bern is proud of its unique Tower Clock.
- Bundeshaus – The Parliament Building which is also open to the public.
- Baren (Bear) Park – it is popular attraction located nearby Nydeggbrucke Bridge. Based on old legend related to the founding of the city. The bears are still in the city emblem.
- Museum of Fine Arts (Kunstmuseum- 1879) – owns an interesting collection of European art from the late Middle Ages to the present.
- Einstein Haus (Museum) – Kramgasse 49 – All family (Albert, Mileva and their son Hans Einstein) lived here during the 1903-1905. Albert Einstein has developed his Theory of Relativity.
After the walk trough the old town I recommend tasting a typical Large Berner Platte! It contains a variety of meat and sausages such as smoked belly pork, pork shoulder, and pork knuckle…are cooked with herbs in wine and served with sauerkraut and potatoes. Berner Alpkase (with Alpine herbs) is really delicious local cheese. Don’t forget that you are in Switzerland – you must to taste the fabulous chocolate! World famous brand TOBLERONE (original mix of milk, nougat, almonds and honey) was created by T. Tobler in 1908 and still is produced in BERN and exported to 120 countries!
MY TIP FOR A WEEKEND TRIP
Easily reached from Bern by car or train, only 50km, you can visit the fantastic small city
INTERLAKEN. This place is also popular with a unique municipality in Central Switzerland with Swiss Alps. And also known as a famous summer lakeside resort from 18th century.
You can admire nice old town and monastery with long history or relax in breathtaking nature around… especially Harder Kulm offers stunning Alps views and skiing in the winter as well. If you prefer hiking here is plenty of possibilities but Hohematte Park with Ibexes and marmots or Shynige Platte Trails are good tip.
St. Beatus Cave and waterfalls – that is real paradise for everyone.
Many water activities you can found around the Lake Brienz – you can borrow paddles, kayaks, rows or boats.
GOOD TO KNOW – this place is one of the most popular for paragliding in Switzerland.
THUN – is my secret tip – fairy tail medieval old town and castle with original historical museum is located only 20 minutes by car or train from Interlaken.