5 best places to visit in Bern
Bern, capital of Switzerland is obviously the city to visit. You can feel history in every corner, every building here. Medieval architecture of the buildings set along the bank of River Aare is well-balanced with picturesque alpine landscapes. The city is quite hilly so you can enjoy panoramic views almost everywhere.
We recommend you to start your walking tour around the city from the Old Town.
Old Town and the Bear Park
Surrounded by the turquoise River of Aare, the Old Town of Bern was included into the list of the UNESCO’s world heritage in 1983. Medieval style of capital’s bridges, buildings, monuments and fountains is carefully preserved and looked after. Three principal streets cross the old town to the east from Zytglogge, the most famous Swiss Watch Tower.
For sure this Clock building dated to 1530 nowadays is a landmark of Bern. This 23-meter Tower decorated with an immense astronomical clock is considered to be a western gate of the city. Every hour small mechanical creatures appear, just in 3 minutes before the end of the time period, and start playing a small show. They are the Fool, The Knight, The Rooster, The Piper, and more.
It is possible to enjoy Bern’s panorama from Zytglogge’s observation platform. You have to climb just 130 steps up.
Continue going along the same street along the Clock Tower, you will see gorgeous fountains. There are about 100 fountains, dating from the 16th century and crowned with statues representing biblical scenes. The most famous statues include the Simsonbrunnen (depicting Samson killing a lion), the Zahringerbrunnen (a bear in full armour) and Lauferbrunnen (the Runner Fountain).
There’s a touchy area just at the exit of the Old Town available through the bridge across the River of Arve. It is an adorable place of all the tourists visiting Bern. We are talking about Bear Park, a home of Finn, Bjork and their daughter Ursina, located at the territory of 6,000 sq meters. Enjoy watching how the bears play, eat and fish.
Federal Palace is known as a home of Swiss government. It is also open to the public when political sessions are not held inside. It was built in 1902 under the supervision if architect Hans Wilhelm Auer. At the top it was crowned with a fabulous 64m green dome. The building was decorated with stained glass windows reflecting the coats of arms of Switzerland‘s cantons and a central mosaic with the motto “One for all and all for one”.
Parliament square is also the place to walk around as it hosts a vegetable and flower market on Tuesdays and Saturdays and an ice rink for kids in winter. Enjoy open-air specials of national cuisines here too. My favorite was a Colombian one. The square surrounded by cafés, shops, and Renaissance buildings.
The parliament is located the edge of Aare valleys and gives the best views to River Aare and the Alps from its backside.
The Rose Garden Park
This is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in Bern. The Rose Garden Park (Rosengarten) was arranged in 1913 on the hill just across the river from the center of town. This park represents more than 200 types of roses, irises, azaleas and rhododendrons. The Rose Garden also offers stunning views over the Old Town and to the Alps. Stop here for a lunch or a coffee at the Rosengarten restaurant with a large sunny terrace.
The Einstein Museum and the Historical Museum of Bern
The Historical Museum of Bern incorporating the Einstein Museum is the second largest museum in Switzerland. It was designed by the Neuchâtel architect André Lambert and built in 1894. Inside this antique style building can see 500,000 priceless artifacts, including a great collection of medieval tapestries and weapons. The Historical Museum’s permanent collection is displayed in eight galleries such as “Stone Age, Celts and Romans”, “From the Middle Ages to the Ancien Regime”, “Bern’s Silver Treasure”, “Captured Treasure-Court”.
Art in Bern” and “Bern and the 20th Century”.
The Einstein Museum is aimed to show life of the great scientist through dozens of old films, original objects, and letters. Albert Einstein lived in Bern between 1903 and 1909, working as a patent office clerk and then as a lecturer at the University of Bern. In Bern Einstein did some of his most impressive work including the Annus Mirabilis papers on photoelectric effect, the Brownian motion, the special theory of relativity, and E = mc2. There are also many Einstein’s school reports, numerous letters sent or received by him and of course Nobel prize certificate. The museum has got a gallery devoted to Einstein’s many lovers, interactive displays explaining the special and general theories of relativity.
Bern Cathedral is the most famous building in Swiss capital. Its construction started in 1421. The medieval gothic style Cathedral has the highest church tower, beautiful windows and a remarkable main door portal with elegant carvings with the scenes of the Last Judgment. If you want to make panoramic photos of Bern, climb 344 steps of the Cathedral. Another spot to make pictures and catch this gothic cathedral is in Bear Park.