Berne travel guide
Home of Albert Einstein, the famous triangular chocolate, Toblerone, and of the delicious Swiss cheese, Emmenthal, Switzerland’s capital city, Berne has a great deal to recommend it. We hope our Berne travel guide will give you the travel and tourism information you need to convince you that, when in Switzerland, this is certainly not a place you should ignore. It is a stunning mediaeval city, founded in 1191, and one of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s most prized listings.
The historic old town with its Gothic style sandstone buildings is filled with treasures. Row after row of stately buildings huddle under arched facades as, shoulder to shoulder, they form long promenades of shops, businesses and elegant apartments. In the distance the snow capped Alps gleam in the sunshine and help give Berne its clean, crisp air. Historic towers reach up to the skyline and the city’s eleven fabulous, ornate fountains gurgle and splash endearingly, enticing you to stop and stare in wonder.
Snaking gently through the town is the River Aare glistening and shimmering in all its clean, green glory. During the summer you will often find locals cooling off in its crystalline depths and may well be tempted to join them. Throughout the skiing season there is easy access to some fine skiing and snowboarding resorts.
The splendid dome of the Houses of Parliament looms reassuringly over the city and on most days the public has open access to the solemn proceedings within. Even more impressive is the Mϋnster Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic structure and the tallest of its kind in Switzerland. And who can resist the charm of Berne’s famous clock tower with its enchanting dancing puppets which come out to play every hour under the astronomical clock?
As to be expected, Berne is a significant cultural centre and the fascinating Swiss Alpine Museum the Paul Klee Centre in the Museum of Fine Arts and the Einstein Museum are only three of the many interesting places worth visiting. And of course, with bears being the symbol of Berne, the old bear pits deserve at least a cursory glance. The bears themselves have become upwardly mobile but can still be seen in their upgraded home in the nearby park. Whether or not you like the idea of such creatures in captivity, the bears are an integral part of Berne.
With pleasant parks and gardens, great shopping and more restaurants and fine dining places than you can ever visit; it is hardly surprising that Berne has been voted in the top ten of places offering the best quality of life. Be sure you don’t miss it when you visit Switzerland.