At a glance
- Largest city: Bern (141'000 inhabitants)
- Specialties: Bernese platter, meringues, ornamental cuisine
- UNESCO World Heritage: Old Town of Bern, Jungfrau-Aletsch
- Hotel industry: 565 hotels (15'867 rooms)
- Overnight stays/year: 5.3 million
Full of attractions
Bern is the Swiss Federal City, the surrounding region of Bern is one of the centres of the Swiss Midlands and gateway to the Alps. In the versatile region of Bern there are cities, rivers and lakes, but also mountains and nature parks
The undisputed centre of the region is the federal city of Bern, which is home to the national political establishment and many state and semi-state companies. With a population of just over 140,000, Bern is the fourth largest city in Switzerland - only Zurich, Geneva and Basel are larger.
Bern's old town part of the UNESCO World Heritage
Bern is also known nationally for its many excursion destinations such as the Bärengraben, the Federal Parliament building, the Old Town and the Zytglogg Tower. Events such as the Zibelemärit or cultural institutions such as the Zentrum Paul Klee, the Albert Einstein Haus, the Kunstmuseum or the Historisches Museum also attract visitors to Bern. Bern's old town, the only old town in Switzerland, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. The alleys with their covered arcades are characteristic of Bern's historic centre.
6 kilometres of arcades in the old town
You have heard correctly: the arcades in the old town of Bern stretch for no less than 6 kilometres. This gives Bern one of the longest covered shopping and strolling miles in Europe. In summer the covered arcades provide shade, in winter they protect against rain and cold.
Gateway to the Swiss Alps
The Bern region covers the flat parts of the canton of Bern, but also parts of the cantons of Solothurn and Fribourg. The Bern region is also the gateway to the Alps. Via Thun, the Bernese Oberland can be reached in just half an hour.
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Bern Region in summer
Gantrisch Nature Park
The Gantrisch Nature Park lies in the middle of the triangle between the cities of Fribourg, Bern and Thun. The local recreation area is perfect for hiking. The Panoramaweg is particularly recommended. Look forward to a magnificent view of the Stockhorn chain, Schwarzenburgerland, Napf, Lake Biel, Lake Neuchâtel and Lake Murten and the snow-covered peaks of the Bernese Oberland. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, there are carriage rides that take you effortlessly to the most beautiful spots in the park.
Perhaps the most beautiful terrace in Bern
Right in the centre of Bern is one of the most beautiful terraces in the federal city: on the roof of the 5-star Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & THE SPA. From the so-called Sky Terrace you can enjoy a fantastic panoramic view over the roofs of Bern and far beyond. You can visit the terrace all day long, depending on your mood: for breakfast, for yoga (on Wednesday mornings) or for a drink after work. In the evening you can enjoy the music of a DJ. If you don't want to go home anymore, you can use your hotel card to stay at the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & THE SPA at a reduced rate.
Swimming in the Aare
The Aare with its greenish-blue water meanders around the houses in Bern's old town: one of the classic photo motifs from the city of Bern. If you visit the federal city in summer, we recommend a dip in the Aare. Something of the most beautiful things to do in Bern. There are four river baths in the city: Marzili, Lorraine, Eichholz and Aarebad Muri.
Bern Region in winter
Sledding on the Weissenstein
Solothurn's local mountain Weissenstein is a popular hiking destination in summer. In winter, on the other hand, the racy downhill run on the toboggan is very tempting. On almost 5 kilometres of downhill run, you cover more than 600 metres in altitude. Start at the top station, finish at the valley station near Oberdorf. The descent to Gänsbrunnen is a little more comfortable.
Place: Oberdorf SO
Emmental show dairy
Find out and experience at first hand how one of the most famous Swiss cheeses and one of the most important export hits is produced: Emmental AOP. On a tour you will learn all kinds of interesting facts about the tradition and production of this cheese speciality with holes. Finally, you will be taken to the ripening cellar, where you can taste Emmentaler. The show cheese dairy is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The visit is also ideal for families with children.
Location: Affoltern i. E.
Sledding on the Gurten
The Gurten is well known to many because of the open air that takes place there every summer. But a visit is also worthwhile in winter, for example for sledging. It takes just half an hour to get from the city centre to the Gurten. And then the winter fun can begin. Sledges can be rented at the mountain station. There is even a small ski slope, ideal for children and beginners, on the Gurten.
Places in the Bern region
The small town of Burgdorf, first mentioned in 1175, delights visitors with its pretty old town, which is situated on a hill and is only surmounted by the castle that gives it its name. Besides the castle Burgdorf it is also worthwhile to visit the town church from the 15th century. For those interested in art we recommend a visit to the Franz Gertsch Museum, which is dedicated to the work of the Swiss artist born in 1930.
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The small town of Solothurn with its 17'000 inhabitants is often called the most beautiful baroque town in Switzerland. The old town was built between the early 16th and late 18th century. However, the area between the Aare and Weissenstein was already inhabited in the Stain Age. The Jesuit Church (1680-1689) and St. Ursen Cathedral (1773) are architectural masterpieces from the formative Baroque period that are well worth visiting. The oldest building in Solothurn dates from the early 12th century: the time bell tower.
Langnau in the Emmental
The village of Langnau is located in the middle of the Emmental, a rural region between Bern and Lucerne. It is noteworthy that the village, with a population of less than 10,000, is one of the top ice hockey clubs in Switzerland. Langnau im Emmental is the ideal starting point for hikes or bike rides in the unspoilt nature of the Emmental.
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