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Bern City Travel Guide - Tourist Information

Destination Travel Guide - Tourist Information
Berne (German: Bern), the capital of Swiss, is a small to medium sized city with a population of about 130,000 in the city proper and roughly 350'000 in the agglomeration area. It sits on a peninsula formed by the meandering turns of the river Aare. The remarkable design coherence of the Berne's old town has earned it a place on the Unesco World Heritage list. It features 4 miles of arcaded walkways along streets decked out with fountains and clock-towers. It will be one of the eight host cities in the 2008 Europe Chapionship.
How to go there - Train, Rail, Air/Flights
Berne is located in the center of Switzerland and is very well connected with the rest of the country.

By airplane
Berne's small international airport with direct flights from Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Munich and Vienna lies just a few kilometers south of the city. If you don't exit the plane as one of the first, you may suddenly end up without a taxi when exiting the terminal as the few available have already been taken. But new taxis arrive usually within a few minutes. A taxi ride into the city is approx. CHF 30. Alternatively, the airport shuttle bus takes you to the railway station in the center of Berne for CHF 14.

Berne is connected to Zurich Airport with half-hourly direct trains (less than 1.5 hours).

By train
Berne is on the main line of the Swiss Federal Railway between Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich and is served twice per hour by express (Inter-City) trains from the airports of each of these cities. Hourly express trains take you into all directions, including Basel, Fribourg, Lucerne, Brig and Interlaken.

For more information:

Swiss Federal Railway, +41 (0)900 300 300. Provides a useful online travel planner which includes information about local bus and tram services as well as rail services and can plan your journey from any address to another.

By car
Berne is easily reachable with the national motorway network from all directions and has several exits from motorways A1, A12 and A6.

Places to see near Berne including short tours / trips to nearby attractions, destinations
Berne is chock full of history and thus museums. It also has quite a bit of public art, all of which is marked on a walking map which is available from the tourist office in the train station for free.

Berne Historical Museum, Helvetiaplatz 5, +41 (0)31 350 77 11. Monday closed. Switzerland's second largest historic museum, combining under one roof one of the country's most important ethnographic collections together with the Bernese historical collections from prehistory to the present day.

Bundeshaus (Federal Palace of Switzerland), Bundesplatz 3. The Swiss House of Parliaments is a representative building dominating the Square. Constructed by the end of 19th century. Free guided tour when the Parliament is not in session. During session only access to the spectators ranks. The house is temporarily under construction now. The guided tour will be open again during summer 2008. Free.

Einsteinhaus, Kramgasse 49, +41 (0)31 312 00 91 ( 10am to 5pm (4pm Saturdays) March to October, 1PM to 5PM (Noon to 4PM Sat) March and February. Albert Einstein rented this small flat with his wife during his years working at the Swiss patent office. Their first child, Hans Albert, and the special and general theories of relativity were born here, where Einstein's writing desk overlooked the busy street and its lovely clock-tower. There are numerous photos and original documents from Einstein's life, work, and speeches. CHF 6/4.5 Adults/Students..

Invasion of Berne -- successful!. As you explore, you may notice these small alien graffiti mosaics. GAME NOT OVER was declared by the anonymous Parisian artist "Invader" in 1998. Since then, space invaders have been reappearing on the walls, bridges and roofs of cities across the world, most famously on the Hollywood sign and in several locations in the Louvre. Two additional Swiss cities have been invaded: Geneva and Lausanne. Those with 10 EUR, a longer visit, and a weird sense of humor might consider ordering a map and doing the space invader tour.

Kunstmuseum (Museum of fine Arts), Hodlerstrasse 12, +41 (0)31 328 09 44. Closed on Mondays. The Museum of Fine Arts Berne is known for its collection of works of painters such as Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Ferdinand Hodler and Meret Oppenheim. It is the oldest art museum in Switzerland with a permanent collection and houses works covering eight centuries.

Swiss Alpine Museum, Helvetiaplatz 4, +41 (0)31 350 04 40. A museum showing the full variety of the Swiss mountains.

Tierpark Dählhölzli (Zoo), Tierparkweg 1, +41 (0)31 357 15 15. Summer: 8AM - 6:30PM, Winter: 9AM - 5PM. Berne's zoo is located along the Aare river, with many outdoor enclosures that actually integrate the river.

Zentrum Paul Klee, Monument im Fruchtland 3 (Bus No. 12 to the end of the line), +41 (0)31 359 01 01. 10-17 except closed Mon.. The Paul Klee centre which is located in a modern wave-shaped building presents the world's most important collection of works by Paul Klee (rotating exhibition drawn from 4000 works, or 40% of his oeuvre). If you plan on visiting, then the CHF20 "Berne card" validated for that day (show it at the ticket counter to receive a complimentary pass) is totally worth its price - you'll spend about that for bus round trip and the ticket alone. CHF16 ('08).

Zytglogge. The Clock Tower near the center of the old town, built at around the turn of the 13th century. On the hour, every hour throughout the day. (Be five minutes early as it starts before the hour!) A stunning display of early animatronic technology and as the locals are proud to tell you "the longest running act in show business". At a few minutes before the hour, it begins with a little song and some flapping from the rooster then some drumming by the jester up top. At the hour the bears and the old bearded king get into the act. OK, it's probably a good thing to take kids to see. It tells time too! (And the month, day, sign of the zodiac and phase of the moon). There are guided tours inside the tower that will let you have a look at the clockwork whilst the show is displayed outside. To be booked at the tourist office and definitely worth it if you love mechanics. Free.

berne travel guide  
berne travel guide  

This site covers all areas for travelling in Switzerland. It covers travels to many switzerland cities: Basel, Berne, Geneva, Zerlmat, Interlaken. There is a comprehensive travel information section: Swiss Rail Train Tickets, Switzerland Rail Train Map, Swiss Train Rail Timetable, Information, RailCards and Passes, Air Travel

This page last updated in Feb 2016