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Best Things To Do In Bern, Switzerland, That Don't Involve Snow

things to do in bern switzerland

Many tourists feel attracted to Switzerland for the snowy Alps and the winter activities. But there’s much more to this country than that. A perfect example is the city of Bern, a small city with endless possibilities, even during warm months. There’s plenty of interesting spots to see and activities to do. Museums, festivals, magnificent views and relaxing spots - options for all ages and types of travellers. Check out which ones are of your interest and don’t miss out on the wonders of Bern.

1. A unique city in the world - Old Town

Whether you buy a tour or just walk on your own, visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town is mandatory when you visit Bern. It’s always better if you go with a tour guide who knows everything about this place and can tell you all the secret spots that you shouldn’t miss out on while getting to know the medieval center of Bern.

The earliest settlements in the valley of the Aare date back to the Neolithic period and the city was founded in 1191 by the Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen. Legend says that the name of the city was chosen after the first animal the Duke encountered on a hunting excursion in this region, a bear. Despite a major fire in 1405, after which much of the city was rebuilt with sandstone, Bern’s old city has retained its original character. It has held UNESCO Cultural World Heritage status since 1983.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a walk through the historic lanes. Take advantage of the guided tours the city of Bern has for tourists at a reasonable price. A wonderful activity for summer afternoons.

Old Town

Meeting Point: Tourist Information at the main station

Price: from 30 USD

Opening Hours: 11am - 2.30pm.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Contact: +41 313281212

Website: Old Town guided tours

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2. In the medieval center - the Cathedral of Bern

For history fans, this is the place to visit. A very high cathedral in the heart of the Old City, considered the largest and most important late medieval church in Switzerland.

It started as a small church in the 12th century and towards the end of the 13th century, it was replaced by a larger church with three naves and a tower. Bern conquered a lot of land and became a very powerful city state during that time, and to show their power, they started building the present church in 1421.

You can go up and enjoy the panoramic view of the city. Music events, guided tours and plenty of things to do at this attraction.

The Cathedral of Bern

Address: Münsterplatz 1, 3000 Bern, Switzerland

Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm from Monday to Saturday in Summer. Sundays from 11.30am - 5pm.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Contact: +41 313120462

Near by Food: Wein&Sein mit Haerzbluet

Website: The Cathedral of Bern

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Bern (canton), Switzerland and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Bern (canton), Switzerland

3. To the top of Bern - the Gurten

The Gurten is the local mountain, situated just to the south of Bern. You can access the top by tram and enjoy the incredible view from the top. Facilities on the Gurten include a hotel, restaurants, a 25 metre (82 foot) high viewing tower and a children’s playground.

This is also the location for the Gurten Festival, a music festival that is one of the biggest attractions for young tourists in Bern. This year’s festival (2017) will take place between the 12th and 15th of July.

The Gurten

Duration: A day trip

Access: From the main train station, take tram no. 9 to the “Gurtenbahn” stop.

Website: The Gurten

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Bern (canton), Switzerland and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Bern (canton), Switzerland

4. Bears in Bern - the Bear Park

A perfect attraction for families with kids or curiosity lovers. The Bear Park is located at the lower end of the Old City, where brown bears have lived safely since 2009. The entrance is free and there are guided tours for visitors, but you will need to book in advance. If you choose this option, a professional guide will show you around the site and tell you exciting facts about the history and significance of the bear pit, their biology and especially about the three Bernese bears that live in the park. Treat yourself to a different experience.

The Bear Park

Address: Grosser Muristalden 6, 3006 Bern, Switzerland

Opening Hours: 8am - 5pm.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: If you catch bus number 12, direction Paul Klee Centre, you can reach the BearPark from Bern’s main station in 6 minutes.

Contact: +41 313571525

Website: The Bear Park

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Bern (canton), Switzerland and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Bern (canton), Switzerland

5. A natural spot - Marzili Bad

Source: Photo by Flickr user Mypouss used under CC BY 2.0

This is the best attraction for a hot day in the summer - from May to September - a cold bath in the biggest and free swimming pool, right on the Aare, next to the Parliament Building. This is a great option for families with kids and low-budget travellers. The pool is public and bathing is free of charge. It’s divided into sections like the children’s pool, for women only and a diving pool. Nudism is allowed in the open-air spaces “Paradiesli” and “Männerbad”.

Marzili Bad

Address: Marzilistrasse 29, 3005 Bern, Switzerland

Opening Hours: 8:30am - 6pm.

Duration: around 1 hour required.

Contact: +41 313110046

Near by Food: Gelateria di Berna

Website: Marzili Bad

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Bern (canton), Switzerland and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Bern (canton), Switzerland

6. Roses are red, violets are blue - you can see them all at the Rosengarten

The Rose Garden is open all day long and is one of the most important parks of Bern, located in the middle of the Old City. From here, on a clear day, you’ll have amazing views that go even beyond the city limits. Enjoy the sun, the walks and the hundreds of flowers that grow in this park. Among the species you will find 223 rose, 200 iris and 28 rhododendron varieties, as well as an enchanting water lily pond.

Don’t forget to bring your camera!


Address: Alter Aargauerstalden 31b, 3006 Bern, Switzerland

Opening Hours: 9am - 11.30pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Access: Bus Nr. 10 Direction Ostermundigen: Stop at Rosengarten. Bus Nr. 12 Direction Paul Klee Museum: Stop at Bärengraben.

Contact: +41 313313206

Near by Food: Restaurant Rosengarten

Website: Rosengarten

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Bern (canton), Switzerland and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Bern (canton), Switzerland

7. An indoor option with a twist - Museum of Communication

Museum für Kommunikation DSC04993
Source: Photo by user Krol:k used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you get tired of walking under the sun and you prefer to spend some time in air conditioning, the most interesting and unique option you’ll find in Bern is the Museum of Communication. It’s very special since it focuses on the subject of communication in an unusual way, taking the visitors through an interactive and playful experience with the articles exhibited. At this time, the museum is being refurbished and a new permanent exhibition will start from August 19th, 2017. In the mean time, the museum presents a series of small exhibition gems and has compiled an interesting programme of events for visitors (check website below) .

Make the time for your first visit!

Museum of Communication

Address: Helvetiastrasse 16, 3000 Bern, Switzerland

Price: from 9 USD

Opening Hours: 10am - 3pm. Mondays to Fridays.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: From Bern railway station with Nr. 6 tram (towards «Worb») or Nr. 7 tram (towards «Ostring») or Nr. 8 tram (towards «Saali») to «Helvetiaplatz» stop.

Contact: +41 313575555

Near by Food: Bistro Steinhalle

Website: Museum of Communication

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Bern (canton), Switzerland and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Bern (canton), Switzerland

With places like this, you might want to consider Switzerland for your summer holidays

When you think of cities like Bern, you might only hear about their snowy mountains and great ski runs. All of that is true and it is a very attractive winter getaway, but Bern is a lot more than that. During a warm summer day you can enjoy these activities and have an experience that goes beyond the typical European route. Take this into consideration on your next trip and make time to visit these awesome attractions.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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