The Best Bars in Bern, Switzerland

Pratyusha Prakash

Bern might be Switzerland’s political center, but alongside its historical significance, it has a young, hip side. Whether you choose to enjoy the rooftops from the lofty Sky Terrace bar or enjoy a leisurely drink at the wine cellar of Tredicipercento, Bern has bars to offer everyone.

1. Sky Terrace

Bar, Hotel Restaurant, European, Kebab

© Absinthe Distribution/Flickr
There’s no better place to enjoy a drink and the views of the city of Bern than the famed Sky Terrace, at the top of the Hotel Schweizerhof at Bern. The bar is high on style: there are light, airy cocktails, an extensive drinks list, and even a smoothie list. The Sky Terrace also serves food: think light, mezze-esque snacks with dishes like tabouleh and kebab, and there’s usually a barbecue on as well. Sit back and enjoy the view.

Price range: fine dining

Hours: 11am-11:30pm on summer days (weather permitting)

2. Kapitel

Bar, Restaurant, Nightclub, European

Kapitel, one of Bern’s trendiest bars and clubs, is a draw for the younger crowd. It’s an upbeat mix of restaurant, bar and club, all set in the center of Bern. The night atmosphere is fresh and informal, and transition from relaxed evening music to club beats is smooth and effortless.

Price range: mid-range

Hours: Tue-Wed 11am-11:30pm, Thurs 11am-3:30am, Fri 11am-5am, Sat 6pm-6am

3. Tredicipercento

Bar, Wine Bar, French, European

Dean Moriarty & The Dixie Dicks Turnhalle
©David Haberthür/Flickr
Located in an unassuming former coal cellar, Tredicipercento brings you the finest in wine products from the small vineyards that the bar is championing. The wines are from various regions of Italy as well as the French Jura and some locally sourced vineyards. The authentic and carefully prepared dishes complement the wines perfectly.

Price range: fine dining

Hours: Tue-Sun 6pm-11:30pm

4. Turnhalle

Bar, European

Turnhalle, one of Bern’s beloved treasures, is a converted gym. It’s a place to catch a relaxed drink in the evening on the outdoor patio or indoors at the bar while watching live concerts or sports. The atmosphere is casual and laid back, with loud music and plenty of space to be seated. The prices are very reasonable for Bern.

Price range: mid-range

Hours: Mon-Wed 9am-12:30am, Thurs 9am-2am, Fri-Sat 9am-3:30am

5. Les Amis

Bar, Nightclub, Vegan, European

A small, secluded bar catering to an alternative crowd in the historic locales of Bern, Les Amis offers a more peaceful atmosphere. It also has a live music program which gives breaks to up-and-coming musicians, catering to the indie music scene and adding to the bar’s slightly hipster atmosphere. There’s also a small dance floor for an enjoyable addition to your night.

Price range: mid-range

Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-12:30am, Sat 3pm-12:30am

6. Zar Cafe-Bar

Bar, Cafe, Coffee, Beer

©Franklin Heijnen/Flickr
A chic, small bar in the Mattenhof quarter, Zar Cafe-Bar serves a variety of beers (with regional specialities), apéro-drinks, and various other popular beverages as well as some of their own creations. They also have live music, and team up with newer musical acts to showcase in their old-world bar.

Price range: mid-range

Hours: Tues-Fri 8:30am-12pm and 3pm-12:30am, Sat 10am-12:30am

7. Compass Bar

Bar, European

©Stefan Rovetto/Flickr
Right by the Zytglogge (the famous Bernese clock) is Compass Bar. The drinks are all fresh and new, and although the place has a beer menu, cocktails are more highly recommended as there is a greater variety, and the bartender is always willing to experiment and try new things. Be sure to try their special cocktails alongside the usual classics.

Price range: mid-range

Hours: Tues-Thurs 4pm-12:30am, Fri-Sat 4pm-3:30am

8. Barbière

Bar, Restaurant, Cafe, European

Bern is the Swiss political capital, but it’s also the country’s beer capital, and no bar exemplifies this better than Barbière. This brewery and bar is one of Bern’s favorite places to sample local brews. In their “Garage” (the brewery) there are also ales and stouts. The bar is open to experimenting and does so on a regular basis, with all ingredients locally sourced. It also works as a café and restaurant, and is the perfect place to unwind after a long day.

Price range: mid-range

Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-12:30am, Sat 9am-12:30am

9. O bolles

Bar, Restaurant, European

Prost. Although primarily a restaurant, O bolles is also a bar. There are beer varieties to be sampled and an extensive wine list. The wine list is bio-quality and from various places in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France. Every so often they host concerts, parties and discos to keep the atmosphere lively.

Price range: mid-range

Hours: Mon-Wed 8:30am-11:30pm, Thurs-Fri 8:30am-12:30am

10. Kleine Schanze

Restaurant, Cafe, European

The perfect place to spend a summer evening, Kleine Schanze has a small garden where you can enjoy your drinks in the fading sunlight. There’s a list of wine and apéritifs, as well as cocktails, longdrinks, beer, and an extensive list of spirits. Kleine Schanze is also a restaurant, so you can have a meal al fresco along with your drink.

Price: mid-range

Hours: daily 10am-11:30pm

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