Bern, the capital city of Switzerland, is a Unesco World Heritage Site and offers some of its finest hospitality to visitors, from country inns to five-star hotels in the centre, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Founded in the 12th century on a hill site surrounded by the Aare River, Bern grew over the centuries into the charming red-roofed metropolis that it is today. Along with historical sites, the city is home to a thriving restaurant scene and the Pyrenean brown bears at the Bear Park are another prime attraction. For a fine stay in this fine city, check into one of these top Bern hotels.
The Bristol brings a touch of British flair to the Swiss capital. The design of the mid-sized rooms is warm and inviting. Lots of crisscrossed tartans adorn the beds and walls. If you’ve had enough of Swiss food and beer (also available here), you can knock back a Guinness at the Honesty Bar or tuck into a full English breakfast. The hotel, close to the main station, offers a Bed ‘n’ Bureau package for working trips. This gains you access to a special bedroom, kitted out with high-speed internet, office space and drinks and snacks to indulge in at your leisure. And if you’re travelling for pleasure, the Brompton Bike special includes a night’s stay, breakfast, a picnic to take in your rucksack and a Brompton Bike to take on a day tour.
Waltz over to the Savoy for a peaceful night’s stay. The handsome building has 63 rooms, which are divided into four categories, as well as a spacious suite on the top floor that is perfect for longer stays. The interiors are bright and airy, with minimalist furnishings. Perks include free wifi, flat-screen TVs, minibars and Nespresso coffee machines. The on-site bistro, which follows the contemporary aesthetic, serves up a breakfast buffet and light meals throughout the day.
If you like jazz, this country-style hotel will hit the right note. Firstly, Hotel Innere Enge is home to a renowned music venue, which has been delighting fans for almost 30 years. Secondly, it features 15 individually stylized jazz-themed accommodations, such as the Clark Terry and Louis Armstrong rooms. The rooms are furnished with unique memorabilia personally selected by the musicians, such as autographed pictures, instruments, sheet music and private items. If music’s not your jam, there are nine more traditional accommodation options. Another unique feature of this place is a yurt on the grounds which serves up warming fondue.
Turn your trip to Bern into a fairy tale with a stay in this refined 16th-century schloss, or castle. This elegant property sits amid verdant grounds, to the southwest of Bern proper. There are 49 delightful rooms on the premises with the Boutique Junior Suite being the grander option. Like the other rooms, this combines antique-style and modern furnishings with giant prints of aristocrats adorning the walls. For a fine feast, roll over to the Restaurant Rosarium, where you can tuck into multi-course menus and specialities such as roasted Emmental, veal knuckle and homemade truffle brie.
Cloak yourself in grandeur at this lavish spot. Bellevue Palace is the official guesthouse of the Swiss government and it has been operating for more than 150 years. The sumptuous rooms and suites combine classically elegant furnishings with modern-day comforts. Regal golds and reds are a running theme throughout the five-star hotel, along with gleaming chandeliers. Dine like a dignitary at the Vue restaurant, which serves up gourmet delights along with a splendid Belle Époque ambience and stunning views over the city.
Close to the Bundeshaus Houses of Parliament, this 97-room hotel, with its lovely red townhouse façade, is great for a stay downtown. Despite the historic exterior, the rooms here are light and modern, with feature walls behind the headboards showing line maps of the city. Stays include a bountiful breakfast buffet in the on-site restaurant, which has an all-day menu and specialises in Bernese dishes. Be sure to try the freshly baked Öpfuchüechli (like an apple fritter) served with a variety of tasty sauces.
The Hotel Schweizerhof has been around for over 150 years, and during its lifetime it has played host to many famous faces, including the likes of Grace Kelly and Peter Ustinov. The interiors of this five-star spot are glamorous and refined, with 99 plush rooms and suites promising a heavenly night’s sleep. All stays include a ticket for the free use of public transport, Bulgari bathroom products, high-speed internet, 24/7 access to the fitness studio and free use of the spa. The state-of-the-art wellness centre includes a whirlpool, sauna, hammam and treatment rooms. Once you’ve been pampered and preened like a Hollywood star, saunter up to the hotel’s famed Sky Terrace for a rooftop dining experience and one or two expertly mixed cocktails.
Priding itself on being the oldest hotel in Bern’s Old Town, with a history dating back 500 years, this hotel has 34 rooms spread across four floors. The interiors are simple but cosy and have the feel of an old townhouse with a scattering of original features. The Comfort Room, on the top floor, has a beamed ceiling and plenty of space to play with. There is also a covered balcony, which offers a chance to unwind with a unique view over the roofs below. Another highlight is the restaurant, with hearty Swiss food on offer and a delightful terrace on the street.
Just east of the centre, overlooking the Aare river and opposite the bear-pit, you’ll discover the laid-back Hotel Landhaus. Run by a young couple, this family-friendly hotel housed in a historic building has a trendy, hipster vibe inside. Its accommodation is a mix of modern, functional rooms and dormitories. Some of the rooms have balconies with great river views. There’s a local bistro on the site that has a lot of buzz in the evening and breakfast is home-made and plentiful. In warm weather, be sure to bag a seat on the terrace.
This homely inn on the outskirts of Bern serves up a delightful restaurant and spacious rooms, with a menu comprising homemade pizza and traditional dishes using locally-sourced ingredients. Specialities include crispy whitefish from Lake Constance or Lake Zurich in homemade herb batter, and bratwurst from Oberbalmer farmers. There are just seven rooms, on the first floor, all very specious and with a bold red colour theme running throughout.
Escape to the country at this charming guesthouse, which sits just outside of Bern in the idyllic farmer hamlet of Ranflüh. The wood-clad rooms have a rustic and cosy feel, but with updated amenities for the modern traveller, including free wifi, TVs and en-suites. If you want to make your stay extra memorable, book the egg-shaped tree house. This unique abode sits on the grounds of the property. The hotel is the perfect retreat after a day in the city, with hearty homemade meals to round out your day.