Switzerland’s capital city is small and compact, with a lovely atmosphere, picture-perfect cobblestone streets and beautiful views of the river Aare. The Old Town is where you will find all the main sights. Most of it is pedestrian-only and the distances are short, making it a paradise for those who like to explore towns on foot. Here are the top 10 things to see and do in Bern, Switzerland.
Bern is famous for being home to some very peculiar fountains, attributed to 16th-century artist Hans Gieng. Scattered around the Old Town, you will find more than 100 fountains, 11 of which are topped with these distinctive looking allegorical sculptures. From Justice and Moses to an ogre with a bag of children ready to be eaten, you will easily spot them in the streets and squares of the town centre.
Bern’s relationship with its heraldic animal, the brown bear, is centuries old. Bears have lived in the city since as far back as the 1500s and to this day, they can be seen in their new riverside “home”, an open-air park with access to water, which was built in 2009. Three bears live here at the moment, Finn, Björk and Ursina, and they can be seen eating, sleeping and playing from a short but safe distance.
Located near Barenpark, Altes Tramdepot is a site of gastronomic and natural interest. With views of the park, Bern’s Old Town and the beautiful Aare river from its beer garden and front terrace, the restaurant is highly rated by visitors. The menu is eclectic, offering both Swiss dishes, traditional French cuisine and Asian plates. However, the main attraction here is its integrated brewery – copper vats are situated in the middle of the restaurant behind the bar – in which the house beer is produced.