Bern Tourist Information recommends you visit Muenster while in Bern.
Muenster is a great attraction for Bern. This grand cathedral can boast the fact that it is Switzerland’s largest church building, making it an impressive sight to see. The building itself is quite beautiful and is an excellent example of late gothic architecture. It is quite old, with building of it beginning in the year 1421. However, the final touches on it, the spire, wasn’t finished until many, many years later in 1893. Although the beauty of the building itself is enough to attract visitors, the true treasure is contained within. If you climb to the top of the tower and look out, you will be granted very spectacular views that will take your breath away. This is one place that should definitely be on anyone’s “to do/see” list while visiting the lovely city of Bern, Switzerland.
The Aare River is another great place to visit while traveling around Bern. This river, also commonly spelled as Aar, is actually a tributary of the Rhine and is the longest within Switzerland. There are lots of good and safe locations throughout the river that are perfect for swimming on hot summer days. There are public pools (which are free of charge) for those who want to play it safe, as well as sections where you can float all the way down the river, although such should only be undertaken by experienced and strong swimmers. The river is so popular that even winter does not stop everyone from taking a dip: you can find individuals who swim here 365 days a year. The Aare River flows right through Old Town in Bern and the bear park is located next to it. Walking along side of the river is a great treat and is extremely peaceful. The river is a landmark in Bern and should be appreciated while you are staying there, no matter what time of year you chose to visit.
If you want to see Bern, Switzerland but haven’t quite made it there yet, there are lots of videos available online that will let you see many of the beautiful sights to see there. Here is one that shows many of Bern’s most famous sights, including the Bear Park. Enjoy.
This center is dedicated to the works of a famous artist from Bern. The museum has a vast collection of works by him, over 1000 by all accounts, but they are not always on constant display. The museum tends to rotate the works featuring approximately 200 at a time. The works of this very famous artist is not the only reason to visit this museum.
Paul Klee Center by mkisono on flickr.com
The building itself, created by Renzo Piano, was said to be inspired by Klee’s works as well as the beautiful scenery offered in Bern. He created a unique set of three buildings that seem to form three undulating waves. It is actually very beautiful and special. This is a very nice place to see, if a little out of the way, and one should definitely take the time to visit it when touring Bern.
This is a popular destination due to the connection Bern shares with the famous scientist. Albert Einstein lived in the city when he created his well-known formula E=mc2 .
The Einstein Museum by Chez Cåsver on flickr.com
The museum displays may pieces of original memorabilia, written records, as well as various film documentaries that describe Einstein’s life. Due to the popularity of Einstein and these displays, all of the texts have been translated into several different languages: German, French, and English. While you tour the museum, you have the option of listening to an audio-guide. These are also available in several different languages: German, French, English, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Hebrew, Chinese, and Russian.
Bern Historical Museum by Chez Cåsver on flickr.com
This is a landmark that should be included in a tour of Bern. The Bern Historical Museum, also known as Bernisches historisches Museum, is the second largest historical museum in Switzerland. It was built in 1894 by the architect André Lambert. The building is quite special due to the styles that the architect chose to incorporate. He took his inspiration from buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries as well as many historic castles. The main purpose of the museum is to display collections directly related to the history of Bern, from its distant past to its present day. There are also other exhibits from parts of Asia and Egypt. This is a beautiful and interesting museum and should be considered for any sightseeing trip while staying in Bern.
Bern Historical Museum by Chez Cåsver on flickr.com
A true favorite for children and adults alike is the Bear Pits, also called Barengraben. Bears are an important symbol in Bern and they are highly respected and well regarded. The city is said to have been named for this creature and a bear is represented but on the city’s coat of arms. Bears have been kept in pits since the early sixteenth century, but recently, people have come to realize that this is very bad for the bears. The old Bear Pits were replaced in 2009 with a Bear Park which is adjacent to the old pits. The bears now get to enjoy a very luxurious home next to the river Aar. The bears are viewed from the bottom of the hill and there is a lift to take tourists there. There are many bears to see and it is something that tends to stay in your memory long after you leave Bern.
In the center of old town in Bern stands a beautiful structure called Zytglogge, or The Clock Tower. This spectacular building once stood as Bern’s western gate and its tower was once used to imprison prostitutes. One of its most interesting and unique features is the astronomical clock, which was added in 1527.
Bern Clock Tower by naturalbornstupid on flickr.com
From the beginning, it has been putting on a show of little figurines every four minutes before the hour and still does to this very day. The figures found in the clock are a crowing cock, a parade of bears, Chronos with his hourglass, as a dancing jester.
Bern Clock Tower by natralbornstupid on flickr.com
This show is what draws most of the visitors and is rather charming. The clock itself is quite intricate and shows a multitude of things: 24 hour clock, the twelve hours of daylight, as well as the position of the sun in the zodiac. It also shows the day of the week, the date, the month, the phases of the moon, and the elevation of the sun above the horizon throughout the year. This is a truly unique Clock Tower and any tour of Bern should include this particular sight.
The Federal Palace, also known as Bundeshaus, is another great sight to check out on your trip to Bern. The construction for the building took many years. It was started in 1857 and was finished in 1902. This particular building houses the national parliament, the government, and parts of the federal administration. It was constructed in the Renaissance style and it is most famous for its beautiful dome. Since it is the home of the Swiss national government, it is an important building in the city of Bern and one that should be visited and admired.
The alps from Gurten by Cha già José on flickr.com
The Gurten is a must see if you are visiting Bern. It is a lovely hill which towers over the city from the south and is located just outside the city. The Gurten offers a wide range of entertainment with a focus on culture, leisure and games. On top you’ll find a kids’ play-area, an observation tower, and a park which offers great views of the city on one side and a nice panorama of the Bernese Alps on the opposite. Hiking paths lead in all directions. Families with children should not miss the cool playground as it is basically a kids’ paradise. In winter, the hill and snow covered slopes are often crowded with sledding families. In summer, hikers and picnickers abound. Summer also offers festivals. Every year in mid-July, The Gurten plays host to a very popular rock music festival. This is an amazing little spot that is well worth the short trip outside of the city.