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.