Bern (Switzerland): what to see in the capital


What to see in Bern in one day, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the Clock Tower, Gothic Cathedral and botanical garden.

Tourist information

Located on a plateau in the Canton of Bern, just 20 km from the Bernese Alps, Bern is the capital of Switzerland and the main economic center of the canton of the same name.

It was founded by Duke Berthold V of Zahringen in 1191 on the Aare river which, according to local legend, gave it the name of the first animal he had encountered during a hunting trip, a bear he killed.

Known internationally as a city of unique beauty and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Bern has tourism among its main economic activities.

In addition, it is also home to important companies in various sectors, including economic consultancy, legal and trust offices.

Among the things to do in Bern, for a pleasant visit of the city, we recommend a walk under arcades which, with 6 km of arches, represent the largest coverage in Europe.

Bern is also known for being a university campus, including an excellent clinic.

There is also an international school and a French school, which contribute to completing the distinctly cultural vocation of this city.

What see

Zeitglockenturm is the medieval clock tower, which was once part of the oldest circle of walls and was one of the entrance gates.

The astronomical clock was added in the sixteenth century.

Kafigturm is the Prison Tower, used in the past as a prison.

Recommended readings
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  • Gorges of the Aare: the power of water between Meiringen and Innertkirchen
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  • Geneva (Switzerland): what to see in 1 day
  • Lake Lucerne: tour of the villages of Lake Lucerne

Berner Munster, a Gothic cathedral, is the largest church in Switzerland.

Inside there are the sculptures of the main portal and the complex of the stained glass windows of the choir.

In addition, for those who love to see the city from above, climbing the bell tower is recommended.

Rathaus is the Gothic-style town hall, where the halls have a particular pillared architecture with wooden ceilings.

Kornhaus, a beautiful example of Baroque style, was once used as a barn.

Bundeshaus is the parliament building dating back to the 1800s.

Heiliggeistkirche is the Baroque style church dedicated to the Holy Spirit.

Französische Kirche is a French church dating back to the thirteenth century, characterized by a beautiful Baroque facade, once part of the adjacent Dominican monastery.

Kirchenfeldbrucke, a nineteenth-century monumental bridge, connects the old quarters to Hevetiaplatz, which represents the main place of culture.

Botanischer Garten is the botanical garden of the city center, where many species of plants are exhibited.

Rosengarten is the Rose Garden, an immense park with a large variety of roses, irises and rhododendrons.

Bern, Switzerland: Classy Capital - Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Guide - Travel Bite (September 2022)

Tags: Switzerland