The medieval air of this city with its many fountains, sandstone facades, narrow streets and historic towers is unique. The elevated Rose Garden above the Bear Park and the platform of the 101-metre-high cathedral tower offer the best views of the old town round which the River Aare flows. The former entrenchments and bastions drop down steeply to the river. The boutiques, bars and cabaret stages of the old town, some of which are located in vaulted cellars, and the small street cafes attract locals as well as a lot of tourists. Although Bern has a very good public transport network it is best to explore the city centre on foot.
The Zentrum Paul Klee situated on the outskirts of the city houses the most comprehensive collection of works by the artist Paul Klee. The Albert Einstein House bears testimony to the physics genius' stay in Bern at the start of the 20th century and may ideally be combined with a visit to the Einstein Museum. With the History Museum, Art Museum, Swiss Alpine Museum and Communication Museum Bern offers a very varied range of exhibitions.
Bern is the seat of Switzerland's government. The Houses of Parliament (Bundeshaus) rise above the city just a stone's throw away from the railway station. The doors to the Houses of Parliament are open to visitors most of the time, and if you're lucky you might even bump into a member of parliament in the streets of the city.
In summer the River Aare provides an opportunity for the ultimate bathing experience; very good, experienced swimmers allow themselves to drift along in the clean Aare while enjoying a view of the Houses of Parliament. The Botanical Gardens are also located along the river, as is the Dählhölzli Zoo and the old Matte district. Bern and bears, the cities heraldic beast, are inseparable. A visit to the Bear Park, habitat of a family of bears, is a must-do.
In the squares of the city centre colourful weekly markets present their wares. The Onion Market (Zibelemärit) which takes place on the fourth Monday in November is particularly worth visiting: visitors to the traditional market dedicated to onions start pouring into the city in the early hours.
Set in the heart of Switzerland, Bern is the gateway to the Alps. The capital city may easily be reached by car or by air via the Bern-Belp Airport and bus links to the city centre. Visitors who prefer to travel by train may take advantage of the dense rail network with its direct connections to the major European cities. Bern’s central location makes it the perfect base for overnight accommodation and for excursions throughout Switzerland.
Bear Park - an open cage on a gentle slope of the Aare river, so you can look at the bears just walking behind the fence enclosure. All visitors can see the life of the local bears - Bjork, Finns and their offspring Ursino. The second cub bear couple - Bern - in July 2013 was transferred to the zoo Bulgaria Dobrich due to increased conflict.
Watch for bears is best from spring to autumn, as winter is traditionally bears hibernate.
The history of the Berne Cathedral began in the 13th century with the construction of a small church in the Romanesque style, dedicated to the early Christian martyr St. Vincent Zaragoza and belonging to the Teutonic Order. 100 years later, the congregation founded their own parish and the church was rebuilt several increasing its size. Still later, in the 15th century the city grew even more and there is a need in the full council, which began to build around the old church. Completed by the end of the 16th century, the last architectural transformation dates back to 1893, when its famous 100-meter steeple was built on the cathedral.
The interior of the Cathedral of interesting carved wooden choir in the Renaissance style, furniture items and stained glass windows of the 16th century the mid-15th century, the artistic value unmatched in Switzerland.
Federal Palace in Bern - the main city building with rich interior, he is one of the newest attractions in Bern and was built in the years 1894-1902, the construction has been expended the sum of 7 million Swiss francs in the building decoration widely used local limestone green, so that the building looks out very Swiss. In 2006-2008, the Federal Palace was held a large-scale reconstruction, and now appears before the tourists in the sparkling new form.
Zytglogge Clock Tower
Clock tower with magnificent medieval astronomical clock - the card of Bern and the most popular souvenirs from the plot. Zytglogge - the so-called Swiss Tower - is the honorary title of one of the oldest watch towers of the country, its construction dates back to the 13th century.
The original Clock Tower was built in the years 1218-1220 with defensive purposes to protect the western outskirts of Bern. With the growth of the city in the direction of all the tower more than was provided in the city, yet has not lost its protective function - in the 15th century it was used as a prison and later received its own clock - and since then countdown in Bern was conducted exclusively under the blows bells Clock Tower . In addition it is from here began to measure the distance from the city - something like the "zero kilometer".