trips planned today
out of 5
Trustscore rating

Best things to do in Bern

Itinerary planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
- +
- +
- +
You have 1 trip in progress.   See all
Where in the world: Europe  /  Switzerland  /  Canton of Bern  /  Bern Mittelland District  /  Bern

Top 15 things to do in Bern

1. UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern

Stroll through UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern, a World Heritage Site with arcaded walkways arranged along streets dotted with hundreds of public fountains. Although most of its structures underwent massive restoration in the 18th century, the old neighborhood retains much of its original layout and character. Home to Switzerland's tallest cathedral, the atmospheric Old Town stretches along a U-shaped peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the Aare River. Begin your walk through medieval Bern at the Old Town's landmark clock tower, featuring one of the world's earliest examples of animatronic technology. To see what the locals call "the longest running act in show biz," stand in front of the clock on the hour.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern
Tours including UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern:

2. Clock Tower - Zytglogge

An elaborate structure with moving automatons, Clock Tower - Zytglogge remains one of the capital city's major architectural landmarks, its spire a dominant point in the Old Town's skyline. Part of the city's World Heritage-listed medieval quarter, the 13th-century structure once served as both a prison and guard tower. Virtually unchanged since its contruction nearly eight centuries ago, the tower features a giant astronomical clock, its dial designed in the form of an astrolabe. Every hour on the hour there is an impressive display of early animatronic technology, involving the appearance of a gilded bell-striker representing the Greek personification of time.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Clock Tower - Zytglogge
Tours including Clock Tower - Zytglogge:

3. Lake Geneva, Geneva

One of Western Europe's largest bodies of water, Lake Geneva sits on the northern side of the Alps. Shared by Switzerland and France, the lake serves as one of the continent's most popular year-round travel destinations, its pristine natural areas a favorite stomping ground for both hikers and skiers. The Swiss side of the lake features a string of picturesque cities, the largest of which is Geneva. This city serves as a hub for paddle steamer cruises, providing a slow but scenic way of connecting to other ports on the lake. After visiting the region's old wineries, castles, and thermal baths, head to one of the lake's tranquil beaches, backed by rugged mountain scenery and shady woodlands.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
Learn more about Lake Geneva
Tours including Lake Geneva:
Plan your trip to Bern
  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.

4. Rose Garden (Rosengarten)

A public park since 1913, this site served as a cemetery in the 19th century. Today, the manicured lawns and formal gardens draw both visiting tourists and picnicking locals. In addition to roses, the neat flowerbeds display 30 different types of rhododendrons and 200 kinds of irises. Take a stroll along the footpaths to see the rose varieties named after Ingrid Bergman, Maria Callas, Christopher Columbus, and Cleopatra. Walk here from the Old Town, or take the public bus from the city's main train station.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Rose Garden (Rosengarten)
Tours including Rose Garden (Rosengarten):

5. Aare River

Soak up the picturesque sights breathing in the atmosphere of the Old Town of Bern while gently floating down Aare River. This ultimate city experience remains a favorite pastime of the locals on hot summer afternoons. Hugging the city from the three sides, Switzerland's longest river is a pride and joy of the Bernese who love splashing about its clean and refreshing waters. If you prefer to stay dry, take a relaxing walk alongside the river admiring the cityscape of the World Heritage-listed Old Town. Adventurous travelers can get an adrenaline rush from plunging in the river from Schonausteg bridge.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Aare River

6. Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald-Wengen-Murren-Lauterbrunnen

Discover spectacular views of an icy Alpine wilderness at the very top of Europe by visiting Jungfraujoch, the continent's highest train station. Nearly two million people travel to this winter wonderland each year, lured by its panoramic views of mountains and glaciers, skiing, and snowboarding. Opened in 1912, the Jungfrau railway line passes through a tunnel that took several thousand workers over a decade to drill. The station sits 3,454 m (11,330 ft) above sea level, with the Sphinx viewing house providing sweeping vistas of the largest glacier in the Alps, a World Heritage Site. The adjoining commemoration hall displays memorials to miners who died building the railway and features a giant and incredibly detailed snow globe. Saunter through the Ice Palace, a year-round frozen hallway featuring ice sculptures. Dine in one of several panoramic restaurants, pick up a box of Swiss chocolates, and test your golfing skills in a hole-in-one challenge above the glacier. No matter the time of year you're visiting, don't forget your camera, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Suggested duration: 5h 30 min
Learn more about Jungfraujoch
Tours including Jungfraujoch:

7. Lake Lucerne, Lucerne

See the Alps by taking a guided boat tour on , located in the heart of Switzerland. The lake covers a total area of over 114 sq km (44 sq mi), much of its shoreline rising steeply into the surrounding mountains. Most of the visitors choose to experience this picturesque region by taking a trip on one of the paddle steamers linking the tucked-away resorts spread along the lake's shores. You can also circumnavigate the lake by road, which follows a scenic route and passes through several tunnels. However you choose to travel, be sure to visit the mountain meadow on the far southeastern shore of the lake, the birthplace of the Swiss nation.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Lake Lucerne
Tours including Lake Lucerne:

8. Barenpark

See the bears of the capital city at Barenpark, a brown bear shelter on the eastern edge of the city's Old Town. According to local legend, Bern got its name from a bear caught by Duke Berthold von Zahringen, the founder of the city. Bern's bear saga continues at this "bear pit," which underwent a massive reconstruction project in 2009. The spacious riverside park now spans over 6,000 sq m (65,000 sq ft), featuring a hibernation cave and secure areas where the animals can freely roam. Take a self-guided walk through this bear world, or call ahead to book a guided tour with an expert bear keeper.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Barenpark
Tours including Barenpark:

9. The Cathedral of Bern

Rising over the old town, The Cathedral of Bern stands as the tallest cathedral in Switzerland. The structure's crowning feature is its 100.6 m (330 ft) tower, which affords views of the Alps on a clear day from the top. To get there, you'll need to climb about 350 steep stone steps, which take you past the original church bells. Built in 1421, today the Gothic cathedral is a Cultural Property of National Significance. Pay the small entrance fee to visit the tower, or enjoy a free cathedral tour of the main area.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about The Cathedral of Bern
Tours including The Cathedral of Bern:

10. Tierpark Bern

The Tierpark Dählhölzli, or Dählhölzli Zoo, is a public zoo in Bern, Switzerland.Opened in 1937 and operated by an affiliated association, the Tierparkverein Bern, the city of Bern is the proprietary of the park and bring most of the financing. It is situated on the bank of the river Aare near the historical city center.The zoo exhibits some 3,000 animals on 15ha and employs a staff of 27. It also cares for the bears exhibited in the Bärengraben.HistoryThe idea of opening a zoo with Europeans animals in the city of Bern was first bought in 1871 by a group of optimists with an idea, and a first small park was opened on Engehaldenstrasse in 1873 to house deers, bisons and many small animals. It closes a few year later in 1876 due to a lack of funding. The idea of building a bigger zoo stayed in the air for a long time, and the site of Dählhölzli forest was even considered at a time to open a zoo for exotic animals in 1886.The creation of the parkIn 1901, a rich clockmaker from Loche of the name William Gabus gave 150 000 francs at his death to the city of Bern for the construction of a new zoological park, preferably on the site of Dählhözli forest. The project stalled for a time, but the city finally acquired a suitable land in 1918, the Elfenau estate. It seemed at the time that the terrain would be more adequate for a simple animal garden, but it was nonetheless the site choosed in by the city council in 1927 to build the park. The design were put on the table and an association was founded to find partners for the construction of the zoo. The idea of creating an association proved useful, as it had more than 1800 members only two years later, and publicities in the cinema and on the street permitted to gain approximately 50,000 francs to help the construction. The association submitted a final draft in 1933 with a plan that respected the natural landscape of the Elfenau estate. All was going well, but dissident voices in the population started to have concern on the Elfenau estate site, considering the Dählhölzli one to be of better quality. The Berneses finally voted on the subject at the end of the year 1935 and the Dählhölzli was finally choosen.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Tierpark Bern

11. Mt Pilatus, Kriens

For panoramic views of Lucerne and the surrounding region, take the world's steepest cogwheel railway to the top of Mt Pilatus. During medieval times locals believed that a dragon lived at the summit of this soaring massif; several 17th-century accounts tell of a winged creature flying between the mount's caves. Today the towering mountain draws visitors with its walking trails, which range from extremely steep and challenging scrambles for serious adrenaline junkies, to easy hikes for everyone else. On clear days the hiking paths offer views that stretch as far as the Black Forest in southwestern Germany. You can also reach the summit by riding the aerial cableway or the panorama gondola, departing from the town of Kriens. The cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm only operates from mid-May till mid-November. The cable-car and gondola from Kriens up to Pilatus operates also in winter.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Mt Pilatus
Tours including Mt Pilatus:

12. Bimano

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Bimano

13. Lauterbrunnen Valley Waterfalls, Lauterbrunnen

Hike around some of Switzerland's most dramatic landscapes at Lauterbrunnen Valley Waterfalls, which plunge down overhanging rock faces created by natural forces over thousands of years. A huge draw for adventure seekers from around the globe, the lush valley features 72 thunderous waterfalls, some of which carry 20,000 l (5,280 gal) of water per second. When Goethe visited the valley in 1779, the majestic falls moved him so deeply that he returned home to write one of his best-known poems, "Spirit Song Over the Waters." Discover this untamed glacial valley by trekking around some of its world-famous trails, or hop on the scenic rack railway linking the region's half-dozen mountain villages.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Lauterbrunnen Valley Waterfalls

14. Klingendes Museum

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Klingendes Museum

15. Kindermuseum Creaviva

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Kindermuseum Creaviva