While most skip over the Swiss capital, Bern, it’s actually a hidden gem. The small yet picturesque university town offers much more than business.
From exquisite restaurants and history to swimming in the river during warmer days, here’s how to spend 48 hours in Bern.
Arrive by train to Bern and head for the Hotel Bellevue Palace–a legendary hotel for diplomats and politicians. You’ll love the stunning river-view restaurant. After check-in, change into comfortable walking shoes and explore the city. Bern is small and quiet, but it has a rich and interesting history. Consider booking a historical walking tour.
After learning the lay of the city, take dinner at Rosengarten with a beautiful view over the entire city. Grab a nightcap after dinner inside one of the cellar wine shops in Old Town. Shops, cinemas and wine shops are all interesting new uses for the historic townhouse cellars from many years ago.
Rise early for breakfast and get a jump start on the day. Go for a river-side walk or shop under six km of arcades within the city. You’ll find all kinds of boutiques selling design-forward items. During the heat of summer, go for a swim in the Aare River, which is refreshingly cold. It moves swiftly, however. So, follow the crowds and the safety signs to enter and exit.
After a long day, take dinner at Kornhauskeller with a pre-dinner drink there too. Its vaulted cellar ceilings are beautifully painted and the entire restaurant has an opulent air. Dine on traditional dishes and turn in for a good night’s rest before traveling on Sunday.
Take a leisurely stroll through town to a bakery where you can pick up sweet treats to pack for home in the city’s icon–a bear. If cakes and cookies are not your sweet of choice, consider Toblerone too, which is all made in Bern.
Head for the train station after check-out, and enjoy the scenic ride to Zurich, Geneva or Basel before take-off.