The Best Things to Do in Bern, Switzerland That Aren’t Snowy


Many tourists feel attracted to Switzerland for the snowy Alps and the winter activities. But there’s much more to this country than that. A perfect example is the city of Bern, a small city with endless possibilities, even during warm months. There’s plenty of interesting spots to see and activities to do. Museums, festivals, magnificent views and relaxing spots – options for all ages and types of travellers. Check out which ones are of your interest and don’t miss out on the wonders of Bern.

1. A unique city in the world – Old Town

Houses in the Old City of Bern

The Old City of Bern

Whether you buy a tour or just walk on your own, visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town is mandatory when you visit Bern. It’s always better if you go with a tour guide who knows everything about this place and can tell you all the secret spots that you shouldn’t miss out on while getting to know the medieval center of Bern.

The earliest settlements in the valley of the Aare date back to the Neolithic period and the city was founded in 1191 by the Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen. Legend says that the name of the city was chosen after the first animal the Duke encountered on a hunting excursion in this region, a bear. Despite a major fire in 1405, after which much of the city was rebuilt with sandstone, Bern’s old city has retained its original character. It has held UNESCO Cultural World Heritage status since 1983.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a walk through the historic lanes. Take advantage of the guided tours the city of Bern has for tourists at a reasonable price. A wonderful activity for summer afternoons.

2. In the medieval center – the Cathedral of Bern

Muenster Bern

For history fans, this is the place to visit. A very high cathedral in the heart of the Old City, considered the largest and most important late medieval church in Switzerland.

It started as a small church in the 12th century and towards the end of the 13th century, it was replaced by a larger church with three naves and a tower. Bern conquered a lot of land and became a very powerful city state during that time, and to show their power, they started building the present church in 1421.

You can go up and enjoy the panoramic view of the city. Music events, guided tours and plenty of things to do at this attraction.

3. To the top of Bern – the Gurten

Gurten 4734

Gurtenfestival camping

The Gurten is the local mountain, situated just to the south of Bern. You can access the top by tram and enjoy the incredible view from the top. Facilities on the Gurten include a hotel, restaurants, a 25 metre (82 foot) high viewing tower and a children’s playground.

This is also the location for the Gurten Festival, a music festival that is one of the biggest attractions for young tourists in Bern. This year’s festival (2017) will take place between the 12th and 15th of July.

4. Bears in Bern – the Bear Park

Baerenpark Bern, Berna und Urs 01 10

A perfect attraction for families with kids or curiosity lovers. The Bear Park is located at the lower end of the Old City, where brown bears have lived safely since 2009. The entrance is free and there are guided tours for visitors, but you will need to book in advance. If you choose this option, a professional guide will show you around the site and tell you exciting facts about the history and significance of the bear pit, their biology and especially about the three Bernese bears that live in the park. Treat yourself to a different experience.

5. A natural spot – Marzili Bad


This is the best attraction for a hot day in the summer – from May to September – a cold bath in the biggest and free swimming pool, right on the Aare, next to the Parliament Building. This is a great option for families with kids and low-budget travellers. The pool is public and bathing is free of charge. It’s divided into sections like the children’s pool, for women only and a diving pool. Nudism is allowed in the open-air spaces “Paradiesli” and “Männerbad”.

6. Roses are red, violets are blue – you can see them all at the Rosengarten

Bern Rosengarten Teil-Ansicht

The Rose Garden is open all day long and is one of the most important parks of Bern, located in the middle of the Old City. From here, on a clear day, you’ll have amazing views that go even beyond the city limits. Enjoy the sun, the walks and the hundreds of flowers that grow in this park. Among the species you will find 223 rose, 200 iris and 28 rhododendron varieties, as well as an enchanting water lily pond.

Don’t forget to bring your camera!

7. An indoor option with a twist – Museum of Communication

Museum für Kommunikation DSC04993

If you get tired of walking under the sun and you prefer to spend some time in air conditioning, the most interesting and unique option you’ll find in Bern is the Museum of Communication. It’s very special since it focuses on the subject of communication in an unusual way, taking the visitors through an interactive and playful experience with the articles exhibited. At this time, the museum is being refurbished and a new permanent exhibition will start from August 19th, 2017. In the mean time, the museum presents a series of small exhibition gems and has compiled an interesting programme of events for visitors.

With places like this, you might want to consider Switzerland for your summer holidays

When you think of cities like Bern, you might only hear about their snowy mountains and great ski runs. All of that is true and it is a very attractive winter getaway, but Bern is a lot more than that. During a warm summer day you can enjoy these activities and have an experience that goes beyond the typical European route. Take this into consideration on your next trip and make time to visit these awesome attractions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *