Places of interest in and around Bern


Bern is not only a great place to visit for its wide range of leisure activities – the city and its surrounding area also boast an abundance of attractions to see and enjoy. Take a look at the places you definitely shouldn't miss during your stay in the Swiss capital.


Bern Cathedral


Bern Minster, an architectural masterpiece that dominates the city skyline with its majestic presence. Built over six centuries, the impressive late Gothic cathedral is a testament to remarkable craftsmanship and attention to detail.

The impressive stained glass windows and majestic columns create an atmosphere of awe and wonder inside. When you visit Bern Minster, however, your journey does not end at the entrance. Climbing the tower is an adventure that is rewarded with an unforgettable perspective, showing the beauty and history of Bern from above. The panorama reveals a fascinating mix of medieval charm and modern vibrancy. With the meandering Aare, the picturesque roofs of the old town and the surrounding Swiss Alps, it reveals a breathtaking picture that you should not miss.

Zytglogge – the Swiss capital's landmark


Bern's main landmark is the clock tower in the centre of the city, known as the Zytglogge. It features a monumental clock with an oversized clock face and, in pre-radio times, was the city's master clock that was used to set the time for all other timepieces. Now, crowds gather in front of the impressive clock tower five minutes before the hour to marvel at the bells and mechanical figures which include a procession of bears, a jester, a golden cockerel and the God of Time.

Inside the medieval tower are 130 steps just waiting to be climbed. Make your way up and you'll be rewarded with unique views of the old town with all its little alleyways and rooftops. If you want to know more, you can also join a guided tour of Bern to explore the Zytglogge and find out fascinating facts about the clock tower and the Swiss capital.

Bear Pit


Welcome to the Bear Pit, a treasured and iconic attraction in Bern that celebrates the city's endearing connection with its heraldic animal. This historic site, with roots dating back centuries, offers a unique experience for visitors of all ages.

The Bear Pit, once a traditional bear enclosure, has evolved into a modern and spacious bear park that provides a humane and natural habitat for these magnificent animals. 

The Bear Pit is not just about watching bears, but also about discovering the heart and soul of Bern's heritage. These furry residents have occupied a special place in the city's folklore and history, symbolising the Bernese people's deep-rooted love and respect for wildlife.

Blausee lake – the top attraction in the Bern region


The legend of Blausee tells of a beautiful maiden with deep-blue eyes who suffered an unrequited love and died of a broken heart. Ever since then, according to legend, Blausee lake near the village of Kandergrund has been the same deep blue colour as the maiden's eyes, in memory of her love that endured beyond death.

The legend of Blausee, Switzerland's most beautiful mountain lake, is a highly romantic tale. The lake lies in a 20-hectare nature reserve and is fed by subterranean springs which give it its crystal-clear water. The area around the blue lake is one of the most impressive sights in the Bern region, making it a popular place for families and nature lovers to visit with its paths, picnic areas and open fire pits.

On the lake shore you'll find a hotel with a spa that offers a host of wellness and bathing options. Thanks to its unique location, you'll soon forget everything around you and enjoy a proper break surrounded by stunning scenery. Blausee nature reserve is also home to an organic trout farm which sells its products there.

Ice-skating in Bern


How about trying something special in Bern and gliding over the ice in a unique setting in front of the Federal Palace? The ice rink on Bundesplatz attracts thousands of ice-skating fans to the gates of the parliament building from December to February. The artificial ice rink measures around 600 square metres and, with its special lighting, is a real highlight for anyone visiting Bern in winter.

If things get a bit cold out on the ice, you can warm up with a hot chocolate, a mug of mulled wine or some cheese fondue at the Bundesplatz ice rink restaurant. 

Schloss Jegenstorf Baroque country estate


With its fascinating history, elegant interiors and impressive gardens, Schloss Jegenstorf is a Bernese attraction with a special charm of its own that can be reached in 20 minutes from Bern railway station. The estate began as a medieval castle with a water-filled moat, which Albrecht Friedrich von Erlach converted into an impressive patrician's estate in 1720.

The palace was opened to the public in 1936, and is now one of the most-visited sights in the Bern area with its museum and interior featuring furniture from private and patrician households. Switzerland's largest collection of Baroque tiled stoves from around the country is a special highlight for visitors. Schloss Jegenstorf also offers events, costumed guided tours and activity-based and fairy-tale tours for children.

The Baroque gardens with a carp pond are an ideal place to relax and unwind all year round. If you feel like treating yourself to an exclusive delicacy after a long walk, the Schlosscafé offers a superb sparkling wine made from fruit from the palace's own fruit trees, as well as other tasty treats.