Capital of Switzerland
Beautiful City of Bern

Bern, the Capital of Switzerland, is built around a crook in the Aare River. Dating to the 12th century it features medieval architecture which can be seen in the Old Town. The Swiss Parliament and diplomats meet in the Bundeshaus or Federal Palace. This is an important site of Switzerland Tourism.

Bern is surrounded by the Aare River

Bern is surrounded by the Aare River

Bern is full of cultural events that take place year round. It features many museums covering an array of topics of interest, churches and attractions such as the Zytglogge, a medieval clock tower with moving puppets; cobbled streets, arcades and fountains, and don’t miss crossing the turquoise River Aare to see the four bears in Bern's Bear Park.

The picturesque downtown of Bern the Capital of Switzerland

The picturesque downtown of Bern the Capital of Switzerland

The Old Town

With the status of a World Heritage site by UNESCO, it is located on a cliff surrounded on three sides by the Aare River. The cobbled streets are bordered by covered, arcade sidewalks and on the lower levels of the buildings are shops, cafés, bookstores, and restaurants, while the upper floors are residence apartments.

Here the visitor will find most of the attractions, bridges, public fountains, old statues, towers and the famous Clock Tower.

In one of the apartments lived for a short period Albert Einstein which has been turned into the Einstein House Museum.

The Zytglogge or Clock Tower in Bern

The Zytglogge or Clock Tower in Bern the Capital of Switzerland

Clock Tower

The Zytglogge or Clock Tower dates to 1530. It is decorated win an immense astronomical clock. Beginning at three minutes before the hour, a group of mechanical creatures, the Fool, The Knight, The Rooster, The Piper, and many more, come out to put on a little show. Inside, you can see the popularity of this ancient structure from the 130 worn stone steps. Visitors are welcome to climb to the observation platform, which spots some impressive views of the Capital of Switzerland.

Capital of Switzerland

Paul Klee Center             

This center contains about 4,000 pieces of art by Paul Klee one of the most recognizable and famous of all paintings of the 20th century. The famous “Dame mit Sonnenschirm” or Woman with Parasol, “In den Häusern von Saint Germain” or Houses of St Germain among others. 


To the west of Waisenhausplatz, on the Hodlerstrasse, is the famed Kunstmuseum or Museum of Art. It is home to more than 50,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and films. 

The museum offers both public and private tours to its collection of works by Monet, Manet, Pissarro, van Gogh, Cezanne and Gaugin.


The Einstein Museum in the Capital of Switzerland

The Einstein Museum in the Capital of Switzerland

The Einstein Museum

Combined with the Historical Museum of Bern, it makes for the second largest museum in Switzerland with more than half a million objects dating from the Stone Age through the Celts, Romans, Middle Ages, Napoleonic era, and into the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Einstein Museum goes through the life of the great scientist, how he lived, especially when he lived in Bern in the early 1900s. Even his 1921 Nobel Prize certificate is on display here.

The museum is located on the Helvetiaplatz just across the Aare River from the Old Town.


 With impressive views of the city, this is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in Bern. The Rose garden is located across the town center. It is a public park with more than 200 types of roses besides azaleas, irises and rhododendrons. It features a restaurant, picnic areas and a splendid pond.

The City of Fountains

Situated about the old town are a number of ancient public fountains installed in the 16th century, the fountains were topped with statues of ideas or biblical scenes such as Samson killing a lion.

Others are statues praising the power of Bern, such as the Zähringerbrunnen, a bear in full armor; and the Läuferbrunnen, the Runner Fountain. 

Botanical Gardens Do not miss this beautiful and impressive botanical garden. It contains several sections, the Alpinium montane ecosystems hosting mountain plants from Europe, Asia, and North America with a special focus on Swiss flora. Three other buildings focus on desert, tropical, and subtropical vegetation and environments.


Berner Münster the Bern Cathedral the largest church in Switzerland

Berner Münster the Bern Cathedral the largest church in Switzerland

Berner Münster 

Also known as the Bern Cathedral and the Cathedral of Saint Vincent, this is Switzerland’s largest church dating to the late middle ages.

It started as a Gothic creation in 1421, but the tower was not finished until 1893, with the addition of the octagonal upper section and the openwork spire.

From the tree planted Bern Münster terrace, the visitor will have an attractive view down into the Aare valley; and once you make it up the 254 steps of the tower, the views over the city are outstanding.


South of the center of town is this 864 meters mountain with a 360 degree view of the city with its domes and towers and the Alps beyond the countryside. You may even see the Jura Mountains across the Three Lakes Region.

It’s free and the views improve with every step. You may also take the leisurely trails through thick forests and flowery meadows.

Bundeshaus or Swiss Parliament building

 Bundeshaus or Swiss Parliament building


Bern's Renaissance style Bundeshaus or Parliament building, stands on the edge of the cliff above the Aare River in the Capital of Switzerland. It contains the two chambers of the Swiss Parliament, the meeting places of the National Council, and the Council of States. It is open to the public, with certain restrictions when the parliament is in session.

Outside the Bundeshaus is the Bundesplatz where an impressive vegetable and flower market takes place on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. The visitor will find many restaurants cafés and shops.

The building is crowned by a 64 meter-high green dome, decorated with stained glass windows depicting the coats of arms of Switzerland's cantons and a central mosaic of the Federal coat of arms with the motto “One for all and all for one”. 

The Granary

This impressive cultural space houses the City Theater's Kornhausbühne; the Library for Design; the Forum for Media and Design; the Kornhaus Library; and two renowned restaurants, the Kornhauskeller and Kornhauscafé. You might never guess it, but originally this building was used for grain storage. The interior is decorated with twelve pillars featuring the traditional dress of Bernese women as well as representations of more than two dozen musicians dressed in Swiss attire from the Renaissance period.

For more information visit Bern Tourism Website

Bern Communications Museum

Museum of Communications or the Museum für Kommunikation

Bern Communications Museum

Founded in 1907, the 2,000 square meter Museum of Communications or the Museum für Kommunikation, attracts over 80,000 visitors each year.

The Museum’s permanent collection comprises three exhibitions.  The first, “So Near and Yet So Far” how people have communicated over history.

The exhibition then examines postal services, Samuel Morse's telegraph, Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, radio and television, and finally the internet.

The second, “As Time Goes Byte” Computing and Digital Culture, begins by taking a look at the first computers; the principal exhibit is the first Swiss computer, the Ermeth, occupying 50 square meters but offers less performance than a modern pocket calculator!

The final exhibition, “Imagery that Sticks” the World of Stamps, is the museum’s smallest.  It is devoted to Swiss stamps, many of which are blown up to make their images appear life-sized. 

images credits

bern by bunitzer amstzimarco
kunstmuseum y andreas praefacke
rosengarten by schoffor
bundeshaus by traumrune

all courtesy of wikimedia commons

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

From Capital of Switzerland go to European Capitals
Go to Switzerland Tourism

Go to Tuchman Travel Guide Home Page

Site Map     About Us     Share your Story     Blog     Contact Us     Disclaimer   Privacy Policy