Getting around in Bern: info, costs and tips

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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A city in the heart of Switzerland, Bern is located in the canton of the same name and is a small town that deserves to be visited. Characterized by characteristic alleys, houses with sloping roofs and medieval arcades and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, it is a place that attracts tourists and visitors looking for tranquility every year. Its historic center is characterized by 6 km of stone streets, with arcades, shops, fountains and palaces and is ideal for getting around on foot or by bike.

Here is a guide on how to get around Bern: info, costs and advice!


  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Bern
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

Being a small town, Bern is perfect for be explored on foot.
For a first approach, the advice is to follow a guided walking tour, to identify the main landmarks and then be able to move easily independently.
From June to September It is also recommended to move around by bicycle thanks to the free rental service: the Bern Rollt. Just an identity document and a deposit of 20,00 CHF € 17,00); the first 4 hours are free, then each additional hour costs 1,00 CHF (€ 0,80).

Bern enjoys a very efficient public transport system and those who stay in Bern for at least 1 night are entitled to the Bern Ticket, which allows free use of all public transport in the city in zones 100/101. Another alternative to public transport are taxis, not exactly cheap, available 24 hours a day which have a departure cost of CHF 24 (€ 6,90) plus CHF 5,00 (€ 4,50) for every km traveled.

  • Recommended solutions and means: on foot and by bike
  • Solutions and means not recommended: car and moped
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: Bern Ticket (free -), day ticket for public transport (from 12,40 CHF / € 10,00)

How to get from the airport to the center of Bern

Bern owns the little one Bern-Pelp regional airport, smaller in size and traffic than other airports and is located 10 km from the center. Alternatively you can use the Zurich airport, 122 km away, or the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse in Freiburg, 103 km, or the Geneva airport at 157 km.

Bern-Pelp Airport

  • Distance from the center: 10 km / travel time: 25 min;
  • By bus: average cost CHF 14,00 (€ 11,00) / AirportBus Bern, line 334
  • By taxi: average cost CHF 30,00 (€ 25,00) / travel time: 25 min

Zurich-Kloten Airport

  • Distance from the center: 122 km / travel time: 1 h and 10 min;
  • By train: regional line IC1 or IR15 / ticket cost: from 58,00 CHF (€ 55,00)
  • By taxi: average cost from 279,00 CHF (€ 254,00) / travel time: 1 h 40 min

Geneva International Airport

  • Distance from the center: 157 km / travel time: 1 h 33 min;
  • By train: regional line IC1 or IR15 / ticket cost: from 17,00 CHF (€ 16,00)
  • By taxi: average cost 344,00 CHF (€ 313,00) / travel time: 1 h 40 min

EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg

  • Distance from the center: 157 km / travel time: 1 hour 30 min;
  • By bus: Flixbus line from the airport to Bern / ticket cost: from 34,00 CHF (€ 32,00)
  • By taxi: average cost CHF 227,00 (€ 207,00) / travel time: 1 hour and 30 min

How to get around on foot

The center of Bern, thanks to its small size, can be easily visited on footthe. Often, the accommodations are not far from the attractions, the alleys of the old city and the banks of the Aare river and all destinations can be reached by walking. In addition, the center is characterized by 6 km of arcades, allowing people to walk even on rainy days.

For a first approach, the advice is to follow a guided walking tour, to identify the main landmarks and then be able to move easily independently. After the tour, you will have no difficulty in dedicating the right time to all the must-sees. You will enjoy the pleasure of wandering around bern and its spotlessly clean cobbled streets full of cafes and shops.

Con i mezzi pubblici

Bern has a very efficient public transport network, consisting mainly of buses and trams, which allow you to move freely, reaching all areas of the city in a very short time.

The network is managed by Bernamobili, tickets for the means of transport can be purchased at the vending machines and the LIBERO Shop at Bern Central Station. Remember to get your tickets first since it is not possible to buy them on board.

The pricing is based on a zone system, you can buy a day ticket that allows you to move freely on all public transport, or if you stay overnight for at least one day, you have the Bern Ticket, which allows you to travel for free in zones 100 and 101, practically all of Bern.

Tram and bus

Bernmobil is the Bern public transport company, which with its trams, trolley buses and buses covers almost all the destinations of interest in the city. It also has a night service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, with 18 lines operating in the main nightlife areas. Bern's tram network has been in operation since 1890, and currently has five lines.

Since all the vehicles are managed by the same company, times and fares are the same. A single ticket costs 2,50 CHF (€ 2,35), but if you plan to make several trips, the best solution is to get a day ticket for 12,40 CHF (€ 10,00).

  • Downloadable map: bern-transport-map
  • from 5:30 to 00:00; on weekends night lines from 00:00 to 5:30
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 2,50 CHF (€ 2,35)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: daily ticket 12,40 CHF (€ 10,00)

Gurten funiculars

In Bern you can also take the funiculars to reach the top of the mountains that surround it. In addition to being a comfortable means of transport for those who don't really like mountain walks, they are now also a real attraction!

The Gurten Line connects Wabern in the south of Bern with the top of the mountain of the same name, which dominates the city. Wabern can be reached from the city center by tram line 9 and by train, lines S3 and S31 of the S-Bahn Bern. The Marzili line, on the other hand, was built in 1885 and is the fastest way to reach the Aare and Lido di Marzili from Bern station. The duration of the ride is about one minute, with departures every two minutes and is famous for why it is the shortest public funicular in Europe.

  • Gurten line from Monday to Saturday 7: 00-23: 30, Sunday and holidays 7: 00-20: 00; Marzili line every day 6: 15- 21:00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 6,00 CHF (€ 5,60), return ticket 10,50 CHF (€ 9,85)

By car

If you are planning to arrive in Bern with your car, you have to keep in mind some rules:

  • throughout Switzerland it is mandatory to keep the headlights on even during the day;
  • you have to pay an annual fee to drive on the motorway (even if you are just passing through);
  • the speed limit is 50 km / h in built-up areas, 80 km / h on open roads and 120 km / h on motorways.

To move around Bern, a car is not necessary. There are no ZTLs, so you can move around freely, but parking spaces are few and expensive: the best thing is to leave your vehicle at the hotel or in the "park and ride" and take public transport to the city center.

Stops and parking

There are few parking spaces in Bern and therefore you could risk wasting a lot of time. For paid parking, you can also buy the ticket at the Bernmobil vending machines and time starts running from the moment you purchase the ticket. As for the rates, they range on average from a minimum of 10,00 CHF / day (€ 9,30) up to 36,00 CHF / day (€ 33,50) for car parking.

The car parks are divided into zones of different colors:

  • the blue zone is active from Monday to Saturday 8:00 am to 18:00 pm, with a free parking disc for a maximum of one hour, while on Sundays, holidays and between 19:00 and 7:00 pm the parking disc is not necessary;
  • the yellow zone represents private or corporate car parks, which can only be used by those entitled to it and by customers and guests;
  • the white zone represents the car parks that require the use of the parking meter, with rates from 10,00 CHF / day (€ 9,30) to 36,00 CHF / day (€ 33,50), places are often numbered and limited.

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