What to see in Bern in 3 days

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is a green city in the heart of Europe: the first feature you will notice is, in fact, the great love that this city has for nature and animals, which makes it a ideal destination for families with children. Not only nature: Bern has a very beautiful and ancient historical center, the so-called Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and art museums and historic buildings to visit. The perfect destination for a weekend that combines relaxation and culture. Here, then: What to see in Bern in 3 days.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Bern cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, AltStadt, Bundeshaus, Käfigturm

In a city dedicated to greenery, we can't help but start with breakfast at Äss-Bar, a particular oven that collects the unsold the previous day from other businesses and sells it at bargain prices, thus allowing us to have breakfast for around € 3,00. with delicious desserts.

We are then ready to start our tour through the AltStadt, the Old Town. At 200 meters on Amthausgasse we have the Bundesplazt, the central square full of movement and activity, overlooked by the Bundeshaus, the parliament building. It is an imposing Renaissance-style palace with a high dome in the center, it is possible to visit it every day, by reservation, for free.

Continuing our tour on Marktgasse we meet the Käfigturm tower, one of the symbols of Bern: in the Middle Ages it was one of the two gateways to the city, later transformed into a prison and today is the seat of the political forum. It can be visited every day except Sunday, Monday from 14:00 to 18:00, from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00, Saturdays closes at 16:00, entry is free. You can go up to the top where you will enjoy a splendid view over the city and the Aare River. Finally we take Marktgasse again for a walk in the heart of Bern.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Zytglogge, Einsteinhaus, Munster Kirche

We have lunch at the Swiss Ringgenberg restaurant, where we can have lunch on the terrace. The highlight are the Moules Frites: mussels with chips, a full meal costs CHF30-35,00 (approximately € 30,00).

Then we continue the tour for the Zytglogge, the clock tower and astrolabe, another icon of Bern, witness to the love of the Swiss for watches and precision. At the stroke of every hour you can watch the mechanical figurines show coming out of the clock and marking the time with a dance. At 14:30 pm, every day, a tour starts to visit the tower internally, upon reservation at a cost of about € 18,00, in this way you can also see the internal mechanism of the clock (Buy the tour online). It is necessary to book online to enjoy the tour of about 1 hour.

We take advantage of the last opening hours of the Einsteinhaus, 200 meters away.The great scientist Einstein, in fact, lived here for about 2 years, and now his apartment has become a small museum in which we can view some interesting panels and see a documentary about his life. It is open every day from 10:00 to 17:00 and the ticket costs CHF6,00 (€ 5,30).

Finally, not far away, we can visit the Munster Kirche, the cathedral of Bern, inside the Munsterplatz and a large park. Admission is free, even the ascent to the tower of 344 steps, however it is necessary to respect the timetable of the functions.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Marktgasse

Tonight we have dinner at the Kloetzlikeller restaurant, a highly sought-after place where we can order international and fusion cuisine for around CHF40,00-50,00 (€ 40,00). Then we can finish our tour of the historic center, which in the evening takes on another charm, with the lights and the charm of the river. Along the Marktgasse there are still many monuments to see and many fountains, in addition to the squares with outdoor tables that offer us a glimpse of the intense social life of the inhabitants of this splendid city.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,4 km / 28 min
  • Places visited: AltStadt, Bundeshaus (free), Käfigturm (free), Zytglogge (€ 18,00), Einstenhaus (CHF6,00 - approximately € 5,30), Munster Kirche (free), Marktgasse
  • Bern Zytglogge: visit of the Clock Tower
  • Breakfast at Äss-Bar (Get directions), Lunch at Ringgenberg (Get directions), Dinner at Kloetzlikeller (Get directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Bärenpark, Tierpark Dählhölzli

We start the day with breakfast in the center at Beck Glatz Confiseur: the sweet Mandelbärli is absolutely recommended, also in the gluten-free version. It's a bit expensive, coffee and sweets will cost you around € 10,00, but it's worth it.

Then we take bus 12 and reach it in about 6 minutes Bärenpark, the bear pit. Here four brown bears live in total harmony and serenity inside a pool, a natural environment created for them, testifying to Bern's love for nature. It can be accessed every day from 08:00 to 17:00 and entry is free. Then we go, about 2 km away, to the Tierpark Dählhölzl, we can also reach it by taking bus 12 for a short distance and then bus 19 to the Ka-We-De stop, then proceed on foot for a short distance. It is a zoo, but very different from the zoo we mean. It is a very large green oasis where animals live in freedom and respecting their nature. A lesson for all of us and an experience especially for children. It is open every day from 09:00 to 17:00 and the entrance costs CHF10,00 (€ 8,90).

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Rosengarten, Nydeggbrucke, riverside

Once the visit to the zoo is over we can have lunch at the Tierpark-Restaurant Dahlholzli, right outside. IS a very nice restaurant that offers a beautiful view of the river, here we can eat various dishes of international cuisine for CHF40,00-50,00 (€ 40,00).

Then, about 2,6 km from the zoo, we can visit the magnificent Rosengarten garden. We reach it by taking bus 19 towards the center and then change to line 10 towards Ostermundigen, get off right at the Rosengarten stop. The journey takes about 10 minutes. This garden once was destined to become a cemetery, today it hosts many species of flowers, trees, statues and also a pond on which we can relax a little. It is open every day from 09:00 to 24:00 and entry is free.

After relaxing, we can return to the center with a pleasant walk along the very green banks of the river and cross the Nydeggbrucke bridge, which offers a very picturesque glimpse of the typical Swiss houses overlooking the river.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Waisenhausplatz

We have dinner at the Swiss restaurant Bärenhöfli, here the prices are lower than average and you can taste the typical rosti and apple fritters. Dinner will cost around CHF20,00-33,00 (€ 20,00- € 30,00).

After dinner we take a walk and visit the Waisenhausplatz ,beautiful square full of buildings and clubs packed with people, where we can also sit in the outdoor tables and under the arcades and maybe drink a good beer.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 5,9 km / 1 h 25 min
  • Places visited: Bärenpark (free), Tierpark Dählhölzl (CHF10,00 - € 8,90), Rosengarten (free), Nydeggbrucke, riverside, Waisenhausplatz
  • Bern: Walking Tour of the Old Town
  • Breakfast at Beck Glatz Confiseur (Get directions), Lunch at Tierpark-Restaurant Dahlholzli (Get directions), Dinner at Restaurant Bärenhöfli (Get directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Paul Klee Center

We have breakfast at Propeller Café, we can drink a good espresso and eat an excellent cake for around CHF11,00 (€ 10,00). Then we reach the Paul Klee Center, about 300 meters from the cafeteria we take bus 12, Bärenplatz stop, in the direction of Zentrum Paul Klee, it will take us there in just over 10 minutes. This museum is also very interesting for its futuristic and harmonious exterior designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. Inside it houses a huge collection of works by the famous Swiss-German painter who has created iconic images that we all know. The museum is open every day except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:00 and the entrance ticket costs CHF20,00 (approximately € 18,00). The visit will surely take us a couple of hours, at the end of which we can calmly take the bus back to the center where we will have lunch.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Kunstmuseum, funicular, Federal Palace, bath in the Aar

Today we allow ourselves a special lunch at the Middle Eastern restaurant Pittaria, not far from the Art Museum that we will visit later. Here we can eat an excellent plate of falafel for CHF19,00 (€ 16,00). Then we go to visit the oldest Swiss art museum, the Kunstmuseum, really important because it houses over 50 thousand works of all kinds: painting, sculpture, photography, and a wide choice of temporary exhibitions too. It is open until 17:00, the ticket costs CHF10,00 (€ 8,90).

Once the visit is over, let's go live a truly unique experience: the shortest funicular in Europe, in the Marzili district, next to the Federal Palace. The small stretch is just over 100 meters long and yet carries a million travelers a year. From here we can reach the beach on the river, the lido Freibad Marzili, and, if it's a hot day, we can too a bath in the river, it is very clean and suitable for swimming.

3 - Evening: Dinner, city center

This evening, the last in Bern, we have a nice fish dinner at the Terrasse restaurant, on the other side of the river, which offers a beautiful view over the Aare. The recommended dish is Fish & Chips, at around CHF20,00 (€ 18,00). Then we go back to the center and spend our last evening near the Zytglogge Theater, at the Cuba Bar, where we can have a cocktail and listen to good music outdoors, a drink will cost CHF10,00-15,00 (€ 10,00- € 15,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 8,1 km / 1 h 44 min
  • Places visited: Paul Klee Center (CHF20,00 - around € 18,00), Kunstmuseum (CHF10,00 - around € 8,90), funicular, Federal Palace, Freibad Marsili, Zytglogge Theater
  • Jungfraujoch: rooftop tour of Europe by train
  • Breakfast at Propeller Café (Get directions), Lunch at Pittaria (Get directions), Dinner at Restaurant Terrasse (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Bern cost

Switzerland, we know, is not cheap, yet here in Bern there are some great benefits. For example, for those staying at least one night, public transport is free, and they are really very efficient and punctual. Restaurants are not cheap, but there is still the possibility of spending a little less, especially for breakfast, as in our day 1, with solutions that avoid waste: on the other hand this city is really green and even the parks are almost all free. Finally, the entrance to the museums can vary a lot, it is always better to take a look first.

  • Costs to eat: about € 60,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: about € 60,00 per person following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: free if you stay at least one night, otherwise € 10,00 daily ticket
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: starting from € 62,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 20,00 per person (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, ...)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Bern: from € 650,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Bern: in spring, in the months of April and May - find out more
  • Bern airport is about 10 km from the city center, the Airport Bus Bern shuttle service, line 334, is available for CHF 14,00 (€ 11,00). By car, Milan is about 350 km away, which can be covered on the A2 in just over 4 hours. By train, it is possible to take Eurocity from Milan, the journey takes about 3 hours and the ticket costs about € 40,00. Flights starting from € 45,00 -
  • inside the Old Town, as the main attractions are close by. The area is well connected by public transport. Hotels and b & b starting from € 62,00 per room -
  • Getting around: on foot in the Old Town, public transport is still very efficient and widespread. The day ticket costs CHF12,40 (€ 10,00) but, if you stay at least one night, you will be entitled to the Bern Ticket to travel for free within zones 100 and 101, almost the whole city - find out more

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