Bern: The Capital of Switzerland

After reading about visits to the capital from fellow bloggers and making a mental note of recommendations from friends in the Rhine Valley, we finally made it to Bern! We arrived Friday night so we could wake up Saturday morning to a nice hotel breakfast and a full day of exploring.

From the main train station we walked along Spitalgasse (which turns into Marktgasse, etc.), stopping along the way to check out various shops that piqued our interest. In particular, we stopped at the open air market to browse antiques, hats, and jewelry and to pick up a packet of loose-leaf tea (locally blended by a Bavarian-Bernese couple). We also caught the clockwork "performance" that begins about five minutes before the clock strikes the hour at the Zytglogge. Eventually, we made our way to the empty bear pits and some very active bear cubs in the new BärenPark.

For lunch we had a picnic in a small square near Kornhausbrücke. From there we explored the area surrounding the Bundeshaus (Federal Building) and caught Bus 10 up to the Rosengarten. Despite the lack of roses this time of year, we enjoyed spending a leisurely hour there, soaking in the sun and a great view of the city. To round out our day, we did some more window-shopping and stopped at the Berner Münster (cathedral). Although we didn't go inside, we did enjoy a view of the Aare river from the Münsterplattform. All in all, we had a great day trip to our host country's capital and would highly recommend adding it to your list of places to see in Switzerland!

Of note in Bern are the many shops located in cellars, accessible by such street-level doors.
Zytglogge -- Closeup of the astronomical clock and clockwork figures
Crowd waiting for the clockwork "performance" to begin
Bear fountain with the Zytglogge in the background
Lazy bear (Finn)
Unfortunately, this video doesn't capture the most interesting bear cub activity of the day (climbing trees and knocking one another down the bank), as it was pretty difficult to get a good shot of them. Nonetheless, you can click above to see how little and cute they still are!

Isaiah near the BärenPark, along the Aare
View of the city from the Rosengarten
Berner Münster


  1. looks like you had sunny weather! I love the photo of the clock figures and the water fountain (my two favorites).

  2. Hi Elisa! Yes, we had nice, sunny weather that day! Thanks! by the way, I just added a video of the bear cubs if you're interested to see them. They are so cute!

  3. Wow you definitely saw a LOT of Bern, and there were even bears for you!

    My first visit: didn't know about the bears. My second visit: they were renovating the bear pen! Looks there a 3rd visit is in order...


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