10 Top Things to do in Bern Switzerland in One Day

(Last Updated On: June 9, 2018)

Are you planning a visit to the Switzerland capital Bern and looking for places to visit in Bern in one day? Bern the beautiful Swiss capital is brimming with life and history. The city of Bern enchants visitors with its well-preserved medieval architecture set along the Aare river with a gorgeous backdrop of Alpine views. The old town Bern is close to the train station so it is quite easy to explore Bern on foot so one day in Bern is good enough. Bern is a couple hour train journey from Geneva and around an hour from Zurich so makes it easy to visit on a day trip.

Top Attractions in Swiss Capital City Bern

The post lists you information on what to do in Bern in one day. So here we go with the list:

Produce Market

Around 5 minutes walk from the train station is the large square Barenplatz that hosted a colorful market with ample variety of goods from food, flowers, and clothes. This market right in the heart of the city is believed to be satiating the shopping spree of Bernese for more than a century. Read More on markets here.

places to visit in Bern in one day

The Prison Tower (Kafigturm)

Barenplatz is dominated by 400 years old medieval tower, which stands in the place of a previously demolished prison tower. The tower also served as a watchtower and signal tower today hosts political exhibitions and discussion and is open to the public interested in political history.

It was a sunny day but as it snowed all night the whole city was washed white and breathed of fresh chilled air.

places to visit in Bern in one day

places to visit in Bern in one day

Zytglogge

The clock tower is the iconic landmark of Bern and on top of things to do in Bern in one day. It is one of the oldest clocks in Switzerland and dates back to 13th century. Four minutes before the hour the vibrant medieval figures turn and twirl around followed by chimes and loud applause from the crowd of tourists waiting for the show. One can climb up to the top of the tower for best views over the city.

places to visit in Bern in one day

City of Fountains

Continue onto the same street along the clock tower for gorgeous fountains all along the street. The elaborate fountains with intriguing and vividly colored figures and columns lining up the street depict the historical events from the Middle Ages. Bern has over 100 fountains, eleven of which are of great historical importance and date back to mid-16th century. And all of them have potable water reserves.

Day trip to Bern

places to visit in Bern in one day

Einstein House (Einsteinhaus)

Visit Einstein house located in the center of the Old City few hundred meters from the Clock Tower (Zytglogge). The second floor of the residence houses Einstein Museum Bern featuring furnishings and photos from the period Einstein stayed there with his family. The third floor has a film, which provides an insight into the life of Albert Einstein.

places to visit in Bern in one day

Bern Town hall

The gothic style building with exquisite facade is the seat of the cantonal government and is not open to the public.

places to visit in Bern in one day

Bern Cathedral (Berner Munster)

The medieval gothic style Cathedral has the highest church tower, beautiful stained glass windows and a remarkable main door portal with elegant carvings depicting the Last Judgment. The magnificent church is one of the popular places to visit in Bern in one day.

places to visit in Bern in one day

top things to do in Bern Switzerland

One can climb 344 steps up to the cathedral tower for magnificent views of the city roofs and the snow-capped mountains. Stroll around the park adjacent to the church for some of the best views of the city and the Aare River.

places to visit in Bern in one day

top things to do in Bern Switzerland

Parliament Building (Federal Palace of Switzerland)

The Parliament Building is the seat of the Swiss government and is open to the public when sessions are not taking place. A visit to the domed hall and debating chambers for would walk one through the history and the working of the Parliament. The Parliament square hosts a traditional weekly market and an ice rink for kids in winter. The parliament stands at the edge of Aare valleys and provides with best views over the Aare River and the Alps.

top things to do in Bern Switzerland

Recreational and Fun activities.

If you are looking for activities that are must do in Bern with kids then you may want to visit the historical museum or the bear park or spend some relaxed time in one of the gardens.

Bern Historical Museum

Visit the historical museum for a walk through the historic and prehistoric times with exhibits from Stone Age to the present age. Visit Einstein Museum and attend the animated films hosted for an understanding of the life and work of Albert Einstein.

Bern Bear Park (Barengraben)

The Bern bear park must make to the list of things to see in Bern in one day. The two residents of Bern bear park Bjork and Finn can be found frolicking along the Aare Riverside which fills the spectators with delight. The park has several walking paths along the river and is great for a relaxed family time.

Rose Garden (Rosengarten)

The Rose Garden originally a cemetery is home to hundreds of variety of flowers mainly roses, irises, and rhododendrons. The garden houses a large pond, restaurant and is a great place to relax.


Travel Guides

Shopping Spree

The cobblestone streets of old town are lined with arcades which Bernese call as the “Lauben” and are a great place for shopping for all seasons. One can find all kind of shops from brand shops, boutiques, traditional markets, antique shops and shopping malls. Or choose to shop in one of the flea markets, artisan market or produce markets.

top things to do in Bern Switzerland

Day Trips from Bern

If you have more than one day in Bern then plan a day trip to one of the beautiful places in Switzerland close to its capital Bern. Bern makes for a perfect base to explore major Swiss cities like Zurich, Basel, and Interlaken. Check out our posts on day trips from Bern and if you are looking for more on Switzerland here are 10 best places to visit in Switzerland.

Hope this post helps you with what to see in Bern in one day. Visiting Bern in winter when the city was covered in sparkling snow was one of our memorable trips etched on our mind forever. Have you visited Bern? What did you like the most about Bern? Share with us your travel experiences in comments.

Where to Stay in Bern?

The Swiss capital has a plenitude of accommodation options from hostels, luxury hotels to apartments located around the city center.

Bern Backpackers Hotel Glocke

Hotel Glocke is located in a historic building at a walkable distance from popular Bern attraction Zytglogge Tower. The hotel offers free WiFi and a fully equipped kitchen.

Check Availability and the Latest Prices on Booking.com for Hotel Glocke

Best Western Hotel Bern

Best Western Hotel is only a 5-minute walk from Bern Train Station and a couple of minutes walk from the famous Bern attraction Zytglogge. The hotel is located in an Art Nouveau building comes with free Wi-Fi and free public transportation pass for the city of Bern.

Check Availability and the Latest Prices on Booking.com for Best Western Hotel

Belle Epoque Boutique Hotel

Belle Epoque Boutique Hotel is located in a historic 500-year-old building in the Bern Old Town close to the Aare River and about 7-minute walk away from Bear Park (Barengraben). The rooms come with free wifi and guests benefit from free public transport in Bern.

Check Availability and the Latest Prices on Booking.com for Belle Epoque Boutique Hotel

Hotel Bellevue Palace Bern

The Hotel Bellevue Palace is located in a traditional Art Nouveau building and is a couple of minutes walk from the Swiss Parliament and about 5-minutes walk from the popular Bern Cathedral. The hotel offers free wifi and free public transport in Bern and includes a sauna and a fitness center.

Check Availability and the Latest Prices on Booking.com for Hotel Bellevue Palace

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43 thoughts on “10 Top Things to do in Bern Switzerland in One Day

  • April 22, 2016 at 10:34 am
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    MArkets and museums are always a must-do everywhere you go, always laern somenthing frm those two places. I bet Einstein Museum was such an entretaining and at the same time educational experience to see the personal side of Einstein. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm
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      We are not much into shopping but definitely make it a point to visit the traditional markets for an experience. Yes Einstein museum was very educational and interesting.

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 1:18 pm
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    I already picked couple of things to do that I would put more time than the others. I would love to spend time looking at the fountains, and I think the town hall is gorgeous. I love the architecture and it certainly is a place to snap a lot of shots.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 22, 2016 at 4:37 pm
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      Town hall is gorgeous indeed but if you are looking for more great architecture I think visit to parliament is must. And yes fountains are stunning and as there are around 100 of them you can easily spend time exploring them.

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 1:31 pm
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    I’ve never been to Switzerland but the architecture looks beautiful. I love it when a city retains its history 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful time!

    Rosie | http://www.rosieromance.com

    Reply
    • mm
      April 22, 2016 at 4:38 pm
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      Yes Rosie we had a great time exploring the architecture and beauty of the city. Thanks 🙂

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 3:08 pm
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    I have never been to Bern before (even if RyanAir tempted me with £10 flights) because of how expensive it is. From your pictures, it looks like a nice city to visit. I would like to climb those stairs to see the rooftops of the town. You were lucky that it was snowing and got to see such a nice image from up there.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 22, 2016 at 4:39 pm
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      True Joanna we were really lucky to have to explore a city in snow on a sunny day. A rare opportunity indeed for us 😉

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 4:05 pm
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    I am planning on visiting Switzerland in the near future actually! This post is contains a great itinerary for Bern, thanks a lot. Love the produce market, i love visiting local markets wherever I go.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 22, 2016 at 4:40 pm
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      Thats awesome Adina. We are sure you are going to love the city and its architecture as much as we did. Happy Travelling!

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm
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    I love the snow, this destination is perfect! The photographs are amazing. I would love to travel there.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:28 pm
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      Thanks Jenn. It was amazing to explore in snow!

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 8:12 pm
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    I’ve never been to Switzerland but your trip to Bern looks like it was fun and exciting! I would love to visit the marketplace! I really enjoy perusing the variety of wares at such places!

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:29 pm
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      We second you its a great experience to explore markets and the variety of wares they exhibit and sell.

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 8:18 pm
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    So many interesting stuff to do in Bern however I would walk all day in the market even if I wouldn’t buy anything. I feel like it’s entertaining.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:30 pm
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      True Vlad Vaida. And we do the same most of times, even though we dont buy we love strolling in the market place looking at the items for sale.

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 8:32 pm
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    there are definitely some great and interesting places to visit in Bern, I’d love to go there and see all of the sites and history.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:31 pm
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      True Eloise. Bern is an interesting place indeed!

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 8:41 pm
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    Switzerland looks like such a beautiful place, hopefully, when I get money I’ll be able to travel the world but for now, I’ll live vicariously through your blog.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:32 pm
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      Thanks Chris. We whole heartedly wish you make it one day.

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 9:04 pm
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    Great article with so many information! A good guide for visiting Bern, so many ideas of places to visit. I also loved your photos, especially the one with the snow-covered bikes! This is my favorite. 🙂 I’ve never been to Switzerland, but your post actually is very inspiring. It made me think of visiting Switzerland one day. Thank you for sharing such a lovely trip!

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:33 pm
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      Thank you so much Rodanthi for your kind words. Switzerland is a beautiful country with a wonderful blend of nature and history. If you love travelling you should definitely plan a visit to this beautiful country.

      Reply
  • April 22, 2016 at 9:44 pm
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    I love all the architecture that is found here! I definitely would want to go to the market as they are my favorite places to go on a Saturday when traveling. I love being able to get what the locals get!

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:34 pm
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      True Alison visiting local markets gives you an opportunity to shop like local and explore the traditional items.

      Reply
  • April 23, 2016 at 2:46 am
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    Wow! All of the architecture is gorgeous, I would definitly want to visit the important buildings like churches, towers and that clock which is so beautiful!

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:36 pm
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      Thanks Courtney, True that Bern has a wonderful architecture and history worth a visit.

      Reply
  • April 23, 2016 at 3:28 am
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    Always wanted to go to Swistzerland but didn’t have really much of a clue what to see there. This is really helpful.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:37 pm
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      Thanks Lizelle. Switzerland is a beautiful country indeed and definitely worth a visit.

      Reply
  • April 23, 2016 at 5:14 pm
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    Bern is gorgeous and there are so many things you do to fill a week , let alone one single day ! I would climb the stairs and see the rooftop ( I adore rooftops views)

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:38 pm
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      True Denisa. If you love history and architecture you can easily spend weeks exploring!

      Reply
  • April 23, 2016 at 11:48 pm
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    The architecture there is just amazing. Living in Canada I don’t see it here so it always draws me in. Great photos!

    Reply
    • mm
      April 24, 2016 at 10:39 pm
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      Thanks Bella. Bern has an amazing architecture indeed!

      Reply
  • April 24, 2016 at 5:28 pm
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    Ahh Switzerland the land of sweet opportunities where chocolate reigns supreme. I love the architecture and Swiss markets are meant to be top dollar!

    Reply
    • mm
      May 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm
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      Agree Ana. For us any place we visit the history or architecture and its local traditions like markets are a lot more fascinating than anything else.

      Reply
  • April 24, 2016 at 10:37 pm
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    Your parliament building in itself is a piece of art. But one thing that intrigued me are our water fountains– eleven of which are existent already since mid-16th century, wow!

    Reply
    • mm
      May 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm
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      True Sonnie parliament is a magnificent building and fountains all along the street are just beautiful to behold.

      Reply
  • April 24, 2016 at 10:44 pm
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    I have an Uncle who lives in Switzerland but I never knew that it was so gorgeous with so many things to see. The Zytglogge looks & sounds amazing – I can just imagine the crowds going wild … the figurines turning and twirl make me think of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I can’t help but smile.

    Reply
    • mm
      May 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm
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      True.. the Zytglogge and its turning figures are a great attraction for the crowd and its amazing to watch too.

      Reply
  • May 3, 2016 at 3:53 pm
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    I have never been in Bern but after seeing the photos and reading your experience, I am totally willing to visit! The fountains looks so detailed, great art! I would definitely spend lots of time to explore the Produce Market. I hope you enjoyed your stay there along with the food!

    Zaria

    Reply
    • mm
      May 4, 2016 at 2:52 pm
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      Yes we had a great time Thanks. The fountains are interesting indeed and yes the shopping enthusiasts can spend a lot more time in the markets 😉

      Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 11:07 am
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    Einstein would be my reason to visit Bern.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 1:29 pm
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    That shot from above is what I loved the most. Cool pictures!

    Reply

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