Aare River, Bern
Who needs the sea? The cool, deep-blue, clean water of the river, which winds its way into the capital city from the Bernese Alps, offers the ideal refreshment on hot summer days. Whether it’s swimming, river surfing, rafting, stand-up paddling, tubing, walking or grilling that floats your boat, the Aare is the beating heart of summer life for the people of Bern.
The people of Bern and the Aare river have a very special love affair. How about a quick dip in the cool water with your colleagues in your lunch break? Or a walk through the Old Town in your bikini with your raft in tow? These are part of everyday life for Bern’s residents. It is even rumored that you used to be able to spot bikinis and swim shorts hung out to dry on the Federal Councilors’ balconies. A dip in the Aare is also a true Bernese experience for visitors to the city!
Stories of the Aare
From a popular double bassist who balances out the hectic life of a musician by also working as a ferryman to a young school teacher who makes his own surfboards for the Aare. In a series of enthralling video portraits, five Bernese locals share their personal story of the Aare.
Not a fan of the water? No problem! There is something to whet everyone’s appetite all along the Aare. This is where the leisurely Bernese atmosphere is celebrated, whether you are sitting around an open fire in Eichholz, sunbathing in the famous Marzili pool or feasting on ice cream from Gelateria di Berna.
Camping and Relaxing
Want to hop into the Aare as soon as you wake up? Eichholz – a camp site and river pool in one – turns this wish into a reality! Here you can grill sausages, play guitar around the fire, balance on a slackline, and play beach volleyball. Pure Bernese leisure! It’s the perfect place to end a day spent rafting down the Aare – and an ideal starting point for floating downstream to the Marzili pool.
Sunbathing with a View Over the Parliament Building
Most Aare swimmers splash about in the Marzili pool which lies directly beneath the Parliament Building. The people of Bern have been indulging in a swim in the Aare at the “academic swimming baths” since the 18th century, which at that time were still strictly separated into pools for each gender. Nowadays, a colorful mix of students, families, retirees and tourists can be found on the sunbathing lawn.
Legendary Ice Cream Indulgence
Marzipan and poppyseed, raspberry and ginger, or mare di Nutella? Those with a sweet tooth can find the most creative and delicious ice cream in Bern at Gelateria di Berna. The owners learned their trade in Italy – and the proof is in the eating! A trip to the parlor directly next to the Marzili pool is the perfect way to round off a day by the Aare.
|Freibad Lorraine||16 60.8 °|
|Freibad Marzili||21 69.8 °|
|Freibad Weyermannshaus||21 69.8 °|
|Freibad Wyler||23 73.4 °|
It’s important to have a healthy amount of respect for the Aare and inform yourself about the possible risks beforehand. Swimming in the Aare is recommended for experienced swimmers only. The Swiss Lifesaving Society SLRG and the city of Bern provide (vitally) important tips for everyone who spends time in and on the Aare.
Bern locals are happy to assist with uncertainties and questions about entry and exit points as well as tips for an unforgettable float down the Aare.
The floodplains along the Aare river are particularly sensitive ecosystems. As a result, almost the entire river landscape between Thun and Bern is protected. We ask all those who stay around or on the Aare river to respect nature, not to leave any rubbish or disturb the animals unnecessarily.
Our Favorite Spots along the Aare
Aareswimming, Families & Kids, AttractionsMarziliMore info
Aareswimming, Families & Kids, Bern for freeRiver beach EichholzMore info
Aareswimming, Families & Kids, Bern for freeLorraine BadMore info
RestaurantsRestaurant SchwellenmätteliMore info
Restaurants, Typisch BernRestaurant Altes TramdepotMore info
RestaurantsRestaurant Casa NovoMore info
RestaurantsTierpark-Restaurant DählhölzliMore info
RestaurantsRestaurant DampfzentraleMore info