Floating Down the Aare River: Our Three Favorite Routes

Anybody want to cool off? Bern locals know there’s only one way to do it: Jump in the Aare! After all, a summer day in the capital wouldn’t be perfect without a plunge in their favorite river. We’ll tell you what you need to plan for and where floating down the Aare is a particularly rewarding experience.

Bern locals and their Aare – it’s a very special love story. Want to trade your business suit for a bikini or swim trunks on your lunch break? How about a jump into the refreshing water right after work? Nobody would bat an eye in Bern. It’s even rumored that swimsuits used to be hung out to dry on the balcony of the Swiss Parliament Building on a regular basis. Jumping in the Aare is a must-do Bern experience for visitors who know how to swim. If you really want to get to know the city, you should head to – or rather into – the Aare.

How It’s Done

You can start your float down the Aare from one of Bern’s riverside swimming pools or any spot you choose along the Aare. Put your swimsuit on, pack your clothes and valuables in a waterproof dry bag and then jump in the Aare at the spot you choose (entry and exit points are marked with a red pole or with steps for helpful for climbing in and out). Be careful, though. River swimmers should definitely allow their body to adjust to the water’s somewhat cool temperature before starting their float by wetting themselves first.

Then, Aare fans can let themselves drift along, literally, since floating down the river is when you can truly leave all of your worries behind. Surrounded by nature yet in the middle of the capital city, urban swimmers are carried effortlessly down the river – with the impressive UNESCO-recognized Old Town as a backdrop.

  • Aare Map
  • Safety Tips

    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.

  • Conservation

    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 Routes

The classic, the leisurely and the long route: The Aare offers something to suit every swimmer’s mood. These are our three favorite routes.


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Swimming pools

Freibad Lorraine 13 55.4 °
Freibad Marzili 22 71.6 °
Freibad Weyermannshaus 23 73.4 °
Freibad Wyler 21 69.8 °

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