Whether you’re travelling by public transport (train, bus or streetcar), aeroplane or car – Bern is easy to reach. The federal city lies in the heart of Europe and in the centre of Switzerland. It is an important junction of all the main Swiss transport axes and connected to both the international railway lines and the European highway network.
Travelling by Train
Direct train connections leave regularly for all major Swiss and European cities and guarantee a comfortable journey.
The cities of Zurich, Basel, Interlaken and Lucerne, for example, are only a one-hour train ride away from Bern’s main station.
Did you know that Bern is the only European capital that has ICE, TGV and Pendolino connections? Plus numerous EuroCity and InterCity connections that ensure that Bern is well connected to the European high-performance rail network.
For guests from abroad who are planning a longer stay in Switzerland and would like to explore the country and its sights by public transport, we recommend purchasing a “Swiss Travel Pass”. The Swiss Travel System includes the entire Swiss public transit system and offers reasonably priced flat-rate tickets such as the “Swiss Travel Pass” and the “Swiss Travel Pass Flex” for travelling around Switzerland by train, PostBus and even by boat.
Travelling by Aeroplane
The Zurich Airport is Switzerland’s largest airport. You can reach Bern’s main station in one hour and 15 minutes from the airport’s train station. The direct trains from the airport to the federal city leave every 30 minutes.
Basel Airport – EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
The EuroAirport lies in the Swiss/German/French tri-border area. You can reach Bern’s main station in about one hour and 15 minutes by public transport via the Basel SBB railway station. The trains between Basel SBB and Bern leave every 30 minutes.
Geneva Airport – Genève Aéroport
The Geneva Airport, too, is well-connected to the rail network of the Swiss Federal Railways SBB. The direct trains to Bern leave every 30 minutes. The ride is about two hours long.
The Bern Airport lies only about 10 kilometres outside the city centre. Thanks to its manageable size, the airport is quick at handling arrivals and departures.
The Bern Airport is also connected to the public transport network. The Airport Bus brings passengers directly to the Belp train station. From there, there’s a regional train to the city. For guests that are staying at an accommodation in Bern, the ride from the airport to the city by public transport is included in the Bern Ticket.
Bern Ticket – Free Public Transport
Hotel guests enjoy free use of Bern’s public transport: if you spend one or more nights at an accommodation in the city of Bern, you will receive a Bern Ticket for the entire duration of your stay. It includes all streetcar and bus rides in zones 100 and 101 of the LIBERO public transport association, the Gurten and Marzili funiculars, the elevator up to the Minster terrace as well as transfer from and to Bern’s main station or BERN Airport.
Travelling by Car
Bern can easily be reached by car as well. Thanks to the direct access to the highways from Geneva/Valais (A12), Zurich/Basel (A1) and the Bernese Oberland (A6), travellers can reach the federal city in no time.
Once in Bern, we recommend leaving you car in one of the city’s parking garages. Many hotels also have good parking options. Good to know: driving through the lower part of the Old City is only allowed for residents or suppliers.
The signs for the Swiss highways are green, and you must have a toll sticker (“Vignette”) to be allowed onto the highway. Toll stickers cost CHF 40.00 and can be purchased at any post office, gas station or automobile federation. They must be stuck to the inside of the front window and are valid for 13 months, from 1 December to 31 January of the year after the next.
On Swiss roads, the car lights must always be on, even in the daytime. If not otherwise specified, the speed limit is 120 km/h on highways, 80 km/h on country roads and 50 km/h in cities and towns. In so-called “Begegnungszonen” (traffic-calmed areas with right of way for pedestrians), the speed limit is 20 km/h.
Travelling around Bern
What is an easy and quick way to get from point A to point B? Many of Bern’s sights and attractions are walking distance apart. If you do have to use public transport, a taxi or a bike, take a look at this overview of all the relevant information and useful tips regarding Bern’s means of transportation.
Activities and Excursions
Since Bern is so conveniently located, many Swiss attractions and destinations are nearby. How about a half-day or day trip to the pretty Bernese Oberland, the idyllic Emmental or the impressive Valais? The canton of Bern also offers all kinds of activities. Active, relaxed, culinary or cultural – almost anything is possible.
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