Bern: Where It Lies and How to Get There

Its central location in the middle of Europe, excellent travel connections and short walking distances in the city make travelling to and around Bern comfortable and pleasant.

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.

  • Fact

    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

Zurich Airport

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.

Bern Airport

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.

You can fly to the following destinations from 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.

  • Traffic Rules

    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.

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