#1 Location: in the middle of it all
Where does Bern lie? Smack in the middle! In the middle of Europe and in the heart of Switzerland. And that is exactly why the federal city offers the perfect requirement for events of all kinds: being quick and easy to reach – whether you’re travelling by public transit, car or aeroplane. Bern is very well connected, nationally as well as internationally. Most Swiss attractions are just a half-day trip or a day trip away: Jungfraujoch, the Matterhorn, Lucerne, Lake Geneva or the wine region around Lake Biel, for example. And getting from point A to point B in the city is easy and fast: many sights and attractions are within walking distance – and if you do have to take a bus or streetcar, the ride usually isn’t longer than 10 minutes.
More on the journey to Bern
#2 Swiss Federal City
Bern has been Switzerland’s federal capital and the centre of Swiss political life since 1848. It is the home of the “Bundeshaus”, the Parliament Building, where the parliament makes all the decisions of national importance. What makes Bern so special: there’s hardly any other city in which you can get so close to politics. The Parliament Building sits in the middle of Bern’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the locals love to meet up on Parliament Square and on the building’s large terrace. Spontaneous encounters, relaxed chats and shopping at the weekly farmer’s market are just as much part of the Parliament Building as the fountain’s water jets in the summer and the ice skating rink in the winter. The many embassies that are based in Bern further underline the city’s internationality. Furthermore, the headquarters of many federal companies such as the SBB (Swiss railroad), the Swiss postal service, Swisscom, the Universal Postal Union and more are in Bern. With its political relevance and international flair, the federal city is the perfect setting for successful events.
#3 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.
#4 Science City
Innovation and research are just as much a part of Bern as Parliament Square and the Bern Animal Park, BearPark. The federal city is an important business and research location and an avid promoter of progress. Over 170 research institutes with over 18,000 students (57 percent of which are women, by the way), specialized in the fields of sustainability, health and medicine, matter and the universe, cross-cultural knowledge as well as politics and administration, can be found in the lively university city. The institutes, their work and their know-how are well-known way beyond Switzerland, and personalities such as Albrecht von Haller, Emil Theodor Kocher and Albert Einstein studied at the University of Bern and came up with “relatively” good ideas. The well-established network of the University of Bern, the city of Bern and Bern Welcome allows for the perfect conditions for scientific conferences.
#5 Slow Down and Take Your Time
The Bernese are world-famous for their relaxed attitude and laid-back lifestyle. In Switzerland’s federal capital, we like to take our time – for a friendly chat while shopping at one of the farmer’s markets, a “Fübi”, an after-work beer with friends after a long day of work, a stroll beneath the arcades or a refreshing bath in the Aare river. But slowing down doesn’t mean missing out or falling behind – on the contrary. Modern event infrastructures, interactive museums and well-equipped sports stadiums prove that Bern is forward-oriented and cutting-edge, often even one step ahead of other cities. When you visit the federal city, you will instantly be immersed in its relaxed and inspiring atmosphere, allowing you to focus and take your time to come up with good ideas.
#6 UNESCO World Heritage Site
Bern is not only Switzerland’s political centre; it is also where the historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a fascinating and moved past, meets a modern, urban lifestyle. The world-famous “Lauben” (arcades) – one of Bern’s characteristic features – are perfect for a stroll. Did you know that these arcades constitute one of the longest covered shopping promenades in all of Europe? From large international brands to local designers to exquisite boutiques – you’ll find everything your heart desires. Along with the unique arcades, Bern is characterized by the Zytglogge (Clock Tower) and Käfigturm (Prison Tower), the colourful renaissance fountains, the Bern Minster and the iconic sandstone facades. As a contrast to the historic attractions, Bern offers cutting-edge architecture, and it goes without saying that the convention infrastructures include state-of-the-art technology. Our recommended complementary activity: a stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage Site from Rosengarten (Rose Garden) to the Parliament Building.
#7 The Green City
A modern, urban lifestyle with a relaxed, rural charm: Bern is the perfect combination of busy city life and nature and recreation. The federal city is known for being a green city: the beautiful Aare river, serene parks, large city forests, its proximity to the rural surroundings with their characteristic rolling hills – need we say more? The label "Energy City Champion" and the "Fair Trade Town" award honour Bern’s commitment for being an environmentally friendly city. That is why the city and region of Bern are excellently suited for sustainable events and activities, i.e. “Green Meetings and Events”.
Discover Bern’s sustainable side
#8 Living Traditions
From yodelling to making your own cheese to flag spinning – experience authentic Swiss traditions in the canton of Bern. Like few others, the federal city manages to unite the urban way of life with the rural one. Old traditions such as the “Zibelemärit” (Onion Market) or stories about Bern’s heraldic animal are still lived and told in the city today. Just a short drive from the city centre lie beautiful landscapes with idyllic rolling hills, like the Emmental, home of one of Switzerland’s most famous cheeses and the incomparable “Bretzeli” from Kambly, or the Gantrisch Nature Reserve with its old farms, deep forests and mythical sites. Both the city of and the region around Bern are beautiful and unique, offer breathtaking views and enthral visitors with the many traditions that are still lived today.
“Grüessech, Bonjour, Buongiorno, Bun di – or would you prefer Hello?” – Bern speaks your language! In Switzerland, everyone learns from a young age that living together can only work if people know how to communicate with each other. All Swiss children start learning at least one other language in primary school and are therefore used to hearing and speaking other languages. So if you don’t speak any of Switzerland’s four national languages, that’s not a problem: the inhabitants of the federal city are open-minded and happy to practise their language skills with you.
#10 City of Events
The internationally renowned sports city is host to an attractive and diverse range of sporting events. Numerous major events such as the 2008 European Soccer Championships, the 2016 Tour de France or the 2009 Ice Hockey World Championships have profited from Bern’s excellent infrastructure. As a city of culture, Bern also offers a large variety of hugely popular cultural activities in an urban environment. Whether it’s large-scale international events or small local ones – the federal city has the fitting venue.
Venues in Bern
#11 Gastronomic Diversity
Be it an exclusive meal from a GaultMillau restaurant, a refreshing Bernese beer or a yummy outdoor fondue – Bern’s gastronomic diversity has something to offer for every taste. A large and varied selection of traditional, international, inexpensive as well as haute cuisine restaurants awaits the guests. If you’ve never heard of “Berner Platte” (Bernese platter) or “Suure Mocke” (Sauerbraten / type of pot roast), you must try your way through traditional Bernese cuisine. Rösti, “Zibelechueche” (onion tart) or Buurehamme (special ham) are also definitely worth a try. In Bern, visitors are treated to all kinds of culinary delicacies. All that’s left to say is: “Ä Guetä!” (bon appétit!)
To our culinary recommendations
#12 Swiss Quality – When Everything Works
Punctuality, precision, efficiency and dependability, paired with political and economic stability – these are some of the qualities that characterize the Swiss mentality. The Bernese are relaxed by nature, and that is just how they go about their work – calmly and professionally. If you decide on having your event in Bern, you will experience an unforgettable event with first-class service. You can count on Swiss qualities, guaranteeing smooth procedures and smiles on the faces of guests and organizers alike.
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Sustainable Meetings & EventsFrom electronic application forms to virtual conference apps – “green” meetings and events don’t only protect our environment, they’re also good for the image and leave a lasting impression on the participants.Sustainable Meetings & EventsMore