The Green Aare Walk begins in Bern’s beautiful Botanical Garden, which boasts an incredible 5,500 different plant species, and then takes you along the river to the BearPark. After a pit stop at the restaurant Altes Tramdepot, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of Bern’s Old City and bears Finn, Ursina and Björk, you stroll through the Englische Anlagen park toward Schwellenmätteli.
Museums or ice cream and bears?
At this point, art and culture aficionados can take a detour and visit the museum district. Everyone else continues the walk across Dalmazibrücke bridge to Marzili. Be sure to make a quick stop at Gelateria di Berna for the most delicious ice cream, then cross Schönausteg bridge and stroll to Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli. If you’ve gotten hungry from all the walking, grab a bite to eat at the park’s restaurant and say hello to the ibexes, boars, and numerous other animals.
Idyllic Elfenau park
The walk then continues up the river to Elfenau park, a protected floodplain landscape, where you can linger for a while and relax on a bench amidst small ponds, extensive reed beds, and old trees and take in the view of the Gurten and the Aare river. From a garden history point of view, too, it’s well worth taking a moment to enjoy this final stop of the route, as Elfenau park is one of Switzerland’s most important English landscape gardens. If you don’t feel like walking back, you can take bus no. 19 in the direction of “Bern Bahnhof” and you will be back in the city centre within 15 minutes.