Parliament Building and Parliament Square

The Parliament Building in Bern is the heart of Switzerland’s democracy: the parliament holds its meetings under the grand dome, the west and east wings house parts of the federal government and administration. And the large Parliament Square and long terrace are popular, lively meeting places.

From Parking Lot to Bernese Joie de Vivre

Up until 2003, Parliament Square (“Bundesplatz”) was a dull, grey parking lot. Except for Tuesdays and Saturdays, when it came (and still comes) alive with the bustling, colourful farmer’s market. From 2003 to 2004, it was radically redesigned, getting rid of the parking lot and allowing for an unobstructed view of the magnificent building. The square now has an elegant appearance, with its stately 180 m2 and slabs of dark gneiss from Vals.

In addition to the farmer’s market, it is also a place for political manifestations, concerts, state visits, and sporting events. Surrounding the square are the headquarters of the Swiss National Bank and the Berner Kantonalbank (Cantonal Bank of Bern) to its left and right as well as Bärenplatz (Bear’s Square) with its many restaurants at its North end.

Behind the Parliament Building lies the Bundesterrasse (literally the “federal terrace”), spanning all the way from the Kleine Schanze park to the historic Bellevue Hotel which, once upon a time, saw heads of state, artists, actors, and secret agents come and go. It is a place where locals like to meet to chat, enjoy a sundowner with a view, read a book, or “sünnele” (sunbathe). From here, you can reach the main station in only five minutes on foot, and the popular Marzili neighbourhood and the Aare river in ten.

  • The Parliament Building

    Bundesplatz 3
    3005 Bern

    T +41 58 322 90 22

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