Old Town of Bern

Thanks to its well-preserved medieval townscape, the Old Town of Bern was entered onto UNESCO’s listing of World Heritage Sites in 1983.

Not only is the City of Bern the capital of Switzerland, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the heart of Bern is its beautiful Old Town with six kilometers of arcades that offer shelter or shade to visitors strolling through the city.

Besides these unique arcades, Bern’s historical townscape, dating back to 1191, is characterized by the Clock Tower (Zytglogge), the Prison Tower (Käfigturm), the sculptural fountains from the Renaissance, the Cathedral (Münster), and the well-kept sandstone facades. Visitors can discover bars, cultural venues, and specialty shops in countless converted cellars.

The Old Town of Bern is encircled by the Aare River. The river is not just a stretch of water for Bern’s inhabitants; it’s also the place for summer recreational activities, like swimming and boating in the Aare. And since Bern was built on a peninsula, everything is close together and easy to reach by foot, tram, or bus.

  • Tours through the Old Town of Bern

    Bern Tourism offers tours through the Old Town of Bern, where visitors will hear interesting anecdotes and learn everything worth knowing about the heart of the Swiss capital.

  • UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site

    The capital of Switzerland has many charms. Bern's quaint Old Town, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, is framed by the Aare river and offers spectacular views of the Alps.

    With its 6 km of limestone buildings and medieval arcades, its Renaissance fountains with colorful figures, and the beautiful Cathedral surrounded by picturesque rooftops, Bern, founded in 1191, is truly a gem of medieval architecture in Europe.

    Bern is a city of superlatives: most beautiful flower city of Europe, birthplace of Einstein's relativity theory, cradle of Toblerone chocolate and home to the largest Paul Klee collection in the world.

    And because Bern is situated on a peninsula, everything is close together and can be reached easily on foot, by tram or bus.

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