Bern has been Switzerland’s capital city – and the center of its political activity – since 1848. Bern is truly unique as a capital city. Not only is it ideally located at the border between the German- and French-speaking parts of the country, but hardly any other city has its government within such close reach of the people. Switzerland practices a rare system of direct democracy.
The Parliament Building is situated in the center of Bern, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and isn’t shielded from the public as in other countries. The grounds surrounding the Parliament Building are even used as a regular meeting place, both for locals and visitors.
In the summer, the water display on Parliament Square (Bundesplatz) offers fun and refreshment for children, while the Bundesterrasse park landscape on the south side of the building is a popular place for a picnic or just a chat. Parliament Square (Bundesplatz) is transformed into an ice rink in the winter.
For those interested in learning what’s happening inside the walls of the building, regular guided tours are also available.