The Aare River

The Aare river flows around three sides of the city of Bern. With its crystal-clear turquoise water – in which hundreds of swimmers splash about in the summer – it shapes the city’s life and characterizes the picturesque cityscape of the Old Town of Bern, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Extending 288 kilometers, the Aare is the longest river flowing entirely within Switzerland. The Aare river has a special meaning in the Swiss capital, Bern. The Bernese have a special love for “their” river. And they treat it with the same tenderness with which the renowned Aare Loop flows around the city. The Aare is their pride and joy, and the center of daily life. In the Middle Ages, in particular, when the city of Bern was spread only on the lower part of the peninsula, the Aare provided great protection from foreign armies on three sides of the city. It wasn’t until the construction of the first high bridges in the 19th century that there were multiple ways to access the city

The Aare River for Water Lovers

Who needs the sea? On hot summer days, the Bernese will find any excuse to jump into the Aare and float down it, enjoying the majestic cityscape of the UNESCO-listed Old Town high above them. In fact, swimming in the Aare is an official activity on the UNESCO list of Swiss traditions. It’s part of the authentic Bern experience, even for visitors to the city.

The Aare River for Bon Vivants

Following the flow of the water on a relaxed stroll along the Aare, and breathing in the atmosphere of the city – this is a real insider’s tip for those wanting to get to know Bern. You’ll encounter a number of Bernese who enjoy taking time to walk alongside the river, and you can see a number of people swimming in the Aare. With each step, you’ll get a better understanding for why the city’s residents claim the Aare as “their own” river. You’re sure to fall in love with the Aare from the moment you see it.

  • Best Spots for Impressive Photos of the Aare
    • Rose Garden
    • BearPark
    • Kornhausbrücke (Granary Bridge)
    • Schwellenmätteli
    • Freibad Marzili (Marzili pool)
    • Monbijoubrücke (Monbijou Bridge)
    • Lorrainebrücke (Lorraine Bridge)
    • Untertorbrücke (Untertor Bridge)

Aare River

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