People staying at an accommodation in the city of Bern receive a Bern-Ticket and can use public transport for free in zones 100 and 101 of the LIBERO public transport association for the entire duration of their stay. The Gurten and Marzili funiculars and the elevator up to Minster terrace are included.
The Botanical Garden
From alpine edelweiss and gentian to banana plants and sugarcane – over 5,500 plant species from all over the world have found a new home at Bern’s Botanical Garden, just a ten-minute walk from the main station. Be it outside or in the succulent or orchid greenhouse, the plants take visitors on a journey around the world on over two hectares, telling tales of tropical rainforests, arid steppes and barren Alpine peaks. Dream of faraway places while relaxing on the meadow in the summer sun or warming up in the palm house during the wintertime.
To Bern’s plant paradise
Bern’s museums have a lot to offer – oftentimes for free! How about a trip to the Kornhausforum, for example? The gallery on the second floor of the city’s former granary regularly hosts design, architecture, and photography exhibitions and events. Many of them can be visited freely and free of charge. For little culture fans, the Zentrum Paul Klee has the interactive children’s exhibition Creaviva. Admission is free here, too. Kids who feel inspired by the creative atmosphere have the opportunity to express themselves and draw, paint, craft, and create their own works of art at the “Fünfliber-Werkstatt” next door (“five-franc workshop” where you pay five francs per created work of art).
To our museum recommendations
The Bern Minster
Did you know that the country’s highest church steeple is located in Bern? The first stone for the Bern Minster was put down in the year 1421, and the church has been an integral part of the cityscape ever since. The medieval sandstone building is well worth a visit – the impressive organs, frescoes and figurines will make any art and music lover’s heart skip a beat. And don’t forget to climb the 344 steps to the top of the steeple for an impressive view of the mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and the rooftops of Bern’s Old City. Our recommendation: Stop to admire the church bells (the big bell – the largest in all of Switzerland – weighs almost 10 tonnes!). Admission to the Minster is free, access to the spiral staircase is 5 Francs for adults and 2 Francs for children.
Tower above the city
Kambly Experience Switzerland’s most famous biscuit brand has been around for over 100 years. To celebrate the big anniversary, Kambly has pulled out all the stops and updated the Kambly Experience: the ingredient wall offers interesting facts about the local suppliers and their products and a that shows how the company’s iconic fine biscuits are made. There’s a biscuit chalet where you can experience Kambly’s long-standing history, and a kids corner where children can become train conductors or bakers for the day. It’s perfect for a day trip – and only 35 minutes by train from Bern!
Off to the land of milk and honey!
Hotel Offers for Families
Families profit from a free overnight stay for children under the age of 16 in a selection of Bernese hotels. Be it active or relaxed, in an urban setting or the breathtaking landscapes of the Bernese countryside: Thanks to the capital’s central location, the many diverse activities and experiences are only a stone’s throw away.
A 300-metre ball path, a legendary miniature train, paddling pools in the summer and a child-friendly ski lift in the winter – over 20 different attractions await on Bern’s local mountain, and most of them are free! For children especially, the Gurten is the perfect place for exploring, playing, and running around – and grown-ups love it, too. Guests staying at an accommodation in the city of Bern ride the red Gurten funicular for free. By the way: if you’re chasing the sun on a grey autumn or winter’s day, you can often find a few warming rays on the Gurten, complete with a spectacular view of the sea of fog below.
Onward and upward
Attention, fans of the “Hausberg” (local mountain): The Gurten cable car will be renovated from Janu-ary to May 2024, and a bus will run up the Gurten as an alternative. For this reason, there will be no skiing, tobogganing or bike shuttle during this period. The toboggan run will even close a little earlier: on 31 October you can toboggan around the bend while enjoying a stunning view of Bern for the last time until the end of the renovation period.
Konzert Theater Bern
How does the Bern Symphony Orchestra prepare for its next concert? Which tips do theatre directors give their actresses and actors right before a premiere? And what are the most important final touches for a play? At the public rehearsals, theatre and music enthusiasts can experience what goes on behind the scenes of the Konzert Theater Bern. You can watch the actors, dancers and musicians prepare for the stage, and there’s often also a short introduction or fun facts and information about an ongoing production. To find out when and where the public rehearsals take place, check the website of the Konzert Theater Bern.
See a concert
Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli
A grrreat outing: On 365 days a year, explorers of all ages can discover, watch, and get to know numerous indigenous and exotic animals at Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli. With the exception of the Vivarium and a part of the outdoor area, admission is free, and with its petting zoo and BBQ area, the animal park is perfect for a day out with the entire family.
Where the wild things are
The Parliament Building
Swiss politics up close: From the domed hall to the council chambers to the famous foyer – on a tour of the Parliament Building, you’ll learn all kinds of interesting and surprising facts about the Swiss parliament and the historic building. When the parliament is not in session, free tours take place in German, English, French and Italian from Tuesday to Saturday. And the sessions are the perfect opportunity to experience the debates and votes in the National Council and the Council of States up close. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance!
Off to the Parliament Building