Getting to Bern
Whether you’re travelling by public transport (train, bus or streetcar), aeroplane or car – Bern is easy to reach. The federal city lies in the heart of Europe and in the centre of Switzerland. It is an important junction of all the main Swiss transport axes and connected to both the international railway lines and the European highway network.
Travelling by Train
Direct train connections leave regularly for all major Swiss and European cities and guarantee a comfortable journey. The cities of Zurich, Basel, Interlaken and Lucerne, for example, are only a direct, one-hour train ride away from Bern. Thanks to the punctuality and dependability of the public transport system, passengers get to wherever they need to go quickly, easily and on time.
Tourist Information at the main station
The main station Tourist Information is located on the ground floor of the main building, at the east entrance by the bus stop on platform H, where Bus no. 21 leaves in the direction of Bremgarten (see detailed map). National train tickets can be bought there directly at the counter.
Map as PDF
Swiss Travel Pass
For guests from abroad who are planning a longer stay in Switzerland and would like to explore the country and its sights by public transport, we recommend purchasing a “Swiss Travel Pass”. The Swiss Travel System includes the entire Swiss public transit system and offers reasonably priced flat-rate tickets such as the “Swiss Travel Pass” and the “Swiss Travel Pass Flex” for travelling around Switzerland by train, PostBus and even by boat.
Travelling by Car
Bern can easily be reached by car, as well. Thanks to the direct access to the highways from Geneva/Valais (A12), Zurich/Basel (A1) and the Bernese Oberland (A6), travellers can reach the federal city in no time.
Once in Bern, we recommend leaving you car in one of the city’s parking garages. Many hotels also have good parking options. Good to know: Driving through the lower part of the Old City is only allowed for residents or suppliers.
Need to quickly recharge your electric car? Energie Wasser Bern operates car parks with recharging stations for electric cars at various locations in the city of Bern and is continually expanding the recharging network. You can see the stations here.
The signs for the Swiss highways are green, and you must have a toll sticker (“Vignette”). Toll stickers cost CHF 40.00 and can be purchased at any post office, gas station or automobile federation. They must be stuck to the inside of the front window and are valid for 13 months, from 1 December to 31 January of the year after the next.
On Swiss roads, the car lights must always be on, even in the daytime. If not otherwise specified, the speed limit is 120 km/h on highways, 80 km/h on country roads and 50 km/h in cities and towns. In so-called “Begegnungszonen” (traffic-calmed areas with right of way for pedestrians), the speed limit is 20 km/h.
Travelling by Bus
Apart from travelling by train, car, or aeroplane, Bern can also easily be reached by bus, be it on the green FlixBus or by EUROBUS. Good to know: the bus terminals are near the city centre – that way, you won’t lose any valuable time and can start exploring the city right away.
Travelling by Aeroplane
If you land with an international flight in Zurich, Geneva or Basel, you have practical options for continuing your journey by train from there. In Zurich and Geneva, a rail terminal is integrated into the airport.
All trains run every half hour, and the journey to Bern takes
Zurich Airport – Berne train station: 1 h 15 min.
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Fribourg – Berne railway station: 1 h 15 min
Geneva Airport – Berne railway station: just under 2 h
Since 2020, only a few flights have taken off from Bern Airport to holiday destinations, depending on demand.
Getting around Bern
As soon as you get to Bern, you can start exploring. Be it on foot, by public transport, on a bike or even by rickshaw – there are endless possibilities.
Thanks to its small size, Bern’s city centre can easily be discovered on foot. Oftentimes, hotels are just a leisurely stroll away from pretty sights and attractions, the alleys of the Old City or the green banks of the Aare river. By the way: The six kilometres of arcades make sure you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site even when it’s raining.
The city has an extensive public transport network with numerous streetcar and bus lines that make getting from point A to point B easy as can be. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket vending machines at the stops, at the BERNMOBIL shop in Bern’s main station or via the SBB-App. In addition to normal tickets and multi-trip tickets, BERNMOBIL also offers tickets for short rides (just a few stops) at a lower price. The ticket vending machines at the stops show which stops are included in a short-trip ticket. An overview of Bern’s complete public transit network can be found and downloaded as a PDF file here.
Please note: no tickets are sold in the busses and streetcars.
Overnight guests don’t need to worry about getting public transport tickets: if you spend one or more nights at an accommodation in the city of Bern, you will receive a Bern Ticket for the entire duration of your stay, allowing you free use of public transport in the city of Bern and its close surroundings.
On Two Wheels
A great way to discover the city and region of Bern is by doing as the locals do: hop on a bicycle and go explore the hidden alleys in Bern’s centre and the city’s pretty neighbourhoods, or take a 10-minute bike ride out of town and breathe the fresh air of the countryside and enjoy the lush meadows around you and the beautiful panoramic view of the peaks of the Bernese Oberland.
There are many bike rental options in Bern, and you can choose from all kinds of bikes: normal bikes, e-bikes, mountain bikes, road cycles and cargo bikes. Feel like a ride? Get pedalling!
Further means of transportation
There are numerous taxis available at the taxi stands at various locations in the city of Bern. Taxis can also be organized over the phone or stopped on the streets by waving.
Good to know: compared to other European cities, taking a taxi in Switzerland is relatively expensive. The drivers are obligated to state the fares visibly both inside and on the outside of the cab. The initial charge is CHF 6.80, the price per kilometre varies depending on the time of day and the number of passengers. Tips are included in the price. The ride can be paid for in cash or by card.
Are you planning a family excursion, a trip with your soccer club or a company event? There are several bus rental services in Bern, where you can find everything from a minivan to a coach. There are many different options and packages that can be tailored to your needs.
Can be rented without a driver
More info: www.busmiete.ch
K. Dysli AG
Vehicles with 14-79 seats
More info: www.dysli-bern.ch
Switzerland’s largest bus fleet
More info: www.eurobus.ch
Bistro and club busses available
More info: www.edelline.ch
Bus & Driver
Can be rented without a driver
More info: www.busdriver-bern.ch
Limousines and Rickshaws
If you prefer taking something other than public transport, taxis or busses in Bern, you have the option of getting from point A to point B in your personal vehicle, be it an elegant limousine or a fun rickshaw.