Getting Here and Getting Around

Its central location in the heart of Europe and excellent national and international connections make Bern easy to reach from anywhere in the world. The extensive public transport network connects all parts of the city, and thanks to Bern’s manageable size, you can go almost anywhere on foot.

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.

  • Fact

    Did you know that Bern is the only European capital that has ICE, TGV and Pendolino connections? Additionally, it has numerous EuroCity and InterCity connections that ensure that Bern is perfectly connected to the European high-performance rail network.

  • 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 and attractions 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, by PostBus and even by boat.

    More information on the website of Swiss Pass

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.

  • Traffic Rules

    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

Bern Airport

Bern Airport lies only about 10 kilometres outside the city centre. Thanks to its manageable size, the airport is quick at handling arrivals and departures.

Bern Airport can easily be reached by public transport and is only 33 minutes from Bern’s main station via Belp. The Airport Bus brings passengers directly to the Belp train station, where you can take a regional train into the city. For guests that are staying at an accommodation in Bern, the ride from the airport to the city by public transport is included in the Bern Ticket. Since you won’t receive the Bern Ticket until you check in at the hotel, you can use your booking confirmation as a ticket on your way there.

You can fly to the following destinations from Bern Airport.

Zurich, Basel and Geneva Airports

In addition to the one in Bern, there are three other airports that bring guests to Switzerland. Bern has quick, uncomplicated, direct train connections to all of them. The trains leave every 30 minutes, and the train rides to the federal city take:

  • Zurich Airport – Bern main station: 1 h 15 min
  • EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg – Bern main station: 1 h 15 min
  • Geneva Airport – Bern main station: about 2 h

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.

On Foot

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.

Public transport

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.

  • Tipp

    Please note: no tickets are sold in the busses and streetcars.

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

🚕 Taxi

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.

  • Taxi Services
    Nova Taxi
    Fares Initial charge
    CHF 6.80

    Fare 1, Mon–Fri 6:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
    CHF 3.90 / km

    Fare 2, nights, Mon–Fri 8:00 p.m.–6:00 a.m.
    CHF 4.50 / km

    Fare 2, Sundays and public holidays
    CHF 4.50 / km

    Fare 2, 5 passengers and more, Mon–Fri 6:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
    CHF 4.50 / km

    Fare 3, 5 passengers and more, nights, Sundays and public holidays
    CHF 5.10 / km

    Waiting
    CHF 72.00 / hour

    Subject to change
    Bären Taxi
    Fares Initial charge
    CHF 6.80

    Fare 1, 6:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
    CHF 4.10 / km

    Fare 2, 8:00 p.m.–6:00 a.m. and Sundays and public holidays
    CHF 5.50 / km

    Fare 2, 5 passengers and more, day and night
    CHF 5.50 / km

    Fare 3, from the 10. kilometre onward, 24/7
    CHF 3.30 / km

    Waiting
    CHF 78.00 / hour

    Subject to change
    BETAX (for people with disabilities)
    Fares Initial charge
    CHF 6.80

    Price per kilometre
    CHF 5.50
    Minimum fare for car rides CHF 25.00

    Wheelchair surcharge
    CHF 14.00
    (if you don’t have a card of the BTB foundation)

    Waiting
    CHF 72.00 / hour

    No surcharge for nights, Sundays or public holidays The accompanying person rides for free. Subject to change.

    Getting a taxi

    EasyCab (for people with disabilities)
    Fares Initial charge
    CHF 6.80

    Price per kilometre
    CHF 5.90
    Minimum fare for car rides CHF 45.00

    Waiting
    CHF 72.00 / hour

    Subject to change.

🚐 Bus Rental

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.

🚘 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.

From the pretty Bernese Oberland to the impressive Valais

Sports and Activities

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