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A vibrant crowd of people enjoy the Gurtenfestival, under the spell of the rousing live music on the big stage, while the last rays of sunshine of the day bathe the sky in a picturesque sunset glow.

11 Bernese Highlights in July

Published: 25.06.2024

Early-morning yoga, traditional crafts at the market, a refreshing dip in Lake Wohlen, a sunset rave: July offers lots of opportunities to spend your days outside. Here are our recommendations to start the summer off right.

“Yoga im BoGa” (Open Yoga)

You might have to fight the urge to yawn between the “Ooomms”, because “Yoga im BoGa” (yoga at the Botanical Garden) starts early: at 6:50 a.m. But it's definitely worth setting your alarm clock for the class – there’s no better and more balanced way to start a Monday or Tuesday than in the green oasis. After the class, the doors to the Botanical Garden are officially opened. To make the most of your morning flow, we recommend a walk through the BoGa afterwards, taking a seat on a cosy “Bänkli” (bench) and writing down your thoughts in your journal.

The Prettiest Natural Bathing Spots

There are plenty of green oases in Bern. Time to discover them! We’ve compiled a list of our favourite places to cool down, relax, or stroll. You’ll find cozy spots by the Aare river, quiet lakesides in the Oberaargau, rivers in the idyllic Emmental valley and burbling streams in the Gantrisch Nature Park and in Laupen. Hop on your bike and go unwind.

Bar Solar and Other Pop-up Bars

Summer, sun and fun. Is anything missing? A parasol, sunglasses and a cool, refreshing drink complete the list. You’ll be able to check off everything on a visit to Bern’s pop-up bars – they’re back for the summer and ready to serve the most delicious Ingwerer Mules and Lemonades. This year, we especially recommend Bar Solar, run by an association that has created a wonderful place for encounters in the Viererfeld area. The bar, which is only one part of the project, is only open when the weather is good. So make sure you check it out after work on the next sunny evening!

Feeling spontaneous? There’s a new bistro in town! Hellys has replaced the restaurant Pangäa. You don’t need a reservation – just stick your head in and see if there's a table available.

Historical Crafts Market in Huttwil

Fans of the Middle Ages get out your calendars, we've got something for you: the historical crafts market in Huttwil on 6 and 7 July. It's filled with all kinds of art and entertainment, such as fire shows, juggling and medieval music – there's plenty to marvel at throughout the market. Watch the craftspeople at the different stalls while they work, using traditional materials and techniques. And, if you’re up for it, join in to learn some almost-forgotten skills. A tavern takes care of the physical wellbeing of the marketgoers.

Medieval Spectacle at Münchenwiler Castle

A visit to Münchenwiler Castle on 26 and 27 July will also take you back to the Middle Ages. At the “Mittelalterspektakel”, knights on horseback will be jousting for glory and honour, and there will be druids, jesters, falconers and jugglers and – at nightfall – even a fire artist to entertain and amaze visitors. In the cool, shady courtyard, traders and craftspeople will be selling their wares. A true medieval spectacle at a real castle.

Vaulting Championships

From 17 to 21 July, Bern will be all about equestrian sport and acrobatics when the vaulting elite from all over Europe meets in the PostFinance, the home of Bern’s ice hockey club SCB. If you want to be a part of this extraordinary event, you have plenty of opportunities to cheer on the athletes as they perform their routines: the ceremonial opening of the FEI Vaulting Championships BERN2024 takes place on Tuesday from 6.30 p.m. on Bern's Parliament Square. On Wednesday, admission to the event is free. Tickets for the subsequent competitions can be purchased from Ticketcorner.

EM Public Viewings

The European Football Championships have been underway since June and the grand finale will be played on 14 July. In Bern, Wankdorf Stadium isn’t the only place you can go to cheer on your team: there are plenty of public viewing places. Follow the games in traditional sports bars, Irish pubs, or outdoors on a large screen. Here’s an overview to help you decide:

Gurtenfestival and More

Dance the night away! Most Bern locals marked the four best days of the year in their calendars long ago: from 17 to 20 July, it's “Güsche” (Gurten) time. There are still a few tickets left for the Gurtenfestival. If you’re not in a festival kind of mood, there’s a cool alternative right at the foot of the local mountain: the by now equally legendary Gugus Gurte is a feast for all the senses. And Café Kairo near the Aare river hosts its annual Gartenfestival – good music, culinary delights and a lively atmosphere in the city's coziest backyard.

Käpt’n Holger

Ahoy! Käpt’n (Captain) Holger welcomes friends of dancing, lively conversation and culinary delights on deck. The bar with its in-house bistro “Zum Topf” is the cultural meeting place in Langnau. It’s perfect for ringing in the weekend with refreshing drinks or stopping by during a walk on a lazy Sunday. At the end of the month, on 31 July, there will be a terrace festival on the bar's Kulturdeck (culture deck). Our recommendation: pack your kitbag and head to new shores in Langnau.

Marzili Movie

When the swimmers leave the Aare, the sunbathers pack up their towels, and it starts to get too cool and dark for bikinis and swimming trunks, a completely different vibe takes over at the Marzili public pool: it's movie time! A vibrant mix of cinematic delicacies are on the menu at the open-air event Marzili Movie, which takes place from 22 to 27 July. This year, the programme revolves around Canada – including its famous dish poutine. Tickets are available with or without (limited) deckchair rental. If they’re all taken, bring your own folding chair or something else that’s comfortable, lean back and enjoy the film!

Festival Sensebeschallung

Who would’ve thought that, once a year, the small town of Laupen becomes the epicentre of the electronic dance music scene? Good thing we’re here to tell you! From 26 to 28 July, you’ll hear the sets of all kinds of national and international artists booming from the speakers at the town’s riding arena. Early Bird tickets are already sold out, regular tickets for Friday and Saturday are still available.  If you're travelling there from Bern, you can take the shuttle back until late at night. Give in to the bass and dance the night away!

There are plenty more events in Bern – take a look at our event calendar.