Getting to know a new city is a lot of fun - but there is also a lot to consider. Here we answer the most important questions that come in useful when staying in Bern.
Where are the Emergency Medical Services in the city of Bern?
City Emergency at PostParc
4a Schanzenstrasse, Bern
daily 7:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
phone +41 31 326 20 00 (walk-ins welcome)
Medical centre at the main station
10 Parkterrasse, Bern
Mon–Fri 7:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.,
Sat–Sun 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
phone +41 31 335 50 00 (walk-ins welcome)
There are numerous pharmacies in the city, two of which are located inside the main station. Here are the locations of all Bernese pharmacies.
What are the Emergency phone numbers?
Police 117 Firefighters 118 Ambulance / first responders 144 Rescue helicopter (REGA) 1414 European
112 Poisoning 145 MEDPHONE
(medical call center for
emergency medical services)
+41 900 57 67 47
for general inquiries
(e.g. doctors, theatres etc.)
1811 Breakdown service / towing 162 Road report 163
Where is the Lost and Found?
Lost Property Office
SBB Lost and Found Service
For items that were left behind or forgotten in the train or at the train station. Inside Bern’s main station.
Bernmobil Lost and Found
For items that were left behind or forgotten in the bus or streetcar. Fill out an online form or call +41 31 321 88 44.
What are the opening hours for Bernese shops?
Stores in Bern generally have the following opening hours:
Mon–Wed 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Thu 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Fri 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Sat 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sun closed
Stores are open on a few Sundays during Advent season.
Some shops may have differing opening hours. Some shops in the lower part of the Old Town, from Zytglogge (Clock Tower) downward, don’t open until 10:00 a.m. If there’s a specific shop you’d like to visit, we recommend checking the opening hours beforehand.
Which days are public holidays in Bern?
The following days are official public holidays in Bern:
- 1 January, New Year’s Day
- 2 January, St. Berchtold
- Good Friday
- Easter including Easter Monday
- Ascension Day
- Whit Monday
- 1 August, National Holiday
- 25 December, Christmas Day
- 26 December, St. Stephen / Boxing Day
In Bern’s main station, there are over 80 shops, open 365 days a year. On weekdays, most of them are open until 9:00 p.m., on weekends and public holidays, until 8:00 p.m.
Where is the currency exchange?
You can exchange your currency at any bank or post office or at the SBB counters at the main station.
Where can I deposit my luggage?
You have the possibility to deposit your baggage in the lockers at Bern’s main station. Prices vary depending on how big the locker you choose is and how long you occupy it.
If your luggage is too valuable or doesn’t fit in the lockers, you can also deposit it at the SBB Travel Centre. Attention: the luggage can only be brought and picked up within the opening hours. Cost is 12 Swiss francs per day and piece.
Where can I find free toilets?
Various restaurants, bars and hotels let you use their bathrooms for free. See where they are here (in German). There are toilets and showers at Bern’s main station that can be used for a fee.
Where can I get free Wi-Fi?
Many hotels, restaurants and stores have free Wi-Fi. Bern’s main station also offers free internet to travellers: simply connect to the network “SBB-Free” and enjoy one hour of free surfing.
Where can I buy a SIM card?
SIM cards are sold at the shops of the telecom providers, at post offices, supermarkets (Migros and Coop) and kiosks (k kiosk)
Where can I find a computer with internet connection?
What should I keep in mind regarding electricity and plugs?
The voltage in Switzerland is 230V/50 Hz. Switzerland uses type C (Europlug, 2-pin) and type J (3-pin) plugs. Attention: the type F plug (“Schuko plug”), which is widely used in Europe, can not be used without an adapter.
Is the tap water drinkable?
The water from the tap is perfectly clean drinking water which complies with the purity specifications for mineral water. The same goes for the water of Bern’s fountains, unless there’s a sign that says “kein Trinkwasser” (“no drinking water”).
What do I need to keep in mind regarding alcohol and tobacco?
The minimum required age for buying wine and beer is 16, 18 for hard liquor.
There’s no national regulation regarding tobacco. In the canton of Bern, the minimum required age for purchasing tobacco is 18.