8 Bernese Highlights in February
In February, you can enjoy a variety of winter activities, and Guggenmusik (carnival music) will once again take over the streets of the federal city. However, the month of February is not just active and colourful – we will also show you where you can find an idyllic outdoor sauna or where you can satisfy your wanderlust over brunch.
Berner Fasnacht (Carnival in Bern)
Colourful costumes, Guggenmusik (carnival music) and so much confetti – the fifth season is finally back in the federal city. The carnival in Bern is the third biggest in Switzerland – after the ones in Basel and Lucerne – and traditionally starts with the “Bärebefreiig” (liberation of the bear). This year, that will happen on 15 February 2024. On 11 November each year, a symbolic bear is locked in the Käfigturm for hibernation and awakened in February with a ceremony, followed by lots of Guggenmusik. The Guggen, theatre and costume groups are parading through Bern’s old town until Saturday, 17 February, delighting everybody with their colourful performances. So, what are you waiting for? Put on your costume, lace up your dancing shoes and off you go.
Dive into the masses
Get active in the Kiddy Dome
Children and adolescents get a week off of school in February. The school holidays are the perfect time to visit the jungle in the Oberaargau. Just over an hour’s train ride from Bern you can find the Kiddy Dome, the largest indoor adventure world in Switzerland. Kids can burn off all their pent-up energy in the interactive trampoline park, while climbing the high ropes course or on Europe’s largest donut glider. Oh, and even adults will enjoy this trip to the exercise paradise – they can pass the time in the cosy parents’ lounge. And afterwards, the whole family can enjoy the delicious food in Jimmy’s Dschungelküche.
Liana swinging for beginners
An artistic month in the Oberaargau
In February, art takes on an even more important role than usual in the Oberaargau: for the first time, the Oberaargau Month of Art is taking place. More than 50 professional and contemporary artists – all of them from the Oberaargau – will showcase their works at eleven exhibition venues throughout the region. The month of art aims to strengthen the Oberaargau’s regional character and identity. Visitors will gain insight into the diversity of the region’s art scene as well as have the opportunity to talk directly to the artists at various events. For example, on 23 February 2024, Loris Aregger will use a multimedia show to transport us to his imaginary future in Niederbipp. What do you think will accompany him then?
Experience a month of art
Museumsbier (beer at the museum)
How about some cultural treats? The traditional event series “Museumsbier”, organised by Museen Bern, is just the right thing for that. Every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., seven cultural institutions in the city and region of Bern are inviting you to some “Fübis” (afterwork beers). “Museumsbier” is not only the name of the event series but also of the special Märzen beer created for this occasion by Alex Chevalley and Gian-Andrea Brunner from the Bernese brewery “BrauKunst” (“the art of brewery”). It really is a great event, and we recommend you block out all your Thursday evenings and let yourself be surprised by the entertaining short tours and creative workshops organised by the participating institutions.
Afterwork beers at the museum
Culinary delights at Olympia
“Olympia” makes us think of top sporting achievements. However, that’s not what the new restaurant Olympia in the “Breitsch” (the Breitenrain neighbourhood) is about. This is where Albert Ritter von Steissbein, president of the Olympia Academy, lived. Not quite sure who that is? Let’s try it another way: This is where Albert Einstein, the world-famous physicist, lived. About 100 years ago, this is where he and two of his friends met up for lively discussions and deep philosophical talks. Nowadays, you can find a beautiful restaurant with a bar here that serves delicious lunch menus and à la carte dinners. And you can also stay overnight at the Olympia Bern – there is also a guesthouse in the building.
Olympia in Bern
Brunch International at the House of Religions
February is a very busy month, so it’s especially important to take enough breaks. Visiting the House of Religions at Europaplatz in Bern and enjoying a special brunch is perfect for that. The Brunch International takes place every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Every month, the in-house restaurant serves traditional breakfast dishes form different cultures – in February, Sri Lanka is on the menu. So, how about replacing the traditional Bernese “Ankezüpfe” (plaited bread) with “roti” (a type of flatbread)? After brunch, you can get a short introduction to the concept “House of Religions – Dialogue of Cultures”. Please note: This brunch is very popular, so be sure to make a reservation.
Satisfy your wanderlust
Sauna at Lake Egel
Looking for some rest and relaxation as a counterpoint to all the activities in February? There’s a new sauna in Bern and it’s just what you need. Until 10 March, a mobile sauna wagon invites you to a communal sweat on the shores of Lake Egel, east of the city centre. The Finnish wooden sauna was built by a local carpenter’s workshop and can accommodate six to eight people. A hot and cold shower is available for in between sauna sessions, and the evening view over Lake Egel, illuminated by a campfire, is simply unique. And if you fancy a cold beer or homemade iced tea before, during or after your sauna sessions, the sauna on Lake Egel will deliver. The Cafe Bar Riva is right next door and takes care of the guests’ well-being.
Soak up some warmth
A peaceful snowshoe tour
Exercising and sporting activities don’t always have to be speedy and action-packed, they can also be done at a more leisurely pace and in idyllic winter landscapes. The region of Bern offers a variety of snowshoe tours, for beginners as well as experienced snowshoe fans. Is there anything better than hiking through snow-covered forests, past untouched snow ridges and up to plateaus with a pair of snowshoes on your feet? The captivating views will quickly make you forget the strenuous ascent. In addition to the wintry romance, you might want to reward yourself with a hot chocolate in one of the mountain restaurants. And of course, with a deep, restful sleep.
Immerse yourself in a winter paradise