9 Bernese Highlights in April
In April, we are putting on our party pants: the BEA, Bern’s famous fair, is turning 70. And that’s not the only thing we’re celebrating – there are other Bernese events that have a long-standing history. Head out for a stroll on Bern’s colourful “Märite” (markets), an idyllic e-bike ride, and a speedy run down the racetrack in a streamlined soapbox.
The BEA turns 70
Happy Birthday! The BEA has been around for an incredible 70 years. In this year’s edition, there will be a lot going on, both on- and offstage. Indoors, you can discover the power of innovation in so-called smart experiments, like programming robots or exploring virtual worlds. Or would you rather head outdoors to enjoy the sunny weather? The most interesting excursion destinations will be presented on stage by tourism professionals, or you can go for a walk in Bern’s green city centre. And as always, the many different animals are a special highlight at the BEA. And if you still have energy left, you can jump on a few rides at the funfair.
Get your tickets
Visit the bears at the BearPark
Soon, Bern’s famous bears will come out of hibernation and leave their caves to enjoy the first rays of spring sunshine. Björk, Finn and Ursina live in the city centre, on some 6,000 m2 right on the Aare river. Watch them play, bathe, and climb in front of a beautiful backdrop. Then finish off the visit with a stop at the restaurant Altes Tramdepot and treat yourself to a beer from the in-house brewery or an ice cream cone from Eiswerkstatt.
To the BearPark
Vide Grenier – flea market in the Old City
On 22 April, Bern’s Old City is turned into one big flea market: The locals have done their spring cleaning, and the gems that have turned up are sold at the Vide Grenier in Kramgasse and Gerechtigkeitsgasse streets from 10 a.m. on. Make sure you don’t miss out on the treasures – it’s worth getting to the Vide Grenier early to snatch the best bargains. That way, you’ll also have enough time for a relaxed, extensive brunch afterwards in one of Bern’s many pretty cafés. Fresh “Gipfeli” (croissants), hot coffee and great finds are just such a perfect combination!
More about the Vide Grenier
Bärner Wildpflanzen Märit (Bernese wildflower market)
Yet another birthday: the Bärner Wildpflanzen Märit, Switzerland’s largest market for wild plants, has been around for 30 years. This year’s motto is “Awakening”, which fits perfectly, because just as the dandelions break through the asphalt to make the city a little greener, the vendors set up their stalls to share ideas for a living and biodiverse future. One main focus is the promotion and spread of native wild plants. And you can shop beautiful plants for your balcony or your next gardening project and get the best care tips directly from the vendors.
To the Wildpflanzen Märit
Weekly farmer’s markets
While the stands at the BEA are set up for only 10 days, regional sellers present their seasonal products year-round at Bern’s weekly farmer’s markets. The selection is diverse and regionally produced. If you’re tired of winter’s root vegetables, you should plan a visit to the markets in April: with the beginning of spring, new fruits and vegetables start to appear in the market stalls (did we just spot the first stalks of rhubarb?). And it’s just so much fun to dive into the cheerful crowd, chat with the vendors, and let the many smells and colours inspire you.
To the farmer's markets
Shopping spree at the Westside shopping mall
Unfortunately, the saying “April weather, rain and sunshine both together” is more often true than not. When the weather is less than ideal for “Gänggele” (Bernese word for treating yourself to a little something) at the farmer’s market, head toward Bern Bethlehem and spend a fun, relaxed day at the Westside mall. The centre is especially practical for families: in the first shop, dad can find a new windbreaker, in the next, new sneakers await the kids. And now is the perfect time to go, as many shops offer discounts on spring gear.
Off to the Westside
Blossoming cherry trees in the Rosengarten
Around this time of year, nature lovers start monitoring the temperatures in Bern. Because for a short period of time each spring, the cherry trees in the city’s most panoramic spot, the Rosengarten park, are in full bloom. You can visit the floral phenomenon by taking a short walk from the BearPark. And if you’re lucky and the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds, pack a picnic blanket, a snack and a good book before you head on over – perfect for soaking up loads of vitamin D and good vibes. The only question that remains is: when will the trees blossom this year? To find out, simply follow I love Bern on social media. They will let you know when the magic begins.
Stroll to the Rosengarten
Themed e-bike tour
It’s a known fact that the Bernese love to ride their bikes. And now that spring has begun, even “Gförlis” (a Swiss word for people who are always cold) are venturing back outside. So, here’s the perfect activity for the next sunny weekend: an e-bike tour through the beautiful Bernese countryside. We recommend one of the themed tours, during which you’ll learn all about the region. Whether you’re super sporty or prefer taking your time, there’s something for everyone. One of the tours will even take you back in time! This is so much more than cycling – it’s culture, history, culinary delights, and breathtaking views.
To the e-bike tours
Grosse Berner Renntage – Bern’s big soapbox race
When the BEA is over and everything is packed up, it’s time for the next action-filled event. During spring break, you’ll hear hammering and drilling in Bern’s neighbourhoods – it’s dauntless teams trying to build the fastest soapbox for the city’s annual soapbox race. This year, it’s taking place on 28 April. If you’ve never built a soapbox before, you’ll receive expert support and advice as well as the right materials and tools during the building stage. Now nothing will stand in the way of your victory! Except maybe the tricky racecourse... If you’re not a huge adrenaline junkie, you’re still very welcome on Klösterlistutz hill – after all, the racers need an enthusiastic audience to cheer them on!