Is there anything better on a hot day than jumping in the cool water? How about a swim in one of Switzerland’s most beautiful outdoor pools, complete with a spectacular view of the Parliament Building? Or cooling off at a secluded natural bathing spot in the Gantrisch Nature Park, the Emmental valley, the Oberaargau region, or the quaint town of Laupen? The destination Bern has all kinds of refreshing activities in store for you this summer.
Free outdoor pools in Bern
During the summer months, the people of Bern turn into a nation of water rats (i.e., enthusiastic swimmers). And for good reason: not only the sparkling Aare, but a whole selection of municipal bathing areas beckon with their cool water, cosy sunbathing meadows and treats from fries to ice cream. From the lively neighbourhood swimming pool Wyler to the alternative-style Lorrainebad to the famous Marzili: a fun swimming experience stands at the top of the list during Bern’s summer. And the best part: it’s free!
Cooling down in front of the Parliament Building
The water feature on the Bundesplatz (Parliament Square) is made up of 26 fountains which represent Switzerland’s 26 cantons. The water seemingly shoots directly out of the stone slabs, up to seven meters into the air – sometimes following a certain rhythm, sometimes completely at random. Children frolic in the fountains, shrieking with joy, and adults and even dogs refresh themselves in the cool water on hot days. Next to them, young people sit on the ground in smaller and larger groups, picnicking, discussing, or practicing a dance performance. Watching this does make you wonder: you couldn’t imagine seeing such a spectacle in front of other seats of government – in front of the White House, for example, or the Elysée Palace.
Discover it now
The Prettiest Bathing Spots in the Destination BernBe it by the green Aare river, a quiet lake in the Oberaargau region, a river in the idyllic Emmental valley, a rumbling stream in the Gantrisch Nature Park, or a brook in the historic town of Laupen – here are our favourite bathing sites in the destination Bern.The Prettiest Bathing Spots in the Destination BernMore
The most beautiful fire pits and BBQ areas in BernHave you had enough of BBQ get-togethers on the balcony? Whether it’s in the city or the country, perfect for young or old guests, right on the water or up on a mountainside, our list has just the right grilling spot for you.The most beautiful fire pits and BBQ areas in BernMore
Cycling Tours Bern
Lake Wohlen, the Aare’s loop around the city, the jets on Parliament Square: water has always been an important, prominent feature in Bern and its surroundings. Four unique themed e-bike tours take you on a refreshing ride past different cool waters. Around the city of Bern, over the Frienisberg plateau, through the Laupen region, or through the Gantrisch Nature Park – which one will it be? Every route is dedicated to a specific topic that you can learn more about at the different experience sites along the way: nature and agriculture, scenery, tales and myths, and time. Get on your e-bike, catch the tailwinds, and go out on a new adventure.
On your bikes, get set, go!
Eating and drinking
How about a refreshing «Bern Mule» from one of Bern’s pop-up bars, a light, summery meal at a place that excels at sustainability, or exploring the old town and strolling through Bern’s shady arcades with a strawberry ice cream?
Bern’s pop-up bars
They are definitely a summer highlight: The many pop-up bars that sprout up in various places in Bern during the warm months. Nowhere else does a cool beer or a fruity drink taste as good as on the banks of the passing Aare, under shady trees, waving pennants and on colourful bistro chairs. This is the perfect opportunity to discover your new favourite beer out of the many local craft beers – after all, Bern is not considered the «beer capital of Switzerland» for nothing. And who knows, maybe a little flirt at the improvised bar will even result in a summer romance?
Let’s get summer started
Ice creamHot weather calls for cool treats: time for some ice cream! From raspberry-ginger to cioccolato fondente to red currant sorbet, in a cup or in a cone – here are our favourite gelato shops in and around the city of Bern.The Best Gelatos in and around BernIce creamMore
The most beautiful restaurant terraces in BernBreathtaking views as far as the eye can see. Whether it’s a local pub directly on the Aare river or an award-winning restaurant beside a lake, these 11 terraces are the perfect place to enjoy a meal.The most beautiful restaurant terraces in the city and region of BernThe most beautiful restaurant terraces in BernMore
Art and culture
Feel like visiting award-winning exhibitions in Bern’s museums where it’s always wonderfully cool? They are definitely worth a visit. After all, Bern is home to some of the most important museums and galleries in Switzerland. In addition, we will reveal interesting and bizarre facts about Bern on our varied city tours.
Museums in Bern
If you think «Museum» and pictures of large, dusty rooms or the warning voices of your parents (“don’t touch anything!) are rising before you – think again – because a visit to one of Bern’s museums will convince you otherwise. Many exhibitions actually want your active participation and invite you to take part! Bern’s cultural institutions present you with wonderful new ideas and ways to “feed” a curious mind with fascinating temporary exhibition, an exciting guided tour or an interactive event – come and have a look!
Off to the museum
UNESCO Stroll through the Old CityThe little alleys, baroque buildings and important sights of the medieval city tell an exciting story. Find out about Bern’s history on the classic UNESCO tour of the Old City.City Tours, Bern in 24 hours, Why Bern?UNESCO Stroll through the Old CityMore
Tour of the Zytglogge (Clock Tower)Going on a tour of the Zytglogge (Clock Tower) means: taking a look behind the clock that has existed for hundreds of years, learning about the history of this Bernese monument and enjoying the wonderful view from the top of the tower.City Tours, Why Bern?, Why Bern?Tour of the Zytglogge (Clock Tower)More
Browse through the charming little shops in Bern’s UNESCO-listed Old Town looking for the perfect birthday present for your best friend or take a stroll through Bern’s weekly produce market to pick up some regional products for your barbecue, such as vegetables, meat, or fish – shopping in Bern is simply fun! And best of all: the six-kilometre-long arcades protect you from the blazing sun or from sudden summer thunderstorms.
MarketsA stroll over the markets is exciting – each small street and square has its own little scene. The unique scenery of the UNESCO world heritage in Bern is truly something to see.ShoppingMarketsMore
Great Reasons for Shopping in Bern’s Old CityHave you had enough of the same old stores in hectic places? Head to Bern’s Old City! We’re letting you in on why strolling through the UNESCO World Heritage Site is an absolute treat.Great Reasons for Shopping in Bern’s Old CityMore
A budget room in a youth hostel right on the water, a glamorous suite in the heart of Bern’s old town or stylish accommodation in a trendy district: those who want to stay overnight in the destination Bern are spoilt for choice.
Hotels in the destination Bern
In Bern, there’s an accommodation for every taste. Pretty B&Bs pamper their guests with homemade breakfast, elegant hotel rooms offer the most spectacular views, and cool hostels have comfortable beds for visitors on a budget. If you’re visiting Bern as a group, you should opt for one of the many inviting apartments to experience the laid-back Bernese joie de vivre just like the locals do.
CampingIn the capital city right along the Aare or in the regions surrounding Bern – visit one of our many camping sites and enjoy the outdoors.CampingMore
Hotel offer for familiesFamilies profit from free overnight stays for children aged 16 and under at these hotels in the entire travel destination Bern.Hotel offer for familiesMore