10+ Unusual Things to Do in Bern Revealed

Pedal through Bern's hidden alleys and riverside paths, but are you prepared for what awaits at the journey's end? Discover...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

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Ever imagined pedaling through the heart of history with a Swiss twist? Listen up, 'cause Bern isn't just your typical postcard-perfect city—it's a place where the cobblestones whisper tales of medieval times and the Aare River gently nudges you towards adventure. But I bet you didn't know that the best way to soak up every captivating story and hidden nook of this city is on two wheels. That's right, Bern bike tours are not just something you do—they're the gateway to experiencing the authentic pulse of this place.

Now, hold on to your helmets as we ditch those mundane tourist traps and dive deep into the city's charm. You're about to say Grüezi to bustling Bern local markets, savor a bite of charm far from the tourist throngs with Bern Swiss cuisine sampling, and let the poised beauty of the Bern Rose Garden views steal your breath away. Trust me, by the time we're done, you'll be in deep—embracing the rich history and outdoor adventures Bern has to offer, including a memorable encounter at the iconic Bern Bear Park. Because in Bern, you're part of the story.


Discover Bern by Bike

Can't get enough of that fresh, open-air feeling? Bern by bike is where it’s at! Imagine pedaling through historical streets, feeling the breeze brush past you, and catching glimpses of the stunning Swiss architecture. It’s not just a tour; it’s an experience that pumps both your legs and heart with excitement.

Bern bike tours are your backstage pass to this city's soul. Glide past vibrant local markets, beneath centuries-old arches, and along the serene Aare River. In a city where every cobblestone tells a story, you’re not just a spectator; you’re part of the narrative. Each push of the pedal takes you further into Bern’s rich history and contemporary charm.

Now, how long should you reserve for this two-wheeled adventure? A couple of hours should do the trick. This isn’t your Tour de France; it’s about leisure, not speed. Whether you're a lonesome explorer or with your thrill-seeking squad, biking through Bern is an absolute must. It's perfect for people of all ages – kids can tag along too! Everyone will love the freedom of exploring at their own pace.

To really jazz up your ride, make a pit stop at the iconic Rose Garden for a panorama that will wow your social media followers. Trust me, the view is worth the detour. What’s more Swiss than riding through Bern, with the historic city as your backdrop and the Alps in the distance?

Ready to roll? Check out cycle paths and rent a bike from local shops or tour providers, so you can captivate your senses on a journey through the stunning Swiss capital. Don’t miss out on the ride of a lifetime!

Bern bike tours are waiting to turn those holiday moments into pure gold. Get your gears ready, set your sights on adventure, and pedal into the heart of Bern – where every turn is a new discovery.


Sample Authentic Flavors at Bern's Local Markets

Ever wanted to taste the true spirit of Bern without the glossy tourist sheen? Bern's local markets are your golden ticket to flavor town! Imagine baskets brimming with fresh fruits, the tangy scent of artisanal cheeses mingling with the sweet spice of homemade pastries. Got your taste buds buzzing yet?

Here's the juicy part: these markets aren't just for your weekly grocery run—they're a gastronomic gala where locals and food connoisseurs unite. Allow at least an hour to saunter through the stalls; trust me, once you sink your teeth into a mouthwatering Swiss morsel, you won't want to rush.

What truly makes this place shimmer like the Aare on a sunny day? The people! Bernese merchants are the salt of the earth, offering you slices of their life in edible form. Looking for a tip? Ask them about their favorites; they'll guide you to the best bites in the market with the pride of a lion showing off their pride!

Whether you're a die-hard foodie or just peckish for a snack, the local markets cater to all. They're ideal for singles looking for quality bites, families eager for a picnic ensemble, or couples seeking that perfect cheese for a cozy night in.

And let’s not forget where you are—a hop, skip, and a jump from the vibrant city center, fringed by the historical marvels Bern is famed for. Soak up the charm, fill your basket with goodies, and maybe meander to a nearby park to revel in your delectable finds.

Word to the wise: keep those market days marked on your calendar. You don't want to miss the riot of colors and flavors these markets parade every week. Now, aren't you just itching to weave through the maze of stalls and bask in the authentic Bern market buzz?


Indulge in Swiss Cuisine Outside Tourist Trails

Picture this: You're wandering through the hidden alleys of Bern, far from the clamor of bustling tourists. You stumble upon a quaint, charming eatery that looks like it's straight out of a storybook. Welcome to the road less traveled by hungry souls, where authentic Swiss cuisine awaits.

Sampling Swiss dishes, did you say? Oh, you're in for a treat! Here, where the aroma of melted cheese wafts through the air, you can dive into a fondue pot like a local. But it's not just about cheese – oh no – it's a culinary adventure through regional specialties.

Imagine biting into rösti so crispy yet tender, it's like you've discovered the secret treasure of Swiss grandmas. And let's not forget the succulent sausages, with flavors bold enough to challenge your taste buds to a delightful duel. Pair it with a briskly refreshing Swiss white wine, and you've got yourself a meal that will have your foodie friends weeping with envy.

Bern's off-the-beaten-path spots offer Swiss cuisine that’s as real as it gets. Whether you're sharing a meal with newfound friends or reflecting on your day solo, you'll fit right in. The best part? Each bite is a new story, a shared secret between you and the city. So, indulge away and let Bern's true flavors seduce your palate.

And for those who are culinary explorers at heart, spending an hour or two in these hidden culinary havens is a must. They're perfect for anyone who appreciates authenticity, from solo travelers seeking unique experiences to families creating flavorful memories, to couples seeking the perfect savory moment.

Don’t settle for just any Swiss chocolate or fondue. Discovering these gems is about encountering the soul of Bern, with the satisfaction that you’re savoring something special, away from tourist traps. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you for going the extra mile. Now, follow that mouthwatering scent and let the city's gourmet secrets reveal themselves to you, one bite at a time. 🍴✨


Relax in the Serenity of the Rose Garden

Imagine a place where roses bloom in an infinite spectrum of colors and the air is perfumed with their sweet scent. Now, you’ve got Bern's Rose Garden in mind, a picturesque spot that locals and travelers rave about.

Why is the Rose Garden in Bern a must-visit? The answer: unparalleled views. Perched on a hillside, this tranquil sanctuary offers a panoramic view of Bern that you’ll want to capture in your heart forever. It's not just a floral paradise; it’s a scenic overlook where the old town’s spires reach up to meet the sky, all framed by countless roses. And if you think this is your ordinary garden, guess again. With over 220 different rose species, you're stepping into a budding wonderland.

But it's not only about the roses. This garden is also home to irises, rhododendrons, and an enchanting water lily pond that beckon you to slow down and savor the moment. Here, the beauty of nature and Bern merge into one unforgettable vista that ignites the senses and soothes the soul.

Spend an hour or two here, basking in the peace — it’s a respite for anyone seeking a moment away from the bustling city streets. It's ideal for everyone: families enjoying a leisurely stroll, couples sharing a serene moment, and single explorers seeking a picturesque spot for some quiet contemplation.

And don't forget, the Rose Garden is not just about daytime splendor. As the sun dips and the city lights begin to twinkle, the evening view is a spectacle that transforms the garden into a magical night scene — perfect for romantics and peace-seekers alike.

So, breathe in deep, feel that soft petal touch, and let the Rose Garden's tranquil beauty wash over you. This is where the great Bernese skyline comes alive with the delicate dance of roses against an ever-changing backdrop. Talk about a natural high — you've just found your bliss in Bern.


Unveil the Charm of Medieval Bern

Picture this: you're wandering through narrow cobblestone streets, lined with sandstone buildings, some of them date back to the 15th century. Yes, my friend, you're living a page out of a storybook in medieval Bern. The air has a crispness here that whispers tales of yore and history that the walls, if they could, would eagerly recount.

When exploring medieval Bern, you're in for an adventure that could span anywhere from 3 to a whopping 10 hours, depending on how much medieval magic you want to soak in. Get ready to marvel at the ancient clock tower, Zytglogge, with its gilded hands and mechanical puppets that put on a little show every hour – seriously, who needs a wristwatch when you've got this historic bad boy chiming the day away?

And the charm doesn't stop at a clock tower. Bern's Cathedral (Bern Münster) shoots up to the heavens, its Gothic architecture screaming grandeur and sheer awe. If you're up for a challenge, you can climb the 312 steps up to the spire. The view? Oh, it's only a panoramic vista of the city and the snowy Alps that'll have you gasping for air – partly from the climb, mostly from the beauty.

For you history buffs and culture vultures, you won't want to miss Bern Historical Museum. This is where you can dive deep into the city’s past and come up close with artifacts that tell a thousand silent stories.

Good for singles, couples, families, or the solo wanderer, this medieval enclave holds joys for all who walk its paths. Spare at least half a day for exploration; trust me, you don't want to rush this living museum.

So if you're ready to step back in time and feel the history, then get your comfy shoes on. It’s time to immerse yourself in the spellbinding splendor of medieval Bern.


Embrace the Outdoor Adventure in Bern

You know that thrill in your belly when you're about to do something absolutely bonkers? That's what awaits you in Bern's open arms of adventure. Imagine zipping through lush forests, the wind tousling your hair, and that boisterous laughter that bubbles up as you pedal down a hill — that's outdoor adventure in Bern, my friend, and it's calling your name.

What makes Bern a prime spot for those looking for an adrenaline rush? Is it the craggy peaks shadowing the city, or the emerald waters of the Aare beckoning for a swim? I'd say it's all that and a bag of Swiss chocolates. Whether you're looking to conquer trails on a mountain bike or kayak through serene waters with only the sound of your paddle breaking the silence, Bern has it all. Plus, with outdoor activities in Bern, there's an escapade for every adventurer, whether solo rangers, families, or that group of pals who can't sit still.

Here's what you're not gonna wanna miss:


  • Strapping on your helmet for some mountain biking shenanigans. The trails? Immaculate. The views? Breathtaking. The experience? Unmatched.
  • White water rafting down the Aare. The rhythm of the rapids will have your heart racing faster than a Swiss train.
  • Paragliding off the Gurten. You'll be flying high enough to wave at the eagles.
  • Rock climbing for a grip-and-grit challenge that rewards you with selfies atop peaks making your social media friends mad jealous.


You'll want to spend a full day (or, hey, even a couple) if you're looking to fully embrace the rush. A day spent here will be the best day. Full. Stop. You're not just a sightseer; you are the master of your own Swiss adventure narrative. And as for what’s nearby? You're in Bern, baby — cafe-lined streets, historical sites, and cozy nooks to chill are just a stone's throw from your adventure hub.

So, lace up your boots, or if you're feeling fancy, strap on a harness and dive into the side of Bern that pulses with the heartbeat of the great outdoors. It's wild, it's free, and it's all yours for the taking.


Encounter the Iconic Bern Bear Park

Imagine the gentle rustling of leaves, the soft murmur of the River Aar flowing in the distance, and suddenly, you're face-to-face with one of Bern's most legendary creatures - the brown bear. That's right, at Bern Bear Park, you're not just walking through an ordinary park; you're stepping into a historic tradition that's been alive since the 16th century!

The park offers encounters with these majestic creatures, ranging between 2 to 3 different bears, each with their own unique personalities that will leave you absolutely smitten. Whether they're playfully splashing in the water or just lounging on the green, these bears are living their best lives, and you're there to witness it all.

You don't need to be a bear enthusiast to enjoy this place. This park is a haven for anybody looking to merge wildlife with the beauty of nature, making it perfect for families, singles, and yes, even the little ones. With free entry, it’s an un-bear-lievable way to spend an hour or two basking in the joy of Bern's natural side.

Plus, the park is nestled right by the Old Town, so after you've had your fill of furry encounters, you can easily dive back into the medieval charm of Bern. Are your tummies growling after all that excitement? Maybe not as loudly as the bears’, but you're just a short trot away from local eateries where you can sample some delectable Swiss treats.

So, grab your walking shoes, and let's mosey through the lush landscape of the Bern Bear Park. Connect with nature, bond with the bears, and who knows, maybe you'll even leave feeling a little more bear-like in your newfound sense of relaxation and contentment.


Enjoy a Riverside Picnic Along the Aare

Picture this: Sunlight dancing on the rippling waters of the Aare, a soft breeze rustling through the leaves, and you, kicked back with a basket of Swiss delicacies, nestled in the heart of Bern. Bern's riverfront picnic areas are not just spots on a map; they're slices of paradise for anyone who loves to merge relaxation with a touch of adventure.

What makes a riverside picnic along the Aare so special?


  • Scenic Views: Expect to be wooed by the stunning backdrop of the old town architecture.
  • Swimming Access: A daring dip in the Aare is a must for the brave - it's clean, refreshing, and invigorating!
  • Local Vibe: You'll be picnicking like a true Bernese, the way locals have savored their city for centuries.


You've got to experience it firsthand. Whether you're a solo explorer in need of some 'me-time', a couple looking for that idyllic romantic moment, or a family on the prowl for the perfect play spot, there's a patch of grass with your name on it. And if you're feeling adventurous, join the locals in a swim - the Aare's current will sweep you along on a watery journey like no other!

Grab your picnic blanket, a basket brimming with local cheeses, freshly baked bread, and maybe a bottle of crisp Swiss wine, and settle in for an afternoon that stretches lazily into the evening. This isn't just a picnic; it's an embrace with Bern's very soul.

Kids can run free, couples can cozy up, and you, well, you can breathe in deep a gulp of that fresh Bern air and know that right here, right now, life is good. Don't rush it; let the charm of the Aare seep into your bones. Stay until the sun dips low, and the waters glitter gold - it's an experience that's as sumptuous as the finest Swiss chocolate. Here's to moments that turn into memories!


Take a Stroll Through Bern's Botanical Garden

Feel the grass under your feet and the breeze against your face? That's you wandering through the lush, green paths of Bern's Botanical Garden, folks! You might want to set aside 1 to 2 hours; this is not your run-of-the-mill garden but a spectacular explosion of flora that's about to hijack your senses and, let's face it, your Instagram feed too.

Now, let's get real here, this place is like the VIP lounge for plants. We're talking about a collection that brings together Mother Nature's finest. Imagine this: over 5,500 species of plants from all over our gorgeous planet. And the best part? It's an educational hotspot where you're gonna learn a ton without even realizing it because you're too caught up in all that natural beauty. And for all you love birds out there, this is the kind of romantic setting that has 'will you...' moments written all over it.

Make sure you've got your comfy shoes on because there are themed gardens, folks. No joke, from Alpine Gardens that make you feel like you're on top of the world to the Cactus Land, where you're grateful you look but don't touch. Now for all the botany geeks out there, prepare for the Tropical Greenhouses to rock your world. It's like stepping into the heart of the jungle with that warm, moist air embracing you like a warm hug from nature.

And just when you think you've seen it all, bam! You wander right into an event or exhibit cause this place is always buzzing with activities that set your curiosity on fire. Here's a tidbit to sweeten the deal—admission is absolutely free. Yeah, you heard me, free!

So, what's nearby when your plant-loving heart needs a break? Well, let me tell you, take a chill moment at the nearby café, or if you feel like stretching those legs a bit more, the historical center of Bern is just a stroll away. Perfect for families, peaceful for singles, and a touch of adventure for anyone feeling like they need a green escape from the urban drums.

Oh, and before you even ask, yes, there are spots for that perfect sunset selfie. So get your camera ready, because looking at these beauties, you’ll want to say, "I've got Bern at my fingertips," literally.

And hey, don't just take it from me—check out what visitors say about this Eden in the middle of Bern. You're in for an experience that’ll have you stopping to smell the roses... and the tulips... and the orchids—okay, you get the picture.


Explore Art at Zurich Galleries Day Trip

Imagine yourself weaving through a vibrant tapestry of art—a space where every turn is a new color, a new story waiting to be discovered. That's what a day trip to Zurich's top galleries will feel like. A feast for your senses!

There's something utterly magical about stepping into a gallery and being greeted by the silent, yet powerful whispers of art. Your journey through Zurich's galleries unfolds a blend of contemporary chic and timeless masterpieces. You're not just in Zurich; you're in the heart of creative expression.

So, which galleries do you absolutely have to hit up? First on your list should be the Kunsthaus Zürich. It's not just a gallery; it's a cultural institution. Then, swing by the Hauser & Wirth for some cutting-edge modern art that will have you questioning reality. And don't miss out on Galerie Eva Presenhuber – it's where the cool, sophisticated side of art hangs out.

But hey, this is Zurich, right? Everything's pretty close together. Which means you can go gallery-hopping and still have time for a cappuccino at a cozy café nearby. Or maybe grab some Swiss chocolate for an indulgent treat – because, why not?

And listen, this isn't just for the artsy elite. Whether you're a solo explorer with a knack for photography or a family looking to sprinkle a little culture on your vacation, the galleries in Zurich are welcoming to all. You’ll find pieces that'll make the kids laugh and works that'll have you and your partner in deep conversation.

Plan to spend most of the day here, losing track of time because each gallery has its own universe inside. Plus, the vibe in Zurich? It’s laid back. So take your time, soak it all in, and let the city's art take you on a journey.

Don't miss this chance for a truly memorable day trip. Dive in, explore, connect with art on a whole new level. Trust me, you'll leave feeling inspired, refreshed, and already planning your next visit.


Experience the Alpine Scenery on a Day Trip from Bern


Take a break from the city vibes and dive into a world where the air tastes like pure freedom, and the views could make even the grumpiest grinch sing with joy. Yup, you're about to experience the alpine scenery on a day trip from Bern, and let me tell you, it's an epic journey worth every Instagram story you're gonna post!

First things first, you're gonna need at least a full day for this adventure because the Swiss Alps are no joke. They're stunning, dramatic, and have a way of making you feel like you're in one of those fancy desktop wallpapers. So pack your snacks, grab a camera, and lace up some comfy shoes.

Now, who's this alpine extravaganza for? Whether you're a solo explorer itching for some altitude, a couple looking for that perfect backdrop to snuggle up in front, or a family wanting to show the kiddos nature's version of a theme park, the Alps are your go-to.

If you're worried about missing out on something closer to Bern—don't! That gorgeous Alpine scenery is literally a backdrop to your day. But this, oh, this is your chance to touch the sky (well, almost). You'll ride cable cars, meet cows that could double as models with their beauty, and if you're lucky, you might just have a mountain goat photobomb your selfie.

The best part? After your mind-blowing day gawking at peaks and gasping at the sheer beauty of it all, you'll be back in Bern by dinner, ready to boast about your high-altitude exploits. So what are you waiting for? Every minute you're not up there is a minute you're not living the peak (pun absolutely intended) Swiss experience!


Discover the Hidden Courtyards in Zurich


Zurich is a treasure trove of secrets, and one of the most delightful surprises are its hidden courtyards. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city, these serene spaces offer you a magical escape into the tranquil heart of Zurich’s busy life.

Why are these courtyards a must-visit? Well, it's simple – they're like a whispered secret among the cobblestone streets and historical buildings, a true testament to Zurich's understated elegance. Take a peek behind an unassuming gate or stroll down a narrow alleyway, and you might just find yourself in an enchanting courtyard that feels miles away from the city.

These little-known havens are perfect for you if you're the kind of traveler who likes to explore off the beaten path. Bring along a good book or a sketchpad, because once you find your courtyard nirvana, you're going to want to stay awhile.

What makes these courtyards unique? Each one has its own character, history, and charm. From idyllic gardens with blooming flowers to sleek, modern spaces that host open-air art displays, Zurich’s courtyards are as diverse as they are captivating.

You're likely to be sharing these spaces with locals, as these spots are cherished by residents for a moment of respite or a quiet lunch break. This means you’ll be experiencing a slice of true Zurich life – an authentic peek into the day-to-day behind the city’s façades.

Wondering how long you should linger in these hidden gems? If you're like me, you'd say the whole day! But in reality, you'll probably spend a good hour or two soaking in the peace before you head out to your next Zurich adventure. Whether you're stopping by after a visit to the nearby Kunsthaus Zurich or before delving into the vibrant nightlife, these courtyards make for the perfect interlude to a city tour.

Are they great for everyone? Absolutely! Whether you're in Zurich flying solo, with that special someone, or you've got the whole family in tow, everyone will appreciate a moment in these hidden pockets of paradise. They’re not just for relaxation; snap a few photos, and your friends back home will surely be asking about that enchanting place where you had your Swiss chocolate – surrounded by architecture and history, no less.

And just when you think you know Zurich, its secret courtyards whisper, "There's more to discover." You gotta love a city that keeps on giving, right?



Q: Is Bern Switzerland worth visiting?

A: Absolutely, it's a gem! Bern, with its charming Old Town and stunning views, is definitely a must-see in Switzerland.

Q: What is Bern best known for?

A: It's famous for the Zytglogge clock tower, Bear Park, and its well-preserved medieval city center.

Q: How do I spend a day in Bern Switzerland?

A: Start with the Rose Garden for amazing city views, explore the Old Town, and check out the Einstein Museum!

Q: Is Bern a walkable city?

A: Yes, for sure! You can easily stroll through its compact and historical center.

Q: Things to do in Bern in one day?

A: Visit the Bear Park, Einstein House, and the Federal Palace. Plus, enjoy the local cafes!

Q: Things to do in Bern in winter?

A: Don't miss ice skating at the local rinks or visiting the Christmas markets!

Q: Things to do in Bern at night?

A: Check out the bars in Old Town or catch a performance at the Bern Theatre.

Q: Things to do in Bern today?

A: For the latest happenings, head to Bern's official tourism website or check out local event listings!

Q: Things to do in Zurich?

A: Zurich is packed with museums, Lake Zurich, and Bahnhofstrasse for shopping.

Q: Things to do in Bern Reddit?

A: Redditors recommend the Historical Museum, the food scene, and taking a swim in the Aare river.


Final Words

By now, you've got a hefty list of must-dos to pack your itinerary with the best things to do in Bern. From pedaling past historic sights to sampling Swiss delicacies off the beaten path, every moment is laced with charm. Don't forget the tranquility that awaits in the Rose Garden or the adventure in the great outdoors.

Whether you're uncovering medieval wonders or picnicking by the Aare, each experience is a thread in the rich tapestry of Bern. And as you leave for Zurich to soak in the art or gaze at alpine grandeur—a piece of Bern's spirit tags along. So, take these memories, treasure them, and let them inspire your next journey. Bern isn't just a city; it's a feeling that stays with you.

Meet the Author
Isabella Kai
Isabella Kai, the Instagram wordsmith, crafts tales that captivate hearts worldwide. A dedicated foodie, she whips up culinary delights and pairs them with stories that make your taste buds dance. Beyond the screen, she's on a mission to visit every artisan bakery in town.
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