Friday, October 4, 2013

In Bern for a day

Bern is the quiet capital of Switzerland, or better said, the federal city as it is officially called in German (Bundesstadt). Picture-perfect Bern lies almost in the middle of Switzerland, surrounded by the river Aare and with the impressive Alps on its horizon line. Bern has a compact city centre crisscrossed by many trams and trolleybuses, yet it can be easily explored on foot. With its cobbled streets and elegant arcades on their sides, a dozen original and unique fountains dating from some centuries ago, and pretty houses one after another with colourful flowers on their balconies, Bern has somehow stood still in time. But despite its historical façade, Bern is also a modern city with a nice shopping area, hip terraces, boutiques selling all kind of quirky stuff on semihidden cellars and a couple of interesting museums.

Last Saturday Boyfriend and I enjoyed a great day in Bern, exploring the city and visiting some intereting museums. We decided to go by train and as Bern is only one hour away from Basel by train, there was no need to get up too early. After hopping off the train Boyfriend and I strolled around the city centre, stopping at every corner to take some photos of the beautiful gates and fountains and relaxing into its laid-back atmosphere. One of Bern most distinctive sights is the Zytglogge, the clock tower with its very own astronomical clock and slightly reminiscent of the one in Prague. The Münster (currently under construction works) and the Swiss Houses of Parliament are other interesting building in the city centre - though I found the Münster to be really average. 

After getting acquainted with the city centre we crossed the Aare river to the Helvetiaplatz, a small square with a memorial fountain in the middle and surrounded by a handful of museums. The Bernisches Historisches Museum (History Museum of Bern) and the Einstein Museum are located on the same building and were the main reason for us to decide on this daytrip. The Bernisches Historisches Museum is currently holding the exhibition Qin, the eternal emperor and his terracotta warriors and seeing this terracotta army wonder had long been on our to-do list. After paying the not-so-friendly price of CHF 28 (ouch!) we wandered around the museum for a couple of hours discovering the early history of China and how these 8000 terracotta soldiers came to be and later learning some more about Einstein's bittersweet genius. All in all, it was worthy to pay the entrance fee as the exhibition and collections were interesting and well presented, though it was not allowed to take photos inside the museum.

After a day packed with culture and sightseeing, we decided to chill out a bit and went to greet Bern's most renowned inhabitants, the brown bears that live in the Bear Park and are a symbol to the city of Bern. According to a legend, the name of the city was derived from the early German word for bear and Bern got her name after the founder of the city returned home with a bear from a hunting party. Nowadays, bears are no longer a hunting trophy in the region and since the 19th century Bern has been home to several couples of brown bears. For over a century the bears were restricted to a small pit but in 2009 a new park beside the river was opened for their home to be more nature-a-like.

Have a lovely weekend!


  1. Por tus fotos me parece una ciudad preciosa. Cómo me gustaría hacer un circuito por estos sitios que nos muestras en tus posts. Se ven , además de bonitos, muy interesantes. Bss, Irene:)

  2. Hey Irene! Bern is a city that offers a lot! That was a big price to pay for a museum ticket, but it really sounded like it was worth it. I heard about those terracotta soldiers. I've seen pictures and they are truly amazing. Bear park looks amazing. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  3. It must be really great to visit this city, looks adorable)) I love exploring new place, visiting intereting museums, having rest at local caffes too, it's really wonderful when you have an opportunity to travel! Those photographs are adorable, those city views are so eye-catching!
    Wish you a blessed day ahead!

    1. oh, and I've forgotten to say, that bear is fantastic one and I really glad to hear that those bears are living in more natural conditions, it's nice!!!

  4. I love all of your photos especially the last 3. The landscape is magnificent! I had a colleague from Bern. It's interesting to know more about this city. Before your post, I had no idea what Bern looked like.

  5. I have never been to Bern but I would love to travel there someday! Great pictures!

  6. The architecture is beautiful and a bear park? I'd love to visit that!

    Thanks for linking up with us!

  7. Tendre que visitar Berna, q maravilla de paisaje, la foto del rio con la ciudad es una autentica pasada,
    no sabia que tuvieran un par que de osos, q bonito!!!
    besito Irene, se ve que disfrutasteis mucho del dia

  8. Beautiful buildings!


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