Enjoy Bern without Breaking the Bank

As a first-time visitor to Bern, you will feel stunned by the beauty of its glory. Bern is the capital of Switzerland, built on a sandstone ridge centered around the Aare River. The city is linked by high-level bridges.

Bern is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of its well-preserved old town and long arcades. Shops and houses reflect the prosperity of the citizens of Bern in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Numerous museums and theaters cover a variety of interests, and visitors can enjoy street-side sightseeing such as the Zytglogge, a medieval clock tower with moving puppets.

Despite its sophistication, you can enjoy Bern without breaking the bank. Here are some recommended places and activities you can do in Bern:

Museum hopping

Before you begin your museum-hopping journey, visit the Bern Museum website to find out some of the highlights on the day of your visit. You can visit the Natural History Museum, Museum of Communication, and Swiss Alpine Museum, among many others.

Don’t forget to get a Museum Card (Museen Card) as it entitles you to a free entry for 24-48 hours to the collections and special exhibits of all museums in Bern. Just purchase one card to access all museums in Bern!

Stroll around Bern’s Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden of the University of Bern is a haven for all plant and nature lovers. There are more than 5,500 types of plants worldwide on display beside the Aare River. Along the centerpiece garden, The Alpinum, you will discover over 1,500 plant species along the path, and it is breath-taking.

The six greenhouses are open to the public, and they are also divided into diverse climate zones. You can even experience the vibrant rainforest in one of the houses. Visit their website https://www.boga.unibe.ch/ for more details.

Walk around the Rose Garden

Bern is a place where you can explore or just take slow walks around parks. This place is very famous for its picturesque view of Bern’s Old Town, extending to the local mountain, the Gurten, and the alps. It is very scenic that people come here because of its postcard-looking background.

Find Albert Einstein’s bench and take a selfie! But as its name is “Rose Garden,” it is literally surrounded by enchanting roses of about 400 types. If you happen to visit during spring (end of March to the beginning of April), the Japanese cherry blossoms will be on display! Enjoy reading because a nearby library is open every Tuesday and Saturday from April to October.

Go wild (figuratively) at Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli, + Bear Park.

There are 200 different animal species to discover in Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli – nestled in the Dählhölzli forest and right by the Aare river. An excellent site that you can freely visit. If you have kids with you on this trip, Animal Park is a perfect place for them to enjoy. Activities like pony riding, carriage rides, and face painting are perfect ways to cap off your day at the Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli + Bear Park.

This is also the home of the Bernese Bears. You can meet “Björk” and “Ursina,” the famous Bernese Bears.

Find out more about Animal Park, Dählhölzli, + Bear Park on their official website.

Never miss Switzerland’s largest late Medieval Church.

Bernese Minster is a Gothic sandstone building that sits above the rooftops of the Old City. The silhouette of its spire is a crucial feature of Bern’s distinctive skyline, which is over 100 meters high. The monument represents grand architecture and diverse culture and is part of Bern’s driving history.

It is the highest church spire in all of Switzerland, with 312 steps to reach the viewing deck but the panorama of the Old City. Once you reach the top, everything is absolutely worth it. Suppose you wish to go on a tour around the Bernese Minster. In that case, you can visit their Official Website to find the current information regarding opening times and special protective measures for all visitors.

Outdoor fun and activities for FREE

Who doesn’t want a free activity? If you don’t want to hop on museums (which don’t necessarily cost that much), Bern happens to be a place you can stroll and explore without the dreaded expense. Well, not until you buy coffee or grab some lunch or dinner.

Bern is an oasis in the middle of the city. As soon as the temperature is about 15°C, municipal swimming pools open their doors. Swimming pools mean green-blue glacier water. The Weyermannshaus, which the Bernese call “Weyerli,” is one of the massive swimming pools in all of Europe! This swimming pool looks almost like a lake!

If you are visiting Bern during the summers, you’re in for a treat. But if you’re not into swimming, you can just freely lounge back and relax. If you choose the Marzili, you can ambitiously dive into their 50m swimming pool and have some gelato at Gelateria di Berna right across the main entrance!

If you are a bit of a swimmer, it is recommended to try swimming in the Aare River. You can literally let yourself drift through nature in the middle of the city and bask in the impressive UNESCO-crowned backdrop. But of course, safety is still a major concern for any swimmer so try to follow the rules and read about the Böötlitripp before trying it the first time.

Be fascinated with Albert Einstein’s Memory Lane

If you are a fan of the late Albert Einstein, you will come to know that you can visit his apartment on the 2nd floor at Kramgasse 49 in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Albert Einstein once lived in the Swiss capital. The Theory of Relativity was developed in this apartment and other brilliant discoveries. This is open to visitors from 11 am to 4 pm. Find out more about its special event and announcement through its Official Website.

Say Pröschtli with a Beer Tour

If you are into beer, you are in for a treat! Cap your tour with locally brewed craft beer! There are around 200 breweries and microbreweries in Bern than anywhere else in Switzerland.

An interesting tour you have to try is the “Brewing on the Castle.” At “Brauen auf dem Schloss,” where you can make your own beer amidst the historic walls of Burgdorf Castle and learn everything about the malt beverage. Brewing your beer like in the middle ages seems like a fun activity. At Burgdorf Castle, master brewer Üelu will talk about the history of beer and the background and teach you the important production process before you can have your beer tasting!

Now savor the beer that has been brewed over a fire!

You can simply bask in the Old Town’s ambiance while strolling

Nothing is more refreshing than exploring the city on foot (that’s how we enjoyed this beautiful city wink). Provided that you’re ready to scour the beautiful ambiance of the modern + medieval, the Old Town is the perfect spot to just roam around.

Tip: You can drink the cool water from their taps for free.

Enjoying an afternoon walk around the UNESCO-designated old town of Bern will remind you how people from the middle ages must have lived. You’re walking back in time (without those medieval clothes unless you deem it necessary for your photoshoots) and feel like you are in the 13th century. There’s a spot called the Public Fountain, an old fountain in the middle of the city that was once the center for an important social task in Bern – the news was exchanged, and negotiations happened, women and maids fetched the water for the household in a larger copper vessel called “Brente.”

Don’t forget to bring a bottle to fill up if you walk around Bern. The fresh well water during walks is perfect and is potable!

Bern is such a beauty that you just want to stay longer. There is nightly music on the streets at night that you can enjoy immensely. Pop-up bars are so familiar, where you can order refreshing drinks (only when the weather permits). Bern lived up to its name and will surely dazzle you with its charming brilliance. It is highly recommended to come and visit Bern and enjoy it without spending too much.