Bern Switzerland is an especially lovely and charming European city that is known for its delightful architecture and its picturesque layout. The capital of Switzerland, this beautiful city sits on a small peninsula that is ringed by the swift Aare River. Hills surround it, and the soaring Alps can be seen on the horizon. The setting is enchanting, and the fact that the city is not very big lends to its harmonious nature. Only 130,000 people live here. Unlike some of the other European capitals, such as Paris and Madrid, Bern Switzerland seems more like a town than a city. The Bern attractions are many, and when visitors aren't exploring the streets of this World Heritage Site, they can enjoy an array of side excursions that take advantage of the area's recreational opportunities.
Bern became part of the Swiss Confederation in 1353, and in 1848, it was named the seat of the country's federal government. It is home to the Swiss parliament and a variety of international organizations. Originally, the city only covered the hilly peninsula on the Aare River, but today, it has expanded into the region beyond the Aare. As is true in the city of Basel, which can be found to the north, Bern has a series of bridges that connects the historic district with the newer districts on the other side of the water. Bern Switzerland was founded in the twelfth century, and the historic Old Town district has thankfully managed to maintain much of its medieval architecture. Walking tours of the medieval sector are extremely rewarding, thanks in part to structures such as the Zytglogge and the Munster.
The Zytglogge is one of the top Bern attractions. This medieval clock tower features moving puppets and a fifteenth-century astronomical clock. As for the Munster, it is a fifteenth-century Gothic cathedral that is noted for its complete main portal, its soaring tower, and its valuable stained glass windows, among other things. Rising to a height of 328 feet, the Munster Cathedral is the tallest cathedral in all of Switzerland. A climb to the top of the belfry, though a little arduous, will reward the visitor with exceptional views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Bern is not only the capital of Switzerland, but of the Bernese Oberland as well. Also known as the Bernese Highlands, this region is known for its beauty, especially when it comes to the mountains and the lakes. Bern is also the capital of the Canton of Bern, which is Switzerland's second-largest canton.
Enjoying walking tours in the historic medieval part of town is one of the top things to do in Bern, but it isn't the only thing worth doing. This city is home to some good museums that deserve some time, and they include the Bern Historical Museum and the Paul Klee Collection Museum. The former offers a look at the city's rich history, and it also offers a smaller sub museum that is dedicated to Albert Einstein, who called Bern home for a stint in 1905. Other Bern attractions that are worth adding to the agenda are the Barengraben, or Bear Pits, and the belvedere that sits atop Mount Gurten. Bears have long been mascots of Bern Switzerland, and the Bear Pits have had live bears on display since 1480. The pits are set in a deep, shaded den across the river near the Nydegg Bridge. The belvedere that sits atop Mount Gurten offers spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and mountains from its 2,768-foot-tall perch. The summit of Mount Gurten is also home to a playground and a series of hiking trails. You can get to the summit in just four minutes via a cable train.
Bern travel is full of delights, and families who are visiting this alluring city might make time for a trip to the zoo. The Dahlholzli Tierpark Zoo is one of Europe's best, and if offers more than 2,000 animals for visitors to admire. For anyone looking to enjoy some nightlife after a fun day, Bern vacations can include dancing until the wee hours. While some of the bars here are relatively relaxed, others are quite lively. In addition to some enticing nightlife, those who are engaging in Bern travel can also enjoy some tempting food. The restaurants in Switzerland's capital specialize in an array of international cuisines, and visitors are encouraged to enjoy a meal at one of the country inns on the outskirts of town. Bern travel offers something for everyone, as do the Bern hotels. Due to Bern's status as a capital city and a prime tourist destination, it is always a good idea to book a hotel room well in advance when possible.