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Berne

Country
Switzerland
State
Berne
City
Berne
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By Air

There are good transport links to Berne Belp Airport, the city’s small international airport. There are efficient shuttle bus services running to the main train services, and they usually run according to flight schedules. It is also possible to take a short local bus ride to the nearby village of Belp, and then take the train into Berne’s city centre.

By Tram

The public transport system in Bern, known as the Stadtische Verkehrsbetriebe (SVB), is an extensive network of buses and trams. Before boarding the tram, you must by a ticket from the automatic machines, found at each stop. There are two types of ticket; a short-ride ticket is for up to six stops, and a normal ticket is valid for any one-way journey within 45 minutes. The service is very efficient, with trams running every 5 to 14 minutes, travelling over three different lines.

By Bus

Bus services in Bern are part of the Stadtische Verkehrsbetriebe (SVB), a citywide network of buses and trams. The buses here are excellent, frequent and very efficient. Tickets must be purchased from the machines, located at all bus stops. The fare system is the same as the tram ticket system; short rides of six stops and normal tickets, which are valid for a one-way journey, within 45 minutes, are available.

By Taxis

There are plenty of taxis in the city, but with the city easily explored on foot and the excellent network of trams and buses, taxis are really only used by visitors going out of the city centre. Taxis can be hailed on the street or booked in advance. Always establish the fare before starting your journey. The main taxi ranks are on Casinoplatz and at the railway station.

Key places to visit
Clock Tower, Historical Museum, Gerechtigkeitsgasse, Little Redoubt, St Vincent Minster


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Places to Visit

Clock Tower

The Kramgasse ends at the Clock Tower (Zeitglockenturm or Zytgloggeturm), a notable Berne landmark, frequently rebuilt (the present stone tower with its pointed spire is 15th C.) which was the west gate of the town until about 1250. On the east side of the tower is an astronomical clock (1527-30), with mechanical figures which perform four minutes before every hour.

Historical Museum

On the south side of Helvetiaplatz the Historical Museum of Berne (1892-94) is built in the style of a 16th century castle, with collections of prehistoric material, folk art and traditions, ethnography and various types of decorative and applied art. Of particular interest is the Burgundian room, with trophies won at the Battle of Grandson in 1476 (weapons, tapestries, embroidery), the Henri Moser Charlottenfels Collection (weapons and objets d'art from the Islamic East), the Lausanne cathedral treasury and late medieval tapestries.

An important collection of military uniforms includes the Landesknecht (Swiss mercenary soldier) costume of Andreas Wild of the
16th century. This colorful garment is a unique survival from the time when soldiers were as decorative as they were fierce.

Gerechtigkeitsgasse

The Gerechtigkeitsgasse in Berne is lined on both sides by arcades and elegant shops. In the middle of the street is the Justice Fountain (Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen, 1543) probably by Hans Gieng of Freiburg, with Justitia (since 1988 a copy) as the image of justice. The original statue was destroyed in 1986 and has been carefully restored in the Historical Museum.

Little Redoubt

A popular viewpoint in Berne, with an orientation table, is the Kleine Schanze (Little Redoubt), a relic of the old fortifications. In the gardens are a monument to Oskar Bider, who made the first flight over the Alps in 1913, and a monument (1909) commemorating the foundation of the Universal Postal Union.

St Vincent Minster

Berne's Late Gothic Minster (dedicated to St Vincent), a three-aisled pillared basilica without transept, was begun in 1421 to the design of Matthäus Ensinger of Ulm, but the tower was not completed until 1893, with the addition of the octagonal upper section and the open-work spire.

Right Time to Visit

July - December

Temperature