Things to do in Bern

Go rafting on the River Aare

In the summer, adrenalin junkies can raft the river Aare with the appropriately-named Aare Bootsvermietung (tel: +41 763 1537 37; The trip lasts two to three hours, is suitable for all skill levels and finishes within walking distance of the city, so no need for a taxi back.

Get a look at the Kindlifresser

In the fountain at the Kornhausplatz you will notice one of Europe’s darker statues. Kindlifresser translates to ‘Child Eater’, and the monument depicts a man with multiple babies in arms as he chows down on the head of another. Stories abound of the meaning and significance of the statue, but seeing as it was built in 1546, we’re unlikely to ever really know what it’s about. Maybe it’s for the best.

Go on a hike

Around the city there’s boundless hiking trails to suit walkers of all abilities and fitness levels. One of the most accessible is the Trans-Swiss trail ( It kicks off from the historic little town of Laupen, along the river Sense, and takes in a plethora of life-affirming Alps views before finishing in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bern Old Town.

Spend some time with the bears

Bern has played home to bears since 1513, and there are currently five brown bears living in the BearPark (tel: +41 31 357 15 15; They’re mostly hibernating for three to four months in winter, but once they’re through that, you’ll find Björk, Finn and Ursina full of beans.

Zentrum Paul Klee

In 1997, Livia Klee-Meyer, daughter-in-law of Swiss-German artist Paul Klee, donated 690 artistic works to the city of Bern: a large portion of which were those of her father-in-law. These reside in the Zentrum Paul Klee (tel: +41 31 359 01 01; amongst approximately 3,500 other works that are spiritually or theoretically attached to his. The building is worth viewing for its Renzo Piano-designed, three-waved roof alone.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.