If you would like to find out a little more about the city and its attractions, we recommend that you take the time to visit the homepage of the Bern Tourist Office, www.bernetourism.ch.
Bern has a well-preserved medieval old town, with a close network of streets featuring houses with attractive sandstone façades. The 6 km of arcaded walkways make shopping a pleasure, even when it is raining.
The city has 11 historic fountains, one of which, the Anna Seiler Fountain, is devoted to the founder of the Inselspital (by the Käfigturm (Prison Tower), in the Marktgasse). The Käfigturm - the city gate from 1256-1344/46 - is not quite a famous as the Zeitglockenturm (Clock Tower)- the city gate until 1256.
Also worth a visit is, of course, the Bear Pit, where from spring until autumn, weather permitting, Bern's mascots, the bears, can be seen. The Federal Palace, home of the Swiss Parliament and the Swiss Government, was constructed between 1896 and 1902. A short walk from the Bundesplatz through one of the passages takes you to the Bundesterrasse, from where on a fine day you have a magnificent view of the Alps.
In and around Bern there are some 50 hotels, with five star to backpacker accommodation, over 150 restaurants, cafés and bars, where you can sample both Swiss and international cuisine, 30 cinemas, a municipal theatre and several smaller theatres, 13 museums, 3 large libraries and numerous lending libraries.
Excursions from Bern
Bern makes an excellent starting point for trips to neighbouring towns, the nearby lakes and of course the Bernese Oberland. Bern's central location allows you in a single day excursion to take in the diversity of features which so characterise Switzerland.