Although Bern is not the largest of cities, it is fact the capital of Switzerland, inhabiting around 130,000 people. Situated in the north west of the country, the city is one of indisputable natural beauty, with its picturesque Old Town and a number of its surrounding sites having been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Bern is highly esteemed for its high quality of living, along with its abundance of tourist attractions and points of interest. Sport also plays an important role in the city, with major sporting events such as the European Football and Ice Hockey Championships having taken place here in 2008 and 2011 respectively.
Given the compact size of Bern, a small, fuel-efficient car will serve you well when travelling around the city, while it would also be useful for parking on the street in a hurry.
Driving in Bern
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Be aware that free parking is hard to come by in Bern, and those which charge don’t tend to be cheap.
Several Park and Ride facilities are located on the outskirts of the city, saving you the hassle of finding a free space in the city centre.
There are four motorways leading to and from Bern, the A1, A6, A12 and E25. The A6 will take you nearer the city’s airport.
Highlights & Hotspots
Culture vultures are sure to be enthralled by the Berne Historical Museum. Housing half a million objects, the museum is one of the most historically and culturally significant attractions in Bern and indeed the whole of Switzerland. The Einstein Museum can also be found within the same building, providing fascinating insight into the life of this world renowned physicist.
Gurten is a large hill on the edge of the city centre, from where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views over the city and the Bernese Alps on the horizon. A park is also located here where you can lie in the sun, indulge in a picnic or have a kick about if the weather’s good enough for it. Be sure to bring a camera with you!
If you’re in need of cooling off on a hot, summer’s day, why not take a dip in the River Aare? Walk up the riverbank from the starting point at the Marzili public baths, then hop in and let yourself float back downstream. Keep to the left hand side of the river, particularly if you aren’t a strong swimmer, as the current can be strong in parts.
Bern-Belp Airport is the city‚Äôs airport, situated approximately 10km from the centre. Flights to several European destinations, including major cities such as London and Paris.
To reach the airport by car from the centre of Bern, go via Flugplatzstrasse, which heads south-east out of the city. Access to the airport is only via minor routes which go on to the next motorway leading into the city.