Families traveling to Switzerland too often overlook Bern, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the country's capital city. Zurich, Geneva and even Lucerne get all of the fame and glory when it comes to tourism, but families are missing out. Animals, clocks, roses, pretzels and fountains are just the start of your journey. Bern is also an easy home base for anyone looking to daytrip into the Swiss Alps. Let's go on a little journey through the highlights of this historical city to see just what it has in store for you on your next trip.
Although the Baren Park, or bear pit, tends to always have a bit of controversy swirling around it, you can't deny the draw. The bear is the symbol of this historic city, and bears have been seen in the city for hundreds of years. Their living conditions have greatly improved, although some still question the need for the bear pits in this day and age. The zoo or Tierpark Dahlholzli, which the Baren Park is an offshoot of, can be found further down the road. Like many other zoos across the world, it gives you a taste of the exotic creatures of our planet, while also mixing in a few local friends for your kids to meet.
Flowers, a cafe and a playground - what more could tired parents ask for? Berns Rosengarten, or Rose Garden, sits high above the city, giving families spectacular views of the Aare River and historic center below. Parents can kick back with a beverage in the cafe while they keep an eye on their children at the playground. Take a stroll through the sumptuous smells of the rose garden in bloom in the summer and early fall months. It is a delightful place to escape the hustle of the city and let off a bit of steam with the kids.
This historic clock was built in 1530 and has been ringing in the hour ever since, delighting visitors and their children from across the globe. The clock chimes every 15 minutes, but stay put if you are close by at the top of the hour. This is when the jester rings his bells and the figurines spin around.
If you are looking for a fun and free scavenger hunt to keep the kids occupied as you explore Old Town, look for the eleven Renaissance allegorical statues on public fountains scattered throughout this section of the city. Keep an eye out for the Kindlifresserbrunnen fountain (translation: Child Eater Fountain). It may just scare your kids straight if they are acting up and whining about getting another Berliner donut.
You can't talk about Switzerland and not talk about its food. Yes, the chocolate is amazing. Pop into any bakery, grocery store or shop in the Old Town and you can find chocolates of every shape and size. What you might miss on this chocolate hunt though are the bretzels, or as Americans call them, pretzels. These warm, doughy treats come smothered in salt, but you can also get bretzels slathered with butter and topped with a piece of ham. It makes a quick, easy and cheap snack on the go for hungry kids who are tired of walking.
Bern can certainly hold its own when you visit Switzerland, but it really would be a shame if you missed a day trip into the Alps. Hop on a train or rent a car to get to Lauterbrunnen to catch the Lauterbrunnen-Murren (BLM) mountain railway.Take the train half way up to Winteregg for lunch before continuing onto Murren, a sweet little chalet littered village that is a ski bunny paradise in winter and a hiker's wonderland the rest of the year. Families can easily stroll the paved streets, pop into the local shops and buy treats for the kids as they breathe in that fresh alpine air. Take your time looking up at the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau, the big three peaks in the Swiss Alps, which tower behind the city of Bern. Take the Jungfrau rail to the top of Europe to get up close with Swiss villages and play with a bit of snow in summer. This trip is not for the faint of heart, but it is worth it for the views and the ice tunnel you will pass through on your trip.
Have you been to Switzerland?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
Volcanic eruptions are natural disasters that may be covered events under Arch RoamRight travel protection plans. From minor disruptions to catastrophic events, volcanos can affect travelers around the world.
Keryn is an East Coast native living life as a freelance writer in Seattle surrounded by her two little boys and one incredible husband. When not dragging the men in her life across the globe you can find Keryn writing on her blog Walking On Travels, a site that gives hope to today's modern parent that doesn't see kids as a roadblock to travel, but an excuse to get out the door and explore. Keryn has laughed at the naysayers by bringing her boys to far off lands like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, back and forth across the USA, Mexico, Canada, and even across Europe. Keryn loves to encourage families to take that first step out the door, the hardest step of all. Follow Keryn on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
Travel smarter with travel insurance from RoamRight. Get your free, no-obligation quote online today.
View all Blog Authors
View Countries with Blogs
Sign up for RoamRight's FREE monthly email newsletter to get travel tips, tricks, news, ideas, and inspiration!
The RoamRight mark is used by Arch Insurance Company and owned by its parent company, Arch Capital Group (U.S.). Insurance coverages are underwritten by Arch Insurance Company, NAIC #11150, under certain policy series, including LTP 2013 and amendments thereto. Certain terms, conditions, restrictions and exclusions apply and coverages may vary in certain states. In the event of any conflict between your policy terms and coverage descriptions on this website, the terms and conditions of your policy shall govern. Click here for privacy notice.
Copyright© 2022 Arch Insurance Company. All rights reserved.