Bern ~ NEW! Capital City

No other city in Switzerland offers such a wonderful wealth of culture, leisure and entertainment like Bern

bern-logo

1st to 24th December 2017

bern christmas market

Not only is the City of Bern the capital of Switzerland, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the heart of Bern is its beautiful Old Town with six kilometers of arcades that offer shelter or shade to visitors strolling through the city.

Besides these unique arcades, Bern’s historical townscape, dating back to 1191, is characterized by the Clock Tower (Zytglogge), the Prison Tower (Käfigturm), the sculptural fountains from the Renaissance, the Cathedral (Münster), and the well-kept sandstone facades. Visitors can discover bars, cultural venues, and specialty shops in countless converted cellars.

The streets and alleys are aglow with the warm light escaping from living rooms. Little Christmas trees decorate the facades of the houses, adding to the romantic mood. The Old Town houses, dating from the 15th to 17th centuries, provide a fantastic and unique backdrop for the distinctive Bern Christmas markets. Münsterplatz is devoted mainly to arts and crafts. Traditional market fare can be found on Waisenhausplatz, just a 10-minute walk away.

You'll find special candles, gifts and handmade souvenirs. Glühwein (mulled wine) will help to warm you up again, and there are plenty of stalls offering snacks or meals. Stopping into one of the legendary restaurants in the Old Town – either the 350-year-old Klötzlikeller or the Kornhauskeller – is the perfect way to end your visit to this magical market.

Capital City UNESCO World Heritage Site

bern with snow in winter

“It is the most beautiful that we have ever seen,” wrote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in a letter to his friend Charlotte von Stein during his stay in Bern in 1779. Today the Swiss capital still enchants its visitors with its charm and diverse attractions and events.

No other city in Switzerland offers such a wonderful wealth of culture, leisure and entertainment like Bern. Hurry and hectic are foreign words to the Bernese. In their city, people enjoy life and take time for what is really important. It's entirely easy to relax and enjoy oneself in the unique Old Town atmosphere.

UNESCO

Not only is the City of Bern the capital of Switzerland, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the heart of Bern is its beautiful Old Town with six kilometers of arcades that offer shelter or shade to visitors strolling through the city.

Besides these unique arcades, Bern’s historical townscape, dating back to 1191, is characterized by the Clock Tower (Zytglogge), the Prison Tower (Käfigturm), the sculptural fountains from the Renaissance, the Cathedral (Münster), and the well-kept sandstone facades. Visitors can discover bars, cultural venues, and specialty shops in countless converted cellars.

The Old Town of Bern is encircled by the Aare River. The river is not just a stretch of water for Bern’s inhabitants; it’s also the place for summer recreational activities, like swimming and boating in the Aare. And since Bern was built on a peninsula, everything is close together and easy to reach by foot, tram, or bus.

bern city clock

Clock Tower (Zytglogge)

Today it is one of Bern's most important sights. The ornate astronomical clock with its moving figures was built in 1530. It served as the city's main clock and thus had an authoritative function in Bern.

It was from there that travel times indicated on stone markers along the cantonal roads were measured. Standard units of length – formerly cubit and fathom, today meter and double meter – are displayed for the public in the arch of the gate.

The Bear Park

Visitors to Bern can observe live bears right in the heart of the Swiss capital. The BearPark is home to Finn, Björk, and their daughter Ursina. The animals have been living in the new park along the bank of Aare since 2009. The new BearPark provides a landscape where the brown bears can climb, fish and play, but also just retreat and relax.

The grounds cover nearly 6,000 square meters and extend from the former BearPits down to the river’s edge. With woodsy areas, bushes, grottos, and a spacious pool running parallel with the Aare, the bears are able to live a real bear’s life. Finn, the father bear, is especially fond of the pool.

In December of 2009, Björk gave birth to two cubs in the bears’ winter den. Daughter Ursina still lives with her parents in the BearPark, while Berna has found a home in an animal-friendly enclosure in Bulgaria. The zoo in Bern works closely with the zoo in Dobric and supervised the construction of the bear enclosure there.

A new inclined elevator was introduced in 2015, offering visitors barrier-free access to the Bear Park. The elevator is free of charge and provides a quick link between the banks of the Aare and the upper end of the enclosure.

Our Christmas Market breaks are very flexible You choose how you travel – and where from!

Fly

If you wish to fly, we can assist you with scheduled flights from most airports to Basel, Geneva & Zurich.

With SWISS, you get free baggage allowance, drinks, food, on-line check-in and they fly from London Heathrow, London City, Birmingham and Manchester.

If you prefer, you are welcome to use one of the Low Cost Base Airlines, such as EasyJet who fly from 12 regional airports to Switzerland, so we should be able to find a good value flight for you!

Drive

If you wish to drive, we can include heavily discounted cross-Channel Ferries & Eurotunnel.

 
Travelling to Bern
Train Transfer Time from Basel: 1hr 20min
Train Transfer Time from Geneva: 1hr 55min
Train Transfer Time from Zürich : 1hr 15min
Driving Distance from Calais: 480 miles

View the Swiss Rail timetable.

We offer a wide range of quality hotel accommodation any level, for any budget

Hotels:

We have hotels to suit any budget or preferences. We offer a huge range of availability on hotels and can offer any level from 2, 3, 4 or 5-star hotels. All our hotels are situated in great locations and offer the best quality and Swiss style and friendliness.

OTP Holidays – Bern Preferred Tour Operator of Switzerland Tourism

Our prices are simple, Just Choose the grade of Hotel. We have Youth prices for children up to the age of 16 and even bigger savings for Children under the age of 6yrs!

Unlike most other British tour operators, the prices above include…

  • High standard and spacious hotel accommodation (choice of 2, 3, 4 or 5 star)
  • Bed and Breakfast meals
  • Cross-Channel travel with car or transfers from any Swiss airport.
  • Services of our very own 24hr on-call experienced representatives
  • All cleaning, linen, heating & tourist tax charges

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