Today I´m gonna give you few tips what to do in the heart of Switzerland when the weather isn´t ideal for mountain hiking.
But note: even if the weather may seem ugly, always check the webcam. What can be ugly weather in the valley, doesn´t have to be at 2,000m height.
But if it still doesn´t look like a day in the mountains, you don´t have to worry: in Switzerland, there are lots of things you can do and lots of places to visit and I dare say you won´t be bored even outside the Alps!
Urban tourism is also tourism, right? So why not to visit the capital of Switzerland, where you can hide from the rain in the arcades of the historic city center? And did you know that you can find here the astronomical clock? And not far from Einstein invented his theory of relativity! And there is a statue of a man who eats children? In our family, it works better than scaring our kids by the devil;) The center of Bern is quite small and even here they are thinking about the kids. You can show them the local symbol – bears. They have their home on the banks of the River Aare, of course, in a fenced park. On the terraces behind the local cathedral, you can find a playground for children who probably won´t want to admire the sculpture of the Last Judgment on the main portal of the Gothic cathedral with the tallest tower in Switzerland.
If you have a home transport enthusiasts certainly take them into the most famous Swiss museum. At the same time, prepare for the fact that here you will spend a few hours, but the tour is definitely worth it. In four huge halls, you will learn all kinds of vehicles. For children, the most interesting are the hall dedicated to aircraft, because the younger ones here can enjoy themselves on the emergency chute from the plane and the older ones in the helicopter simulator.
You can hide from the rain in the stalactite caves, which are located on the shores of Lake Thun (near the cableway to Niederhorn). Visiting the caves is about the two-kilometer walk – one kilometer there, and (with a few exceptions) the same route back. The trail isn´t, unfortunately, suitable for prams, but smaller kids (I’d say about two years of age), can easily manage it. You can use either guided tours or go by yourself and explore the underground thanks to information boards, which, provide sufficient information. Even there you will not be deprived of the opportunity to make your own picnic (unless weather permitting) and children can enjoy themselves on the playground.
How could you be in Switzerland and not tasting the typical local cheese with holes? Furthermore, when it is one of the few tourist destinations, where you pay no entrance fee? So if you don´t want to pay 5 francs per person and have a private tasting of cheese, or a 8 francs to make your own cheese. If you come here at about 4 pm, you can see how the fresh cheese mass is withdrawn from the vat and you can even taste it. For children, here is a beautiful playground – how else than cheese-themed?
In the small town of Trubschachen you can find a factory, whose tradition dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century and which boasts that the ingredients for the production of their biscuits come from the Emmental region (ok, cocoa beans probably not :)). But don´t expect a guided tour through the factory (like it is in Maison Cailler
) – tour consists of visiting the adjacent shop with biscuits, where you can taste almost all kinds of biscuits displayed on countless shelves (for free!), But of course it´s polite to buy something in the shop. Which can be, on the other hand, a nice souvenir from your visit to Switzerland. For children (but of course also for adults) the history of the Kambly factory is presented in the form of theater from its founding to the present, and on the big globe, you can see where in the world you can meet with Kambly biscuits. On an interactive panel, you can take a picture with your family and send your photos with greetings from Switzerland as an e-card to your friends and acquaintances.
As I´ve mentioned in the first part of this series
, Switzerland has lots of beautiful lakes. One of them is for sure the Lake Thun. If you already tired of hiking, you can give your feet a rest there. Either you can drive around it in a car and visit one of the small castles, which are located on its shore (Thun, Oberhofen, Schadau, Spiez
), or you can opt for a cruise. I guarantee you that from the deck of the ship you´ll see things from another perspective 😉
Did you know that this company was founded by two Czech girls? Although I haven´t been here before, visiting this place is one of the items on my “must-visit” list for 2017!
Another chocolate tip. It might be worth it to stop here on the way to/from Switzerland if you choose a route across the border in Schaffhausen and through Zurich since it is located off the A1 motorway. But in comparison with all the other tips this one is a little out of hand.
So, how did you like my two-part guide? Was it useful and helpful? Which place would you like to visit most? Tell me in the comments.
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Oh yes, the Kindlifresserbrunnen is scary!
Love how they remodelled the Bärengraben. It used to be basically a concrete pit.
I live 10 minutes from Chocolat Frey! I often shop at the MMM right next to it, and the smell is fantastic!
Thank you, now I know how the statue is called! 😀
You lucky girl – I envy you! I can only buy chocolate-scented candles 😀
So beautiful! I want to visit someday. Those bears!!!
But you must visit Bern in late spring/summer, because now in the winter they hibernate in the ZOO :O
The statue of the child-eating man sounds frightening! But, traveling with kids could just be stressful enough to make that a stop!
Switzerland is my favorite place in all my world travels. I would love to live there for the rest of my days … it's just beautiful, the history, the culture, the food oh my … I need tickets now lol
Book them! 🙂 Yes, you´re right that Switzerland may seem like a "fairy-tale land", but on the other hand there are also lots of rules that must be obeyed! :O
My kids would freak for that plane! So cool. And I looooove sitting on the Aare by the bear pit. Put my feet in last summer and wow, that frigid water does wonders for hot feet! 🙂 This year I hope to swim it!
Good luck and be very careful by swimming in the Aare! I´ve heard that the stream may be so strong that it can be difficult to get out of the water! :O
These are great ideas! And so many I haven't done before! Do you happen to know if the bears are out now in Bern?
They´re now hibernating, I suppose (we haven´t seen them since November). I´d guess that the best time to see them again is in the spring (April)
So many great things to do, hard to choose a favorite. But my kids say they most want to go back to Kambly and eat more cookies!
Kambly will stay in our hearts forever 😀
So much to see and do and we have done so little so far! We did the Verkhausmuseum with my 3 year old who is obsessed with all things on wheels. He was fascinated by the rail museum and the simulators, the car theater and of course the airplane. A visit to Bern is due in spring now, thanks for the tips!
If you are in Bern, don´t forget to visit Gurten too. It´s a hill near Bern with lots of attractions for kids too (small railway included ;))