The best of Bern with kids

Are you going to spend one day with kids in Bern during your travels through Switzerland? Or you live in Switzerland and you´d like to make a day trip to introduce the Swiss capital to your kids? Read this guide with 10 tips where to take your kids and make your visit to Bern just unforgettable.

The Swiss capital is a picturesque medieval city that has a long history and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. You’ll find almost all spots within the Old Town. If you come by train, the city center is walkable from the train station (or you can take a tram).

NOTE: There are clickable links in the points below. You can click through to read original (more detailed) posts.

1. Zytglogge

You can find the astronomical clock (installed in 1530!) at the beginning of the Kramgasse street. While standing and waiting for the parade of little bears to appear, keep an eye on your kids since the buses and trolleybuses drive through the streets of the Old Town.

2. Bears

From Zytglogge, walk through the Kramgasse in the direction of the Nydegg bridge (Nydeggbrücke). At the end of it, you’ll find Bärenpark with its three inhabitants. Bear is the traditional symbol of both the city and Canton Bern. It became a symbol when the Duke Berchtold V., the founder of the city, caught the bear as a first animal in the surrounding woods in 1191. In 2009 Bärenpark replaced existing “Bärengraben” – so-called Bear Pit, which has become insufficient for three bear’s needs. In Bärenpark, situated on the hillside above the Aare river, can Finn, Björk and Ursina freely run, climb, swim, play together or just relax.

3. Bern Cathedral

From the Bärenpark, you can walk back towards the magnificent gothic cathedral, called Münster. I really recommend climbing its tower. You can motivate your kids to climb 300 steps to the top by telling them, that they get a small surprise up there if they find the tiny house of the Jimmy Flitz Mouse (btw. You can follow Jimmy Flitz all over Switzerland!).

4. Münsterplatform

Close to the cathedral, you´ll find the playground, also with great views. Kids can play here (don’t forget their table-tennis rackets) and you can have a picnic or enjoy your coffee at “Einstein au Jardin”.

5. Einstein´s House

Apropos Einstein: did you know that Albert Einstein came to the idea of the relativity theory in his house near Zytglogge? You can visit his house, or Einstein’s Museum if you cross the bridge towards Helvetiaplatz. Here or in the nearby you can also find Bern History Museum, Swiss Alpine Museum or Museum of Communication.

6. Kindlifresserbrunnen

During your walk, you’ll certainly meet countless fountains (there are more than 100 in Bern). I dare say the most famous one is the Kindlifresserbrunnen (of a man eating a child) that you can find on Kornhausplatz.

7. Bundesplatz

During hot summer days, you’ll surely appreciate water jets in front of the Federal Palace on Bundesplatz square. And since the middle of October to the almost end of November, you can enjoy the light show on the facade of the palace called “Rendez-vous Bundesplatz” (more info here).

8. Gurten

You can enjoy a lot of fun on the Bern´s local mountain Gurten. Take the tram Nr.9 in the direction Wabern, stop Gurtenbahn. After 5 minutes walk you get to the funicular station that will take you up the hill. Here you can enjoy the views across Bern from the lookout tower, children will surely enjoy a ride with miniature railway, playground or huge marble run.

Photo credit -josr-

9. ZOO

Animal lovers can visit the ZOO in Dählhölzli park, which isn’t located so far from the city center. Those who like more adventurous experience can try Rope park that you can also find in Dählhölzli woods.

Photo credit -josr-

10. Bernaqua

If you want to relax after the whole day discovering beauties of Bern, I highly recommend visiting Bernaqua which is an aquapark located in the premises of Westside Shopping center. And if you stay at the Holiday Inn Hotel, you´ll get a free entrance to the aquapark.

Where to eat

With this extremely packed itinerary, you will be probably looking for a place where to eat. There are two grocery chains in Switzerland: Coop and Migros. You can either eat in their self-service restaurants that offer menus for reasonable prices (12-15CHF comparing to 20-25CHF in “normal” restaurants). Or you can grab your lunch (various hot & cold sandwiches, french fries, grilled chicken etc.) in Takeaway and make your own picnic on the “Münsterplatform” near the cathedral. 

Coop City  (restaurant & takeaway): Aarbergergasse 53, 3011 Bern

Migros  (restaurant & takeaway): Marktgasse 46, 3011 Bern

My tips

  • If you want to make day trips from Bern, I recommend visiting the Emmental Cheese Factory and the Kambly Biscuits factory (both located in the famous Emmental region east of Bern).
  • If you travel Switzerland by train, get the Swiss Rail Pass. You can buy it for 3, 4, 8 or 15 days and then you get unlimited travel throughout the rail, bus, and boats. You also get 50% reduction on most mountain railways and cable cars. And, what is also important, you get free entry to 500 museums in Switzerland, which usually costs 15-18 francs for an adult.
  • I know that planning is the key, but try not to plan every moment, go with the flow and enjoy your time in Bern!

Map of places

Hope my guide will be helpful and if you like it, please share it! What about Pinterest? 😉

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi
    I live in berne and your guide is very well made, but I’m missing one point. Swimming in the river Aare, but take care only for good swimmers. If possible go with a local.

    Following a youtube link of a BBC reportage.
    https://youtu.be/hly8NG3y-vE

    All the best
    Khanh

    Reply
    • I know about the Aare swimming. But since it is for good swimmers (the currents can be dangerous), I haven´t recommend it as an activity for kids.

      Reply
  • This looks like a very beautiful place to visit.

    Reply
  • I had no idea there’s so much to do in Bern – might have to add it to my travel list! I don’t have kids but even so this is really useful, thanks ?

    Reply
  • I didn’t know that Bern is so nice and with so many things to do! This is really kids friendly city. After all who doesn’t want see Einstein house 😀

    Reply
  • Polly goity
    20.10.2017 14:55

    I used to live in Bern long ago. I adore Bern! I went back for one month with my family when my kids were young . We enjoyed taking a picnic to Marzili in the evening also Ka We De and the other fabulous pools in the city in summer. As others noted, swimming the Aare is tricky.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your tip – we have to make a picnic in Marzili and visit local pools too!

      Reply
  • […] 3rd place: The Best of Bern with Kids […]

    Reply

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