Welcome to Bern – the Swiss Capital


Wow! Bern was one of the surprises of our trip to Switzerland. Such a gem. So underrated.. or rather not known. It is a truly beautiful city. I’d like to come back and explore more of it, as we basically only spent half a day there.

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Did you know that Bern:

is a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Thanks to its beautifully preserved medieval city center, the Old Town of Bern was added to the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites in 1983. (Which by the way, makes it the second one I have visited, after Stone Town in Zanzibar – although I didn’t know this about Bern until I got there)

is a Shopping Paradise?
The 4 miles of covered historic arcades fronting baroque sandstone buildings make Bern’s Old Town the longest covered shopping promenade in Europe. What I loved most where the little cellar like entrances to bars, antique shops, designer studios and little boutiques.

is the City of Bears?
Since October 2009, the city of Bern has a new landmark: the Bear Park. This 6000sqm park with its natural environment on the edge of the UNESCO old town now homes Bern’s heraldic animal. Pity we were there in winter, we couldn’t see them since they were hibernating.
(apparently they used live in a sort of sink whole on the main square.. don’t ask me until when though)

is the City of Albert Einstein?
Albert Einstein was living in Bern when he published his Theory of Relativity. His original apartment in the Old Town can be visited.

is home to the Zentrum Paul Klee?
One of my favourite artists. The world’s most important collection of his work is housed in the “three waves” designed by star architect Renzo Piano amidst a cultural landscape.

is the City of Water?
On a hot summer day, a swim n the River Aare (drinking quality) is a cool and refreshing experience. (I need to come back in summer) Our tourguide was telling us that people walk to the top and then flow own all the way to the city center. How cool is that???

By the way.. city tour: we took a guided tour on scooters, mechanical ones. It was so much fun! highly recommended!

No hotel recommendation since we only stayed half a day. However, we arrived just in time to be treated to a delicious lunch at Casa Novo. A stylish spacious family restaurant with an incomparable atmosphere. Jesús and Dominik Novo pamper fans of gastronomic culture with their Mediterranean cuisine. What could be better than relishing Spanish delicacies while enjoying a view of the Aare? Even our South African chef, Lentswe, was quite impressed!

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