I believe that most travelers have discovered Switzerland because of the Swiss Alps—so spectacular. However, only a fraction of them is aware that Switzerland also has beautiful cities.
If you ask me, ‘What is Switzerland’s most beautiful city?’ Without thinking twice, I will say it’s Bern—the capital of Switzerland. Specifically, Bern’s old city—as a wanderer, it is absolutely captivating!
The scenes and views inside and outside its old city are picture-perfect! Wondering where they are? Worry not! Because now, I share with you my seven favorite places where you can behold the most beautiful views in Bern.
There are two reasons why I think Bern is beautiful.
First, it’s the preserved old-world architecture of Bern’s old city. Your eyes will surely feast on the high medieval tile-roof houses and cobblestone arcaded streets in the old city of Bern. Declared a UNESCO Heritage Site, you are assured in Bern not only of picturesque beauty but also of ‘outstanding universal value to humanity.’
Second, it’s the scenic location of Bern’s old city. Bern sits on a hilly peninsula of the Aare River. Many postcard-level panoramic views from the vantage points along the riverbanks, bridges, and nearby hills/parks await you in Bern!
These two reasons describe and summarize the beautiful views in Bern that I’ll share with you.
And if you are one of the travelers below, I’m sure you’ll find this post very helpful.
- Looking for a spot to watch the sunset in Bern
- Finding the place for a lovely stroll in Bern
- Searching for a location for a budget date in Bern
- Wondering where the nicest place to have a picnic and take pictures in Bern
- Just wanting a place to see all of Bern.
Let’s get started!
1. Top of Bern Cathedral
Of all the places with beautiful views in Bern, it’s Bern Cathedral that I found the most breathtaking. It has the highest viewing deck within the old city of Bern, nearly 100 meters or 330 feet tall. Up on the terrace of the church’s spire awaits a 360-degree panorama of the entire city.
Below is the beautiful view of the old city of Bern from the spire of Bern Cathedral.
Since Bern Cathedral overlooks and is located at the south-central portion of the Aare peninsula, I think it’s also the best spot to admire the old city’s architecture. From the spire’s octagonal gallery, you can see how Bern was carefully planned. As I am from a young, developing country, such a view greatly fascinates me.
The only downside of Bern Cathedral is that it has limited access and requires climbing a 312-step spiral staircase to reach. Depending on the season, it is only accessible for 4 to 6 hours a day. Usually, it opens around 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.
You may check the official website of Bern Cathedral, which I linked at the end of this post.
The last time I checked, the closing time of Bern Cathedral indicated on its website was 3:30 pm during winter and 4:40 pm during summer. If it’s still the case today, it is impossible to watch the sunset from Bern Cathedral.
Discover more from my post about Bern Cathedral and the unmissable things to see in it.
Bern has many beautiful buildings, not only the Bern Cathedral. If you are interested in seeing impressive landmarks and architectural masterpieces, please check my list of the most beautiful landmarks in Bern. That post contains a list like a mini-itinerary which you can use if you want to have a DIY tour of the old city to see its landmarks.
Wanderers, you will fall in love with Junkerngasse. For me, the scenes you’ll see at Junkerngasse are the most beautiful views in Bern. There’s no doubt about that, especially since Junkerngasse is the best-preserved street in the old city of Bern.
There, you may have one of the most magical walks of your life.
But do you know what scene convinced me that Junkerngasse is one of the places with the best views in Bern? It’s the view of the spire of Bern Cathedral that peaks above the charming houses along Junkerngasse. See the sample view below.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, RIGHT?!
Of course, you can’t expect Junkerngasse to always look like that. The hour, weather, and season are factors for such a stunning view.
But if you want to see the same view of Junkerngasse as shown in the photo, proceed near Zeerlederhaus (house no. 51). I suggest visiting the street during the golden hour in Bern, which is an hour after sunrise or before sunset.
You should be able to find Zeerlederhaus in Junkerngasse because of its beautiful facade. The facade has a mural depicting a woman sitting on an oversized chair and holding two flags with coats of arms.
If you are unsure where Zeerlederhaus is, I suggest you go first to the rear side of Bern Cathedral, where Junkergasse starts. Start walking away from the church, and you should see Zeerlederhaus before you reach Junkerngassbrunnen.
I have a link at the end of this post that gives the exact location of Zeerlederhaus in Google Maps.
Zeerlederhaus is just one of the most beautiful houses in Junkerngasse. More palatial and Late Gothic craftsmen’s houses await you on this street. This is why some consider Junkerngasse to be ‘one of Europe’s most magnificent cityscapes.’
I can only name two or three places in our country that have old-world vibes, like Bern. This is why Bern is so fascinating and strangely beautiful to me—especially Kramgasse! It is the main street of Bern’s old city, the center of urban life before the 20th century.
Like Junkerngasse, Kramgasse is a street with absolutely phenomenal views. The long arcades on both sides of Kramgasse and the houses with baroque facades will compel you to pull your cameras out of your pockets and take photos.
This will likely be the case when you reach the western half of Kramgasse, where you can see Zytglogge. You will like how the buildings along Kramgasse appear as if they emphasize Zyglogge at the end of the street. Below is the view.
Speaking of photography, the leading lines and repetition of elements created by the buildings in Kramgasse make for a well-composed photo without much effort. This is why, if you’re looking for a place where you can take a photo of yourself as a souvenir, Kramgasse is the place to be!
If you visit Kramgasse, I suggest you arrive 5 to 10 minutes before the full hour. Four minutes before the full hour, you can witness the mini-spectacle that Zytglogge performs.
You can read my post about Zytglogge to learn what it is all about. There, I briefly discussed what you can see outside and inside Zytglogge.
However, I do not recommend staying in Kramgasse to watch the sunset, especially if you plan to spend only a day in Bern. I suggest the gardens, quays, and parks on the left bank of the Aare River. The appearance of Bern’s old city is dramatic from these vantage points outside the old city.
Bear Park is probably the best place to go for a panoramic view of Bern’s old city. It lies east of the old city, perfect for viewing Bern’s skyline. In my opinion, Bear Park is also the best vantage point for appreciating the houses of Junkerngasse and their extensive garden terraces.
Specifically, Bear Park is located beside the Bear Pit—a tourist attraction in Bern considered a Swiss heritage site of national significance. In a very brief description, the Bear Pit is an enclosure for bears, the animals that symbolize the city of Bern. You can learn more about it from its official website, linked at the end of this post.
You can already see a nice view of Bern’s old city from the Bear Pit, but the panorama from Bear Park is even more beautiful. Here’s a photo of the beautiful scenery of Bern from Bear Park:
You can see the same beautiful view of Bern in the picture a few steps from the inclined lift at Bear Park.
But first, you may need to cross the River Aare via the Nydegg Bridge to get to Bear Park. You may ride Bus number 12 or M74 to get to Bear Park quickly. The walk to Bear Park from the old city (Kramgasse or Bern Cathedral area) should only take about 15 to 20 minutes.
I would not suggest Bear Park for watching the sunset. Instead, it’s a place for a picnic or relaxing (let’s say you need a place to rest after strolling in the old city for hours). It’s preferable to stay in Bern’s Rose Garden for sunset.
You can sit on the park’s benches beside the river and relax to the sound of the flowing water of the Aare River. Hanging out there should be great because the park also has wide open lawns, providing a clear view of the old city.
Actually, it’s a pretty romantic scene! Bring your partner there for some deep conversation. I think it can be a simple yet memorable moment you can cherish afterward.
5. Rose Garden
Situated on a hill very close to Bern and overlooking the city, there’s no place other than the Rose Garden where you can find a more beautiful panorama of the city. From the garden’s viewing deck, you can see, from left to right, Gurten, the old city, and the new high-rise buildings far in the distance.
The view from the Rose Garden transported my imagination back to the Middle Ages. The skyline of the old city is pretty much preserved: the pointed spires of the churches and the tile roofs of the houses dominate the view. Not to mention the Aare River, which can be so blue, untouched by the pollution of the modern age.
Here’s the beautiful view of Bern from the Rose Garden:
Stunning, isn’t it? Well, it can get even better during the sunset.
For me, the Rose Garden is the best place to watch the sunset in Bern. The garden’s viewing deck opens wide to the west, clear of obstructions. It allows you to see a phenomenal view of the sun setting behind the city, with the silhouette of the Bern Cathedral, Bundeshaus, and other buildings looking so dramatic.
What’s so lovely about the Rose Garden is that it has a restaurant beside it. It’s good news for people like me, who are always hungry! LOL. The link to the Rose Garden is at the end of this post.
Anyway, if you are traveling with your partner, you can toast with wines and make the moment romantic as you watch the sunset in the Rose Garden. You can also have a delightful walk in the colorful gardens filled with different flowers.
Going to the Rose Garden is a good idea, right?
To get to the Rose Garden, ride buses #10, #40, or #M73. They’ll bring you to the Rose Garden’s dedicated bus stop along Laubeggstrasse.
You can also get to the Garden on foot (let’s say you’re in the old city). But note that the path has a 50-meter (164-foot) incline over a 350-meter (1148-foot) short hike.
Are you looking for ways to visit Bern? Do you want to know how much time you must spend in Bern? My posts below can help! (Links open in a new tab)
Not sure how many days to visit Bern? Check my article How Long To Spend In Bern
Kirchenfeldbrücke is another place to see beautiful views of Bern. An extensive panorama of the old city’s southern buildings awaits you there. Facing Bern’s old city, you’ll see the Bundeshaus, Hotel Bellevue Palace, Bern Casino, elegant houses along Herrengasse, and Bern Cathedral from left to right.
Reaching Kirchenfeldbrücke is not difficult. If you are coming from Kramgasse, turn left after passing by Zytglogge. You should arrive at Kirchenfeldbrücke after a short walk (about 5 minutes or so).
Below is a sample view from Kirchenfeldbrücke, looking at the eastern side of the bridge.
Kirchenfeldbrücke connects the southern part of the Aare peninsula (old city) to another part of Bern, where most of the fascinating museums in Bern are located. The most interesting museums I found are the Kunsthalle Bern (an art museum), the Bern Historical Museum, the Einstein Museum, and the Museum of Communication.
In my opinion, Kirchenfeldbrücke is one of the best places in Bern to photograph the Bern Cathedral and especially the Bundeshaus. The entire length of the gorgeous south facade of the Bundeshaus is visible from Kirchenfeldbrücke.
Learn more about Bundeshaus and the things you must not miss seeing when you visit the landmark! Check out my post about Bundeshaus.
The last place in Bern with beautiful views that I will share is Dalmaziquai. It is a 1.6-kilometer-long (1 mile) riverside path along the east side of the Aare River with stunning views of the Bundeshaus’ southern facade. As far as I know, Dalmaziquai stretches from the Schönausteg bridge to the restaurant below Kirchenfeldbrücke.
There are several ways to reach Dalmaziquai. However, if you are currently in Bern’s old city, the fastest way to get here is through the pathway that starts at Bundeshausterrasse. From Bundeshausterrasse, it may take 10 minutes to reach Dalmaziquai on foot.
Aside from the view of the Bundeshaus, Dalmaziquai can be an excellent place for a stroll to see a part of the daily lives of the locals in Bern. You can see people jogging, taking their dogs for a walk, and some cycling. Below is the view awaiting you in Dalmaziquai.
You can find a restaurant offering Mediterranean dishes at the end of Dalmaziquai below Kirchenfeldbrücke. Hot and cold drinks are also available.
If you are lucky, you may secure the prime seat location at the far corner of the restaurant. From there, you can see an unobstructed view of the river, its mini waterfalls, and Bern Cathedral. Also, when the water current in the Aare River is still or calm, you may see the river reflecting the beautiful houses built on the slopes of the Aare Peninsula.
So, those are my 7 favorite beautiful views in Bern! So, what do you think? Bern is indeed beautiful, right? 🙂
Did you know that Bern is Switzerland’s city of fountains? It’s because there are many beautiful fountains in Bern. And you must see at least two or three of them when you visit Bern. Check them out from my list of the most beautiful fountains in Bern (with a walking route).
- Bern Cathedral (Official website)
- Junkerngasse (Wikipedia)
- Bear Pit (Official website)
- Rose Garden Restaurant
- Bern Cathedral
- Junkerngasse or Zeerleder Haus
- Bear Park (Inclined Lift)
- Rose Garden
- Dalmaziquai (Bundeshausterrasse to Dalmaziquai)
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