In and around Bern, Switzerland

Europe has so much to offer and one of my favourite countries has to be Switzerland. Green hills, snowy mountains, waterfalls and wonderful towns. It was time to see if those Instagram images would live up to my expectations. First stop: Bern!

For this roadtrip I needed a car that would have enough power to drive through a landscape full of hills and yet, feel comfortable at the same time. I took the Peugeot 308GT and boy did I make a good decision there! This baby was perfect for the German highway (no lazy speed limits like in the Netherlands) and I felt pretty cool too 😉 Tip » If you want to see more (and save some cash) then try to avoid the Swiss Toll roads where you need to buy a vignette for. This normally cost you around €35,- and it’s valid for one year. We took the small roads and drove through a beautiful landscape. Careful, the navigation will try to get you on the highway again so use your google maps as navigation on the small roads.

Driving around Switzerland in the Peugeot 308GT
Going from A to B in style

Around Bern

My first stop was at a rather special one. A big landhouse called Schloss HĂŒnigen. The property is run by a gentleman with the same family name as me! This was such a coincidence! (we later discovered that we come from the same tree of life) I was warmly welcomed and given a spacious room overlooking the garden. The hotel currently has 49 rooms and the Schloss dates back from 1555. All guests have free entry to the nice spa which features a steam room, 2 sauna’s and a bubble bath. The city Bern is only a 30 min drive and you can also take the train which is only a short walk away from Schloss HĂŒnigen.

Food & More

The food which is served in restaurant, Rosarium, is very very tasty. You can enjoy typical Swiss and international cuisine with good wine. (believe me, I tried) In the restaurant or on the terrace, everything is themed around roses. The outside garden and terras is surrounded by 3500 roses and wedding guests can plant their own rose branch with their names on it. Golf and hiking are popular activities nearby but I enjoyed the garden and my room for as long as I could. It was just what I needed after a few hours in the car. For a peaceful and romantic stopover near Bern, this is the perfect place to stay. Book your stay here.

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The impressive Schloss HĂŒnigen

Schloss Hunigen
My spacious bedroom

Dinner at Schloss Hunigen
Fresh salad from local produce

Bern City

I didn’t know much about Bern, only that the bear is their national symbol and it’s a city surrounded by fresh mountain water. From Schloss Huningen I drove to Bern in about 30 minutes and had a guided tour booked. I did this because I only had one day in Bern so I needed to make the most of it. The tour lasted 1,5 hours which is enough to learn about the history and Bern’s most famous marks. We started the tour with the story how Bern got his name. (well, at least so legend says). Berchtold V, Duke of ZĂ€hringen, (names back in the days were so much cooler) the founder of the City of Bern, vowed to name the city after the first animal he met on the hunt; as this turned out to be a bear, the city had both its name and its heraldic beast. You will find bears everywhere. On the flags, souvenir shops, cups and it’s the only city that owns 3 real bears in the city center.


Things to do in Bern

Bern is a quiet city but don’t be fooled! There are lot’s of things to do, especially during summer. Here are a few examples:
» Visit a market. Food Markets are on Tuesday and Saturdays right in front of the Parliaments House
» City tour “Follow your nose in Bern” Let you be seduced by the world of fragrances and the historic centre of Bern. Just literally follow your nose on a guided tour and learn more about the history and the smells of the City. From sandstone to liquorice up to cocoa flavour – Bern can offer many unique scents with a thrilling past. After the tour you will create your own Bern-perfume in the Shop “Art of scent” managed by the perfume specialist Brigitte Witschi.Website
» Urban Swimming If you ever come to visit Bern in summer don’t miss to jump into the refreshingly cold and clean water of the Aare river. It is indeed one of the best experience during hot summer days and typically Bern! An activity which fascinates young and old alike. It’s a local thing so if you want to blend in, take a leap in the refreshing water. During summer, locals walk up the hill and take their rubber boats into the water and let the current take them down the river which takes about 2 hours. There is also a swimming pool which is free for everyone! There’s also a new trend, Urban Surfing coming up. A young and motivated surf teacher gives surf lessons to everyone interested.
Tip! » Get yourself a Bern ticket. This ticket let’s you use the public transport for free, even the the elevator to the Cathedral Platform, and travels to and from Bern Airport. Every guest automatically receives a “Bern Ticket” when staying overnight in Bern.

The clock of Bern

Dates not to miss

Buskers Bern Street Festival / 11-13 August / Street musicians all over Bern!
Gurten Festival Bern / 14-17 July / The program includes more than 60 live acts and 60 DJs representing the pop, rock, punk, elektro, funk, soul, R&B, hip hop, country, singer-songwriter and blues genres. All on top of the mountain overlooking Bern.

Overlooking Bern
Overlooking the River with Restaurant Schwellenmaeatteli across the water

Where to eat?

» Klösterli Weincafé Small yet classy – Bern’s first address for all wine and coffee aficionados. Premium Italian coffee and a carefully selected range of around 100 wines await you in a stylish setting. A small yet delicious selection of dishes are offered. Specialty cheeses and dry-cured meats served on a slate platter. Or a tender piece of “CafĂ© de Klösterli” entrecĂŽte.
» Tibits Tibits, derived from the word “titbits,” stands for delicious and fresh food and drink. As speedy as a fast food restaurant, but as comfortable as a top-quality cafĂ©: tibits in a nutshell. The vegetarian (and partly vegan) buffet offers more than 40 different salads and a selection of warm dishes which changes daily. Alongside fresh juices, tea and coffee, wine, and cocktails, you can also enjoy sandwiches and fine pastries. Everything is also available to take away.
» Restaurant GÀrtnerei This trendy self-service restaurant offers daily homemade salads and soups as well as other delicacies, some even vegan, sugar- or wheat-free. Healthy, sustainable and tasty!
» Schwellenmaeatteli by the river. The interplay of architecture and nature makes spending time in the sunny outdoor seating area of the pavilion a real experience. Guests can even watch the movements of the water through an opening in the wooden floor. Great for those summer nights.
» Restaurant Rosengarten, for stunning views of Bern and seasonal dishes. It’s a steep walk up for about 5-10 minutes but it’s worth it. You can also visit the Rose Garden while you’re there

The gartnerei in Bern
The healthy and sustainable Gartnerei. Source

Coffee & More

» Effinger Kaffeebar & Coworking Space Effinger Kaffeebar & Coworking Space opened in March 2016 and is the ideal place for a beer with your friends after work. It also offers coworking spaces for young and creative freelancers.
» Kaffee Montag Every day fresh and surprisingly different. At Kaffee Montag you get seasonal and fresh products from the region. It’s a great place to sit and chat with your friends while enjoying a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. And why is it called Montag (Monday)? Because Monday is their favourite day of the week!
» Adrianos This bar located just opposite the Clock Tower (Zytglogge) has a Mediterranean feel, offers a good atmosphere and serves excellent coffee, thanks to its in-house roasting plant.
» Volver BarTapasCafĂ©Â â€˜Volver’ is Spanish and means ‘to come back’. To ensure that visitors to Volver do just that willingly and often, they are continually delighted with gastronomic gems from Spain and Switzerland: a morning cappuccino, a pasta lunch, chocolate cake in the afternoon, or beer, wine & tapas in the evening. Volver is small and cosy with a great atmosphere!

Coffee & More in Bern
Kaffee Montag, underground cellars and risotto at the Rosengarten

Where to sleep?

» Hotel Landhaus A young hotel in a more than 100-year-old listed building. Situated at the heart of the Bern Old Town, right on the Aare river and next to the BearPark, the hotel is the perfect location for all lovers of the special and unconventional. The renovated rooms offer globetrotters, families, artists, businesspeople, backpackers, individualists, and even groups and school classes a home away from home.

One day Bern wasn’t enough to visit all these hotspots but hopefully YOU can.



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1 Comment
  • Bruce Schinkel
    Posted at 04:44h, 19 May Reply

    Great job describing Bern! Definitely a must-see stop any time you visit Switzerland

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