Out of all the places we visited on our trip to Europe, Bern is the place that surprised us the most. This extremely old city was founded in 1191 and was strategically built between the "U" shaped bend in the River Aare for protection. Switzerland's capital is a mix between a charming old town and a bustling city. Bern is often overlooked on European itineraries and if you ask us we don't think it should be missed.

To Do:

Explore the Alstadt (old town)

In 1983 the entire old town of Bern was made a UNESCO world heritage site. These ancient cobblestone streets wind through the city which is flanked by water on three sides. You could spend a whole day walking around this compact and extremely walkable old town.


Visit the Einstein House

Bern was once home to the famous physicist Albert Einstein and his wife Mileva. During his time in Bern Einstein discovered the Theory of Relativity his most famous work. You can visit their second floor apartment off the main street which has been completely restored to what it looked like back then. The Einstein House allows visitors the chance to see where Einstein worked when he came up with his revolutionary theory about space and time.


See the Clock tower


Built more than 800 years ago the Clock Tower is a iconic landmark in the middle of Bern's old town. The intricate astronomical clock on one side was completed in 1530. Come here at the top of the hour and you will see the miniature figurines move on the clock. For a great view of the city you can climb to the top of the Clock Tower too.


Stroll under the Covered Arcades

It was pretty rainy during our visit to Bern and we were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed the covered arcades of Bern. These ingeniously designed covered walkways shield pedestrians from the elements as they walk around the city.  Under the cover of over 4 miles of arcades you can find cafes, bars, boutiques, galleries, coffee shops, and markets. We barely noticed the rain because everything was so accesible by following under the arcades.

 Check out the covered arcades on both sides of the street in the photo above.

Check out the covered arcades on both sides of the street in the photo above.

 A section of the covered arcades with vaulted cellar shops in front.

A section of the covered arcades with vaulted cellar shops in front.

Discover the Vaulted Cellars

A fun surprise we discovered in Bern were the vaulted cellars that lined the main street. At first we didn't notice them and then we fell in love. These underground cellars have been converted into bars, shops, music stores, and more! We loved to look down into each cellar and see what we would find.

TIP: Make sure to stop at a Traditional Swiss pastry shop to try some delicious desserts with famous Swiss chocolate.






Walk the Nydeggbrucke Bridge and up to the Rose Garden

One of the must do things in Bern is walking across the Nydeggbrucke Bridge and up to the Rose Garden. Take your time as you cross the Nydeggbrucke Bridge taking in the views of the Aare River as it winds in a U shape around the old town. In the summer you float down the river around the city. After you cross the bridge follow the signs to the Rose Garden. Be prepared this walk is steep but the view is worth it. Keep your eyes open for the statue of Einstein sitting on a bench overlooking the city. The plaque explains that this was Einstein's favorite spot to sit and think, and once you see the view you will see why! We knew we were in love with this Bern after taking in the breathtaking views from the Rose Garden.


To Eat:

Altes TramDepot

Our favorite meal in Bern was at the Altes Tram Depot, across the Nydeggbrucke Bridge next to the Bear Park. This local favorite is a brewery and restaurant and has great views of the city. The Hefeweizen beer was delicious and comes in a large beer tower! We couldn't have been more impressed with the food too. Serving elevated European bar food we loved the mushroom schnitzel, pretzel, and goulash.

Fondue at Le Marzot or Lotschberg

A cozy classic fondue restaurant in the middle of the old town, Le Marzot serves traditional Swiss fondue. Besides fondue they have a variety of delicious rosti (traditional potato fritter) and more. If you are looking for super unique place for fondue check out Lotscheberg (pictured below). Yep, those are gondolas, and guess what people are doing inside them? Eating fondue! Such a cool idea, but make sure to get reservations.



Some of the best Italian food we had our whole trip! We had a fantastic night at Luce's Italian restaurant. Everything was delicious and the staff was wonderful. Try the green lasagna.

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To Drink:



A favorite place to party for the university crowd is TurnHalle. We were so excited when we stumbled across this place. It was packed! Set in an old university building TurnHalle has 3 stories and multiple bars. There was even an outdoor area with stalls selling gluhwein and raclette. There was a DJ inside and was so packed we could barely walk. If you are looking for a local hot spot make sure to check out TurnHalle.




Platzhirsch in the Christmas Market

This outdoor pop up restaurant and bar is located in the Christmas Market at Orphanage Square (Waisenhausplatz) and only open in December. Grab a glass of gluhwein and mingle out in the beer garden or step inside and grab a table where they offer do it yourself fondue! Choose your own ingredients and melt it all together for your own cheesy creation.

Interlaken, Switzerland

        Interlaken is an adventure destination in Switzerland that offers some unique outdoor fun opportunities. It is located between two big lakes, hence the name Inter meaning between and laken meaning lake. We booked a few extra days here to relax and slow down a bit. There is so much to do in Europe its harder than it sounds to slow down sometimes. We had five days here, which was perfect. Our place had a nice cold pool, and a slip-n-slide to death jump into the pool. There was plenty of lounging going on. Mixed with the laid back vibes we also took part in some fun adventures. One day we went for 6 hours of canyoning. The guides gear you up in a wet suit and a harness and send you down a freezing cold river that runs down a canyon of slick granite rocks. We started off with a 150 ft rappel into the canyon, and as Ang is very scared of heights it was quite entertaining. Then it’s all cliff-jumping, rockslides, and zip-lines all the way down the canyon. It was a hot day and we had a fun group. The next day I went for a sunset paraglide, which was incredible. Interlaken is very well known for this and all day you can see people flying all around the basin and landing in the field by the town square. Safe to say its one of the most fun things you can do. Our last day in Interlaken we went to a small lake that my brother had told us to go check out, it had a cliff jumps, and a giant rope swing. We made friends with the local kids who took us around to the rope swing. Listening to a bunch of small kids call each other various names in German was also highly entertaining. Adrenaline rush or all day no rush, this might be a place for you…

Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

      Another lake we visited in Switzerland was Lake Lucerne. Lucerne is a gorgeous lake surrounded by mountains with a charming old town, everything you want in a Swiss town. We spent one day relaxing at this humongous park next to the beach. It was packed and reminded us of Dolores Park in San Francisco on a sunny day. Besides picnicking there were frisbees flying, kids walking on slack lines, and the most popular activity kicking a soccer ball around. One of my favorite things we did in Lucerne was go to an open air cinema. Luckily they were playing Argo, and in English. We barley had enough Swiss francs left to buy our tickets to the movie and while I am struggling to get all my coins out of my purse a nice man come up to us and says, "Hey I have two free tickets if you want them." Safe to say we were ecstatic and got to go for free! A big thanks to whoever that guy was. The weather was gorgeous and we sipped on some Swiss beers, sat back and watched the movie with Lake Lucerne in the background. Date night in Switzerland! Lucerne was our last stop in Switzerland, on to Germany.