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Bern Hotels Comparison & Online Booking

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What's important: you can compare and book not only Bern hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in Bern. If you're going to Bern save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in Bern online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Bern, and rent a car in Bern right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Bern related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

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How to Book a Hotel in Bern

In order to book an accommodation in Bern enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Bern hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Bern map to estimate the distance from the main Bern attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Bern hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Bern is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Bern is waiting for you!

Hotels of Bern

A hotel in Bern is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Bern hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Bern are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Bern hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Bern hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Bern have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Bern
An upscale full service hotel facility in Bern that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Bern hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Bern
Full service Bern hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Bern
Boutique hotels of Bern are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Bern boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Bern may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Bern
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Bern travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Bern focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Bern
Small to medium-sized Bern hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Bern traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Bern hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Bern
A bed and breakfast in Bern is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Bern bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Bern B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Bern
Bern hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Bern hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Bern
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Bern hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Bern lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Bern
Bern timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Bern often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Bern on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Bern
A Bern motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Bern for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Bern motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Bern

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Bern
Berne
Aerial view of the Old City
Aerial view of the Old City
Coat of arms of BernBerne
Coat of arms
BernBerne is located in Switzerland
BernBerne
Bern
Berne
BernBerne is located in Canton of Bern
BernBerne
Bern
Berne
Coordinates:  / 46.950; 7.450  / 46.950; 7.450
Country Switzerland
Canton Bern
District Bern-Mittelland administrative district
Government
• Executive Gemeinderat
with 5 members
• Mayor Stadtpräsident (list)
Alec von Graffenried GFL
(as of January 2017)
• Parliament Stadtrat
with 80 members
Area
• Total 51.62 km (19.93 sq mi)
Elevation (Bahnhofplatz) 540 m (1,770 ft)
Highest elevation (Könizberg) 674 m (2,211 ft)
Lowest elevation (Aare near to Eymatt) 481 m (1,578 ft)
Population (Dec 2015)
• Total 131,554
• Density 2,500/km (6,600/sq mi)
Demonym(s) English: Bernese, German: Berner(in), French: Bernois(e)
Postal code 3000–3030
SFOS number 0351
Localities Altenberg, Aaregg, Bümpliz, Bethlèhem, Beudenfeld, Bottingen, Breitenrain, Breitfeld, Brunnadern, Bottingen, Dählhözli, Engeried, Gäbelbach, Grosser Bremgartenrwald, Gryphenhübeli, Felsenau, Holligen, Innere Stadt, Kirchenfeld, Könizbergwald, Länggasse, Lorrain, Muesmatt, Murifeld, Neufeld, Sandrain, Schosshalde, Spitalacker, Stöckacker, Tiefenau, Wankdorf, Weissenbühl, Weissenstein
Surrounded by Bremgarten bei Bern, Frauenkappelen, Ittigen, Kirchlindach, Köniz, Mühleberg, Muri bei Bern, Neuenegg, Ostermundigen, Wohlen bei Bern, Zollikofen
Website www.bern.ch
SFSO statistics

The city of Bern (German: [bɛrn, bɛʀn]) or Berne (French: [bɛʁn]; Italian: Berna [ˈbɛrna]; Romansh: Berna About this sound [ˈbɛrnɐ]; Bernese German: Bärn [b̥æːrn]) is the de facto capital of Switzerland, referred to by the Swiss as their (e.g. in German) Bundesstadt, or "federal city". With a population of 141,762 (November 2016), Bern is the fifth-most populous city in Switzerland. The Bern agglomeration, which includes 36 municipalities, had a population of 406,900 in 2014. The metropolitan area had a population of 660,000 in 2000. Bern is also the capital of the canton of Bern, the second-most populous of Switzerland's cantons.

The official language in Bern is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the most-spoken language is an Alemannic Swiss German dialect, Bernese German.

In 1983, the historic old town (actually called in German: Innere Stadt) in the centre of Bern became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bern is ranked among the world’s top ten cities for the best quality of life (2010).

Bern: Etymology

The etymology of the name "Bern" is uncertain. According to the local legend, based on folk etymology, Berchtold V, Duke of Zähringen, the founder of the city of Bern, vowed to name the city after the first animal he met on the hunt, and this turned out to be a bear. It has long been considered likely that the city was named after the Italian city of Verona, which at the time was known as Bern in Middle High German. As a result of the find of the Bern zinc tablet in the 1980s, it is now more common to assume that the city was named after a pre-existing toponym of Celtic origin, possibly *berna "cleft". The bear was the heraldic animal of the seal and coat of arms of Bern from at least the 1220s. The earliest reference to the keeping of live bears in the Bärengraben dates to the 1440s.

Bern: History

Bern: Early history

The construction of the Untertor-bridge in Bern, Tschachtlanchronik, late 15th century

No archaeological evidence that indicates a settlement on the site of today′s city centre prior to the 12th century has been found so far. In antiquity, a Celtic oppidum stood on the Engehalbinsel (peninsula) north of Bern, fortified since the second century BC (late La Tène period), thought to be one of the 12 oppida of the Helvetii mentioned by Caesar. During the Roman era, a Gallo-Roman vicus was on the same site. The Bern zinc tablet has the name Brenodor ("dwelling of Breno"). In the Early Middle Ages, a settlement in Bümpliz, now a city district of Bern, was some 4 km (2 mi) from the medieval city.

The medieval city is a foundation of the Zähringer ruling family, which rose to power in Upper Burgundy in the 12th century. According to 14th-century historiography (Cronica de Berno, 1309), Bern was founded in 1191 by Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen.

In 1218, after Berthold died without an heir, Bern was made a free imperial city by the Goldene Handfeste of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.

Bern: Old Swiss Confederacy

Bern in 1638

In 1353, Bern joined the Swiss Confederacy, becoming one of the eight cantons of the formative period of 1353 to 1481. Bern invaded and conquered Aargau in 1415 and Vaud in 1536, as well as other smaller territories, thereby becoming the largest city-state north of the Alps; by the 18th century, it comprised most of what is today the canton of Bern and the canton of Vaud.

The city grew out towards the west of the boundaries of the peninsula formed by the river Aare. The Zytglogge tower marked the western boundary of the city from 1191 until 1256, when the Käfigturm took over this role until 1345. It was, in turn, succeeded by the Christoffelturm (formerly located close to the site of the modern-day railway station) until 1622. During the time of the Thirty Years' War, two new fortifications – the so-called big and small Schanze (entrenchment) – were built to protect the whole area of the peninsula.

After a major blaze in 1405, the city's original wooden buildings were gradually replaced by half-timbered houses and subsequently the sandstone buildings which came to be characteristic for the Old Town. Despite the waves of pestilence that hit Europe in the 14th century, the city continued to grow, mainly due to immigration from the surrounding countryside.

Bern: Modern history

Bern was occupied by French troops in 1798 during the French Revolutionary Wars, when it was stripped of parts of its territories. It regained control of the Bernese Oberland in 1802, and following the Congress of Vienna of 1814, it newly acquired the Bernese Jura. At this time, it once again became the largest canton of the confederacy as it stood during the Restoration and until the secession of the canton of Jura in 1979. Bern was made the Federal City (seat of the Federal Assembly) within the new Swiss federal state in 1848.

A number of congresses of the socialist First and Second Internationals were held in Bern, particularly during World War I when Switzerland was neutral; see Bern International.

The city's population rose from about 5,000 in the 15th century to about 12,000 by 1800 and to above 60,000 by 1900, passing the 100,000 mark during the 1920s. Population peaked during the 1960s at 165,000, and has since decreased slightly, to below 130,000 by 2000. As of November 2016, the resident population stood at 141,762, of which 100,000 were Swiss citizens and 41,762 (31%) resident foreigners. A further estimated 350,000 people live in the immediate urban agglomeration.

Bern: Geography and climate

Bern: Topography

The Aare flows in a wide loop around the Old City of Bern
View of Bern from the ISS: The Old City is in the lower, right hand side.

Bern lies on the Swiss plateau in the canton of Bern, slightly west of the centre of Switzerland and 20 km (12 mi) north of the Bernese Alps. The countryside around Bern was formed by glaciers during the most recent ice age. The two mountains closest to Bern are Gurten with a height of 864 m (2,835 ft) and Bantiger with a height of 947 m (3,107 ft). The site of the old observatory in Bern is the point of origin of the CH1903 coordinate system at  / 46.9524056; 7.4395833.

The city was originally built on a hilly peninsula surrounded by the river Aare, but outgrew natural boundaries by the 19th century. A number of bridges have been built to allow the city to expand beyond the Aare.

Bern is built on very uneven ground. An elevation difference of several metres exists between the inner city districts on the Aare (Matte, Marzili) and the higher ones (Kirchenfeld, Länggasse).

Bern has an area, as of 2009, of 51.62 km (19.93 sq mi). Of this area, 9.79 km (3.78 sq mi) or 19.0% is used for agricultural purposes, while 17.33 km (6.69 sq mi) or 33.6% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 23.25 km (8.98 sq mi) or 45.0% is settled (buildings or roads), 1.06 km (0.41 sq mi) or 2.1% is either rivers or lakes, and 0.16 km (0.062 sq mi) or 0.3% is unproductive land.

Of the developed, 3.6% consists of industrial buildings, 21.7% housing and other buildings, and 12.6% is devoted to transport infrastructure. Power and water infrastructure, as well as other special developed areas, made up 1.1% of the city, while another 6.0% consists of parks, green belts, and sports fields; 32.8% of the total land area is heavily forested. Of the agricultural land, 14.3% is used for growing crops and 4.0% is designated to be used as pastures. The rivers and streams provide all the water in the municipality.

Bern: Climate

Climate data for Bern / Zollikofen (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2.8
(37)
4.7
(40.5)
9.5
(49.1)
13.4
(56.1)
18.2
(64.8)
21.6
(70.9)
24.3
(75.7)
23.7
(74.7)
19.1
(66.4)
13.8
(56.8)
7.3
(45.1)
3.5
(38.3)
13.5
(56.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) −0.4
(31.3)
0.7
(33.3)
4.7
(40.5)
8.1
(46.6)
12.7
(54.9)
16.0
(60.8)
18.3
(64.9)
17.7
(63.9)
13.7
(56.7)
9.3
(48.7)
3.7
(38.7)
0.6
(33.1)
8.8
(47.8)
Average low °C (°F) −3.6
(25.5)
−3.1
(26.4)
0.2
(32.4)
3.0
(37.4)
7.4
(45.3)
10.5
(50.9)
12.5
(54.5)
12.3
(54.1)
8.9
(48)
5.4
(41.7)
0.4
(32.7)
−2.3
(27.9)
4.3
(39.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 60
(2.36)
55
(2.17)
73
(2.87)
82
(3.23)
119
(4.69)
111
(4.37)
106
(4.17)
116
(4.57)
99
(3.9)
88
(3.46)
76
(2.99)
74
(2.91)
1,059
(41.69)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 12.8
(5.04)
13.1
(5.16)
7.0
(2.76)
0.8
(0.31)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.1
(0.04)
5.5
(2.17)
13.3
(5.24)
52.6
(20.71)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 9.6 9.0 10.6 10.4 12.6 11.1 10.8 10.7 8.9 10.4 10.2 9.9 124.2
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 4.1 3.5 2.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 3.1 14.1
Average relative humidity (%) 84 79 73 71 73 71 71 73 79 84 85 85 77
Mean monthly sunshine hours 64 87 137 159 182 205 236 217 165 113 68 49 1,682
Percent possible sunshine 29 35 41 42 42 47 53 53 49 38 30 23 42
Source: MeteoSwiss

Bern: Politics

Bern: Subdivisions

The municipality is administratively subdivided into six districts (Stadtteile), each of which consists of several quarters (Quartiere).

Bern: Government

Erlacherhof
Rathaus

The Municipal Council (Gemeinderat) constitutes the executive government of the City of Bern and operates as a collegiate authority. It is composed of five councillors (German: Gemeinderat/-rätin), each presiding over a directorate (Direktion) comprising several departments and bureaus. The president of the executive department acts as mayor (Stadtpräsident). In the mandate period 2017–2020 (Legislatur) the Municipal Council is presided by Stadtpräsident Alec von Graffenried. Departmental tasks, coordination measures and implementation of laws decreed by the City Council are carried by the Municipal Council. The regular election of the Municipal Council by any inhabitant valid to vote is held every four years. Any resident of Bern allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the Municipal Council. Contrary to most other municipalities, the executive government in Berne is selected by means of a system of Proporz. The mayor is elected as such as well by public election while the heads of the other directorates are assigned by the collegiate. The executive body holds its meetings in the Erlacherhof, built by architect Albrecht Stürler after 1747.

As of 2017, Bern's Municipal Council is made up of two representatives of the SP (Social Democratic Party), and one each of CVP (Christian Democratic Party), GFL (Grüne Freie Liste a.k.a. Green Free List, who is the newly elected mayor since 2017), and GB (Green Alliance of Berne), giving the left parties a very strong majority of four out of five seats. The last regular election was held on 27 November 2016/15 January 2017.

The Municipal Council (Gemeinderat) of Bern
Municipal Councillor
(Gemeinderat/-rätin)
Party Head of Directorate (Direktion, since) of elected since
Alec von Graffenried GFL Mayor's Office (Präsidialdirektion (PRD), 2017) 2017
Reto Nause CVP Security, the Environment and Energy (Direktion für Sicherheit, Umwelt und Energie (SUE), 2009) 2009
Franziska Teuscher GB Education, Social Welfare and Sport (Direktion für Bildung, Soziales und Sport (BSS), 2013) 2013
Ursula Wyss SP Civil Engineering, Transport and Green Spaces (Direktion für Tiefbau, Verkehr und Stadtgrün (TVS), 2013) 2013
Michael Aebersold SP Finances, Personnel and IT (Direktion für Finanzen, Personal und Informatik (FPI), 2017) 2016
  1. Mayor (Stadtpräsident)
  2. Vice-Mayor (Vizepräsident)

Dr. Jürg Wichtermann is State Chronicler (Staatsschreiber) since 2008. He has been elected by the collegiate.

Bern: Parliament

Circle frame.svg

The Stadtrat of Bern for the mandate period of 2017-2020

PdA (1.25%)
AL (2.5%)
GPB-DA (1.25%)
JUSO (2.5%)
SP/PS (27.5%)
JA! (2.5%)
GB (11.25%)
GFL (10%)
EVP/PEV (2.5%)
jglp (1.25%)
glp/pvl (8.75%)
CVP/PDC (2.5%)
BDP/PBD (3.75%)
FDP/PLR (11.25%)
SVP/UDC (11.25%)

The City Council (de: Stadtrat, fr: Conseil de ville) holds legislative power. It is made up of 80 members, with elections held every four years. The City Council decrees regulations and by-laws that are executed by the Municipal Council and the administration. The delegates are selected by means of a system of proportional representation.

The sessions of the City Council are public. Unlike members of the Municipal Council, members of the City Council are not politicians by profession, and they are paid a fee based on their attendance. Any resident of Bern allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the City Council. The parliament holds its meetings in the Stadthaus (Town Hall).

The last regular election of the City Council was held on 27 November 2016 for the mandate period (German: Legislatur, French: la législature) from 2017 to 2020. Currently the City Council consist of 24 members of the Social Democratic Party (SP/PS) including 2 members of the junior party JUSO, 9 Green Alliance of Berne (GB), 9 The Liberals (FDP/PLR), 9 Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC), 8 Grüne Freie Liste (GFL) (Green Free List), 8 Green Liberal Party (glp/pvl) including one member of its junior party jglp, 3 Conservative Democratic Party (BDP/PBD), 2 Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP/PDC), 2 Evangelical People's Party (EVP/PEV), 2 Junge Alternative (JA!) (or Young Alternatives), 2 Alternative Linke Bern (AL), 1 Grüne Partei Bern - Demokratische Alternative (GPB-DA) (or Green Party Bern - Democratic Alternative), and 1 Swiss Party of Labour (PdA).

The following parties combine their parliamentary power in parliamentary groups (German: Fraktion(en)): AL and GPB-DA and PdA (4), SP and JUSO (24), GB and JA! (11), GFL and EVP (10), glp und jglp (8), BDP and CVP (5), FDP (9), and SVP (9). This gives the left parties an absolute majority of 49 seats.

Bern: National elections

Bern: National Council

In the 2015 federal election for the Swiss National Council the most popular party was the PS which received 34.3% of the vote. The next five most popular parties were the Green Party (17.4%), the UDC (12.4%), and the FDP/PLR (9.9%), glp/pvl (9.4%), and the BDP/PBD (7.0%). In the federal election, a total of 48,556 voters were cast, and the voter turnout was 56.0%.

Bern: International relations

Bern: Twin and sister cities

The Municipal Council of the city of Bern decided against having twinned cities except for a temporary (during the UEFA Euro 2008) cooperation with the Austrian city Salzburg

Bern: Demographics

Bern: Population

Largest groups of foreign residents 2012
Nationality Amount % total
(foreigners)
Germany 5,957 4.7 (20.0)
Italy 4,113 3.2 (13.5)
Spain 1,977 1.6 (6.5)
Portugal 1,433 1.1 (4.7)
Turkey 1,161 0.9 (3.8)
Republic of Macedonia 1,120 0.9 (3.7)
Kosovo 1,085 0.9 (3.6)
Sri Lanka 898 0.7 (3.0)
Serbia 898 0.7 (3.0)
France 668 0.5 (2.2)
Austria 629 0.5 (2.1)

Bern has a population (as of April 2016) of 141,107. About 34% of the population are resident foreign nationals. Over the 10 years between 2000 and 2010, the population changed at a rate of 0.6%. Migration accounted for 1.3%, while births and deaths accounted for −2.1%.

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (104,465 or 81.2%) as their first language, Italian is the second most common (5,062 or 3.9%) and French is the third (4,671 or 3.6%). There are 171 people who speak Romansh.

As of 2008, the population was 47.5% male and 52.5% female. The population was made up of 44,032 Swiss men (35.4% of the population) and 15,092 (12.1%) non-Swiss men. There were 51,531 Swiss women (41.4%) and 13,726 (11.0%) non-Swiss women. Of the population in the municipality, 39,008 or about 30.3% were born in Bern and lived there in 2000. There were 27,573 or 21.4% who were born in the same canton, while 25,818 or 20.1% were born somewhere else in Switzerland, and 27,812 or 21.6% were born outside of Switzerland.

Apartment blocks at Bern-Bethlehem

As of 2000, children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 15.1% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 65% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 19.9%.

As of 2000, there were 59,948 people who were single and never married in the municipality. There were 49,873 married individuals, 9,345 widows or widowers and 9,468 individuals who are divorced.

Houses in the Old City of Bern

As of 2000, there were 67,115 private households in the municipality, and an average of 1.8 persons per household. There were 34,981 households that consist of only one person and 1,592 households with five or more people. In 2000, a total of 65,538 apartments (90.6% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 5,352 apartments (7.4%) were seasonally occupied and 1,444 apartments (2.0%) were empty. As of 2009, the construction rate of new housing units was 1.2 new units per 1000 residents.

As of 2003 the average price to rent an average apartment in Bern was 1108.92 Swiss francs (CHF) per month (US$890, £500, €710 approx. exchange rate from 2003). The average rate for a one-room apartment was 619.82 CHF (US$500, £280, €400), a two-room apartment was about 879.36 CHF (US$700, £400, €560), a three-room apartment was about 1040.54 CHF (US$830, £470, €670) and a six or more room apartment cost an average of 2094.80 CHF (US$1680, £940, €1340). The average apartment price in Bern was 99.4% of the national average of 1116 CHF. The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2010, was 0.45%.

Bern: Historic population

The historical population is given in the following chart:

Bern: Religion

From the 2000 census, 60,455 or 47.0% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church, while 31,510 or 24.5% were Roman Catholic. Of the rest of the population, there were 1,874 members of an Orthodox church (or about 1.46% of the population), there were 229 persons (or about 0.18% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic Church, and there were 5,531 persons (or about 4.30% of the population) who belonged to another Christian church. There were 324 persons (or about 0.25% of the population) who were Jewish, and 4,907 (or about 3.81% of the population) who were Muslim. There were 629 persons who were Buddhist, 1,430 persons who were Hindu and 177 persons who belonged to another church. 16,363 (or about 12.72% of the population) belonged to no church, are agnostic or atheist, and 7,855 persons (or about 6.11% of the population) did not answer the question. On 14 December 2014 the Haus der Religionen was inaugurated.

Bern: Main sights

Federal Palace of Switzerland (Swiss Parliament Building)
The Ogre of the Kindlifresserbrunnen has a sack of children waiting to be devoured.

The structure of Bern's city centre is largely medieval and has been recognised by UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site. Perhaps its most famous sight is the Zytglogge (Bernese German for "Time Bell"), an elaborate medieval clock tower with moving puppets. It also has an impressive 15th century Gothic cathedral, the Münster, and a 15th-century town hall. Thanks to 6 kilometres (4 miles) of arcades, the old town boasts one of the longest covered shopping promenades in Europe.

Since the 16th century, the city has had a bear pit, the Bärengraben, at the far end of the Nydeggbrücke to house its heraldic animals. The currently four bears are now kept in an open-air enclosure nearby, and two other young bears, a present by the Russian president, are kept in Dählhölzli zoo.

The Federal Palace (Bundeshaus), built from 1857 to 1902, which houses the national parliament, government and part of the federal administration, can also be visited.

Albert Einstein lived in a flat at the Kramgasse 49, the site of the Einsteinhaus, from 1903 to 1905, the year in which the Annus Mirabilis Papers were published.

The Rose Garden (Rosengarten), from which a scenic panoramic view of the medieval town centre can be enjoyed, is a well-kept Rosarium on a hill, converted into a park from a former cemetery in 1913.

There are eleven Renaissance allegorical statues on public fountains in the Old Town. Nearly all the 16th century fountains, except the Zähringer fountain which was created by Hans Hiltbrand, are the work of the Fribourg master Hans Gieng. One of the more interesting fountains is the Kindlifresserbrunnen (Bernese German: Child Eater Fountain but often translated Ogre Fountain) which is claimed to represent a Jew, the Greek god Chronos or a Fastnacht figure that scares disobedient children.

Bern's most recent sight is the set of fountains in front of the Federal Palace. It was inaugurated on 1 August 2004.

The Universal Postal Union is situated in Bern.

The Zytglogge clock tower and the city's medieval covered shopping promenades (Lauben)

Bern: Heritage sites of national significance

Bern is home to 114 Swiss heritage sites of national significance.

It includes the entire Old Town, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many sites within and around it. Some of the most notable in the Old Town include the Cathedral which was started in 1421 and is the tallest cathedral in Switzerland, the Zytglogge and Käfigturm towers, which mark two successive expansions of the Old Town, and the Holy Ghost Church, which is one of the largest Swiss Reformed churches in Switzerland. Within the Old Town, there are eleven 16th century fountains, most attributed to Hans Gieng, that are on the list.

Outside the Old Town the heritage sites include the Bärengraben, the Gewerbeschule Bern (1937), the Eidgenössisches Archiv für Denkmalpflege, the Kirchenfeld mansion district (after 1881), the Thunplatzbrunnen, the Federal Mint building, the Federal Archives, the Swiss National Library, the Historical Museum (1894), Alpine Museum, Museum of Communication and Natural History Museum.

Bern: Culture

Zentrum Paul Klee
Stadttheater
Gurtenfestival, 2003

Bern: Theatres

  • Bern Theatre
  • Narrenpack Theatre Bern
  • Schlachthaus Theatre
  • Tojo Theater
  • The Theatre on the Effinger-Street
  • Theatre am Käfigturm

Bern: Cinemas

Bern has several dozen cinemas. As is customary in Switzerland, films are generally in German. Some films in select cinemas are shown in their original language with German and French subtitles.

Bern: Film festivals

  • Shnit international shortfilmfestival shnit International Shortfilmfestival, held annually in early October.
  • Queersicht – gay and lesbian film festival, held annually in the second week of November.

Bern: Festivals

  • BeJazz Summer and Winter Festival
  • Buskers' festival
  • Gurtenfestival
  • Internationales Jazzfestival Bern
  • Taktlos-Festival

Bern: Fairs

  • Zibelemärit – The Zibelemärit (onion market) is an annual fair held on the fourth Monday in November.
  • Bernese Fassnacht (Carnival)

Bern: Sport

Stade de Suisse Wankdorf

Bern was the site of the 1954 Football (Soccer) World Cup Final, a huge upset for the Hungarian Golden Team, who were beaten 3–2 by West Germany. The football team BSC Young Boys is based in Bern at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf, which also was one of the venues for the European football championship 2008 in which it hosted 3 matches.

SC Bern is the major ice hockey team of Bern which plays in the PostFinance Arena. They compete in the National League (NL), the highest league in Switzerland. The team has ranked highest in attendance for a European hockey team for more than a decade. The PostFinance Arena was the main host of the 2009 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, including the opening game and the final of the tournament.

The PostFinance Arena was also the host of the 2011 European Figure Skate Championships.

Bern Cardinals is the baseball and softball team of Bern, which plays at the Allmend

Bern Grizzlies is the American football club in Bern and plays at Athletics Arena Wankdorf.

Bern was a candidate to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, but withdrew its bid in September 2002 after a referendum was passed that showed that the bid was not supported by locals. Those games were eventually awarded to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

RC Bern is the local rugby club (since 1972) and plays at the Allmend. The ladies team was founded in 1995.

Bern Bears is an NGO Basketball Club since 2010 in city of Bern.

Bern: Economy

Bond of the Einwohnergemeinde der Stadt Bern, issued 1. April 1897

As of 2010, Bern had an unemployment rate of 3.3%. As of 2008, there were 259 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 59 businesses involved in this sector. 16,413 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 950 businesses in this sector. 135,973 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 7,654 businesses in this sector.

In 2008 the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was 125,037. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 203, of which 184 were in agriculture and 19 were in forestry or lumber production. The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 15,476 of which 7,650 or (49.4%) were in manufacturing, 51 or (0.3%) were in mining and 6,389 (41.3%) were in construction. The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 109,358. In the tertiary sector; 11,396 or 10.4% were in wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 10,293 or 9.4% were in the movement and storage of goods, 5,090 or 4.7% were in a hotel or restaurant, 7,302 or 6.7% were in the information industry, 8,437 or 7.7% were the insurance or financial industry, 10,660 or 9.7% were technical professionals or scientists, 5,338 or 4.9% were in education and 17,903 or 16.4% were in health care.

In 2000, there were 94,367 workers who commuted into the municipality and 16,424 workers who commuted away. The municipality is a net importer of workers, with about 5.7 workers entering the municipality for every one leaving. Of the working population, 50.6% used public transport to get to work, and 20.6% used a private car.

Bern: Education

Main building of the University of Bern

The University of Bern, whose buildings are mainly located in the Länggasse quarter, is located in Bern, as well as the University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) and several vocations schools.

In Bern, about 50,418 or (39.2%) of the population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 24,311 or (18.9%) have completed additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule). Of the 24,311 who completed tertiary schooling, 51.6% were Swiss men, 33.0% were Swiss women, 8.9% were non-Swiss men and 6.5% were non-Swiss women.

The canton of Bern school system provides one year of non-obligatory kindergarten, followed by six years of primary school. This is followed by three years of obligatory lower secondary school where the pupils are separated according to ability and aptitude. Following the lower secondary pupils may attend additional schooling or they may enter an apprenticeship.

During the 2009–10 school year, there were a total of 10,979 pupils attending classes in Bern. There were 89 kindergarten classes with a total of 1,641 pupils in the municipality. Of the kindergarten pupils, 32.4% were permanent or temporary residents of Switzerland (not citizens) and 40.2% have a different mother language than the classroom language. The municipality had 266 primary classes and 5,040 pupils. Of the primary pupils, 30.1% were permanent or temporary residents of Switzerland (not citizens) and 35.7% have a different mother language than the classroom language. During the same year, there were 151 lower secondary classes with a total of 2,581 pupils. There were 28.7% who were permanent or temporary residents of Switzerland (not citizens) and 32.7% have a different mother language than the classroom language.

Bern is home to 8 libraries. These libraries include; the Schweiz. Nationalbibliothek/ Bibliothèque nationale suisse, the Universitätsbibliothek Bern, the Kornhausbibliotheken Bern, the BFH Wirtschaft und Verwaltung Bern, the BFH Gesundheit, the BFH Soziale Arbeit, the Hochschule der Künste Bern, Gestaltung und Kunst and the Hochschule der Künste Bern, Musikbibliothek. There was a combined total (as of 2008) of 10,308,336 books or other media in the libraries, and in the same year a total of 2,627,973 items were loaned out.

As of 2000, there were 9,045 pupils in Bern who came from another municipality, while 1,185 residents attended schools outside the municipality.

Bern: Transportation

Tram station on the Bahnhofplatz, with the Heiliggeistkirche in the background

The public transport in and around Bern is operated by BERNMOBIL, which is integrated into the fare network libero with coordinated timetables, which in itself covers the area of canton of Bern and Solothurn. The fare network includes any mode of public transport, such as any kind of train (including the urban S-Bahn), PostAuto buses, trams, buses (either trolleybuses or motorized buses) and others. Fares are based on the number of zones crossed during a specified time and are independent of the mode of transport or the number of connections. The central part of Bern, excluding Bümpliz, Betlehem, Bottingen, Brünnen, and Riedbach in the west of the municipality, is part of the fare zone 100.

Bern's central railway station Bahnhof Bern) (formerly known as Hauptbahnhof Bern) is not only the central network nucleus of Bern, but also of the whole urban and inter-cantonal region. It connects the city to the urban, national and international railways network and is Switzerland's second most busy railway station (202,600 passengers per working day in 2014).

A funicular railway leads from the Marzili district to the Bundeshaus. The Marzilibahn funicular is, with a length of 106 m (348 ft), the second shortest public railway in Europe after the Zagreb funicular.

Several Aare bridges connect the old parts of the city with the newer districts outside of the peninsula.

Bern is well connected to other cities by several motorways (A1, A12, A6).

Bern is also served by Bern Airport, located outside the city near the town of Belp. The regional airport, colloquially called Bern-Belp or Belpmoos, is connected to several European cities. Additionally Zürich Airport, Geneva Airport and EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg also serve as international gateways, all reachable within less than two hours by train or car from Bern.

Bern: Notable people

Albert Einstein's house
  • Mikhail Bakunin, died in Bern on 1 July 1876
  • Peter Bieri, philosophy professor and novelist
  • Louise Elisabeth de Meuron, famed eccentric and noble lady
  • Albert Einstein, worked out his theory of relativity while living in Bern, employed as a patent examiner at the patent office
  • Paul Emmert, painter
  • Christoph von Graffenried, founder of New Bern in the U.S. state of North Carolina
  • Albrecht von Haller
  • Lukas Hartmann, novelist and children's literature writer
  • Ferdinand Hodler, painter
  • Roman Josi, ice hockey player
  • Sven Baertschi, ice hockey player
  • Michael Kauter, fencer
  • Emil Theodor Kocher, recipient of 1909 Nobel Prize
  • Vladimir Lenin, resided in Bern from 1914 until 1917
  • Mani Matter, songwriter
  • Algirdas Paleckis, diplomat and politician, born in Bern
  • Regula Rytz (born 1962), politician, sociologist and historian
  • Léon Savary, Swiss writer and journalist
  • Mark Streit, ice hockey player
  • Aimé Félix Tschiffely, famous equestrian
  • Hans Urwyler, Christian minister
  • Adolf Wölfli, visual artist
  • Ursula Wyss, economist and politician

Bern: Notes and references

Bern: Notes

  1. According to the Swiss constitution, the Swiss Confederation intentionally has no "capital", but Bern has governmental institutions such as the Swiss parliament and the Federal Council of Switzerland. However, the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland is in Lausanne, the Federal Criminal Court of Switzerland is in Bellinzona, and the Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland and the Federal Patent Court of Switzerland are in St. Gallen. That exemplifies the very federal nature of the Swiss Confederation

Bern: References

  1. Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
  2. Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB, online database – Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit (in German) accessed 30 August 2016
  3. Holenstein, André (2012). "Die Hauptstadt existiert nicht" [The capital does not exist]. UniPress (in German) (UniPress 152: Die Hauptstatdtregion). Berne: University of Berne: 16–19. doi:10.7892/boris.41280. Als 1848 ein politisch-administratives Zentrum für den neuen Bundesstaat zu bestimmen war, verzichteten die Verfassungsväter darauf, eine Hauptstadt der Schweiz zu bezeichnen und formulierten stattdessen in Artikel 108: «Alles, was sich auf den Sitz der Bundesbehörden bezieht, ist Gegenstand der Bundesgesetzgebung.» Die Bundesstadt ist also nicht mehr und nicht weniger als der Sitz der Bundesbehörden.
  4. "Aktuelles - Stadt Bern (Bern in Zahlen)". Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  5. "Population size and population composition – Data, indicators – Agglomerations: Permanent resident population in urban and rural areas". www.bfs.admin.ch (Statistics). Federal Statistical Office, Neuchâtel, Swiss Federal Administration. 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-01.
  6. "Office fédéral du développement territorial ARE – B3: Les aires métropolitaines". www.are.admin.ch (in French, German, and Italian). Federal Office for Spatial Development ARE. 7 June 2006. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  7. "''Quality of Living global city rankings – Mercer survey''". Mercer.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  8. Andres Kristol (ed.): Lexikon der schweizerischen Gemeindenamen. Huber, Frauenfeld 2005, ISBN 3-7193-1308-5, p. 143.
  9. Bern: Development of the settlement and the population in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  10. municipal statistics,[1] includes 6,816 weekend commuters not included in the federal statistics of 123,466."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 November 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  11. Swiss Federal Statistical Office-Land Use Statistics 2009 data (in German) accessed 25 March 2010
  12. "Climate normals Bern / Zollikofen (Reference period 1981−2010)" (PDF). Zurich-Airport, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Office of Metreology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  13. "Gemeinderat" (official site) (in German). Berne, Switzerland: Stadtkanzlei, Stabsstelle des Gemeinderats, Stadt Bern. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
  14. "Aktuelles aus dem Stadtrat" (official site) (in German). Berne, Switzerland: Stadt Bern. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  15. "Zusammensetzung im Rat" (in German). Berne, Switzerland: Stadt Bern. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  16. "Nationalratswahlen 2015: Stärke der Parteien und Wahlbeteiligung nach Gemeinden" (official statistics) (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 4 March 2016. Archived from the original (XLS) on 2 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  17. "EURO 2008 – Partnerschaft von Stadt und Kanton Bern sowie mit Stadt und Land Salzburg". www.bern.ch (in German). Abteilung Kommunikation und Amt für Information, City of Berne. 30 May 2006. Retrieved 6 April 2014. …in einer gemeinsamen Erklärung die Absicht bekundet, mittels einer zeitlich befristeten Partnerschaft zwischen den Städten und Ländern…
  18. "Interpellation Fraktion SP/JUSO Andreas Flückiger/Markus Lüthi, SP): Das orange Wunder von Bern: Diese Freundschaft muss gepflegt werden! Was können wir tun?". www.bern.ch (in German). Der Gemeinderat (Municipal Council). 22 October 2008. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2014. Bisher hat die Stadt Bern bewusst auf eine Städtepartnerschaft verzichtet
  19. Swiss Federal Statistical Office Archived 5 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 23-January-2012
  20. STAT-TAB Datenwürfel für Thema 40.3 – 2000 Archived 9 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (in German) accessed 2 February 2011
  21. Statistical office of the canton of Bern (in German) accessed 4 January 2012
  22. Swiss Federal Statistical Office STAT-TAB – Datenwürfel für Thema 09.2 – Gebäude und Wohnungen Archived 7 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (in German) accessed 28 January 2011
  23. Swiss Federal Statistical Office-Rental prices 2003 data (in German) accessed 26 May 2010
  24. Bern in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  25. "City of bears receives Russian bruins". swissinfo.ch. 16 September 2009.
  26. City Council of Bern minutes of the 14 May 1998 5:00PM session accessed 23 November 2008 (in German)
  27. Hofer, 281
  28. "Kantonsliste A-Objekte". KGS Inventar (in German). Federal Office of Civil Protection. 2009. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  29. "Stadttheater Bern". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  30. "Narrenpack Theatre Bern". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  31. "Schlachthaus Theatre Bern". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  32. "Das Theatre an der Effingerstrasse". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  33. "Theater am Käfigturm". Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  34. Merk, Martin (12 March 2015). "Swiss stay top: SC Bern number one in European attendance ranking".
  35. http://www.basketballbern.ch Bern Bears
  36. Swiss Federal Statistical Office STAT-TAB Betriebszählung: Arbeitsstätten nach Gemeinde und NOGA 2008 (Abschnitte), Sektoren 1–3 Archived 25 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (in German) accessed 28 January 2011
  37. Swiss Federal Statistical Office – Statweb (in German) accessed 24 June 2010
  38. EDK/CDIP/IDES (2010). Kantonale Schulstrukturen in der Schweiz und im Fürstentum Liechtenstein / Structures Scolaires Cantonales en Suisse et Dans la Principauté du Liechtenstein (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  39. Schuljahr 2009/10 pdf document(in German) accessed 4 January 2012
  40. Swiss Federal Statistical Office, list of libraries (in German) accessed 14 May 2010
  41. Noëmi Landolt (2011-11-10). "Die pragmatische Brückenbauerin" (in German). WOZ Die Wochenzeitung 45/2011. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
  • City of Bern
  • Bern (Gemeinde) in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  • "GIS City of Bern". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2006-04-23.
  • Bern Public Transportation Website (BernMobil)
  • Bern travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • CityHunter Bern
  • Gurtenfestival
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