Guide To The Best Photo Spots in Bern
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Bern is one of the most visited cities in Switzerland, but despite being the capital, many tourists only plan to spend a day in Bern. The entire old town of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you can imagine how beautiful it is to walk around and how many historic attractions there are to see at every turn. The old town isn’t very big, so it’s easily walkable, but there are trams and buses available that can take you to some of the points of interest.
The Swiss capital is a photographer’s paradise. There are ample photo spots in Bern to choose from, and even on a cloudy day the views are breathtaking. For the most part, we spent our time exploring the old town as extensively as possible, and were able to find some nice angles of Bern that were a little off the beaten path and easier to photograph without the crowds of tourists.
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Best Photo Spots in Bern
If you've visited Bern before, then you'll no doubt have other unique photo spots that would make this list. But for a first time visitor to the city you'd be hard pressed to find some better photo spots in Bern than these.
Top of the Berner Münster
One of the best photo spots in Bern can be found at the very top of the Berner Münster, the city’s cathedral. Entry to the cathedral itself is free, but there’s a small charge of CHF 5 to gain access to the tower. At the top you get incredible views of the old town as well as the newer parts of the city, and it’s a unique angle that you’ll only get here. Luckily they use two different sets of stairs to go up and down the tower, so there’s no need to worry about too many people crowding the narrow passageway!
If you’re looking for Instagrammable spots in Bern, the Zytglogge is a fantastic option. This unique astrological clock tower has a history dating back to the medieval period, and is now one of the top places to visit in Bern. It can be a bit tricky getting a photo without people in it as it’s at a busy intersection and draws in large crowds of tourists, but if you wait around for a little bit you’ll get the chance. Or, if you’re visiting Bern in the summer, I would recommend waking up at sunrise so you have it all to yourself. Don’t forget to photograph both sides of the clock tower which are different from one another.
On your way out of the old town, heading towards the Einstein Museum, is the Kirchenfeldbrücke. This bridge offers one of the best views of Bern, with the parliament building on one side and a gorgeous view of the Aare River and the cathedral on the other. Although not as old as other bridges in the city, it does date back to the late-19th century so there’s a bit of history behind it too. Don’t forget your camera when you cross this bridge or you’ll instantly regret it.
The Nydeggbrücke is probably the most well known bridge in Bern, which was built to help ease the traffic and number of tourists coming into the city across the Untertorbrücke. By crossing the bridge you get a beautiful view of one of the oldest parts of Bern, but for a special view underneath the bridge is where you need to go. There’s a walking path along the Aare River that also runs parallel to the bear park. From here you’ll have a view of the city from a lower perspective and you can see the oldest houses in Bern closer than from the top of the bridge.
If you’re unable to make it to the top of the cathedral, then the Rosengarten is a great alternative, offering an elevated view of Bern from across the Nydeggbrücke. The Rosengarten is a very popular attraction in Bern thanks to its wide variety of roses and other flowers that are most prominent during the spring and summer. And if the view wasn’t enough, you can snap a photo sitting next to Albert Einstein on a bench as well. The Rosengarten is a great photo spot in Bern if you have some spare time to walk up to it.
The Bundesplatz, or the Federal Square, is the main square outside of the parliament building, which in recent years has undergone a big transformation. From this square you can get a beautiful photo of the Bundeshaus, and opposite the parliament building is a row of traditional looking buildings that are also photo worthy. For those of you who enjoy walking around markets, every Tuesday and Saturday a large farmer’s market takes place here. It’s certainly a unique photo spot in Bern, and won’t be too busy with tourists as it’s around the corner from one of the main clock towers which is where everyone's focus will be.
Where To Stay in Bern
Modern hotels are always fun to stay at, but Alpenblick Bern has taken things to a whole new level and become “kind of a hotel” with a lot going on inside. The hotel itself is situated a short tram ride north of the old town, and is a great option if you’re spending 2 days in Bern, a week, or even a month - you can stay as long as you like. The neighbourhood is fairly quiet but it’s close to the football stadium and is filled with restaurants and cafes. The Alpenblick itself boasts its own popular restaurant, Darling, who offer fresh and innovative dishes in a modern setting.
Let’s take a look at our room first. We stayed in a studio apartment, the Double room M + kitchenette, which was very spacious. It consisted of a large double bed next to the window, a small seating area, lots of space to hang clothes and store bags, a modern bathroom with a walk-in shower, and of course a fully equipped kitchenette and coffee machine. The kitchenette is quite unique because you don’t see it at first until you pull the countertop up and voila! Since the neighbourhood is quiet we slept like babies.
If you pre-book breakfast, a small breakfast box will be dropped off outside your room very early in the morning, but it’s up to you when you pick it up. It consists of a nice selection of continental items and juice. If there’s anything else you want there’s a handy little kiosk inside the hotel where you can buy other food items, as well as a miniature convenience store outside, Milch & Co., that also dispenses fresh milk. The kiosk itself is a very cool space, with modern furniture and a large library where you can relax with your laptop or read a book.
And if all that wasn’t enough, other services at the Alpenblick include: a reception shop in case you’ve forgotten to buy a souvenir, a laundrette in the basement which you have full access to using an app (we were very thankful for this), a very trendy hairdresser called Enrico Bizarro, skateboards to rent if you’re feeling brave, and a set of beehives on the roof where the hotel produces its own honey.
As you can see, Alpenblick has got everything covered and is an incredible sustainable hotel in Bern to rest your head at. And if you’re wondering why it’s called Alpenblick without a view of the Alps, the building dates back to 1895 and would have had an unobstructed view before Bern began to expand. Short history lesson over, now it’s time for you to check it out in person!
>> Click here for the most up to date prices at Alpenblick Bern <<
There are plenty of things to see and do in Bern that can easily fill an itinerary for a couple of days. Many of the main attractions are in the old town, which is where you’ll find the best photo spots in Bern as well. If you’re wondering when to visit Bern, the summer months get very busy with tourists, but if you don’t mind a slightly colder temperature and the chance of rain, then visiting Bern in October isn’t a bad option. Bern is also located close to other cities such as Lausanne, Geneva, and Zurich, so it's a great city to base yourself from.
Have you taken a photo at any of these locations before? If you think I’ve missed any then I would love to hear your recommendations, so please leave me a message in the comments below or get in touch via Instagram where you can also follow along with my travels.
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