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Bern with Children: Exploring the City’s Best Attractions and Family-Friendly Activities

Updated: Jun 14

We have driven past Bern many times but had never had the opportunity to stop and explore so we were really excited about our trip which was organised for us by Bern Welcome.

Bern with Children: Exploring the City’s Best Attractions and Family-Friendly Activities

We left after school on Friday afternoon and it’s a very straightforward to reach, whichever direction you are coming from.  We were struck on arrival by how green the city is and how rich in beautiful architecture.  

We weren’t very lucky with the weather which was grey and rainy but that didn’t bother us.  We were staying at the NH Hotel Bristol which is a really nice hotel and very centrally located.  We left the car in a car park nearby and headed there on foot.

The hotel has a cool atmosphere and boasts an English bar which was really cosy and inviting, especially on a gloomy day.  We checked into our room which was a large space with huge double bed, a big sofa bed and an enormous bathroom.  We had planned to visit the rose garden or take a walk around town but we didn’t have enough time so we got ourselves organised and headed down to the bar for a quick drink before dinner.

Our dinner location was Lorenzini Ristorante which is THE Italian restaurant in Bern.  With its classic decor and a courtyard to enjoy the warmer weather, it’s a wonderful spot in the centre of the city.  The food was really excellent and the children could pick whatever they liked from the menu at a reduced price which we really liked because it encouraged them to try something new.  We really enjoyed our meal and decided to have a stroll before heading back to the hotel.

The Main Street in Bern is 330 meters long and is famous for its flag lined arcades which house a large number of shops, bars and restaurants. It’s also ideal on a wet day when you are sheltered from the rain.  Jude and Alba persuaded us to get some ice cream which they ate as we walked around.  

Bern with Children: Exploring the City’s Best Attractions and Family-Friendly Activities

Back at the hotel and we all slept really well before an early start the next morning.

Breakfast at the hotel is served in the English bar and there was a large choice including hot dishes, cereals, yoghurts and viennoiserie, salads, fruit and savoury options.   Feeling well fed, we set off to visit the famous bears on the banks of the river Aare.  We were happy to walk the 15-20minutes from the hotel and were lucky enough to immediately see one of the bears when we arrived. 

It was here that we met our tour guide, Michelle who was leading us on a UNESCO stroll through the Old City and Clock Tower.  I loved this part of the day because it enabled us to learn more about the city’s Medieval history and discover some hidden gems which we might have missed on our own. We all loved our private tour of the clock tower which afforded us some incredible views out over the city, and the impressive parliament building which holds an incredible position in the town.  There was a lively market going on which added to the bustle of the Saturday morning crowd.  We thoroughly recommend a guided tour because there is so much to learn and so much to see, that even through children were drawn in. Thank you to Michelle for this lovely experience.

Following the tour, we stopped for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants around the market before taking the bus to the Tierpark Bern.   We decided to walk the final part of the short joinery through the forest which was really lovely.  The Tierpark is a wonderful green space and it’s hard to believe that it is in the middle of the city.  There are a large number of animals housed at the Tierpark and the onus is really on protection and conservation which is a really important aspect of the zoo.  We loved seeing all the little monkeys and I adored the pygmy marmoset who were really sweet.  We had a close up view of the bears and wolves which thrilled Jude and Alba.  

There are a number of cafes and restaurants on site so it’s a great place to spend a day with children and there is even a BBQ area.  On Tuesdays and Fridays in good weather you can also take a carriage ride round the park.

We headed back to the hotel to get tidied up before dinner.

Our dinner plan was the Restaurant Altes Tramdepot which is right next to the bear park on the banks of the river.  We opted to sit outside on their wonderful terrace despite the slightly chilly weather.  The view (see photo below) made it worthwhile however so it’s worth doing if you get the chance. I think its a good idea to book in advance because they were very busy.

The restaurant brew their own beer so we tried a selection with our dinner.  There was a large choice of dishes for both adults and children and Jean and I both took salads and stir fries.  It’s clearly a really popular spot in Bern with large tables all getting together to enjoy the Saturday night.  

We were pretty tired after a busy day so we walked back to the hotel and collapsed in our beds.

The following morning, we had one more visit on our agenda which was to take the funicular railway to Gurten - Park in the Green.  We parked at the Gurten Railway station and the ride up took only about 5 minutes.  Situated at 858m above sea level level, the park offers plenty of attractions including a lovely wild garden, a miniature train, plenty of paths for walking, and you can even take a toboggan (it was closed when we were there due to the rain).  There are also restaurants and cafes so you could easily spend the day here.   It was raining quite heavily at this point so we decided to head back down after exploring.

We absolutely loved our weekend in Bern.  It is a really vibrant and fun city with lots of lovely boutique shops, pavement cafes and lively bars and restaurants.  It’s steeped in culture and history and the architecture is lovely with impressive buildings and quaint townhouses.

We would love to go back around Christmas because it must be magical when decorated with lights.

Thank you for having us.


Bern Welcome

Amthausgasse 4, P.O.

3001 Bern



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