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Bern

(3.8/5 based on 9,500+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, museums, parks

City of Bears

The capital and political center of Switzerland, Bern sits on a peninsula formed by the U-shaped River Aare. The city boasts a historical town center that is a destination because of its history, museums, and public art. As a World Heritage Site, the medieval city is characterized by sandstone facades, narrow streets, and covered shopping arcades. Cafe culture thrives in Bern, but as with most Swiss cities, eating and drinking can quickly break the bank. In summer, a dip in the River Aare is a popular pastime. Take stress off the schedule by using our Switzerland tour planner.
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Where to stay

In historic Bern, the bulk of the accommodation offerings are confined to the peninsula, where the Old Town or "Altstadt" is located. Staying here gives you the convenience of being within walking distance to everything--which will come in handy in this generally car-free area. Throughout the Old Town you'll find a number of mid-range three-star hotels complete with their original 19th-century characteristics. A couple hostels and pensions round out the options here, though these tend to be a bit more expensive than one might expect. Outside of the Old Town, there are a few hotels with cheaper rates, though you compromise on convenience and atmosphere. The city also boasts a few stunning four- and five-star hotels, should your budget be forgiving.
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