Planning Your Time

The Bernese do not scurry around their city, and neither should you—its considerable charms are best discovered at a slow, steady pace with a plan to get from A to B but no fixed idea how. The most efficient, flexible, cheap, and enjoyable way to navigate Bern's cobblestones is on foot. The city is easy to navigate: count on 15 minutes to walk at a steady clip from the Hauptbahnhof to the Bärenpark; about 5 to take the bus.

It is technically possible to see the major sights in a day, but you'd miss watching the sun set over medieval rooftops, you wouldn't be able to linger in restaurants—and this is a city that comes out at night. Do pace yourself as you wander the streets, do take the time to get the most out of your museum admission fees, and do get a running start on the narrow curved steps up the Münster steeple. Indulge any urges to explore Marzili or Matte, to pursue your curiosity at the markets, to take a sudden chocolate break, to watch the bears, or to admire the fountains—although it is indeed strange to find the latter sitting in the middle of main-street traffic.

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