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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Switzerland > Bern

Bern Weather

16°C

Local time Bern

Currency

SFr

Travel to Bern

Flying to Bern

SkyWork offers direct flights to Bern from the UK. Alternatively, there are indirect flights via Munich. If flying from the USA, the best options are to connect via Berlin or Amsterdam.

Flight times

From London - 1 hour 40 minutes; New York - 12 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 23 hours (including stopovers); Toronto - 13 hours (including stopovers); Sydney - 25 hours (including stopovers).

Travel by road

With its central location in Switzerland, Bern is easily accessible by car. If you drive into Bern, make sure you have a valid vignette (toll sticker) if you drive on the Autobahn. The vignette is valid for the calendar year indicated on the sticker. If you do not buy one and are caught without one, expect to pay a fine plus the cost of a vignette. You can order one online before you travel (rail.myswitzerland.com/vignette.html).

Traffic drives on the right in Switzerland and the minimum driving age is 18. Visitors can drive in Switzerland using a national or international driving licence for up to a year.

The maximum speed limits are 120kph (75mph) on motorways, 100kph (62mph) on dual carriageways, 80kph (50mph) on main roads, and 50kph (31mph) in towns. There are two motoring associations in Switzerland. These are Touring Club Suisse (TCS) (tel: +41 844 888 111; www.tcs.ch) and Automobil Club der Schweiz (ACS) (tel: +41 31 328 3111; www.acs.ch).

A Green Card is not compulsory, but check with your provider that your insurance covers you for travel within Switzerland.

Emergency breakdown services

TCS (tel: 0800 140 140, in Switzerland only) or ACS (tel: +41 44 628 8899).

Routes

The city is directly connected to the national motorway network as well as to the European E4 highway. The A12 leads to Lausanne, and the A1 runs via Bern between Geneva in the southwest and Zurich in the northeast. From Bern, access to southern Switzerland and Italy is via the Lötschberg Tunnel/Simplon Pass or the St Bernard road tunnel.

Coaches

Eurolines (tel: +41 844 257 244; eurolines.ch/fr/) and Flixbus (www.flixbus.de) run coach services to Bern, connecting the city with destinations across Europe.

Time to city

From Interlaken - 45 minutes; Lausanne - 1 hour 10 minutes; Basel - 1 hour; Strasbourg - 2 hours 20 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

Hauptbahnhof Bern, the city's main railway station, is located at the heart of the city. Switzerland has the densest railway network in the world, and since the Swiss use their railways a great deal, the standard of services is excellent. Bern is well connected to the national and the international railway network.

Operators

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) (tel: +41 900 300 300; www.sbb.ch) is the national rail provider. 

If travelling from the UK, you can take the Eurostar from London to Paris, a French TGV train from Paris via Basel to Bern (travel time from Paris to Bern: 4 hs 24 minutes).

Journey times

From Basel - 1 hour; Lausanne - 1 hour 6 minutes; Zurich - 1 hour.