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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Switzerland > Bern

Bern Weather

13°C

Local time Bern

Currency

SFr

Travel to Bern

Flying to Bern

There are no direct flights to Bern from the UK or the USA. Swiss Air Lines, easyJet and British Airways offer direct flights to Zurich from the UK. Direct flights to Zurich or Geneva are available from the USA with Swiss Airlines.

Flight times

To Zurich Airport from London - 1 hour 30 minutes; New York - 7 hours 35 minutes; Los Angeles - 10 hours 55 minutes; Toronto - 7 hours 25 minutes; Sydney - 22 hours 10 minutes (including stopovers). E.g. https://www.skyscanner.net/routes/nyca/zrh/new-york-to-zurich.html

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. (https://switzerlandtravelcentre.co.uk/excursion/motorway-vignette-switzerland/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoteGsJix4QIVQuJ3Ch0QkwmXEAAYASAAEgKiK_D_BwE).
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 highways, 100kph (62mph) on expressways, 80kph (50mph) on roads outside built-up areas, and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas. 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 44 283 3377).

Routes

The city is directly connected to the national motorway network. 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: +41 844 257 224;eurolines.ch/en/) and Flixbus (www.flixbus.co.uk ) run coach services to Bern, connecting the city with destinations across Europe.

Time to city

From Interlaken - 40 minutes; Lausanne - 1 hour 15 minutes; Basel - 1 hour 10 minutes; 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. Bern is well-connected to the national and the international railway network.

Operators

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) (tel: +41 848 446 688; www.sbb.ch/en) 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 hours).

Journey times

To Bern from Basel – 55 minutes; Lausanne - 1 hour 10 minutes; Zurich - 1 hour 10 minutes; Geneva – 1 hour 45 minutes.

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Featured Hotels

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Nydeck

This friendly 2-star bed and breakfast hotel boasts a central yet quiet location at the heart of old Bern, near the BearPark, the river and the clock tower. The 12 simple rooms are basic but comfortable. There is also a popular café bar and summer pavement terrace.

Hotel National Bern

Hotel National Bern is a family-run hotel built in 1908 and continues to offer bags of character, from its exposed room beams to its original fin-de-siècle lift. The location’s good too, with the central train station just five minutes away. There’s a free welcome drink and 10% discount voucher for the restaurant for all weekday guests.

Hotel Continental

The Continental is an Oslo institution that has been run by the same family for four generations and is more than a century old. Situated in the heart of Oslo, next to the National Theatre, the hotel is known both for outstanding service and restaurants as well as its links with the Oslo arts scene.

Unique Hotel Innere Enge Bern

Located in a park overlooking central Bern, this luxury hotel oozes personality and style. Home to one of the country's best jazz clubs, Marians Jazzroom, it also has two excellent restaurants. All 26 rooms are individually decorated (some with a jazz theme) and each has Wi-Fi access. The hotel also has conference rooms.

Hotel Schweizerhof

Boasting more than 150 years of history – not to mention a guest book that features the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly – the high-end Hotel Schweizerhof remains one of Bern's go-to luxury properties. It benefited from a two-year renovation in 2009. As well as some great restaurants and bars, it also has a spa, cigar lounge and conference rooms.

Best Western Hotelbern

A solid bet for a mid-range stay, with an Old Town location five minutes' walk from the train station. Its impressive art nouveau exterior hides a more modern interior, and there's a good restaurant on site – the Volkshaus 1914. The property sits adjacent to the medieval Zytglogge Tower.