Bern, Switzerland and its Old Town

Quick, what's the capital of Switzerland? No, not Zurich, not Geneva, nor even Lucerne, Lausanne or Basel. In fact, most of the Federal government is based in the low-key, German-speaking city of Bern (the country's fourth largest, with a population around merely 134,00) on a mostly hilly plateau in east-central Switzerland between the Alps and the Jura Mountains. Founded in 1191 on a peninsula mostly surrounded by the swift, remarkably clean Aare River, it's a pleasant, charming city - so charming, in fact, that its Altstadt (Old Town), rebuilt in 1405 in greenish grey sandstone after a fire, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And as an easy drive or train ride from Iberia gateways Zurich and Geneva (an hour to 90 minutes, depending), it's definitely worth a day trip, and I'd say even an overnight or two.

Read more in my post Feeling the Bern in Switzerland.



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