The weather may be cooling down, but summer is not over yet. This is the kind of optimism we live with here in Switzerland...
And so we took a walk down the cobblestone allies, paths and streets here in Bern to suggest six unmissable summer hot spots with a view. Here are the ultimate places to hang out, have an Aperol Spritz or a good ol' Rivella soda!
Why we recommend it: Originally, the Kleine Schanze served as a fortification, built in 1625. Today, it is a centrally located oasis, perfect to soak in some sun on one of the lawnchairs. This green island has the very charming Park Café where you can feast on pasta, tapas, antipasti and salads.
What's more, you have one of the best views of the Federal Palace of Switzerland, the Bundeshaus. And on a clear day, the panoramic vistas of the Alps in the distance, the Gurten hill and the old town are guaranteed to take your breath away.
How to get there: From the Bern main station, walk toward the Taubenstrasse in the direction of the Bundeshaus. (map)
Cafés and Restaurants along the Bärenplatz and the Waisenhausplatz
Why we recommend it: As for the Bärenplatz plaza, there are plenty of cafés and restaurants with a variety of cuisine to choose from. When you sit there, try not to think of the history dating back to this place: It used to be a moat of Bern's city wall which was turned into the original bear pit.
Back in the day, it was a market for cattle and wood. But today, there is a colorful farmers' market with fruits, vegetables and fresh flowers every Tuesday and Saturday.
The cafés and restaurants along the Waisenhausplatz present themselves to sit out. While sipping on a latte macchiato, enjoy the beautiful view of both the Käfigturm and the Bundeshaus.
How to get there: This area is just a four minute walk from the main station in the direction of the Käfigturm. If you wish to get there much faster, hop on tram #8 and get off at the very first stop. (map)
Why we recommend it: It is not exactly a place for a great gourmet experience, as there is just one lone little restaurant perched in a corner. But the stunning view of the Matte neighborhood below as well as the relaxing atmosphere are why a visit to Münsterplattform should be on any visitor's plan. If you are a bookworm, bring a new book and I promise that you will be bound to feel an inch closer to heaven.
How to get there: You can either walk directly from the Bern main station or take tram #7 to the Zytglogge. From there, it is a just a six minute walk. Bonus: Once there, take the Mattelift elevator to explore the charming Matte neighborhood by foot. (map)
Why we recommend it: If not on top of the world, you will surely feel on top of Bern here. The Rosengarten is an idyllic park set atop a hill across the old town. Among the rose beds, green lawns and benches, it pays to find a quiet corner and muse over anything you wish.
For children, the short climb up to Rosengarten has just gotten more exciting: The playground is all new and bigger than before. At Restaurant Rosengarten, reserve a table outdoors for a delicious lunch or simply pay for a drink. Either way, you will get a priceless view of Bern’s old town, a UNESCO World Cultural Site.
How to get there: Hop on bus #10 towards Ostermundigen and get off at Rosengarten. Alternatively, walking there is even better... (map)
Why we recommend it: Restaurant Terrace, Ristorante Casa, Fondue Hut and Event Lounge are part of Schwellenmätteli Restaurants. We have become all-time fans of this place by the crystal clear Aare river because it combines elements of wood and water. Being part of the riviera, Schwellenmätteli has a kind of view like none other in Bern.
How to get there: Take bus #30 from the Bern main station towards Marzilistrasse – just a nine minute ride. (map)
Why we recommend it: As the name implies, Altes Tramdepot is a former depot turned super-popular restaurant. It is the address for the cool, offering not just delicious foods and home-brewed beer, but also stunning views of the old town and the Aare river.
Sit outside on the patio with a friend, a camera, a book (or all three of them!) and you will have tasted the chilled out lifestyle of the Bernese.
How to get there: Hop on bus #12 from the main station heading towards Zentrum Paul Klee. Get off at Bern Bärengraben and walk a few steps towards the Grosser Muristalden.