Switzerland’s capital city, Bern, is located on the Aare River in the northeastern part of the country. The city’s history dates back to the 12th century. Much of Bern’s original medieval architecture can still be seen in its Old Town, which is a popular area for tourists who fly to Bern. Today, the city is home to about 134,000 people. Bern’s suburbs and outlying metro area have a population of about 680,000 people.
Bern is home to a small municipal airport, the Regional Aerodrome Bern Belp (BRN), also called Bern Airport, but most international flights to Bern, Switzerland, arrive at one of three larger international airports within driving distance of the city: Zurich International Airport (ZRH); Geneva International Airport (GVA); or the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (MLH; BSL; EAP), which is located in France, just over the Swiss border.
Travelers who fly to Bern will find that the city is home to an efficient and extensive public transportation network, including busses, tram lines, and trolleybuses, which make renting a car unnecessary while exploring the city. Those who prefer to travel on their own power will find that Bern is an easy city to walk around. Bern is also bike-friendly. Widespread bicycle paths and an extensive public bike-sharing program make getting around the city by bike simple and safe.
Bern’s medieval Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists who book flights to Bern will want to visit the Old Town’s main sites, which include a medieval clock tower with moving figures called the Zytglogge. Built in the 13th century, the Zytglogge was used as a watch tower and a prison in addition to being the city’s main clock. The Old Town is also home to the Bern Minster, a Gothic cathedral built in the 15th century. At 330 feet tall the Bern Minster is the tallest cathedral in Switzerland.
In addition to historic buildings, the Old Town is also home to an extensive shopping plaza, cafes, restaurants, and several public fountains. Many tourists who book cheap flights to Bern love to explore its winding retail and restaurant spaces.
Bern was also once the home of scientist and theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. Along with his wife and son, Einstein lived in the city from 1903 to 1905, during the time he developed his famous Theory of Relativity. The house where he lived is now open to the public as a museum, Einsteinhaus, which is located in the Old Town.
Many of the people who do book flights to Bern Airport work for the Swiss government. Because it is the country’s capital city, Bern is home to the Swiss Parliament which is housed in the Federal Palace. Built in the mid-19th century, the Federal Palace is located on the outskirts of the Old Town and is one of the city’s most recognizable buildings.
Visitors also fly to Bern to attend its festivals and events, many of which take place during the summer months. The city hosts several music festivals, which include the International Jazz Festival Bern; the Buskers Street Music Festival; the Gurten Festival, and the BeJazz Summer and Winter Festival. Two film festivals are also held in Bern each fall: the Shnit International Short Film Festival in October, and Queersicht, an LGBTQ film festival, in November.
In addition to Albert Einstein, notable people who lived in or are from Bern include mountaineer Jurg Marmet, a member of the first Swiss team to summit Mount Everest in 1956; classical music composer Klaus Huber; and Rodolphe Lindt, chocolatier and co-founder of the Lindt & Sprungli Confectionary Co.