Get your bearings
Head straight to the old town, which is a short walk from the station. It’s built on a bend in the river Aare, with the 13th-century Zytglogge clock tower the centre point on Kramgasse, the main thoroughfare. Don’t miss the show on the hour every hour when the clock – complete with dancing bears – comes to life.
Cross the Nydeggbrücke bridge at the bottom of Kramgasse and climb to the top of the Rosengarten park for views of the old town. The Restaurant Rosengarten (Alter Aargauerstalden 31b, 3006 Berne) has a great terrace – so get a drink, kick back and soak it all in.
Paul Klee grew up in Berne and the city boasts a museum, the Zentrum Paul Klee (Monument im Fruchtland 3, 3000 Berne), dedicated to the artist. The spectacular Renzo Piano building in which the museum is housed is worth a visit in its own right.
Willkommen im land der Röschti
For old-school Swiss dishes, head for the Restaurant Anker (Kornhausplatz 16, 3011 Berne), even if locals tell you it’s just for the tourists. It’s got all the classics, not least rösti (fried potatoes) – preferably with cheese, ham and a fried egg on top.
GOAL – Die Berner Fussball Bar
Many of the cellars in the old town have been converted into bars and restaurants, and Die Berner Fussball Bar (Junkerngasse 1, 3011 Berne) is a classic example. A great place for a game of pool, to watch a game and talk football with the locals.