Bern’s international airport Bern-Belp is rather small and is not too far from the main city. The airport serves direct flights from several European destinations such as Italy and Spain and other seasonal destinations as well. Once you reach the airport, you can use public transport to reach the city. You can use the airport bus to reach the Belp train station, and from there, you can take an S-Bahn to reach the main Bern station. There are taxis, buses and trains that take you to the city.
If you are travelling to Bern via Zurich or Geneva, then there are direct trains that connect you from the airports of either city. From Zurich Airport, it takes 75 minutes to reach Bern and from Geneva Airport, it takes around 2 hours to reach Bern.
The road network connecting Bern to many of Switzerland’s important cities such as Zurich and Geneva is excellent. The highways are well-developed, and the network is rather extensive with road links to several cities. The journey itself is quite magnificent and memorable. Do remember that if you’re arriving by car to Bern, it’s a good idea to leave it in one of the many multi-story garages and explore the city using public transport or by foot. The OId Town especially is car-free.
As with other Swiss cities, the train network in Bern is very efficient and fast. Bern is connected to cities like Geneva, Basel and Zurich by several trains on the Swiss Federal Railway station. There are also express trains that run every hour and take you to places such as Interlaken, Lucerne or Brig. Several European destinations are also covered by train from Bern. If you are planning to stay in Bern for a few days, then it’s a good idea to get the Swiss Travel Pass which has affordable tickets that can be used across various modes of transport.
Switzerland is known for its excellent public transport system, helping people travel to different parts of the city with ease. There are various ways in which the public transport system helps visitors and the Swiss Travel Pass is one of the most excellent investments one can make while travelling in Bern. It allows you to travel on buses, trains, trams and even the S-Bahn with ease. Here are some of the ways to get around the city.
Taxis are available in Bern, but they are expensive and since the public transport is so good, they are not used as often. There are taxi stands near the station and in the city. They can be hired by calling the taxi company number.
Bern has an excellent train network, the S-Bahn rail system which will take you to several places in far flung areas of the city including the suburbs as well as nearby cities. The S-Bahn can be accessed using the Bern Ticket.
There are several local tram services in Bern and to know their details and their schedules, do check the website. Once you activate the Bern Ticket using the Bern App on your phone, you can use it to travel to several places in Bern for free.
Bern has a wide bus network and the Bern Ticket is applicable even here. If you have a hotel reservation to stay in Bern, you can use it to even travel from the airport to the city for free and even get around locally without any further costs.
Bern has a huge number of e-bikes which can be taken for rent and there are at least 70 stations from where they can be picked up. Most of these can be used by installing an app on your smartphone. To use the e-bikes, you need to have a smartphone and a driving license, and you have to register for a subscription. The bikes come with a helmet and you have to wear it as it’s illegal to use bikes without helmets.
Bern is a small city and most of it is easily accessible by foot. Most of the places like shopping areas and restaurants can be reached by walking around. The Old Town is in fact best explored on foot as there’s so much to see and experience here. If you are planning to visit some distant places outside the city centre such as Guisanplatz, then don’t rely on your walking capabilities however, and opt for the tram.
While using a car in Bern is not a problem, do remember that there are hardly any free parking spaces and you will have to shell out quite a bit to use the parking spots near the city centre. This is why getting around in Bern by car is not recommended. If you have come to the city by car, it’s best to park the car in a ‘park and ride’ centre and use public transport to travel around the city.