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The picture shows the impressive exterior view of the Paul Klee Centre in Bern, a masterpiece of modern architecture. The building is characterised by its undulating forms, which blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.

The Bucket List for Architecture

Published: 17.05.2024

The word “architecture” comes from the ancient Greek “ἀρχιτεκτονία” (architektonía), meaning “the art of building”, and refers to man’s aesthetic engagement with built space. We’ll show you the architectural gems in the city and region of Bern.

Guided City Tour – UNESCO Stroll

Albert Einstein, Anna Seiler or Friedrich Dürrenmatt: they all strolled through Bern’s Old City underneath the famous six-kilometer arcades, which allow you to walk from the main station all the way to the Nydeggbrücke Bridge and still be protected from the weather almost all the way. This also means there are much better chances of having a good hair day – not thanks to any product, but rather to clever medieval architects. Whether it’s distinguished luminaries, visitors from all over the world, or locals – Bern’s UNESCO-listed Old City captivates anyone who sees it. If you want to get to know its history and admire its most remarkable monuments, this guided city tour is perfect for you.

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Anyone interested in architecture should make the time to pay a visit to the Westside shopping and experience centre, the first shopping centre designed by world-famous architect Daniel Liebeskind. His vision was to create an urban marketplace, a space to live in. the mixed-use concept completely redefined shopping, entertainment and living. Clad in robinia wood, the complex connects with the landscape which opens to the west. Located above the A1 highway and on the regional train line and the BERNMOBIL public transport network, the Westside is a meeting point for the entire greater Bern area and a structurally striking gateway to the city.

Discover experiences

House of Religions

At the House of Religions on Europaplatz square, visitors can enjoy a meal at the Ayurvedic restaurant, listen to audio plays by teenagers explaining the bar mitzvah, or learn more about the Sikh people from display cases. It is not primarily the building stretching along the railroad line that fascinates, but the diversity of what’s inside: the dergâh, the church, the mosque, the temple and the Buddhist centre are connected by an open, neutral dialogue area – all eight world religions are brought together under one roof. The design of the church space, which brings the late Gothic sling ribbed vault (a Christian ornament) into modern times, was recognized by the Artheon art award. The other spaces are impressive, too, for example the dergâh with its nature-oriented design and clay plastering.

Discover the unique

Zentrum Paul Klee

The beautiful area near the Villa Schöngrün and the Schlosshaldenfriedhof cemetery, where artist Paul Klee is buried, was predestined for this museum. The building was designed by Renzo Piano, Italian star architect and industrial designer. He began the project by studying the scenery: “There was also a hill, not a very high one, but a hill.” As soon as it became obvious that the focus was on the entirety of the location, it became more than a building. And it was clear to Piano that the artist had “a too broad, too large breath” for him to be exhibited in a small space. Now, the wave-like architectural masterpiece houses the extensive collection of the Paul Klee Foundation.

In and with nature

Space Eye in the Gantrisch Nature Park

Travelling to the moon, marvelling at distant galaxies, and seeing the constellations up close – isn’t that a dream that almost all of us secretly have? The Space Eye makes it possible! Take a live look into the great unknown that is outer space. Peek into space through Switzerland’s largest public telescope at the 8K high-end planetarium in the beautiful setting of the Gantrisch Nature Park. You have the opportunity to stargaze both from from the new observatory designed by Swiss star architect Mario Botta. Astronomy, space exploration and sustainability are focus topics at the modern observatory. They are explained to space enthusiasts of all ages in the interactive exhibition, during guided stargazing, and on a discovery trail that also combines technology and nature.

Journey to the stars

Restaurant Recommendation: Kornhauskeller Restaurant and Bar

The Kornhauskeller at 18 Kornhausplatz is Bern’s most magnificent vaulted cellar and, according to TripAdvisor, “one of the most beautiful bars in the world”. The sheer dimensions of the location alone are impressive, and the central nave and the two side aisles are reminiscent of church architecture and give the Kornhauskeller a sense of sacral grace. Whether you’re going for a single malt whiskey in the Kornhauskeller’s bar (it has 80 different varieties!) or an elegant dinner at the restaurant – an evening in the picturesque Kornhauskeller definitely deserves a spot on the bucket list of any architecture enthusiast.

Grandeur for gourmets

Hotel Recommendation: Goldener Schlüssel

The Goldener Schlüssel is not just any hotel, but the oldest in all of Bern – that alone makes it well worth a visit. It is located on Rathausgasse, a bustling alley with restaurants, bars, and shops. The characteristic sandstone building embodies the charm of the medieval architecture of Bern’s UNESCO-listed Old City. The Goldener Schlüssel also wins guests over with its hearty, traditional Swiss cuisine. All of the dishes, which include the Schlüssel’s traditional Cordon bleu, are prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

To the Goldener Schlüssel