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The Bucket List for Art and Design

Published: 10.05.2024

Bern’s art and design universe is near endless. We’re shedding some light on everything that’s going on with our carefully curated recommendations for special exhibitions, vernissages, free street art, fashion design and creative workshops.

Museum Franz Gertsch

Internationally renowned artist Franz Gertsch has his own collection in the museum in Burgdorf in the Emmental that was named after him – surely a unique occurrence for any known artist. The collection comprises Gertsch’s works from 1984 to 2022, most of which belong to the collection of the Willy Michel Foundation. In collaboration with Franz Gertsch, Willy Michel played a leading role in the conception of the museum in Burgdorf. In addition to Gertsch’s mostly large-scale paintings, portraits and woodcuts, temporary exhibitions of contemporary art from Switzerland and abroad are on display, with a focus on figurative, contemporary art. By the way: architect lovers will also get their money’s worth. This unique museum building was designed by Swiss architects Jörg & Sturm.

Art on a larger scale

Kunstmuseum Bern

Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Ferdinand Hodler and Meret Oppenheim are important names in art history, and all of them are represented in the Kunstmuseum Bern. The internationally renowned museum is also the oldest art museum in Switzerland and showcases a growing collection of over 4,000 paintings and sculptures and around 50,000 drawings, photographs, prints, videos and films. A visit to the museum is a must for every art lover – to see some of the classic works of art or to visit one of the various special exhibitions. The latter focus on contemporary art and important works from the Swiss and Bernese art scene.

A piece of (art) history

Kunsthalle Bern

Covering the Kunsthalle meant uncovering all of its gems: when the museum became the first building to be wrapped by artist duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1968, it definitely rose to international fame. The project marked the great turning point of contemporary art in Bern, and the museum still sees itself as a dynamic place that reinvents itself with every exhibition. Through its work, it also strengthens the collaboration with local institutions such as the Bern University of the Arts. The Kunsthalle offers a wide variety of artists a space to present their works. Information on current exhibitions is available on its website.

To contemporary central


Precise interplay of volume, cuts and materials are characteristic of Bernese fashion label Viento’s signature look. Anja Boije and Andrea Hostettler have been designing women’s wear in Bern since 1986, always with a special flair for proportions. Classic denim, Scottish tartan, elegant prints – the creations celebrate everyday life as well as special occasions. The durable, timeless collections are manufactured in Eastern Switzerland and the canton of Ticino. They can be purchased from Wednesday afternoon to Saturday afternoon or by prior arrangement exclusively at Viento at 24 Nydeggstalden in Bern’s UNESCO-listed Old City. Our recommendation: stop by one of the charming cafés or restaurants on your way there and enjoy some Bernese joie de vivre.

To your new favourite garment (information in german only)

If you’re on a budget, check out the many second-hand stores and thrift your new favourite outfit.

Galerie da Mihi

For over 50 years, the Galerie da Mihi – a former art cellar – has been one of the largest galleries in Bern. The ancient vaulted cellar provides an impressive backdrop for contemporary art. But this is not merely a “simple” gallery: the owners Barbara Marbot and Hans Ryser have created a meeting place for art professionals as well as interested parties and amateurs. In addition to the permanent exhibition, you can also regularly visit a variety of special exhibitions. They always focus on contemporary art, a passion project for Marbot and Ryser. The two owners are also committed to promoting regional artists without putting much importance on commercial success. Admission to the gallery is free of charge.

Get artistic in a cellar

Art and design don’t have to be expensive! Galleries can oftentimes be visited for free. Or, if you pre-fer the outdoors, you can go for a graffiti or art walk.

For Companies: Team Building at Creaviva

Bringing each individual’s vision into a collaborative process and ultimately achieving the defined goal: the team workshops at Creaviva promote cooperation while creating of a work of art under the expert guidance of experienced artists. Let go of familiar structures and focus on new shapes, movement, compromise, respect, mutual trust and appreciation. With brushstrokes and colour gradients, straight lines and angular shapes, the team members get on the same track, getting to know each other anew in a creative way. You will be amazed by how much participants can learn from each other and how naturally they engage with each other.

Let your creativity soar

Restaurant Recommendation: Restaurant Schöngrün

This restaurant is “schön grün” (wonderfully green) inside and out! The light-flooded orangery of a very well-preserved villa – complete with a view of the organic, curved silhouette of the Zentrum Paul Klee – will have you feel like you’re dining in the jungle. Tables and chairs from the “Brocki” (thrift shop) and lots of plants add extra charm. And from the marinated salmon trout from Rubigen to the quinoa and chickpea falafel with vegan aquafaba mayo to the creamy dark chocolate mousse: manager Nina Christen and chef Julia Schmid make sure the ingredients that are used are seasonal and regionally produced.

To the oasis

Hotel Recommendation: Moxy Bern Expo, Marriott

Are you young or young at heart? The Moxy Hotel in Wankdorf, Bern’s up-and-coming, vibrant business district only 9 minutes from the main station, offers smart, hip, loft-style rooms. Did somebody say large, walk-in showers? And you won’t find another average hotel lobby here – check-in is at the bar, cocktail in hand. It is also the perfect place to meet people and hang out in good company. If you prefer connecting with others online, you can profit from the free WiFi in the entire building. In the hotel’s vicinity, you’ll find the Wankdorf soccer stadium, a variety of shops, practical conference rooms, and trendy restaurants.

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