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10 Beautiful Towns Near Bern, Switzerland

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Darla Uhl

Bern is a beautiful city with a lot of things to do.  There’s something for everyone in Bern, whether you like animals, history, art, or just relaxing in a beautiful setting. The Old Town of Bern was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 because of its well-preserved medieval buildings. Many of these old buildings date back to the 12th and 15th centuries.

Still, you might want to check out some other pretty towns in Switzerland too. Check out this list of beautiful towns around Bern that are easy to get to. A lot of them are only an hour or two away

Without further ado, here is a list of 10 beautiful towns near Bern.

1. Thun

Image by akiro from flickr

In only less than 20 to 30 minutes from Bern, Thun offers a romantic and breathtaking setting. With stunning scenery and castles surrounding it, this town lies on the banks of Lake Thun and is surrounded by stunning scenery.

Thun is a great day trip from Bern if you want a more relaxing experience, like strolling through the old town and going to the castle. Lake cruises are also great in the summer.  And you can walk along the lakeside anytime.

How do you get from Bern to Thun?  From Bern, take the direct train to Thun. The fastest train connection from Bern to Thun takes 19 minutes. Thun is accessible from Bern in 30 minutes by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Thun
* Thun Castle
* Thun’s Old Town
* Schadau Castle and Park
* Wocher Panorama
* Thun Art Museum
* Lake Thun

If you would like to read more about Thun, you can check out 10 Best Things To Do In Thun, Bernese Oberland.

2. La Neuveville

Image of La Neuveville by

There are still city walls and defense towers in the medieval town of La Neuveville. Originally a part of Napoleonic France, it’s now part of the French-speaking Bernese Jura. About 3,500 people live in La Neuveville, which was founded in 1312. 

Among La Neuveville’s highlights is its white church, or Blanche Église Réformée. There are Gothic frescoes and wooden ceilings in this church built back in 1345. Furthermore, a 14th-century tower lies at the end of the main street, Rue du Marché

La Neuveville also has other historic sites like Cour Gléresse (also known as Hof Ligerz), Fontaines Des Bannerets, Maison de Berne, and Maison des Dragons. Located at the Neuveville Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville), is the historical museum known as Musée d’Histoire La Neuveville.

How do you get from Bern to La Neuveville?  From Bern, take the train to Biel/Bienne. In Biel, take the connecting train to La Neuveville. The fastest train connection from Bern to Le Neuveville takes 51 minutes. Le Neuveville is accessible from Bern in 43 minutes by car.

Don’t Miss in La Neuveville
* Blanche Église Réformée – White Church
* Musée d’Histoire La Neuveville – Historical Museum of La Neuveville
* Cour Gléresse – Hof Ligerz Castle
* Fontaines Des Banneret – the fountain
* Maison de Berne and Maison des Dragons
* Tour Rouge

3. Estavayer-le-lac

Image of Château de Chenaux from wikimedia

Estavayer-le-Lac is a small, pretty Swiss town on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel in the canton Fribourg. The whole town of Estavayer-le-Lac is on Switzerland’s Inventory of World Heritage Sites. Estavayer-le-Lac has a rich history you can see the 12th-century Savoy castle, the Gothic abbey church, and the cobbled streets.

On top of the hills overlooking Lake Neuchâtel, the Château de Chenaux castle is a picturesque, medieval landmark. And it’s open to the public. Among the other places to visit in Estavayer-le-lac are the De Rivaz Chapel, Sacré-Coeur Chapel, the Collegiate church of Saint-Laurent, the fortifications, and more.

Visit this small but beautiful upcoming tourist spot near Bern; you’ll be glad you did.

How do you get from Bern to Estavayer-le-Lac?  From Bern, take the train to Fribourg/Freiburg. In Fribourg, take the connecting train to Estavayer-le-Lac. The fastest train connection from Bern to Estavayer-le-Lac takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. Estavayer-le-Lac is accessible from Bern in 43 minutes by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Estavayer-le-Lac
* Chenaux Castle (Château de Chenaux)
* De Rivaz Chapel
* Sacré-Cour Chapel
* Church of Saint-Laurent
* Convent of the Dominican
* Fortifications
* House de la Dîme
* Font Beach (Plage de Font)

4. Gruyères

Image of Gruyères by

Gruyères is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful towns, located in the canton of Fribourg. In addition to being known for cheese with the same name, it also has a castle and a well-preserved medieval center. I’d highly recommend the town as a day trip from Bern.

There’s Gruyères Castle, which is now also a museum.  You can also find the HR Giger Museum at St-Germain Castle. You should also check out the houses at Rue du Bourg 7, 39, and 47 and the barn at Grange du Laviau. Beyond the town, you can also drop by the Gruyères Cheese FactoryMoléson Mountain, or the reservoir Lake of Gruyère.

How do you get from Bern to Solothurn?  From Bern, take the train to Fribourg/Freiburg. In Fribourg, take the connecting bus to Bulle. In Bulle, take the next bus to Gruyères. The fastest connection from Bern to Gruyères takes 1 hour and 24 minutesGruyères is accessible from Bern in 49 minutes by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Gruyères
* Entire medieval town center of Gruyères 
* The town fortifications
Gruyères Castle
* Saint-Germain Castle 
* Gruyères Cheese Factory
* Lake of Gruyère

If you would like to learn more about Gruyères, check out our article Gruyères, Switzerland: A Romantic Little Town.

5. Solothurn

Image of St. Ursus Cathedral by

Solothurn is generally regarded as Switzerland’s most beautiful Baroque city. Solothurn is definitely worth the trip from Bern. Getting to Solothurn is easy, and it’s a pretty town. Combining French charm with German practicality, Solothurn is a fascinating small city. Aside from its impressive past, Solothurn offers a wide range of contemporary art and entertainment.  

The town of Solothurn is also the capital of Solothurn canton. The city is situated along the Aare River and at the southern end of the Jura mountain range. It lies between Biel/Bienne and Olten, while Bern is just 43 kilometers away.

You can walk through the old town and see historical monuments, patrician houses, and strong fortifications. There are lots of small shops and restaurants here. The city is home to several cultural events that transcend regional significance, including the Solothurn Film and Literature Days.  

How do you get from Bern to Solothurn?  From Bern, take the direct train to Solothurn. The fastest train connection from Bern to Solothurn takes 37 minutes. Solothurn is accessible from Bern in 37 minutes by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Solothurn
* St. Ursus Cathedral
* Solothurn’s Old Town
* St. Verena Gorge and Hermitage
* Jesuit Church of Solothurn
* Weissenstein mountain
* Museum of the Old Arsenal
* Solothurn’s Clock Tower

If you want to discover some of Solothurn’s best attractions, then be prepared for an adventure. You can read more in this article: Solothurn – 9 Best Things to Do in this Beautiful Baroque City.

6. Murten

Image of Murten by

Murten, also known as Morat, is located on the shores of Lake Murten. You can take a quick trip from Bern to this pretty little town in canton Fribourg. 

Among the Swiss heritage sites of national significance are Erli 2, Murten’s walls, the Grosshaus at Hauptgasse 43, the Rathaus or town council house, Löwenberg Castle, and the Old School House in Valvenach. There are also prehistoric pile-dwelling houses near Murten at Segelboothafen.

Murten is a pretty small town and you can wander around for an hour or two. You might enjoy a trip around the Three Lakes, sailing from Murten to Neuchâtel, then to Biel/Bienne, passing along the Canal de la Broye and the Canal de la Thielle. 

You don’t want to miss the Murten Light Festival if it’s on. It usually happens toward the end of January.

How do you get from Bern to Murten?  From Bern, take the regional train to Murten/Morat. The fastest train connection from Bern to Murten/Morat takes 35 minutes. Murten is accessible from Bern in 26 minutes by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Murten
* Farm House at Erli 2
* Murten’s City Walls
* Grosshaus at Hauptgasse 43
* Town council house
* Löwenberg Castle
* Boat trip around the Three Lakes region

If you would like to learn more about Murten, then check out our article Visiting Murten, Switzerland? Here’s What You Need To Know.

7. Romont

Image of Romont from wikimedia

This hilltop town of Romont, first mentioned in 1177 as Rotundo Monte, has a lot of historic sites.  It is located in the canton of Fribourg. Bern is just a 40-minute train ride away from Romont.

The town itself is also included in the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites. It’s also in this area that you’ll find Romont Castle, which Peter II of Savoy probably used during the 13th century. The castle itself also has an elegant courtyard.

On the grounds of Romont Castle is the Stained Glass Museum of Switzerland, which has medieval glass paintings and reverse glass paintings. In fact, Romont has the world’s biggest collection of reverse glass paintings.  

Besides the fortifications, there’s a collegiate church.

How do you get from Bern to Romont FR?  From Bern, take the direct train to Romont FR. The fastest train connection from Bern to Romont FR takes 39 minutes. Romont is accessible from Bern in 47 minutes by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Romont
* Abbaye de la Fille-Dieu – Cistercian Monastery
* Romont Castle
* Swiss Stained Glass Museum – in Romont Castle
* Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption
* Town fortifications

If you would like to learn more about some of Switzerland’s best medieval places like Romont, check out our article 11 Beautiful Medieval Towns in Switzerland.

8. Saint-Ursanne

Image by Susanne Stöckli from Pixabay

Near the Doubs river lies Saint-Ursanne, a picturesque medieval town nestled between Porrentruy and Delémont. St. Ursanne was named after Saint Ursicinus, an Irish monk who lived in the 7th century. It takes about an hour to reach Saint-Ursanne from Bern.

Saint-Ursanne is located in the Jura canton, bordering France. You can step back in time as you explore this medieval little town with its cobblestone streets and charming houses. For example, there’s a beautiful bridge that leads to this historic old town.

The little town of fewer than 1,000 people has many historic buildings. Saint-Ursanne is also home to an abbey church, a church of the collegiate order, and a hermitage. 

How do you get from Bern to Saint-Ursanne?  From Bern, take the train to Biel/Bienne. In Biel, take the connecting regional train to Saint-Ursanne. The train connection from Bern to Saint-Ursanne typically takes 1 hour and 25 minutes. Saint-Ursanne is accessible from Bern in 1 hour and 18 minutes by car.

Don’t Miss in Saint-Ursanne
* Cloître de St-Ursanne – Romanesque Abbey Church
* Collégiale catholique romaine Saint-Ursanne – Collegiate Church
* Pont St-Jean Bridge
* L’ermitage

9. Lutry

Image of the Lavaux Wine Region SofieLayla Thal from Pixabay

Lutry is between Lake Geneva and the Jorat region and quite close to visit from LausanneLutry is in the district of Lavaux-Oron in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. Besides producing wine, the town also has beautiful architecture and historical sites.

Swiss heritage sites of national significance include Lutry Castle or Rôdeurs Castle, the Roman Catholic Church of Saint-Martin, the Swiss Reformed Church of Saint-Martin, and a Gothic facade house. This whole region is famous for being part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces. 

How do you get from Bern to Lutry?  From Bern, take the train to Lausanne. In Lausanne, take the connecting train to Lutry. The fastest train connection from Bern to Lutry takes 1 hour and 31 minutes. Lutry is accessible from Bern in 1 hour and 5 minutes by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Lutry
* Lavaux Vineyard Terraces – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
* Lutry Castle
* Catholic Church of Saint-Martin
* Reformed Church of Saint-Martin
* Gothic Facade House
* Entire Town of Lutry

If you would like to read more about the different wine regions in Switzerland, check out our article 7 Best Idyllic Swiss Wine Regions Explained.

10. Brig

Image of Stockalper Palace by

Brig is a historic town in Upper ValaisStockalper Palace, the most prominent building in this alpine town, dates back to 1658-1678. It was built by Kaspar Stockalper, a Brig silk merchant.  

Besides Stockalper PalaceGamsenmauer and the Church of Mariä Himmelfahrt with ossuary are historical sites. A stroll through the old town of Brig will bring you to stately houses, cozy hotels, and shopping spots. 20 kilometers away lies the Simplon Pass, one of the most beautiful alpine passes in Switzerland. Brig is also on the route of the Glacier Express that goes from Zermatt to St. Moritz.

How do you get from Bern to Brig?  From Bern, take the direct train to Brig. The fastest train connection from Bern to Brig takes 1 hour and 4 minutes. Brig is accessible from Bern in 2 hours and 12 minutes by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Brig
* Stockalper Palace
* Brig’s Old Town
* Gamsenmauer
* Church of Mariä Himmelfahrt
* Simplon Pass

If you would like to read more about Brig, check out our article Brig, Switzerland: Where It Is and What You Need to Know.

Final Thoughts: 10 Best Towns Near Bern, Switzerland

One of the best things about Bern is that it’s right in the heart of Switzerland. From Bern, you can get to most parts of Switzerland in one to two hours by train. We have covered some of the best towns to see near Bern, Switzerland. The list above is by no means exhaustive.

The list above includes some beautiful towns that you can visit from Bern. Here’s hoping you find one, two, or more that you’ll like. We have covered some of the best towns to see near Bern, Switzerland. The list above is by no means exhaustive. If you would like to visit a city near Bern instead of a town, you can visit either Burgdorf or Lucerne.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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