In Bern, rain doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an activity. You may think there are not many things to do in Bern if it rains since Switzerland is best enjoyed outdoors. However, if you wear the right rain gear, you can still experience the outdoors here. Although going up to the mountains might not be the best idea while it is raining, staying in the city, visiting major museums, and strolling around the city will work.
On the other hand, sometimes you just want to choose an activity that is indoors so you don’t have to deal with torrential rain, lightning, or thunder. It doesn’t matter if you are here alone or with family, you can enjoy different activities in Bern while it’s raining. In this post, I will tell you about some rainy day activities in Bern.
On a rainy day, here are seven things to do in Bern.
1. OldTown of Bern
Across the Aare River from the Old Town, this is the perfect spot for a day in Bern – The Old Town. This place has cobblestone streets and arched sandstone buildings, which might come in handy if it rains. Here are some covered arcades where you can browse the shops in Bern.
Due to its number of well-preserved buildings from the medieval era, the Old Town of Bern was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. There are several historic buildings here from the 12th to 15th centuries.
One of Switzerland’s most recognizable landmarks is the Zytglogge, a 13th-century clock tower located in the heart of Bern’s Old Town. The clock is one of the best-known symbols of Bern. It dates from 1218 to 1220 and measures the solar time in Bern. This prominent medieval clock tower is right at the entrance to the old town.
When you’re in Bern, you have to check out the UNESCO-listed Old Town and the Zytglogge even when the weather isn’t perfect.
2. Bern Historical Museum
Go on an educational tour at the Bern Historical Museum and enjoy one of the best things to do in Bern even when it’s raining.
Bern Historical Museum is Switzerland’s second-largest historical museum. There are more than half a million objects from different cultures in the Bern Historical Museum.
Some of its collections even date back to the Stone Age. Many exhibits in the museum include Bern and its history, art and silver, and even Asian history (India, Tibet, China, Japan).
After two years of construction, the building was opened in 1894 on Helvetiaplatz. Architect André Lambert designed the castle museum, which is inspired by various historical castles. Kubus, a more modern-looking building, was added after 80 years.
Also at the Bern Historical Museum is the Einstein Museum, where you can learn more about Einstein, his life, and what he’s done for science. Albert Einstein, one of the world’s greatest physicists, lived in Bern during the time when his theory of relativity changed everything.
The Bern Historical Museum has approximately 1,000m2 of exhibition space dedicated to both his life and work, as well as the era when he lived.
If you would like to read more about the Historical Museum, you can check out our article Bern Historical Museum: What to Expect.
3. Natural History Museum of Bern
Kids will love the Natural History Museum of Bern (Naturhistorisches Museum Bern in German), a local museum of natural history.
The Natural History Museum in Bern has a lot of animals from different regions, fossils, minerals, and rocks. There’s a new permanent exhibit that features a cabinet of curiosities (Wunderkammer) that has 19,000 objects showing fish, toads, iguanas, insects, spiders, snails, and more. Those animals are on display and archived.
Bern’s Natural History Museum is open every day except holidays. It’s only open in the afternoons on Mondays.
4. Museum of Communication
The Museum of Communication (Museum für Kommunikation in German) of Bern is a fun museum with lots of activities for both children and adults. Over several floors, you’ll learn about the history of communication and the various technologies used.
Every aspect of communication is covered, including facial expressions, gestures, letters, symbols, telegrams, and body language. Tech-wise, the museum also has exhibits about telegrams, television, the internet, and smartphones.
Exhibits are in English, German, and French. A cafe and gift shop are right by the entrance.
The Museum of Communication is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
If you would like to read more about the Museum of Communication, you can check out our article here: The Fascinating Museum of Communication in Bern, Switzerland.
5. Fusion Arena Virtual Reality Center Bern
At Bern’s Wankdorf Center there’s Fusion Arena, a virtual reality center with adventures and riddles. The best way to enjoy Fusion Arena is with a bunch of friends.
You can choose between an adventure experience or a shooting experience at the Fusion Arena Virtual Reality Center. This is the place where you can escape into virtual reality if you are interested in it. With 4D effects and tracking of your entire body, you can experience virtual reality.
Whenever it rains, you can visit Bernaqua at Westside Shopping Center.
Bernaqua has swimming pools and water slides. Everyone can have fun here. For those who want to relax, they also have spa and wellness facilities.
There’s something for everyone at Bernaqua, whether you like adventure or relaxation.
Bernaqua is open daily from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
7. Zentrum Paul Klee Bern
Zentrum Paul Klee (or Paul Klee Center in English) is an exhibition center and contemporary art museum in Bern dedicated to the Swiss artist from whom it gets its name. The building itself was designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano, who also designed the Pompidou Center in Paris and the Whitney Museum in New York. This museum also has temporary exhibition halls, a large auditorium, a library, a café, a museum shop, special events, and a special Creaviva space for kids.
Paul Klee grew up in Bern, but like many German-speaking artists of the early 20th century, he went to Munich to study art. Zentrum Paul Klee sits near Klee’s grave, a clear nod to the artist. The Paul Klee Center usually hosts two exhibitions a year, with works on specific topics. Klee’s work is constantly changing, from 120 to 150 pieces, with different themes every time. Paul Klee was more than just an artist; he wanted to create an experience that would delight his audience.
Zentrum Paul Klee is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. They are also closed on Christmas Day (December 25) and Swiss National Day (August 1).
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. 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.