There is a nice and quiet area right under the Bundeshaus and next to the river Aare and when going down there you get the feeling to be in a small village in the countryside: lovely, small halftimbered houses with small gardens around of them and almost no fluent cartrafic, although this is really in the very centre of town.
Walk down the steep path from Bundesterrasse to get there and for the way back you can also take the funicular Marzilibahn (my last picture).
Have a walk along the Aare
A very relaxing place for a nice walk. If you want you can walk right up to Thun (wich will take you about 6 hours).
In summer Bernese people walk up along the Aare starting at Marzili swiming pool, then jump in to the Aare and float back down the river (only for good swimmers!!!). Some people swimm in the Aare every day of the year even when its freezing in winter!
In the summer you must go to the 'Marzili-pool' you can even swim in the pool or go for a swim in the river 'Aare'. This is an amazing feeling to swim in this river. You can also see the goverment center and you can walk along the river as long as you want. Roller balding or biking are good things to do. There is also a beach volleyball field and several other sport grounds arround. Meet many young people from Bern.
The Aare River runs through Bern and ends up emptying into the Thunersee Lake 20 miles downstream where the quaint towns of Thun, Spies and Interlaken are at your beck and call, along with a most awesone view of the Jungfrau in the distance. I recall taking a motorhome trip in 1985, pulling into a neat little rest area along the N6 to Spies in the dead of night and waking up to the view you see here.
Aside from the beautifull mountainous scenery surrounding Bern, the most dominant feature is the cities position on the River Aare. There are 3 high bridges, the Nydegg, the Kirchenfeld and Komhaus all looming accross the high gorge into old town, yet below there are several bridges that span the river meadow far below. This is a shot of the bridge near the Alpine museum from the lofty Kirchenfeld Bridge. The multi levelness of Bern is a very unique feature.
in kiesen (between bern and thun) you start to build your own float, when finnished you'll try it on the river aare. some builders arrive the 2 hours later in bern, some not ;-)
for more info: www.berger-reisen.ch
Do a boat ride on the River 'Aare' between Thun and Bern. You can rent boats by http://www.berger-reisen.ch, you travel by train to Thun and they give you your boat in Thun and pick you up in Bern. The trip will go around 3 hours on the water, but plan also at least 2 hours for a break, there are allot of very nice places on the way to make a barbecue.