Most guide books talk about the city's clock and its 'performance' a few minutes before every hour. It is not all that spectacular and all of the tourists are standing there with craned necks after it is over, because no one knows that it really is over.
Unique Suggestions: ...time it so that you don't have to wait too long and then make a quick getaway so you don't look like a *** tourist staring at nothing.
As far as I can tell, VirtualTourisTrap has no useful, current (late 2006) information about Bern. Three restaurants - Anker, Kornhaus and Altestramdepot? Give me a break! It's an ad site geared to sell you local hotels (probably at inflated prices).
Unique Suggestions: Close the window, call the hotels directly.
Fun Alternatives: Well, Trip Advisor has a little more info on restaurants - but I wouldn't go there looking for hotel prices either. Call the hotels directly.
Avoid the tourist shops in the old city of Bern on Gerichtigkeitsgasse and Kramgasse. These are terribly expensive and most of the items they sell can be bought for less - woodwork from Brienz for example is better bought in Brienz and not in Bern.
Fun Alternatives: There isn't really an alternative - just remember, cuckoo clocks are not Swiss eventhough they are sold in Bern by the dozens everywhere, woodcarvings are best bought away from the citry for a better price, but if you simply have to get some souvenirs then bear in mind that Switzerland has more to offer than the kitsch you will find in the old city - try and be creative!
It's all the usual things. Incorrect change is a favourite, and some places (not many) just charge way over the top. A Stange (3dl beer) should cost CHF 3 - CHF 4, and a main course should cost CHF 18 - CHF 25 for the normal case, and CHF 30 - CHF 40 for the upper case. Always check your receipt before paying - afterwards it's too late!
Restaurants are quite expensive in Switzerland. Luckely there are 3 Mc Donalds, lots of small Bakeries and a Star Bucks. You do not have to leave a huge tip- it is already included n the waiter's paycheck.
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