During my visit to Bern, the main street in the city centre was a nightmarish building site. Various websites say that the extensive roadworks on the Marktgasse are to continue until September 14th 2013, although when I visited in April, the area was a complete mess and was closed to all traffic so a deadline of September seems optimistic. Pedestrians can only pass through via the claustrophobic pavements which seem to be continually vibrating due to the building work going on around them. My advice to those who wish to sightsee in Bern would be to avoid the area and take the bus or tram to the main tourist spots. The buses are diverted to avoid the Marktgasse while work is taking place.
In Marktgasse and Krämergasse there is a small stream of water running under the surface of the street-level and almost everywhere this waterstream is covered by an iron-grid. Unfortuntaley this iron-grid ends next to the fountains and there you might fall into it, when you dont think of it while taking pics of the famous fountains.
Many people prefer walking on top of this grid and cyclers also perfer riding their bikes there, because its much easier than on the cobbled stones, so that might be the next problem and I really cannot imagine what sense it makes to leave such a big space open !
I had a bad experience on my Europe first trip. I was traveling with my sister.
I went from Munich to Interlaken, and ride a night train.
I should be arrived at 1 in the morning, but then the train I took was delayed for 1 hour.
I end up in Zurich Central Station at 12 pm and catch a train to Bern.
I arrived in Bern around 1 am and the train that should go to Interlaken has left. :(
The earliest train would be at 6 in the morning. So, we decided to stay in the central station.
Everything was OK and safe, until some drunk people came and started disturbing people (Korean guys and 2 girls from northern Europe).
We were very scared that time. Thanks God, there were 2 Korean girls, we suddenly came closer and sat by them, so we looked like in bigger group. Those drunk people didn't bother us.
I think they did not only drunk but also using drugs.
I advice for women traveler to avoid arriving late at Central Station, except it's your final destination and you go directly to hotel. If have enough budget, avoid sleep in the station, and look for nearest hotel.
I tell you, you don't want to experience bad thing while traveling.
So please avoid Central station at night like above 11pm - 4 am.
Have a safe trip!
I guess you have to be somewhere on Sunday and while it didn't really affect us, almost nothing was open on Sunday morning when we walked through, all of the shops were closed and we were hard pressed to find a place for me to grab a croissant or a muffin. We finally found a Migros grocery store in the train station where I grabbed a quick breakfast.
On a bright note though, the parking lot near the bear pit was free on Sunday, be sure to read the meter and know the days of the week in German when trying to park, Sunday is Sonntag.
If you visit Bern in Summer, you'll see many people swimming in the Aare river. If you want to do like them, remember the following things:
1. You have to be in a very good condition. Every year you can read reports of tourists who drowned in the river because they didn't have the strength to go back to the shore.
2. Never go alone. If it's your first time especially, take with you somebody who is experienced and can tell you where the dangers are.
It was really cold when I went up to the Rose Garden during the first week of November. Remember to bring along some thick clothing.
The view up at the Rose Garden is beautiful, however, there was not a single rose in sight during this time of the year.
Bern is really a very safe city, and you can walk around at night without problems if you follow usual common sense rules. Just walk wide of any drunks or drug users.
Taxi drivers can be very unfriendly. If they detect that you are foreign - or indeed, heaven forbid, drunk - they will "have a go" at ripping you off by giving incorrect change. Always say the value of the banknote as you hand it over.
I had heard or read that Bern had problems with drug users and dealers...I'm not sure if that's still true or if it ever was. But, I was walking down a ramp going from the upper part of town to the lower part and came across 4 or 5 street punks who were doing drugs. They were shooting heroin right out in the open and had all their needles and other equipment spread all over the walkway. There were blood drops on the ground. One guy was sitting down, hunched over and shooting up for everyone to see. On top of all that, they stank...what an odor! I just walked on by...it was a strange experience.
I am always surprised when people say the Swiss are friendly- THEY ARE USUALLY NOT! and even worse- the foreigners that live here are just as grumpy. Do not expect friendly waiters that tell you their names, Do not expect refills, Do not expect "How can I help you". These people need help themselves- they need a lesson in friendliness!
Women should be very careful in and around the railway station at night and should avoid walking through the university park (above the station) after dark. There have also been reports of harrassment at in the City West - Kocher Park area. Though pick pockets are not abundant, keep an eye on your valuables when visiting the weekly markets on the Weisenhausplatz and Bärenplatz.
Bern is very save. There are no hoods or parks that you shouldn't go. Maybe you should not walk through the train station after 12pm but even the train station has it's own police...
As Bern is the capital there are protest marches from time to time. Ask the tourist center if there are. Sometimes the protesters fight with the police...
When I travel I always have my 'danger radar' on. When travelling in Switzerland you may leave your danger radar at home as it is probably the safest country I can recall being in. So much so, it is worth mentioning. OK, at first the dogs are a little frightening, but thats booze in that little cask under his chin. Trully mans best friend.
Be VERY FRIENDLY, they don´t really everytime like foreigners....
Don´t forget to take money in this land!