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As Switzerland’s capital, Bern (or Berne) is home to the country’s biggest Swiss administrative center. For those who may consider the fifth biggest Swiss city, hosting the headquarters of the likes of Swiss Post, Swiss Railway and the national organization Swissmedic, rather sober, will be proven wrong.
As there are numerous exciting legends swirling around the origin of the name of Bern, the city’s emblem suggests that the name stems from the first hunted animal in the surrounding woods which happened to have been a bear. The well-visited Bern Bear Park or the parliament square (Bundesplatz) with its famous fountains, the 18th-century Church of the Holy Ghost, as well as one of the most popular open-air pools of the country (Swimming Pool Marzili), are only a handful of sights en masse. Located on the beautiful Aare river, you may explore Bern’s famous arcades. On top of that, the old city of Bern has been UNESCO world heritage since the 80s.
Depending on your preferences, you may indulge in various architectural masterpieces such as the Schwarzsee Ice Palace or the unique igloo hotel in Kemmeriboden-Bad. The charming sides of Bern even haven’t bypassed Instagram: #Bern just recently expelled the most famous winter destinations worldwide to the rear places: #Aspen, #NorthernLights or #YosemiteNationalPark. As photogenic as Bern is, there’s even more to it than its christmas markets, culinary specialties and top-drawer snapshot scenes. After all, Bern’s delicacies enjoy international fame. Who hasn’t heard of Toblerone, the milk chocolate with honey-almond-nougat filling inspired by a pyramid- formation performance of the Parisienne Folies Bergères dancers’? The deeper you dig, the less it comes as a surprise that Bern gets the attention of so many Instagram users.
And still, Bern beneath its wonderful surface, has more depth in store for you. After enjoying a pastry called Kambly-Bretzeli, an Emmentaler specialty without holes, or a glass of the famous Rugenbräu brewery jubilee whisky, you may end up on Nydegg bridge or enjoy the legendary Länggass tea in a tobacco store-turned family business, where you will have to book six months in advance though, in order to enjoy a delicious Saturday’s brunch. One reason more to start out in wonderful Bern - with its cosy cafés and original stores.