Bear Pits of Bern
The Swiss capital is named after bears (Bären), and bears are featured
on the city's flag and coat of arms. After 500 years, the city's mascots have
a spacious new home.
If you're headed for Bern or the Bernese Oberland from London, Amsterdam, or a
handful of other European cities, the Swiss capital's airport is worth
When the weather turns hot in Bern, grab your bathing suit and catch the
funicular to a riverside swimming area below Switzerland's Parliament.
After you've seen the remarkable carvings and stained-glass windows, climb the
tower for a panoramic view of Bern.
Swiss Parliament, Bern
When it's raining outside, the Federal Assembly chamber offers the best alpine
view in Switzerland.
Come for the onions, stay for the confetti battle at the Zibile-Märit
on the fourth Monday of November.
A 16th Century old town and a bilingual culture enliven a city of watchmakers.
This pretty town near Interlaken has woodcarvers, an antique steam cogwheel
railway, and the Swiss Open-Air Museum. It's easy to reach by train or, better yet, by lake steamer.
Excerpts from Joel Cook's Switzerland: Picturesque and Descriptive, with
photos, excursion tips, and Web links.
This medieval city isn't just a gateway to the Bernese Oberland. It's also worth
visiting for its castle and other attractions.
On a mountainside just minutes from Interlaken, you'll find an unspoiled paradise
for hikers and skiers
Is this bucolic village really off the beaten path? Many fans of the Rick Steves Europe
Through the Back Door guidebooks think so, but Gimmelwald's backwoods charm has
attracted tourists (and travel writers) for a century or more.
The valley setting is beautiful, and there are 72 waterfalls--including the
Trümmelbach Falls, which you view by descending deep into a mountain gorge by
Interlaken's lakeside neighbor is just minutes away by train, bus, car,
footpath, or lake steamer.
You won't find any cars at this mountain resort near Interlaken, but you will
find the Jungfrau, the Eiger, and some of the best hiking in the Swiss Alps. The setting
is unbeatable: Wengen lies on a steep shelf overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Accommodations range from grand hotels to youth hostels.
Mürren (winter resort report)
There are no cars here--just plenty of great skiing near Interlaken and the Jungfrau,
including the world's longest downhill race for amateur skiers. In the summer, hiking
opportunities abound, and you can ascend the Schilthorn via aerial cablecar. (The
revolving restaurant at the top was featured in a James Bond movie, On Her Majesty's
It's high in elevation, popularity, and price. We tell you what makes it unique and how to
trim your ticket costs by up to 50%.
Europe's longest gondola lift serves tourists, hikers, and skiers. The upper
station offers spectacular mountain views.
This 90-year-old funicular leads to spectacular views, hikes, and a mountain inn
overlooking Lake Thun.
Ride a cable car, hike a nature path, or try a 100m bungee jump.