Ever wish you knew the inside scoop before visiting a new destination? Now you can! We’ve reached out to our favorite locals and tour guides from all over the world for their insider tips. In the City Insider Q&A, they’ll let you in on the spots that should be on your must-see and -do list!
Name: Beatrice Gyger Lang
Occupation: City Guide, Bern Welcome
City: Bern, Switzerland
How the locals pronounce the name of the city: Bärn
Online: bern.com, @BernWelcome (Twitter), I love Bern (Facebook), Bern Tourismus (YouTube), ilove_bern (Instagram), #ilovebern
Short bio: Hi, I’m Bea—I’ve been living in the Old Town of Bern for more than 20 years and I know the city by heart and can tell you all about its hidden gems. Especially when it comes to design and handicraft, I can give you lots of insider tips. I am not only a city guide, I also have my own jewellery collection and write a blog (berninside.ch). I can tell you where Bern’s doves sleep, where women of all sizes find beautiful clothes, and where you can drink the best hot chocolate with a stunning view.
Best way to get to/from airport: Definitely by train, as Switzerland’s train system is very reliable and because like this you can enjoy the beautiful Swiss landscape much better than in a car.
Best way to get to/from train station: By tram and bus—all overnight guests have free access to the public transport system within the city.
Favorite 5-star hotel: Bellevue Palace Bern.
Favorite budget hotel: Home-Hotel Landhaus right next to the river Aare.
5 places visitors must see:
- Zytglogge (Clock Tower)
- Rose Garden
- River Aare
Best local newspaper/recommended reading (for finding out what’s going on about town): Bern.com.
Favorite fine dining restaurant: For lunch: Steinhalle. For dinner: Kornhauskeller.
Favorite casual restaurant: Harmonie, Café zur Post, Postgasse (website only in German).
Best place to get a coffee: Einstein au jardin.
Favorite bar/lounge: Die Taube.
Best music venue/place to see live music: Marians Jazzroom, Bierhübeli.
Favorite museum: Museum of Communication.
Best sports venue(s): Stade de Suisse, soccer stadium. PostFinance-Arena, the biggest ice hockey stadium in Switzerland.
Most popular local food: Fondue, especially in winter.
Best “locals-only” spot: Turnhalle (more).
To live like a local, you must have this experience: Swimming in the River Aare.
Local/native fruit or dish to try: Local ice cream from Gelateria di Berna. Bernese platter (a meat dish with beans and potatoes that has its origin in 1798).
Most popular local drink: Berner Müntschi (local beer; Müntschi means “kiss”), Ingwerer (local ginger liquor).
Movies/TV shows filmed in your city: Night Train to Lisbon, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Best souvenirs to buy/goods to bring home: Mandelbärli (almond bears), Berner Haselnusslebkuchen (Bernese hazelnut gingerbread).
Biggest tourist trap/places to avoid and when: The typical souvenir shops—better go to a local boutique in the Old Town
Best travel tip: My favorite months of the year to enjoy the city are June and September. Then it is not too hot and there is not too much rain.