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Visit Berne - Capital of Switzerland
Transportation: Buses and trams. A one day pass is available, or purchase tickets in advance from vending machines. However, this city should be seen on foot. Walking tours are clearly indicated on free maps.

Zytglocke: This clock tower is the number one attraction... a 12th century clock with mechanical jesters, animals and kings, who perform 4 minutes before each hour. This performance began in 1530. The figures are quite small and most tourists are disappointed.

Kunstmuseum: This Fine Arts Museum is located at 12 Hoderstrasse. Hours are 10 - 5 Wednesday thru Sun, and 10-9 on Tuesday. Closed Monday. One visits this museum to study the artist Klee in depth... the largest collection anywhere. There are also good works by Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Picasso, and some scattered modern artists.

Old Town: See Markt Gasse... 17th and 18th century houses and markets...The Town Hall (Rathaus)... and Kafigturm (Prison Tower).

Cathedral of St. Vincent (Munster): Dates from 1421. Climb the stairs for a great view of the old town. 10-12, 2-4.

Houses of Parliament: Impressive buildings above the river.

Bear Pits: The bear is the mascot of Berne and there have been bears in these pits since 1450. It is a popular meeting place and the bears are very pampered... as well as very entertaining. After seeing the bears, do continue on the road up above Berne. A great walk.

Nydegg Bridge: A beautiful arched bridge near the Bear Pits. Cross it for the city view.

Rose Gardens and Botanical Gardens: Save the best for last. Do not let anyone talk you out of the walk (climb) up to these gardens. Take it slow and easy and it will not be too strenuous. Pause along the way and look out over the city. Each view is better than the previous view. Once you reach the top, about 20 minutes of slow walking, you'll find beautiful gardens with the locals walking about and admiring their beautiful city. There's a playground for children and a restaurant. If more tourists visited Berne, it undoubtedly would become as popular as Lucerne... primarily for this one area. Berne warrants more time than tourist give it.
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Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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