Beauty and charm are all wrapped up in one in Bern, Switzerland’s fifth largest city. Some may think visiting a larger Swiss favorite like Geneva or Zurich is a better use of time; I would say you should carve out at least one day to experience the old-world charm, glistening blue Aare River, and lush greenery you don’t always get to enjoy in bigger cities.
Another bonus to a smaller city is that it makes it much easier to get around and explore! No need for lengthy bus or train travel; just get out, wander, and enjoy! Just about anywhere you stay in Bern will be a good choice, but for an optimal visit, check out this lineup of where to stay in Bern; plus, there is even a vegan-friendly option!
If your travels don’t end in Bern, I’ve also included vegan-friendly hotels in other parts of Switzerland at the end of the article.
Guide to Where to Stay in Bern
For most visitors, deciding where to stay in Bern usually lands them right in the Old Town (Alstadt), which is a great choice! As I mentioned earlier, Bern is small, so staying just about anywhere in the city won’t throw your entire sightseeing itinerary in the garbage.
Staying in the Old Town (Alstadt) puts you right smack dab in the center of everything; if you find something that fits your budget, go for it. But, if you find something better for your budget outside the Old Town, don’t sweat it! I think you will still be perfectly happy staying there; it’s truly not worth blowing your budget. I promise.
One really nice perk to staying in Bern is your mass transit is included! The hotel will give you a transit pass when you check in (I wish this were the case in every city).
How Much Time Should I Spend in Bern?
Since Bern is small, you could buzz through the city in a day, but optimally, give yourself two days if possible. This way you can spend a whole day exploring the city and maybe even a museum and then on the second day you should hike Bern’s mountain, Gurten.
If you can’t spare two days, you can still do both — spend the morning and early afternoon exploring the city and then head to Gurten. At the base of the mountain, a funicular will save you from having to hike and zip you up to the top to enjoy gorgeous views.
For even more ideas on how to break out your time, check out my vegan guide to Bern.
Fabulous City Center Hotels in Bern
Schauplatzgasse 4, 3011 Bern, Switzerland
This newly renovated, small hotel is also located in Bern’s Old Town. The rooms are modern, simple, and clean. Reviewers also note that the staff is incredibly helpful! The reason I chose to highlight this hotel is for its sustainability measures.
The hotel is a part of a business climate platform and has multiple programs in place to conserve energy and resources — they avoid plastic as much as possible, and the air conditioning has been converted to a water-based system. Many of the products they use are sourced locally, and they provide guests with an aluminum bottle upon check-in to refill during their stay.Book via Booking.com Book via Expedia
Zeughausgasse 9, 3011 Bern
We stayed here in 2022, and let me tell you, Best Western isn’t what it used to be! These rooms are modern, chic, and affordable; I loved staying here! Inside the rooms, you’ll also find a Nespresso machine and a small fridge – perfect for holding your oat milk creamer and any other goodie you pick up.
The hotel is in the perfect location – less than a 15-minute walk from the main train station and right smack dab in the middle of Old Town. Honestly, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about staying here, and I would come back!Book via Booking.com Book via Expedia
Schauplatzgasse 10, 3011 Bern
Just around the corner from The Best Western is this English-inspired modern hotel! The Swiss have taken a page from the Brits in this hotel’s design and overall spirit, which encourages humor as a recipe for the “gray, foggy weather of everyday life.”
The hotel is also ideally located to explore all of Bern, and one great way to do it is on a bike! Guests can check out (for a fee) one of the hotel’s Brompton bikes which is a folding bike (popular in the UK for transit), perfect for city living. They also have a great Bern online biking guide to help you plan your two-wheeled adventure.Book via Booking.com
A Vegan-Friendly Hotel You Should Check Out in Bern
Although there isn’t a vegan hotel in Bern, there is a vegan-friendly one. So, we’re kicking this list off with the best hotel for a night’s rest and a veggie bite to eat!
Altenbergstrasse 4, 3013 Bern, Switzerland
This family-run hotel is located in a 100-year-old building – providing plenty of character and charm. The rooms are simple, nothing fancy, but perfect for a night’s rest. The hotel is connected to the café Albert & Frida, which is very vegan-friendly! The café is open Monday – Friday, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The location is perfect for exploring Bern – less than a 10-minute walk to the Rosengarten and the Old Town.
Vegan-Friendly Hotel Options in Switzerland
If you plan to explore more of Switzerland, check out these two beautiful vegan-friendly hotels!
Brissago, Switzerland (On Lake Maggiore)
With one look at the views from this hotel, you might not want to come home! Located on the stunning Lake Maggiore, this vegan-friendly hotel offers a little bit of everything. While enjoying the gorgeous lake views, guests can indulge in daily vegan breakfast and participate in various activities. The hotel provides exercise classes, mountain bike tours, water sports, and hiking trails. This is a great place to get away from it all and connect with nature!
Pontresina, Switzerland (near Saint Moritz)
Whether you want to hit the slopes in the winter or jump into the highest altitude outdoor pool in the summer, you can at Hotel Saratz! The gorgeous panoramic views (no matter the season) are a great reason to book this hotel, but on top of that, there are vegan dining options! The hotel is partnered with Giodi Vegetarian & Co. — providing guests with the ultimate veggie-friendly getaway.
Looking For More Vegan-Friendly Hotels in the US & Europe?
Vegan and vegan-friendly hotels are no longer unheard of, and you can now find options around the globe! Check out these two articles if you’re planning a trip to the US or Europe.