Berne Historical Museum (map). Large historic museum, combining under one roof one of the country’s most important ethnographic collections together with the Bernese historical collections from prehistory to the present day.
Bundeshaus (map). Inaugurated in 1902, the Swiss Parliament building is a great dome separating the two chambers: the National Council and the Council of States. Free guided tour when Parliament is not in session.
Einsteinhaus (map). Einstein rented this flat 1903-05 with his first wife Mileva, during his years working at the Swiss patent office. Their son Hans Albert was born here in 1904; their illegitimate daughter Lieserl (b. 1902) was given up for adoption and her fate is unknown. But above all Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity were born in this flat, which now displays photos and original documents from his life, work, and speeches.
Kunstmuseum (Museum of Fine Arts, map). Huge collection including Pablo Picasso, Ferdinand Hodler and Meret Oppenheim, and all the big names over eight centuries.
Swiss Alpine Museum (map). A museum describing all aspects of the Swiss mountains: geology & tectonics, glaciers, weather, wildlife, agriculture & settlement, and alpinism and winter sports.
Zentrum Paul Klee (map). Klee was celebrated for his “child’s view” of the world and his work is so accessible and fun, eg his wacky glove-puppets. A short walk across the adjacent park brings you to his grave.
Bear Pit (map). Always open, but the bears hibernate Nov-Mar. Run as an outstation of the city’s Dählhölzli Zoo, the bear pit has a tunnel through to a bosky enclosure along the steep river bank, around which the bears can roam and swim.
Gurten (map) The Gurten is a lovely hill just outside the city. It features a park and great view over the city on one side and a nice panorama of the Bernese alps on the other. The park is visited heavily by locals to play ball, to barbecue or to just lie in the sun. Tourists are not an unusual sight, though this little attraction is missed by most of the many that visit the city. Hiking paths lead in all directions and you will almost certainly stumble across some cows when walking around.