Fun things to do by the river Aare in Bern, Switzerland

When we were moving from Lausanne to Bern we told ourself how much we would miss the lake Geneva. People were telling us that we would have a magnific river Aare. Puh, a river! That is nothing compare to the lake Léman. Now after a little over a year living in Bern, the river Aare is so much more than just a river.

Yes, we do miss having a lake around the corner but we are quite surprise how much less we miss “our lake” for each time we are by the river. We are enchanted by its beauty and we have discovered so much cool things to do on the river and along the river around Bern.

  Float like the locals

If you are not at all familiar with the way how the locals in Bern swim I suggest you to come for a visit on a hot summer day. It is a fun thing to experience but if you don’t dare to join in, it is still a unique thing to see.

The first time we experienced Bern’s way to cool down, we quite didn’t understand what was going on. Hundreds of people were in swimming suit and bare feet, marching at the same direction.

Where are they going?

The photo here under was taken on a Wednesday at 1pm. Three hours later the path was filled with hundreds of people in swimsuit.

Aare Bern Tubing Switzerland

We understood later that the people are walking upstream as far as they can and then jump into the river and just let themself float away.

There are stairs to pull yourself up all along the river so if you missed on there will be another!

Aare river tubing Switzerland

Aare river Bern Tubing SwitzerlandA lunch break with the colleagues?

Some brave (or crazy) would first throw their waterproof bag in the river and then themself after. But before jumping, they have to make sure that no one is floating underneath.

 Photo: Here

Aare river Bern SwitzerlandPhoto: Here

Photo: Here

Float like a king

Aare Bern Tubing Switzerland FamilyearthtrekJuliet, myself and Ying. 

If you prefer, you can use something to float on. The most common thing people are floating on are plastic boat, stand-up paddle and a swim ring. And now all over the river, pink unicorns and flamingos.

Photo: Here

The river Aare is so long so you can choose from where to start and where to end but you will need to know well the way because some parts has a dam build on ect.

We did once from Thun to Bern. It takes about 3 hours but you can stop along the way wherever and whenever you want. There are beautiful places to make a break and to bring out the sausages to grill.

Aare Bern

Floating like a local is not totally out of danger. Please be careful when jumping into the river. Have fun but stay safe!

Swimming pools by the Aare 

If you are not a fan of jumping into the river or have small kids there are swimming pools by the river.

To these three swimming pools you can walk or bicycle from the center of Bern. It is a stroller friendly path along the river with a lot of shades.

Marzili baden

This free-swimming area is just right by the center of Bern. It is big, kids friendly and has everything you need.

For more information click Here

Photo: Here

 Lorraine bad

Not very far from northern part of Bern city lays this free-swimming pools. It is small but has a restaurant, toilets, dressing rooms and a paddling pool and a playground.

For more information click Here (only in german)

Aare river Bern

 Aarebad Muri 

This swimming pool is the furthest away from the city center. It is our favorite because they have fun water slides for the kids and a great playground.

For more information click Here

Photo: Here

Muri baden Aare river Bern Switzerland

The Dählhölzli park (Zoo)

The Zoo of Bern is not far from the city center and is a very lovely walk along the river. There are animals outside where you can watch for free.

For more information click Here

Photo: Here

Learn how to wakeboarding without using a boat

For free you can attach a rope on a tree, hop on a wakeboard and jump into the river. Simple as that! Or is it?

Photo: Here

Visit the bears of Bern

If you come to Bern you shouldn’t miss the brown bears in the city by the river. After all they all the symbol of Bern.

Photo: Here

 Picnic and BBQ

What I love about a river is that you can find cozy places to chill without sharing it with too much people.

Aare Bern Tubing Switzerland

Aare Bern Tubing Switzerland


Just across of the Zoo, also next to Eicholz park lays this camping next to river not far from the city.

Photo: Here


Bicycle is a great way to discover the river. Not both side of the river is bike friendly. If you come from Bern city, bike upstream on the right side (same side as Marzili bad) and you can bike very far on that road. At least all the way to Münsingen baden!

Biking Aare bern Switzerland

We would love to one day bike for several days and camp by the river. Or at least bike as far as possible and take the train back.

Restaurant by the river

There are many restaurants by the river but Schwellenmätteli has to be the most unique one because the restaurant is build on a dam. We have not try it yet though so I can’t say if the food are any good but the surrounding is lovely.

For more information click Here

Photo: Here

The river taxi

Incase you need to change the side of the river for some reason and the next bridge is to faraway, there is a river taxi that will bring you to the other side for 2chf. The taxi is next to the restaurant Fähribeizli.

Aare Bern

Have you guys swim like the locals here in Bern? Please tell me all about it!

Family Earth Trek


  1. Holy smokes! Who knew the water was so blue in Bern? My husband and I took a train through Bern last January and it was covered in snow. Would love to go back in the summer and swim here! It looks magical!

  2. I’m an island girl so beaches are always my first choice but between these photos and your descriptions of the experiences to be had I could definitely get on board with river life as well! I absolutely love how much activity takes place in the water, it’s impossible to get board! And the color of the water is so inviting I don’t think I’d ever get out 🙂

  3. Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this river before. It seems as if it’s the place-to-be during summer, it actually looks festive! Although I might skip the jumping and float on a plastic boat or do the stand-up paddle instead. I’m interested with the wakeboarding too! It looks like a lot of fun!

  4. Wow I can see all these people making the most of a hot day at the river but I still wonder, being in Switzerland, if the water is warm enough to swim in? When I went 3 summers ago, even though it got really hot during the afternoons, the water of the lakes was freezing, and though I did see some locals jump in, it just wasn’t for me! I was shivering just looking at them. Having said that I’d love to float on something as long as I’m not IN the water haha and the restaurant built on a dam sounds just the perfect place to dine!

  5. In all Switzerland posts, I always see it as a s ow clad country. But thanks to you as you have shown summery side of Switzerland by having some water fun. Aare river is scenic with many interesting water activities. Also pools by the river are stunning. Eating at River restaurant surrounded by scenic landscapes, floating and jumping in rivers is so much fun here. I would go again to Bern for all these.

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