As the capital of Switzerland, Bern is a busy modern city. But it also dates back to around the 12th century and still retains most of that history. This city is filled with historic buildings and beautiful natural areas. And despite the fact that Switzerland can be quite expensive, you’ll find a range of budget Bern accommodation options when you decide to visit.
Despite its beauty and history, Bern isn’t on everyone’s travel list. That’s why you might struggle to find the best places to stay in Bern. This is particularly true if you’re trying to work out where to stay in Bern on a budget. But you don’t have to worry about this anymore.
With this easy Bern neighborhood guide, you’ll find it easy to choose an area to base yourself in, no matter what your budget is like.
Looking for a specific place to stay in Switzerland? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Bern.
Unlock Our GREATEST Travel Secrets!
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best travel tips delivered right to your inbox.
Best Airbnb in Bern: Attic Apartment and Roof Terrace
This apartment is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Bern for families. It’s big enough for 5 people and is located in the heart of the city. Located on the top floor, you can use the rooftop terrace, private kitchen and bathroom, and enjoy an easy 3-minute walk from the apartment to the train station and the city’s best attractions.
Best Hostel in Bern: Hostel 77 Bern
This hostel is one of the coolest places to stay in Bern. It’s located on the site of a former hospital and is cozy, welcoming, and friendly. There are 116 beds available and a buffet breakfast and full amenities are included in the price. You can choose a private room or a dorm room and there’s a kitchen and common areas available so you can get to know your fellow travelers.
Best Hotel in Bern: Hotel City am Bahnhof
This hotel in Bern is perfect if you want to be close to everything. The best sites in Old Town are within walking distance from the front doors, and so is the train station and lots of nightlife and shopping options. The hotel offers a tour desk, 24-hour business center and cozy rooms with a minibar and private bathroom.
If you’ve ever dreamed of medieval cities, with stately, beautiful buildings and centuries of history, then you’ll love Bern.
Lorraine to the north of the city center and is built along the Aare River. Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Bern with kids or with friends, this is a great choice if you’re on a tighter budget.
You can’t go past the attractions of Kirchenfeld when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Bern for families. This neighborhood is just south of Old Town and one of the most affluent parts of the city.
Bern is considered to be one of the best cities to live in the world. It scores high on safety, prosperity, and health and locals have a good work-life balance, which drives the happiness score high. This is what you’ll experience when you go to Bern. This city isn’t usually on tourist bucket lists because it’s thought of as a financial hub rather than a tourist attraction, but the lack of crowds only adds to its appeal.
When you’re looking for the best areas to stay in Bern, the first thing you’ll see is that almost every neighborhood is appealing. They’re all safe, lovely to look at, and would make a great base for your trip to Switzerland. But if you’re looking for convenience, then you should base yourself in Old Town. This is the city center and it’s where most of the best historic attractions are.
For a more local neighborhood and one that’s a bit easier on the budget, try Lorraine. This is close enough to the center to be convenient but is filled with happy locals going about their daily lives.
The final choice in this Bern neighborhood guide is Kirchenfeld. This area is full of museums, so it’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Bern with kids. You’ll never run out of things the whole family will enjoying doing and seeing in this part of the city. And it’s close to Old Town too, so you can walk in there and burn even more energy.
Bern’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
When you’re looking for the coolest places to stay in Bern, here are the neighborhoods you should be checking out.
If you’ve ever dreamed of medieval cities, with stately, beautiful buildings and centuries of history, then you’ll love Bern. Old Town is one of the largest medieval city centers in Europe and it’s still the city center to this day. That’s why it’s the best area in Bern to stay in if you want to experience all that atmosphere and history.
The well-preserved buildings and atmosphere have made Old Town a UNESCO World Heritage site. At the western edge of Old Town is a train station, which makes for easy transport around the city and out of it as well. Basically, if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Bern for your first time, this is where you should be.
Best Airbnb in Old Town: Minimalist Room
Located in the best neighborhood in Bern to stay, this apartment offers awesome convenience. It’s right in the center of the city, 2 minutes from the train station, and 2 minutes to local attractions. Tickets for free public transport are included and the apartment offers a common bathroom and kitchen you can use.
Best Hostel in Old Town: Bern Backpackers Hotel & Hostel Glocke
This hostel in Bern is located right in the city center, about a minute walk from the old Clock Tower. The building is historic and part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage area. It’s also a great choice when you’re trying where to stay in Bern for nightlife as it’s close to lots of bars, clubs, and restaurants. The hostel offers dorm, single, or double rooms and is clean, safe and comfortable.
Best Hotel in Old Town: Goldener Schlussel Berne
This hotel in Bern is perfectly located right in the middle of the city. It offers bicycle rental, luggage storage, free Wi-Fi, and comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. It’s within walking distance of the train station and offers an on-site restaurant as well as close proximity to other dining options.
Things to See and Do in Old Town
- Try to find all 11 Renaissance fountains in this part of the city.
- Just wander and you’ll find hidden shops, cafes, and historic buildings that take your breath away.
- Marvel at the Zytglogge, the famous astronomical clock tower in the city center.
- See Bundeshaus and Bundesplatz, the Parliament Building with a giant open square at the front.
- Visit the Bern Minster Cathedral, a gothic style cathedral that took over 400 years to build.
- Go museum hopping and don’t miss out on the Galerie SOON, Einsteinhaus, Klingende Sammlung or the Kunstmuseum.
- See the old prison tower Käfigturm.
We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.
Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!View on Osprey View on REI
Lorraine to the north of the city center and is built along the Aare River. Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Bern with kids or with friends, this is a great choice if you’re on a tighter budget. It’s a residential area that has fewer hotels but lots of apartments that you can stay in.
Lorraine is about 30 minutes’ walk from Old Town and offers a cheaper, more local experience. In this area you can eat, drink, shop, and entertain yourself amongst the locals and get a feel for the authentic heart of the city
Best Airbnb in Lorraine: Cozy Apartment
Located in Lorraine, the best neighborhood to stay in Bern for a local experience, this apartment is comfortable and convenient. It’s suitable for 2 people and the furnishings are bright, cheerful and clean. The apartment has a large balcony so you can enjoy the lively scene and a private bathroom.
Best Hotel in Lorraine: Unique Hotel Innere Enge
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Bern for one night or for a longer visit, this is a great choice. It’s located close to Lorraine and offers elegant, lovely surroundings as well as all the amenities for a comfortable stay. The hotel offers a tour desk, babysitting facilities, a bar and restaurant, and recreational activities such as miniature golf. Each room has a huge bathroom, a minibar, and a telephone.
Best Hostel in Lorraine: Pension Marthahaus
This hostel in Bern offers elegant, well-equipped surroundings and all the amenities you’ll need for a short or long stay. It offers private rooms that are tastefully furnished as well as a guest kitchen and free Wi-Fi. The hostel is close to the main train station and has friendly staff that are happy to help you find your way around the city.
Pension Marthahaus is one of our favourites in Bern but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Lorraine
- Walk into Old Town to see the sites and then return to your peaceful base at night.
- Grab some fresh produce at the local grocery stores and save money by cooking in for some meals.
- Go swimming at Lorraine Bad, the local pool located close to the river.
- Visit the Botanic Gardens and enjoy being out in nature.
- Eat at the local restaurants and enjoy some authentic meals among the locals.
You can’t go past the attractions of Kirchenfeld when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Bern for families. This neighborhood is just south of Old Town and one of the most affluent parts of the city. You can walk around it in just 20 minutes and there are lots of attractions to keep the kids busy in this part of the city.
Kirchenfeld is known as the museum district, which makes it one of the best places in Bern to stay if you need to keep the family entertained. It’s also a quiet, elegant area where you’ll find lots of lovely apartments to use as a base. And it’s a beautiful neighborhood too, with lots of natural areas where you can enjoy a breath of fresh air and some peace and quiet.
Best Airbnb in Kirchenfeld: Entire Apartment
This is a great Airbnb in Switzerland for when you’re looking for Bern accommodation. It’s suitable for up to 5 guests and offers close proximity to local museums as well as to the center of town. It’s located in a lovely natural area that’s nonetheless close to restaurants, shops, and historic attractions. The apartment is spacious and includes all the amenities you’ll need for your stay.
Best Luxury Hotel in Kirchenfeld: Apartments Justingerweg
Located close to Kirchenfeld, this is one of the best places in Bern to stay if you want easy access to everything and luxurious comfort. It has a swimming pool, tour desk, 24-hour front desk and stylish apartments with all the essentials. There’s a restaurant and bar on-site as well as lots of other dining options close by.
Best Hotel in Kirchenfeld: Beauvilla Bern
Located in one of Bern’s best neighborhoods, this 4-star guesthouse offers luxury, convenience, and all the comforts of home. It has 3 cozy rooms with all the essential as well as free Wi-Fi and an outdoor terrace. It’s also a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Bern for nightlife as there are restaurants and clubs close by.
Beauvilla Bern is one of our favourites in Bern but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Kirchenfeld
- Just wander around and look for shops, restaurants and cafes that look interesting.
- Walk into Old Town to see the sites.
- Take the kids to Tierpark Bern where they can pet the animals and see the aquarium and bear exhibit.
- Explore the history of the city at the History Museum, The Alpine Museum of Switzerland or the Natural History Museum.
A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!
An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected. It’s just that easy.
Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.Grab an eSIM!
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Bern
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Bern and where to stay.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Bern
ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.
They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.
SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Bern
Bern is a beautiful, historic city with a mesmerizing atmosphere that draws in travelers from all over the world. Generally speaking, anywhere in Switzerland is expensive for travelers, but there are still options when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Bern on a budget. All you have to do is keep your eyes open and choose the best areas to stay in Bern, and you’ll be able to find somewhere to stay that won’t break the bank.
If you’re desperate to come to Bern but short on time whilst in Switzerland, it’s possible to do as a day trip from Zurich.
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!