Legend has it that when the founder of Bern, Berthold V, duke of Zähringen, caught a bear during one of his hunting expeditions, the city got its name. When I visited the Barengraben, an extremely popular tourist attraction, it was unfortunately nothing more than a deep pit where I could see one bear in total. However, with its beautiful trees and grass plots, several non-ferocious and completely adorable bears now freely roam around the 6000 square metre park in the heart of Bern, just along the Aare River. Visit www.baerenpark-bern.ch for directions and timings. The bears are usually away during the summers, therefore, it is best to find out well in advance. The entry is free.
A short walk uphill from the bear pits will lead you to the Rosengarten (Rose Garden) and provide you the most majestic views of the city of Bern. The fragrant and beautiful roses in an array of colours act as the icing on the cake. Somehow, every picture taken at the Rosengarten is Instagram-worthy and to be very honest, this was the highlight of my little trip to the Swiss capital. Additionally, the public park also has a reading garden and a fancy restaurant. From the main train station, hop on to bus no. 10 to the 'Rosengarten' stop. Yet again, there is no entry fee.