The city parliament voted by 49 against 13 to welcome people who have travelled on the treacherous migrant route across the Mediterranean to Greece and Italy, reported news agencies on Friday.
The city should position itself as a “welcome port” for women and men stuck in those countries, argued many left-wing politicians.
In order to house the refugees, more infrastructure will need to be created and some may need to be placed with private individuals who volunteer, they said.
Members of the Swiss People's Party and Liberal-Radical Party voted against the motion, arguing that it's the responsibility of the federal authorities to decide policy on refugees.
The city's proposal must still be considered by Bern's executive council.