Six super reasons to visit Bern this weekend

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Six super reasons to visit Bern this weekend

Most people don't need a reason to visit Switzerland's capital. But, just in case, we've got 6 super reasons why you may want to stop by this weekend...


1. shnit International Short Film Festival

From humble origins as a short film evening in Bern, shnit has grown into a very popular film festival with events taking place simultaneously in eight cities around the world – from Cape Town to Cairo, New York to Moscow.

Dubbed “a premium venue for the exhibition and promotion of short films”, shnit runs for 11 days and showcases over 200 films of every genre and style. Although opening night was on Thursday, this weekend has a packed programme spread across more than 10 venues. Learn more

2. Rendez-vous Bundesplatz 

The spectacular lightshow that is Rendez-vouz Bundesplatz returns this weekend for its eighth outing. Watch as the Swiss parliament building is lit up by a mixture of animation, light, sound and storytelling. This captivating crowd pleaser lures in more than 500,000 visitors each year - and why not? It’s free, right in the heart of Bern and sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.

As always, the lightshow has a special theme and this year’s edition celebrates the 75th anniversary of ‘The Little Prince’ by telling an abridged version of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s well-loved novella. Performances run daily from October 19 until November 24 with showings at 7pm and 8.30pm, and additional performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9.30pm.

3. Cyclocross World Cup

After an eight year absence, the UCI Cyclocross World Cup returns to Switzerland, and, for the first time, the world’s best cross riders will meet in the nation’s capital Bern. A unique course has been built around Europe’s largest open air swimming pool (Weyermannshaus) and organisers have promised fast and thrilling races with lots of corners and technical sections. Think of a muddy, super intense assault course/triathlon event – but on bikes.   

The main event is for the professionals and takes place on Sunday 21 October, but there’s also races for children, youths and hobby riders planned for Saturday too. More information can be found on the official website

4. Art Workshops for kids and teens

Let your children’s inner artist run free at the Kunstmusuem’s Cool Kids’ Classes this Saturday. The classes are run in English and Russian, and are set up to allow participants to draw, paint and sculpt.

Suitable for 6-14 year olds, the class runs from 10:30AM until noon and costs 10CHF. More details are available on the museum's website.

5. The Indonesian Food Bazar

Fancy trying something a little different this weekend? Then the Indonesian Food Bazar could be for you. With a variety of popular dishes as well as a mixture of traditional specialities, clothes and accessories for you to enjoy, the family-friendly bazar runs from 11AM until 4PM.

We recommend you try the Sate Ayam - or chicken satay skewers - and make sure to get some Bumbu Kacang -peanut sauce - with it (see photo above). Taking place in Gümligen, this event is just a 10-18-minute journey (depending on which bus/train you take) away from Bern central station.

6. zoom in Festival

The 'zoom in' festival for improvised music celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, organisers have invited 45 musicians from all over the world to play 15 concerts at various locations in Bern – including Bern Cathedral and the Museum of Communication. 

Known as the hub of contemporary improvised and experimental music in Bern, this year’s festival features a blend of more established international acts and exciting up-and-comers. Headliners on Saturday night include English saxophone player John Butcher and Welsh harpist Rhodri Davies, as well as Lebanese trumpeter Mazen Kerbaj. Get an idea of what to expect in the video above.

Read also: IN PICS - Switzerland's 11 stunning Unesco World Heritage Sites






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