Why Bern is ranked Europe's third 'healthiest' capital city

Author thumbnail
The Local - [email protected]
Why Bern is ranked Europe's third 'healthiest' capital city
Bridges in the centre of Bern. Photo: Depositphotos

Swiss capital Bern was this week announced as number three on the list of Europe’s healthiest capital cities. Here’s why.


From Switzerland and its cities are frequently found at the top of ‘best country’ lists for a variety of metrics. From public transport options to stability, Switzerland is not so neutral when it comes to topping all kinds of rankings. 

READ: Why Zurich is ranked the best city in Europe for public transport

A list released this week by online healthcare service Treated has put Swiss capital Bern at third on the list when it comes to healthy capitals. 

From clean air and water to having low CO2 emissions and the highest quality of life of any city surveyed, Bern has earned its spot on the list. 

A total of 46 capital cities were considered, with Bern beaten out by only Copenhagen (first) and Vienna (second). Baku in Azerbaijan snared the dubious honour of coming last on the list, followed closely by Moscow and Bucharest. 

READ MORE: Why Switzerland has been ranked 'best country' in the world… again

The study looked at a variety of factors from international sources such as the World Bank and the World Population Review to put together the list. 

In total, ten metrics were considered.

These were the cost of a gym membership, life expectancy, air quality, water quality, quality of life, health expenditure, cost of vegetables, CO2 emissions, ease of walking or cycling and the availability of green spaces. 

READ MORE: Why Switzerland always ranks as one of the best places in the world to live

Bern topped the list when it came to air quality, quality of life, percentage of GDP spent on healthcare and having the highest life expectancy.

Bern ranked poorly for costs of fitness clubs and was the second most expensive city in Europe to buy fruits and vegetables. 

In fact, the only disqualifying feature for the Swiss capital could be the fact that it’s not a capital at all - Bern is instead known in Switzerland as the ‘federal city’ - but that quirk of historical fate doesn’t make it any less healthy.   


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 12.0px Times; color: #0000e9; -webkit-text-stroke: #0000e9} span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none}




Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also