Photo courtesy of swiss-image.ch/Gian Marco Castelberg & Maurice Haas
Switzerland has eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Old Town of Bern was among the first to receive that recognition. You'll understand why when you stroll along the postcard-perfect Kramgasse, the main axis of the area. At the end of it you'll find the Zytglogge, the clock tower that is one of the city's most recognizable symbols.
Built on a hill above a bend in the River Aar, the Old Town of Bern has a medieval street plan, though most of the current buildings were constructed in gray sandstone after a fire at the beginning of the 15th century. Miles of arcades wait to be explored and don't miss three streets that UNESCO highlighted as among the most characteristic in the area: Postgasse, Gerechtigkeitsgasse and Jünkerngasse.
While most of Bern's residents speak German (specifically the Bernese German dialect), it's the starting point for travel advisor Cari Gray of Gray & Co.'s Switzerland with a French Flair itinerary exploring two of the country's French-speaking cantons, Neuchâtel and Jura. Check out it and other itineraries in Switzerland on AFAR Journeys.
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