Monday May 23rd, 2016
Re-post from last year. Originally published May 2015.
My kids and I have often been in Bern within last few years as a close friend lived there. In fact, Bern had been our main destination for many school holidays. And we could never skip Gurten on a sunny day and it remains one of our most favorite spots in Bern. Bern is close enough from Lausanne to do a day trip (around 1h one way by train or car), and we could totally spend a whole day at Gurten alone.
Gurten for Bern is like Ouchy or Sauvabelin for Lausanne, it’s the place where the locals let go the busy city and breath the fresh air. But unlike Ouchy where we go down to the lakeside, Gurten is located at the top of the hill above Bern, and not accessible by car. There is a train station (Wabern, Gurtenbahn) at the foot of the hill as well as car parking. Then everyone goes up the hill by climbing the stairs (free) or with the funicular “Gurtenbahn” (for a small fee). Strollers can be brought in at the end of the funicular, and as far as I know, most (if not all) areas are stroller- and wheelchair-accessible.
Once you get to the top and out of the funicular, you will be greeted by a view to the city of Bern, lots of greenery, and grazing highland cattles. Ahhhh…
A few steps from the funicular stations starts a huge space for younger kids, with tons of fun activities. My kids usually directly go to the kids cars (fueled by CHF1 coins. In the warmer months only)
My oldest also love this hands-and-feet-on huge rolling ball tracks (below) where she can move a ball through the complicated tracks by using the tools correctly. This involves lots of pulling, pushing, pedaling, and lifting. A really amazing thing.
There are also a huge climbing frame for the bigger kids as well as a smaller one for the tots.
And then… this super cute paddling pool “Aquaris”. The water may look very green but that’s because the pool quality is maintained naturally and organically. Yes, kids may sometimes chance upon a frog here.
This raft alone makes me want to be a child again. How fun it is!
While we have only tried the parts of the park that were designated for younger kids, there are so many other things that people of all ages can enjoy here, including walking and bike tracks, outdoor live music and many festivals during the warmer months. In winter, when there is enough snow there are sled tracks and children ski schools. We always eat a picnic there but there are restaurants and food carts to go to when hunger strikes.
There is also a mini train that my kids have always had to sit on, but somehow I couldn’t find a photo in my computer. But you can see the photo of the mini train and many more on their website, or check the video below of the play area of the park.
The best of all, is that you don’t need to plan too much to go here. Just pick a sunny day to go to Bern and go up from the city!
Gurten – Park im Grünen
3084 Wabern (Bern)
+41 31 970 3333