Picnicking in Bern’s Matte District

I used to commute to Bern everyday for the last couple of years, but I never really explored the city properly until now. Besides the main tourist attractions and my usual travel routes, I was absolutely clueless. I naively thought that I knew the place pretty well because of how often I was there, but in reality I actually spent most of my time cooped up inside buildings full of books and typing until my fingers felt numb. Luckily, I’m no longer deskbound so I geared myself up with a picnic mat, sunnies and a backpack full of food, and met S in town to go picnicking by the riverside in Matte, Bern.

It was my first time going down to the river in Bern. I’ve always admired the Aare river from afar – particularly from the elevated lookout located behind the Parliament building – so it was really nice to hangout right next to the river this time.

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We went down a set of zigzag stairs located right before the Kirchenfeld bridge (Kirchenfeldbrücke), which led us out of the hustle and bustle of the city and into a noticeably quieter place. As we walked through the little streets of old town Bern, I was absolutely gobsmacked at how well the old buildings and houses were preserved. I was especially impressed with the rowhouses on Mühlenplatz. 

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We ended up on the other side of the river with an ample view towards the Bear park (BärenPark), so we had to stop and wave hello to Mr Bear, of course. We then continued our walk along the Aare river and found a nice grass patch to have our picnic before heading back home again.

We really loved exploring this beautifully tranquil side of Bern. Since it’s located just a few minutes away from the inner city and is easily accessible by foot, I imagine us spending more evenings here when summer rolls around.


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