A popular etymological theory is that Bern got its name from the bear (Bär in German), when the city’s founder, Berthold V, duke of Zähringen, snagged one here on a hunting spree. In today’s spacious 6000-sq-metre open-air riverside park dotted with trees and terraces, three bears now roam relatively freely.
You’ll find the BärenPark at the eastern end of the Nydeggbrücke. With any luck you’ll spot Finn, Björk, Ursina as they frolic, swim, eat and poop in the woods, as nature (almost) intended. Obviously, things are quieter in the winter, when hibernation is the name of the game. An inclined elevator provides barrier-free access between the riverside walkway on the banks of the Aare to the top of the steep enclosure.