Summer is the best time to visit Bern. That’s not only because the often reserved Swiss people become a fair bit more outgoing when the temperatures are up; it’s also because lately there have been tons of pop-up bars all around the city. One of my personal favourites is Aarebar right on the banks of our beloved green river, the Aare.
On a rainy day, there is not much to see there – a couple of chairs, a bunch of DIY-benches, a plant here and there, a shipping container and a ping pong table. But once the weather gets hot and the temperature of the fresh riverwater climbs above the 17-degree mark, the place becomes one of the most densely populated spots in the city.
The bar is located on an abandoned, overgrown industrial area (that still hosts the phenomenal Gaskessel youth center), a bit upstream from the Marzili pools. On hot days the little road along the river gets crowded with thousands of half-naked people heading upstream to float back to Marzili in the river. Both – the upstream walking and the downstream floating – make for quite an impressive scenery to sit around, enjoy the chilled vibes and have a glass of rosé wine.
What even many Bernese don’t know: the city government encourages such pop-up bars lately, but only under the condition that you can sit down anywhere without an obligation to consume anything. So feel free to bring your own drinks and snacks and enjoy Bern at its best.