The city of Biel

Biel/Bienne is Switzerland’s largest bilingual town. German and French have equal rights here. This town is also the cradle of Swiss watchmaking.

Zentralplatz, Biel
Zentralplatz, Biel. © Tourismus Biel Seeland | Stefan Weber
Biel, the largest bilingual city in Switzerland, is situated directly at Lake Biel.
Besides events of national and international significance, Biel offers a host of other cultural highlights as well. The Neues Museum Biel and the Pasquart are two important museums near the lake. In 2004, Biel was awarded the Wakker prize by the Swiss Heritage Society for its exemplary townscape protection.  
Most visitors imagine Biel to be an industrial town, and they are surprised to find that it has a well-preserved medieval centre. This historc part of town invites to go on a stroll through the charming alleys and along the picturesque squares and terraces with the pretty little shops.
In Biel, you will hear people converse in German and in French. In the largest bilingual city of Switzerland, all streets and official buildings are signposted in both languages. The mixture of German and French-speaking inhabitants makes Biel an especially charming place.
This bilingualism is a result of the watchmaking industry. In the middle of the 19th century, Biel became Switzerland’s most important watchmaking centre. The numerous watchmakers from the Jura who found work in Biel brought the French language with them. To this day, renowned brands such as Omega and Swatch are headquartered in Biel.
Good to know
Good to know
    • An intact old town with a beautiful town hall, gothic town church dating from the 15th century, various fountains and beautiful signposts.
    • Pasquart – a very attractive art museum for contemporary sculpture, graphic art and photography; renovated in 2000 and extended with a new building designed by Basle architects Diener & Diener.
    • The architecturally impressive Congress Centre offers excellent facilities for major international congresses, meetings and seminars.
    • After Tel Aviv, Biel is one of the cities with the highest concentration of Bauhaus style buildings in the world.
Discovering Biel
From CHF 95.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

Discover the culinary specialities of three renowned Biel/Bienne restaurants in one evening.

From CHF 15.- Urban visits, Bienne

With its little alleyways, pretty façades and dignified guild houses, Biel’s old town is the gem of the city. Set out on a journey of discovery into its fascinating past.

From CHF 49.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

Discover Biel's regional delicacies on Nourritour, a unique culinary walk through the old town.

From CHF 25.- Urban visits, Bienne

Discover the lesser-known side of Biel/Bienne's architecture. This tour takes you on an exploration of modernity (Bauhaus).

From CHF 25.- Urban visits, Bienne

Equipped with a handbook, you can discover the character and craftsmanship of the city of Biel/Bienne for yourself at your own pace.


Famous for its charming alleys, beautiful facades and venerable corporate houses, the old town is a privileged place in the heart of the city of Biel.

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Brunch in and around Biel/Bienne
Brunch, Biel/Bienne

At Lokal, special dishes are created from selected and local ingredients.

Brunch, Biel/Bienne

A rich offer für all brunch lovers.

Brunch, Biel/Bienne

Come and enjoy a good brunch!

A healthy start to the day.

Brunch, Biel/Bienne

Enjoy every Sunday a gourmet buffet at the restaurant la Barrique.

Brunch, Nidau

Start a nice Sunday morning with a brunch at the restaurant La Péniche and enjoy a magnificent view of Lake Biel.


Discover exciting special and permanent exhibitions.

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gift voucher


The gift voucher for shopping and leisure in Biel.

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