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.

Biel/Bienne. © Tourismus Biel Seeland | Stefan Weber
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.
    • The city of Biel was awarded the Wakker Prize in 2004. The Wakker Prize is awarded by the Swiss Heritage Society to a political community in Switzerland for exemplary townscape protection.
Discover Biel
From CHF 15.- Sport & Leisure, Bienne

At the first urban golf course in Biel all ages can enjoy playing a new variant of golf in a fun way in a town environment.

Guided city tour, Biel/Bienne

Entdecken Sie das Bieler Handwerk.

From CHF 15.- Culture & Museums, Bienne

Explore the magical atmosphere of the historical old town, and discover Biel’s history and the most important places to visit.

This literary walk dedicated to Robert Walser offers the opportunity to get to know Biel by means of several texts by the author.

From CHF 49.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

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

Guided city tour, Biel/Bienne

A tour of discovery of the Bauhaus style in Biel.

Guided city tour, Biel/Bienne

Discover the local atmosphere of Biel with its unknown places, insider tips and anecdotes.


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.

More infos
Culinary offers
From CHF 49.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

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

From CHF 95.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

Taste Biel’s local food and wine specialties on this evening culinary tour through three restaurants.

From CHF 89.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

A wine hike of a special kind! Taste the specialities of the Lake Biel wine-growing region and get to know its producers.


Discover exciting special and permanent exhibitions.

More infos



The gift voucher for Biel city centre.

More info

Main events