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

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

From CHF 20.- Urban visits, Bienne

From CHF 15.- Urban visits, Bienne

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

From CHF 15.- Sport & Leisure, Nidau

On the first urban golf course in the city of Biel/Bienne, you will discover a new variation of golf and enjoy yourself in a unique environment.

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

Guided tour on the theme of modernism (Bauhaus) in Biel

From CHF 25.- Urban visits, Bienne


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, Nidau

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

Brunch, Biel/Bienne

Come and enjoy a good brunch!

Brunch, Biel/Bienne

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

Brunch, Biel/Bienne

A rich offer für all brunch lovers.

Brunch, Biel/Bienne

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

A healthy start to the day.


A refreshing time out on Lake Biel. In addition to an overnight stay in Biel, enjoy a boat trip and a refreshing drink on St. Peter's Island.


Discover exciting special and permanent exhibitions.

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Le bon-cadeau pour les commerces et les loisirs à Bienne.

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