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.
    • 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.

Offers for a relaxing stay


From CHF 115.- Package, Biel/Bienne

Choc'o'Clock invites you to explore the fascinating worlds of watches and chocolate.

Ahoy on Lake Biel

From CHF 103.- Package, Biel/Bienne

Escape from everyday life and enjoy La Dolce Vita on Lake Biel.

Beds & Bikes

From CHF 182.- Package, Bienne

Overnight stay in the heart of Biel including the rental of an e-bike for one day.

2 days holiday from everyday life

From CHF 245.- Package, Bienne

Relax at lake Biel.

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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Culinary offers


From CHF 49.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

Nourritour is a culinary tour of the historic centre of Biel and features a mixture of sightseeing and tastings.

Biel pleasure tour

From CHF 95.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

Get to know the culinary side of Biel.


From CHF 89.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

Discover the diversity of the wines grown around lake Biel.

Discover exciting special and permanent exhibitions.

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Natural sites

Lake Biel

Lake Biel is situated at the German and French language border, and it is the eight-largest lake of Switzerland.

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Main events

  • Art, Exhibition

    Photography days

    Photoforum Pasquart | Farelhaus / Maison Farel
  • Friday

    Festivity, Festival

    First Friday

    Altstadt / Vieille Ville / Old Town | Biel/Bienne
  • Friday

    Festivity, Festival

    First Friday

    Altstadt / Vieille Ville / Old Town | Biel/Bienne
  • Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat

    Festivity, Festival

    Pod’Ring Festival 2022

    Ringplatz / Place du Ring | Biel / Bienne