Town

Biel/Bienne

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, 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.

Best of Biel/Bienne

Combined offer | In the heart of Biel’s old town: discover local products.

Museum | Cité du Temps - French for the City of Time - is nestled in the heart of Biel, the world's watchmaking capital.

Natural sites | A paradise for anyone seeking relaxation in the heart of the city.

Museum | Le centre biennois qui regroupe art contemporain, photographie et cinéma.

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

Cruises | Cruise schedule: vineyards, idyllic villages and the famous St. Peter’s Island.

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
Biel's old town

Brunch

Brunch | Every Sunday in summer brunch cruise on Lake Biel. Passengers enjoy three hours aboard the MobiCat.

Brunch | Enjoy every Saturday and Sunday a gourmet buffet at the restaurant la Barrique.

Brunch | A rich offer für all brunch lovers.

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

Brunch | A healthy start of the day.

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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Kayak on lake Biel