Town

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

Immerse yourself in the exciting world of watches and chocolate by visiting the famous Swatch, OMEGA and Camille Bloch museums.

From CHF 103.- Package, Biel/Bienne

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.

From CHF 182.- Package, Bienne

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

From CHF 250.- 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.

From CHF 95.- Food & Drinks, Bienne

Get to know the culinary side of Biel.

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.



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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