The city of Bern (or Berne) is located around a loop in the Aare River and is the capital of Switzerland. Home to a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, Old Town Bern is set in the heart of the country and is accessible by road, train, and plane. The Bern Airport is located on the outskirts of the city and offers daily flights to many European destinations. The airport also has bus transfers directly to the Bern rail station. While Zurich, Basel, and Lucerne are an hour away from Bern by train, visitors from Geneva can reach the city in just under two hours. When travelling by car, Bern is located off of E4 in the European E-road highway network and the national autobahn network. For those driving from southern Switzerland or Italy, Bern can be reached via the Lötschberg Tunnel/Simplon pass or the Great Saint Bernhard tunnel.
The gateway to the Swiss Alps, Bern offers close to 20 hotels and venues and around 40 convention venues. From an exclusive 5-star hotel to a simple hostel, ranging traditional architectural style to modern design buildings, the city includes plenty of locations for a variety of meetings and events. The Kursaal Bern is the largest congress centre and offers a range of attractions and facilities unique to Switzerland. These include the 4-star superior lifestyle Hotel Allegro with 171 rooms, three speciality restaurants, and the Grand Casino Bern. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the congress centre consists of 27 spacious rooms and can accommodate up to 1,500 people. The Curlingbahn Allmend is Europe's largest and most modern column-free, eight-rink curling hall that acts as a venue for meetings, seminars, conferences, and banquets. The space can accommodate groups ranging from 5 to 180 people. Other formal venues include Town Hall, with its largest hall spread across 403 square metres, and Kornhauskeller (Granary), the archetype of high baroque architecture. Hotel Alpenblick is a three-star hotel that offers 52 rooms and a 56-square-metre meeting room that can accommodate 28 people.
For more unique and exceptional events, the Eventforum Bern offers special design and aesthetics that can accommodate up to 450 people. Opened in 2000, the place is an ideal venue for all kinds of corporate and private events. Another location, Gurten-Park in the Green, combines business and pleasure for group activities with its idyllic natural setting. The venue provides breath-taking views of Berne and the Alps, and it can cater to approximately 330 attendees. Bern also has several restaurants that provide spaces for hosting business events. One such place is the PostFinance Arena, a venue that boasts five restaurants, 21 VIP boxes, 11 catering stands, and five sports venues. It serves up to 450 lunches per day and organises the logistical aspects of events hosted there. Other restaurants include Restaurant Dählhölzli, Restaurant Schmiedstube, Schwellenmätteli Restaurants, and Restaurant Tscharnergut. Downtime in the city is well spent with excursions to notable points of interest, such as the Bern Historical Museum, churches, river rafting, and a Segway tour of the city's most popular spots.