Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant and influential physicists of all time is a man that has worldwide fame. And as many of you may know, he spent a few important years of his life in Bern, where many of his groundbreaking theories came to life.
He actually lived in the heart of Bern’s old town in a simple two-story apartment above a shop. A place that has since become a museum of the life and work of Einstein himself. Although it is not as comprehensive as the Einstein Museum inside the Bern History Museum, it is worth a visit nonetheless.
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Einsteins Time in Bern
Between 1902 and 1909, Albert Einstein worked as a patent examiner at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. He worked the exact hours that were required of him so that he could his the rest of his time on his work. He actually referred to the work as Cobbler’s work, because he found it so mentally unchallenging!
This profession gave a man of Einstein’s intellectual prowess the mental freedom to pursue his own ideas, which led to some of his most noteworthy discoveries and theories. He had his so-called “Annus Mirabilis” or Miracle Year during this time in Bern, specifically in the year 1905.
During this one year, it is astounding to think that Einstein produced four seminal works. They were on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and mass-energy equivalence (E=mc2).
These theories may sound like just that to you, but I studied some of them at university and they are everywhere around us in use today – solar electricity is thanks to the photoelectric effect. Nuclear energy (and bombs) thanks to e=mc2. And Special Relativity, a very tough subject I dropped out of, is something for another time!
Einstein’s time in Bern included busy social life where he developed many close relationships. He made new friends and colleagues, especially in the area of science. He also met his first wife Mileve Mari in 1903, and they had their first child in Bern, Hans Albert, in 1904.
Einstein’s House in Bern (Einsteinhaus)
The Einsteinhaus is located in the heart of Bern’s Old Town. It is actually on one of the main streets, so you are more than likely to pass it as you explore the city.
It is actually a very small two-story apartment, right above the shops on Kramgasse.
There are a few different rooms in the apartment, as you would expect: a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and, most famously, Einstein’s study (where all his thinking and theorizing happened).
The museum has turned most of the third floor into a display of his life and works, only the lower, second-story, rooms are kept in the spirit of the times, showing how it probably was when Einstein and his family lived there.
Apart from the entrance cashier of course!
There is also a small cinema with a movie about Einstein too, which is worth watching if you have the time.
Note: The house is up a set of very steep stairs, and it is on multiple floors. So, if you have difficulty with stairs or steep stairs, it might not be for you. I had a sore knee on the day I went and it was hard. But if you are fit and healthy, then it should be no problem, just pay attention as you go up and come down.
|Address||Kramgasse 49, 3011 Bern (Google Maps)|
|Opening Hours||Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm|
|Ticket Prices||Adults: CHF 7|
Students & Pensioners: CHF 5
Youth (8-15 yrs): CHF 4
Children under 8: Free
|Discounted Entry||Bern Museum Pass: Free Entry|
Swiss Travel Pass: Adults CHF 5, Youth (8-15 yrs) CHF 4
Group: Groups of 6 or more: – discounts available
|Public Transport||Bus 7,8 & 9 to Zytglogge stop from Bern Train station (9 mins)|
|Walking||12 minutes walk from the Bern train station|
|Accessibility||No lift available (the museum is on the 2nd & 3rd floors, unfortunately)|
Note: Einstein House is open most days of the year from 1st February – 20th December.
Is it Worth Visiting Einstein House in Bern?
Yes, if you like Einstein, and are interested in his life and work, then this is one of the most important places in his lifetime.
As someone who studied Einstein’s work at Univerity myself, it was great to see where many of his amazing theories (that have ultimately led to so many developments in our daily lives) were created. Bern is not only the place where he lived for 7 years, but also developed the majority of his amazing work.
The museum itself is relatively small and quick to visit, but there are not only a few rooms to see where and how he lived but also a lot of his things and some of his life’s story presented at the same time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Einstein’s house in Switzerland?
Einstein’s house in Switzerland is located in the capital, Bern, right on the main street in the old town – at Kramgasse 49.
Did Einstein live in Bern Switzerland?
Einstein lived in Bern from 1902 to 1909 where he worked as a patent clerk and at the same time developed four of his most influential works in physics.