Things To Do In Biel (Nature, Architecture & More)

things to do biel

Biel is a lovely Swiss city with a small population of around 55,000 people located in the canton of Bern in the Jura & Three-Lakes region of Switzerland at an altitude of 437 meters (1433 ft) above sea level.

Nestled on the shores of one of the great lakes in Switzerland, Lake Biel in northern Switzerland has a combination of beautiful Swiss landscapes along with a rich history.

Biel’s history dates back to Roman times. It was chartered in 1275 and was for centuries under the jurisdiction of the prince-bishops of Basel and made an alliance with Bern in 1279. It was then seized by the French in 1798 and became part of the Bern canton again in 1815.

Between the beautiful surroundings, charming Old Town, and its long history there are plenty of great things to do in Biel.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the beautiful lakeside scenery, the many hiking trails, or immersing yourself in the city’s history, Biel has something for everyone. Here are some of the top things to do in Biel on your next visit.

Take A Lake Cruise

Boat cruise Lake Biel
Boat cruise on Lake Biel © Julien Christe

One of my favorite things to do in Biel, and most Swiss cities close to a lake is to jump on a lake cruise. Lake Biel is stunning with its crystal clear waters and in my eyes, it gives you some of the top views of the city and the landscape.

Cruising across the calm waters of the lake, you will get to see epic panoramic views of the Jura Mountains and of the lovely vineyards that line the shore.

You will find several boat companies that offer cruises around Lake Biel and each one is a little different from the next. There are sunset cruises, gourmet dining cruises, and you can even book private charters if you want to celebrate something special on the water.

It is a wonderful way to relax while taking in the sights of Lake Biel and its stunning scenes.

Head To The Omega Museum

Omega Museum
Omega Museum © Swatch Group

As you might not have known, Biel is pretty much the watchmaking capital of Switzerland. If you love history or are into watches, it would be a pity to miss out on seeing the Omega Museum.

You have probably heard of the luxury watch brand Omega and it has been making exceptional timepieces since 1848. The Omega Museum is all about showcasing its rather fascinating history through its huge collection of timepieces.

There are more than 4,000 watches on display including iconic models worn by historical figures, astronauts, and high-end designer watches too.

You can also dive into the world of horology at the Omega Museum through the interactive exhibits and displays. You will learn about how Omega watches evolved as well as see old clocks as well as the special tools and instruments used to make them.

See Some Action At The Tissot Arena

Tissot Arena Fussballstadion
Tissot Arena Fussballstadion © Tissot Arena

One of the best things to do in Biel which should not be missed is to attend an event at the famous Tissot Arena.

The area works as a multifunctional stadium and arena with its curling hall, ice hockey arena, football stadium, and outdoor ice skating rink. It is not just all about sports either as the Tissot Arena also plays host to concerts, cultural, and business events too.

Sports fans should not miss the opportunity to catch a game or event at the Tissot Arena as it is home to the ice hockey team EHC Biel-Bienne, FC Biel, and the Swiss Football Association.

The arena also has facilities for volleyball, basketball, tennis, floorball, and many other indoor sports too, so you have quite the choice of things to see there when you visit Biel.

Check what is on at the Tissot Arena and then immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere of a live sports game, concert, or other experience at this state-of-the-art venue.

Take In The Atmosphere In Biel Old Town

Biel's Old Town
Biel’s Old Town © Tourismus Biel Seeland | Stefan Weber

One of the top things to do in Biel is without question to take a stroll through the picturesque streets of Biel’s Old Town.

Biel’s Old Town dates back to medieval times and is beautifully preserved with stunning gothic architecture around every corner of the cobblestoned streets and narrow alleyways.

Some gems that should not be missed in the Old Town include the 15th-century Gothic-style Biel Cathedral, the historical town hall, plus the beautiful facades, and esteemed guild houses that line the streets.

Want To Save This For Later?

We'll email this post to you, so you can come back to it later!

The Old Town also is also home to lovely restaurants, theaters, cafes, galleries, and small shops selling some rather unique souvenirs. It is also home to food markets where local farmers sell the freshest fruit and vegetables along with bread and dairy products too.

If you are into markets then you are in for a treat as the Old Town also hosts flea markets and crafts markets pretty regularly.

The best way to experience the true atmosphere of Biel in my eyes is to take a wander through the Old Town, the market. Be sure to taste the local food on offer and take in the architecture.

See Amazing Art At Kunsthaus Pasquart

Kunsthaus Pasquart
Kunsthaus Pasquart © Kunsthaus Pasquart

If you are a fan of art and architecture then you are going to love the Kunsthaus Pasquart, a stunning contemporary art museum in the heart of Biel.

The Kunsthaus Pasquart has a great range of exhibitions for you to stroll around with art from both local and international artists. Everything from paintings to sculptures and even multimedia art is featured, covering most bases and interests.

This museum isn’t just a gallery, so to speak, as it also hosts a lot of fun workshops, cultural events, and lectures – it is well worth seeing what’s on while you are in Biel as it would be a fun evening out.

The building of the Kunsthaus Pasquart can only be described as a work of art in itself as it is architecturally stunning.

The main building was once a hospital and has a beautiful facade that blends beautifully with a more contemporary extension. What makes it so special is actually how the old and new elements come together.

Take To The Many Cycling Trails

Lake Biel Circuit
Lake Biel Circuit © AllTrails

Biel is a great place to head out on long cycle rides, not only is it great exercise but also an awesome way to see the surrounding areas.

If you love cycling but are not bringing a bike on your travels, don’t worry, there are plenty of bike rental places.

Once you have a bike you can take your pick of many different cycling routes that will have you seeing local villages and the lovely countryside. One of the best cycle routes is around Lake Biel as you can stop for a swim, see the vineyards, taste some Swiss wine, and lots more.

The Lake Biel Circuit is about a 50-kilometer ride and it actually takes you on a loop around the entire lake. The views over the lake and into the mountains are awesome as you cycle your way around.

The route is pretty much flat and it is well maintained so it is also a great route for the whole family.

If this bike route sounds too tame for the likes of you, head into the Jura Mountain Range where you will find a load of challenging routes to take you through the dense forest and rolling hills.

Explore The Nature Of Taubenloch Gorge

Taubenloch Gorge
Taubenloch Gorge © Tourismus Biel Seeland

It is always nice to get out into nature on any vacation and close to Biel is the ​​Taubenloch Gorge. Not only is it stunning to see but it is also great for hiking, in fact, the best way to see the gorge is by hiking through it.

You will find a well-marked hiking trail running through the gorge which also follows the Suze river. While you hike, you will see just why this gorge is so popular – the rock formations, waterfalls, lush greenery, and moss-covered stones all make it a fairytale-like experience.

The hike is pretty easy and takes about 2-3 hours to complete, depending on your pace. Taking a picnic along is a great idea!

If you want to make the hike longer or more challenging, there are quite a few trails that branch off from the main path and take you higher up into the cliffs. It might sound like a lot of effort but it is worth it for the panoramic views of the gorge and the surrounding countryside.

The gorge is also home to wildlife so keep a lookout for kingfishers, herons, and deer while you are hiking.

See Native Animals At Biel Zoo

Biel Zoo
Lemur in Biel Zoo – Image courtesy of Tambako The Jaguar

If you are traveling as a family then make sure to stop off at the Biel Zoo. Open all year round, the Biel Zoo is home to a lot of animals native to Switzerland. You can see red deer, Alpine ibexes along with lots of other animals you can find in Switzerland.

Each of the enclosures has displays where you can learn about the different animals and the zoo also offers educational programs plus feeding sessions which are great fun for kids and adults.

It is also free of charge to visit the zoo which means you can have a family day out without spending much cash at all.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *