Berne (German: Bern), the capital of Switzerland, is a small to medium sized city with a population of about 130,000 in the city proper and roughly 350,000 in the agglomeration area. It sits on a peninsula formed by the meandering turns of the river Aare. The remarkable design coherence of the Berne's old town has earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It features 4 miles of arcaded walkways along streets decked out with fountains and clock-towers. Bern was one of the eight host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships.
Berne was founded in 1191 by Duke Berthold V von Zähringen and was part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was made a free imperial city by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1218 after Berthold died without an heir.
In 1353 Berne joined the Swiss confederation. After several successful conquers, Berne became the largest independent city state north of the alps. It was occupied by French troops in 1798 during the French Revolutionary Wars, and was stripped of a large part of its territory. The city became the Swiss capital in 1848.
The main language spoken in Berne is Bernese-German, a Swiss dialect of the Alemannic language, although most people also speak German. Alemannic is mostly a spoken language, but also used in text messages etc. In official publications and announcements, German is used.
English seems to be supplanting French as the favorite second language of the Bernese, even though the canton of Berne is a bilingual German and French speaking canton. However, many people you encounter as a tourist will be able to speak both so it's certainly worth a try.
* Note: Room prices change constantly. You should check the latest availability as in many cases the room price can be even lower than the listed price on the LastBeds website.