Most Bern residents get up early on weekday mornings, so they usually limit their evening entertainment to a drink or two at a historic cellar such as the Kornhauskeller or the Klötzlikeller. Nevertheless, the city offers several late-night clubs, with dancing and cabaret, for the nocturnally active international crowd. Bern Guide, distributed free by the tourist office, keeps a current list of cultural events.
The Performing Arts
The Bern Symphony Orchestra is one of the finest orchestras in Switzerland. Concerts by the orchestra are usually performed at the concert facilities in the Bern Kursaal, Herrengasse 25 (tel. 031/328-02-28; www.kursaal-bern.ch). Except for a summer vacation, usually lasting from July until mid-August, the box office is open Monday to Friday noon to 6:30pm, Saturday 10am to 2pm. Tickets range from 20F to 60F.
Concerts with fewer musicians, especially chamber music, are often performed in any of four or five churches; in the auditorium at the Konservatorium für Musik, Kramgasse 36 (tel. 031/326-53-53; www.konsibern.ch); or in the concert and recording facilities of Radio Studio Bern, Schwarztorstrasse 21 (tel. 031/388-91-11).
Major opera and ballet performances are usually staged in what is generally acknowledged as Bern's most beautiful theater, the century-old Stadttheater, Kornhausplatz 20 (tel. 031/329-51-11; www.stadttheaterbern.ch). Performances are often in German, and to a lesser degree in French, but even if you don't understand those languages, you might want to attend a performance. Other plays and dance programs, including ballet and cabaret, are presented in the Theater am Käfigturm, Spitalgasse 4 (tel. 031/311-61-00; www.theater-am-kaefigturm.ch).
Grand Casino Kursaal Bern, on the fifth floor of the Allegro Hotel Bern, Kornhausstrasse 3 (tel. 031/339-55-55; www.kursaal-bern.ch), is the only place in town to gamble. Indeed, it's a great spot for novices to learn because the size of bets is limited, and consequently, serious money rarely changes hands here. It's open daily noon to 2am, and admission is 10F. Drinks cost 10F to 15F. Within the immediate vicinity, and managed by the Allegro Hotel Bern, are three restaurants and two bars, plus a dance hall that charges a 10F cover. It's open Friday and Saturday 9pm to 3:30am, and Sunday 3 to 10pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.