PRACTICALITIES
The Venue



The "Haus der Universität" is conveniently located about six minutes away by foot from the city's main train station (Schanzenstrasse exit- at the end of the platform, follow the light of day). The house is a traditional neo-baroque country house from the first half of the nineteenth century.

For directions: google maps


Travel

By plane

You may fly into:
  • Zürich Airport (from there 1h30min direct train to Bern main train station)
  • Geneva Airport (from there 1h56min direct train to Bern main train station)
  • Bern Belp Airport- flying directly into Bern is possible from certain European cities
By train

Rail-wise Bern is well connected with direct trains to/from Paris, Berlin, Milano. Booking reduced tickets in advance from the countries of departure is a good option!


Accommodation

Starting prices for:
  • Airbnb private accommodation: per night about 58 CHF for a single room in town; sharing Airbnb appartments is often the best deal (if you would like to be put in contact with other participants wishing to share please contact baf.coordination@gmail.com with the subject "Airbnb")
  • City centre hostels: per night about 37 CHF for a bed in a 6 bed dormitory, 49 CHF per person for a double room, 76 CHF for a single room
  • City centre hotels with special university rates: per night about 130 CHF for a single room, 200 CHF for a double room (Please contact baf.infos@gmail.com if you are interested in this option, with the subject "University rate")

Cost of living

The starting price for... (On 10.01.2017 the exchange rate is 1CHF = 0.93€ = $0.98)
  • a decent meal in a Kneipe: about 17 CHF (beverages excluded)
  • a bottle of water from the supermarket (1.5 litres): about 0.30 CHF
  • a pint of beer: about 4.50 CHF
  • a glass of wine: about 7 CHF
  • a coffee: about 4.20 CHF
  • a sandwich: about 4 CHF
  • some basic but good chocolate (100 g.): about 0.50 CHF

About Bern: the city and the university

Switzerland does not technically have a capital city, it has a "Federal City" and this is Bern, seat of the country's Federal Parliament and Government. Just over 130'000 people live in the municipality of Bern, making it Switzerland's fourth-largest city. At an altitude of 542 metres above sea level, Bern is the third highest "capital" city in Europe after Andorra la Vella and Madrid. Bern was founded in 1191 by Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen. They say he named the city after the first animal he encountered on a hunting expedition there- a bear (in German: sing. Bär, pl. Bären). Bears are the emblem of Bern, and the city is known to locals in the Bernese dialect as "Muzopotamien", the "bear river valley", because a family of real bears lives on the riverside (!). Actually in the summer you might consider going for a swim with the beavers (not bears!) in the famous emerald Aare river, a very popular Bernese hobby (to be practised with due caution- it is not without risk). After the swim have some 'Toblerone'. This famous chocolate was invented in Bern and pretty much every single piece is still produced here (imagine...). The three mountain tops you see towering in the distance and might consider climbing one day (à la James Bond) are the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau. Also, over the centuries the Old City quite admirably managed to retain its original character and is therefore a UNESCO heritage site.

The University of Bern was founded in 1834. It is a constitutive part of the city of Bern and very consciously follows an organic planning principle (university and city are entwined). With more than 17'000 students, it is the third largest university in Switzerland. The BAF is organised by the Institut fär Archäologische Wissenschaften (I.A.W.), which is composed of various departments. The department of Near Eastern archaeology (BAF base) is located on 10 Länggassstrasse. You are most welcome to visit.