Brief Club History
BSC Young Boys were founded in 1898 as FC Young Boys, before undergoing a name change to Berner Sport Club Young Boys (or YB for short) in 1925.
Their main period of prominence came towards the end of the 1950s when they won 4 consecutive Swiss titles and reached the semi-finals of the 1959 European Cup. They boast 11 championships in total, but only one (1986) in the last 50 years. They have also won the Swiss Cup on 6 occasions.
It would be remiss of us not to crowbar in a reference to Stephane Chapuisat somewhere – he is one of the club’s former notable players, along with Premier League ‘legend’ Lars Bohinen!
About the Stadium
The Stade de Suisse is the second largest stadium in Switzerland, and was constructed on the site of the former Wankdorf stadium. It was opened in 2005, and played host to matches in Euro 2008 which was held in Switzerland/Austria.
The stadium has a total capacity of 32,000 seats, and has even held outdoor Ice Hockey matches in its time.
As you would expect with a new build stadium, the views, etc are superb.
The locals will tell you that Bern doesn’t have the greatest nightlife, and while that may be true in comparison to the likes of Zurich, Geneva or some other major European cities, there’s more than enough here to whet your appetite.
The city centre, particularly the streets around the main squares ofBarenplatz and Theaterplatz are lined with cafés, restaurants and bars.
If it’s nightlife you’re looking for, then check out Bernbynight.ch for a full list of clubs, bars and what’s going on in the city while you’re there. For some suggestions from us, if you like your beer then perhaps it’s worth checking out the Altes Tramdepot at Am Barengraben – Bern’s first microbrewery where beer is still brewed on the premises. They serve up snacks and bigger meals, and there’s a pleasant view over the river. Or, if you like a bit of techno and dance music, try Quasimodo at 75 Rathausgasse.
Main Drinking Areas
The main drinking areas will be around the central squares of Barenplatz and Theaterplatz, rather than around the ground. Bern isn’t that large a city (population of around 120,000), so the choices aren’t overwhelming.
Irish & English Pubs
Never fear, though, that staple of the English abroad has arrived in Bern. That’s right, the English/Irish bar, usually about as English as the Arsenal squad.
You have two main choices in Bern – firstly, it’s Mr Pickwick’s English pub on Wallgasse, or Nelson’s Bar on Spitalgasse. Both are pretty central, based in the old town a stone’s throw from the main station. Nelson’s is due east of the station whereas for Mr Pickwick’s you’ll need to head south.
The tourist office might be your best bet if you’ve not sorted something out before arriving – housed in the main train station it’s nice and easy to find, and is open from 0900 to 2030 in the summer. You can also get in touch with them on the internet.
Otherwise, Bern has the usual range of hotels from the cheap to the ludicrously expensive. As ever, we recommend enlisting the internet in finding out potential pitfalls when staying away – if you’re going to book through one of the main sites like Hotels.com orBooking.com it’s well worth running the rule over TripAdvisor first, to check whether the place you’re about to book is the Ritz or the pits!
There’s a reasonable amount of budget accommodation in Bern, too –Hostelbookers will show you the way to a reasonable spread of options which include Berne Backpackers on Rathausgasse and the Youth Hostel on Weihergasse.
Best Areas to Stay
Most of the accommodation will be central, and if you’re interested in seeing a bit of the city then something in the old town (west of the river) will be the best bet. Unfortunately prices here tend to be that bit higher than on the edge of town, or across the river to the east, but then you pay for the convenience.
Bern is the capital of Switzerland, although it is not the country’s largest city. Home to around 130,000 people, the majority of whom speak German, Bern is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list as a result of its architecture, and there are, as you would expect, plenty of museums and sights to distract the wandering tourist.
The city is well known for its public art, and a free map is available from the main tourist office (found in the central train station) that will guide you to sights of interest.
Among the main points of interest in the city are the Bundeshaus (the Federal Palace of Switzerland, which is the country’s house of parliament), the Historical Museum and the Zytglogge. The latter is the city’s famous 13th century clock tower, which has a ‘show’ on the hour, every hour, of early animatronic technology.
Getting Around By Public Transport
A single ticket (Einzelbillette) is around CHF4, with a daily pass (Tageskarte) costing around CHF12.
The city used to provide a “Berncard”, a system popular in many continental cities providing unlimited rides on all modes of transport within the city as well as free or discounted admission to many of the museums and attractions. Unfortunately, these have been discontinued, and so the daily pass is your best bet.
For full details on public transport, visit Bernmobil, the public transport operating company’s website.