Fancy staying somewhere steeped in Swiss history? The 900-year-old castle boasts a museum, restaurant and youth hostel – it’s all ready and waiting for you to explore!
Burgdorf Castle, a heritage site of national significance, has stood sentinel on the rocks above the Emme for 900 years. Having seen many changes over the years, the castle is set to be completely opened up to the public for the first time on 28 May 2020. The museum, which runs educational programmes for schools, is now joined by a room for wedding ceremonies, our youth hostel and the castle restaurant. So whether you’re looking for a venue for a wedding or a party, a stunning place to stay or an educational experience, the castle, remodelled by the Zähringens in around 1200, is your perfect choice. Experiencing history first hand, you may feel like you’ve strayed onto the set of ‘Night at the Museum’. And with a special room for wedding ceremonies, a wedding suite and a fine banqueting hall, we have everything you need to celebrate your big day in fitting style.
|Opening dates||28.05.2020 - 02.01.2021||24.02.2021 - 31.12.2021|
|Check-in||15:00 - 22:00||15:00 - 22:00|
|Check-out||07:30 - 10:00||07:30 - 10:00|
|Mon to Fri:||07:30 - 22:00||07:30 - 22:00|
|Sat and Sun:||07:30 - 22:00||07:30 - 22:00|
|Breakfast||07:30 - 09:30||07:30 - 09:30|
|Lunch||12:00 - 14:00||12:00 - 14:00|
|Dinner||18:00 - 22:00||18:00 - 22:00|
How to find us
On foot/public transport:
From Burgdorf railway station take the 461 bus in the direction of Burgdorf, City and travel three stops to Burgdorf, Kronenplatz (three minutes). From there, head east along Schlossgässli until you reach the castle (four minutes).
On foot (approx. 15 minutes):
From the station follow the yellow signs in the direction of Altstadt/Schloss. Head along Bahnhofstrasse until you reach Lyssachstrasse. Head east along this street until this becomes first Mühlegasse and then Kronenhalde. This takes you to the old town and Schlossgässli. Turn left to arrive at the castle.
The castle is not accessible by car. Please use the nearest car park. You can reach this as follows: from the A1/E25 take exit 39 in the direction of Kirchberg/Langnau i.E./Burgdorf/Alchenflüh. At the roundabout take the second exit (straight ahead) in the direction of Langnau i. E./Burgdorf. Keep following the signs for Langnau i.E./Burgdorf, then Langnau i. E./Thun. This will take you around the outskirts of the old town and the castle and you will see signs on the left pointing to the ‘Parkhaus Oberstadt und Schloss’ car park.
To walk to the castle from the car park, turn onto Schmiedengasse heading towards the old town and stay on this road until you reach Kronenplatz. On the opposite side, you will see Schlossgässli, which leads directly to the castle. It will take you less than seven minutes to reach the castle from here.
Number of beds
Spaces for bicycles
Bed linen included
Dogs on request
At the water
Prices (in CHF) and availability
Breakfast buffet incl. Lunch CHF 18.50 Evenings: Three-course menu at the knights’ banquet table CHF 18.50 Dinner for children aged 2–5 years CHF 8.50 Dinner for children aged 6–12 years CHF 14.50 Packed lunch on request CHF 8.50
We accept Lunch-Checks!
Further price information
- Entry to the Burgdorf Castle museum is included in the price of your stay.
- The Hostel Card Standard is included in the price of your stay and is valid from your arrival date to your departure date.
- All prices include VAT.
- You have the option of purchasing a Hostel Card Premium which entitles you to the lowest accommodation prices. More information about the Hostel Card Premium
- Groups (minimum of 10 people) are advised to buy a Hostel Card Premium (personal: CHF 55.–/transferable CHF 99.–)
- Children aged 2 to 5 stay for just CHF 15.– and children aged 6 to 12 for just CHF 27.– per night in the parents’ or grandparents’ room. Breakfast is included. Babies aged one and under stay in a cot, where available, free of charge. Children’s prices do not apply to double rooms.
- Group rates for children: a flat rate of CHF 15.– applies for children aged 2–5, while bed prices/group prices apply for children aged 6–12
- Voluntary CO2 compensation offset CHF 0.30
- Special offers available for schools and groups.
- Prices are subject to change
- All prices are in CHF
Rooms Barrier-free beds per room 1 6-bed room with washbasin 1 bed 7 6-bed rooms with washbasin (3-storey bunk beds in 5 rooms) 2 beds 2 6-bed rooms with washbasin 3 beds 2 4-bed rooms with washbasin 1 bed 1 2-bed room with barrier-free shower/WC 1 bed
The youth hostel has a wheelchair accessible lift which connects the different floors.
The width of the doors to the rooms is 80 cm.
Barrier-free wash rooms
There is a barrier-free toilet on the ground floor. One of our two-bed rooms has a fully barrier-free wash room.
The dimensions of the wash rooms are:
- Width of door to wash room: 80 cm
- Toilet seat height: min. 46 cm
- Shower seat
- Grab rails
The road up to the castle is cobbled and has a 16% gradient. We therefore recommend that you arrive by car. Access by car requires permission. Contact the youth hostel in advance to arrange this.
The youth hostel has a wheelchair accessible parking space. Charges apply. Please ensure that you book in advance. We are happy to provide the accessible parking space free of charge to blue badge holders.
Links for public transport
- Swiss Federal Railways (SBB): passengers with reduced mobility
- Barrier-free travel with BLS
- Taxi Burgdorf, www.taxi-burgdorf.ch, tel: 0800 002 700
- Ämme Taxi, tel: +41 34 422 41 00
- Local Taxi, www.taxi-local.ch, free phone: 0800 80 76 78 | mobile: +41 79 301 76 78
- Apotheke Ryser
+41 34 422 20 13
- TopPharm Apotheke Zbinden
+41 34 426 22 72
- Amavita Apotheke Grosse
+41 58 878 14 90
History of Burgdorf Castle
The origins of Burgdorf Castle are shrouded in legend. According to the old founding myth, recounted and embellished by Jeremias Gotthelf, a fearsome dragon is supposed to have lived in the rock where the castle was later built. In the year 712, the brothers Sintram and Bertram managed to hunt the beast down and defeat it in a dramatic struggle. With the land now free of the dragon, the two Counts of Lenzburg were able to build a castle on the rock and found a town in the valley below. In thanks for their victory, they built a chapel to Saint Margaret in the castle.
It goes without saying that this is not how things actually happened. Few facts have survived from the castle’s early days. All that we know is that the Counts of Rheinfelden in Burgdorf owned a castle that passed into the possession of the Dukes of Zähringen in 1090. As Rectors (viceroys) of Burgundy, the Zähringens used the castle on the Emme as one of the bases for their expansion westwards.
In around 1200, Duke Berchtold V, the last of the Zähringens, built a series of towns to consolidate his power. These included Burgdorf. In the course of this work, the castle was also rebuilt and acquired its current look. Its three main buildings are the residential tower, the keep and the hall. The castle was constructed in brick – a material that was totally unknown in the region at the time – and its lavish proportions are reminiscent of royal palaces. This and the large church that the duke built for the new town hints that he intended Burgdorf to be the centre of Zähringen Burgundy rather than Bern, as the chronicler Conrad Justinger claimed in the fifteenth century.
After the death of Berchtold V in 1218, the castle passed to the noble Kyburg dynasty. Count Hartmann V made major renovations in the early Gothic style in 1250, and Count Eberhard von Kyburg-Burgdorf had the Zähringen hall modernised in 1273. The castle served as the counts’ residence until 1384.
When Burgdorf was ceded to Bern, the castle became the seat of the Bernese administrator, turning it from a residence of the nobility to a place of magisterial office. Under Bern’s rule, it underwent several more modifications but the character of the thirteenth century building remains unchanged to this day. Burgdorf Castle is considered the best preserved of the Zähringen castles and is classified as a heritage site of national significance.
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