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The Charm of Biel

Biel, a charming town in the Three Lakes region (Neuchâtel, Biel and Murten) located in the canton of Bern. Biel is best known for being the watchmaking metropolis of Switzerland. It is also qualified as a high-tech city, excellent in communication and industries. These are, among other things, reasons why it is a destination of choice.

Located on the shores of the lake of the same name, at the foot of the Jura, in the centre of Mitteland, Biel is home to many watchmakers who settled there once the trainer Jean Calvin banned the wearing of ornamental objects in 1541. These measures forced goldsmiths and jewellers to turn to watchmaking. Thus, from the 19th century, Biel became the flagship of the watch industry, the tradition of Swiss craftsmanship being highly respected.

Museums are even dedicated to it, such as the Omega Museum and the Cité du Temps. Several world-renowned watch brands have established their headquarters there, to name only Swatch Group, Tissot, Movado, Omega and Mikron. Rolex, on the other hand, has set up its production buildings there. As well as craftsmen independent of the industry have set up their workbench there.

In addition to its historical watchmaking heritage, Biel is also home to beautiful sites such as Lake Biel and other many parks with breathtaking views of the lake. We also mention its old town, a beautifully preserved historic center and in which you can discover many charming alleys, pretty fountains, beautiful small galleries and nice restaurants.

Extending over a small eminence, it houses a Gothic church of the 15th century whose architecture contrasts particularly with that of the modern houses located on the shores of the lake. Indeed, entire neighborhoods were built in the modern style in the 20s and 30s.

There is also the New Biel Museum aka NMB, a museum specializing in history, art and archaeology or Pasquart, the Biel center that brings together contemporary art, photography and cinema.

In case you don't speak a single word of German, rest assured, the city of Biel is a multilingual city. More than 41% of the population speaks French, while 56.9% speak German. For good reason, it is on the border of languages between German-speaking Switzerland and French-speaking Switzerland.


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