Bern : The Kunstmuseum
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Bern’s marvellous Kunstmuseum is barely five minutes’ walk northeast of the train station, in an impressively well-designed and newly renovated building at Hodlerstrasse 8–12 (Tues 10am–9pm, Wed–Sun 10am–5pm; Fr.8 for the permanent collection only, or more to include temporary exhibits; SMP; www.kunstmuseumbern.ch). Aside from often excellent changing shows, the main draw, and reason enough to stump up the admission fee, is the Paul Klee collection, the largest in the world with over two thousand works, most of them drawings and, unfortunately, the greater part in storage in the vaults. Nonetheless, the permanent collection, comprising large numbers of works by Klee and Kandinsky, along with plenty by Picasso, Modigliani, Giacometti, Cézanne, Matisse, Rothko, Miró, Pollock and more, makes this a magical and easy-to-digest experience. There’s also an interesting smattering of works by contemporary artists – Willy Weber’s piece in chrome entitled My dentist has hidden my toothbrush again! will stop you in your tracks – and a wide selection from Swiss artists such as Anker and Hodler.

It’s a fifty-metre stroll from the Kunstmuseum down an alley on the west side of the building to the Frauen-Kunstforum (Women’s Art Forum; Hodlerstrasse 16; Tues 10am–9pm, Wed–Sat 10am–5pm; free; www.frauenkunstforum.ch). A single room with changing exhibitions of contemporary art made by Swiss women, also with a small café and selection of books, it’s a labour of love kept going by donations alone, and is worth your moral, and even financial, support.

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