Berne has been the political centre of Switzerland since 1848, holding the seat of Federal Parliament and the Swiss National Bank. The city’s medieval old town is listed as UNESCO World Heritage and the four miles of arcades in the old city are said to be the longest shopping promenade in Europe. There are many opportunities to do sport or spend active leisure time in and around Berne, or up in the mountains. In summer when the water is warm enough, the experience of swimming in the river Aare is particularly exciting. Importantly for this conference, most hotels and historical sites in Berne are within walking distance of the congress centre.