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  #41  
Old 16.12.2012, 15:50
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

I have been to Biel/Bienne only once and not for very long, but I found the old town quite charming.
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  #42  
Old 16.12.2012, 16:46
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

Wolli, you're a wealth of knowledge.
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  #43  
Old 16.12.2012, 17:05
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

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If the Ober-Aargau and the Bielersee-Region would merge into Solothurn, it would be a difference ! the other way round, Canton Solothurn could merge into the post Jura-II-aera Canton Bern. By "post Jura-II" I do not mean "Jurassic Park" but the procedure by which the protestant non-Bielersee part of the Bernese Jura will join the Canton of Jura.
I get the feeling Solothurn is the "Saarland" of Switzerland, all German speaking but with a French influence, is that correct?
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  #44  
Old 17.12.2012, 00:23
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

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I get the feeling Solothurn is the "Saarland" of Switzerland, all German speaking but with a French influence, is that correct?
Absolutely. A heavy French influence while being thoroughly German speaking. The French influence also is around in the cuisine of the region. Exactly as in Saarbrücken !
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  #45  
Old 17.12.2012, 09:49
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

Hi everyone,

I live in Biel since 4 years now, just behind the main station and the lake, on the river side, giving the location a proximity to city center, train station and the "peacefulness" of the nature on the other side.

I have been traveling a little in the past and spent altogether 4-5 years abroad. I understand that for most of you Biel looks more like a village than a real city :-) and I perfectly understand it.

What i find exciting about Biel is it's bilingualism and the open-mindness of people here. You pretty much talk french everywhere, if people don't speak a correct french they'll answer in german without any tension. I remember my days in Zürich for example where it was more appreciated to talk english than french... It does work the other way round too.

BTW you'll find plenty of english speakers here too, watch making business gets talent from all over the world, and Swiss people usually end up talking in english if they don't speak each other language.

I love the old town, it's small shops and saturday market, I love the lake side too, i love the quality of some small restaurants down here but sometimes missing the diversity you can find in bigger villages ;-)

We are planning to move to the countryside at some point but i'll be missing Biel for sure.

If you want good addresses feel free to ask, enjoy your stay here.
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  #46  
Old 17.12.2012, 14:13
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

I am no expat per se ( grew up near Bern and always knew i wanted to live here one day) ....but am living since 24 years in Biel and have seen the city change so much ...for the better!!

I am happy to have read all your comments on it...so I'll just ad my 2cents of stuff i think weren't mentioned in the previous posts....it has many benefits such as much cheaper flats,bicycle friendly town, tip top public transport locally but also to the big cities, loads and loads of natural places to refuel your energies ( the lake, Chasseral, Bözingenberg, Pres d Orvin with a small skiing arena only about 15 minutes away by car etc etc ) restaurants for all palates, fuel for car is also one of the cheapest in the canton here, a wide variety of shops from luxury to second hand and obviously the certain je ne sais quoi of the billingualism...also did you know that majority of the city council members are gay...and no one here even blinked an eye about this fact..whereas the ZH based media made a terrible ''scandal'' of it.....which i think goes to show how lovely the Bieler are we let the people live the way they feel most happy about!

To say it with the Slogan of our National League A Icehockey Team:

ICI C'EST BIENNE!
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  #47  
Old 17.12.2012, 14:30
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

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To say it with the Slogan of our National League A Icehockey Team:

ICI C'EST BIENNE!
You guys have quelques canadiens on the that team, right ?
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  #48  
Old 17.12.2012, 14:33
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

For more info about Biel-Bienne, check the linkedin group Friends of Biel-Bienne
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  #49  
Old 17.12.2012, 14:41
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

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You guys have quelques canadiens on the that team, right ?
Yep we do...and profited from the NHL lock out too although...after a cracking start into the season ....we now have to fight for the last place in the play off .....
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  #50  
Old 03.09.2015, 21:43
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

I love Biel. It's my favorite place in Switzerland...not that I've been everywhere....

But there are lots of alternative lifestyles, cultural diversity, and happenings in public places...
Plus cheap calzone and chinese food, a relative rarity (the cheap part) in Switzerland.
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  #51  
Old 03.09.2015, 23:23
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

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I love Biel. It's my favorite place in Switzerland...not that I've been everywhere....

But there are lots of alternative lifestyles, cultural diversity, and happenings in public places...
Plus cheap calzone and chinese food, a relative rarity (the cheap part) in Switzerland.
I totally agree. Love it here and couldn't be happier. Haven't tried the Chinese food yet, though.
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  #52  
Old 09.09.2015, 20:38
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

Tanx feels good after so much Biel bashing in the national media to read that new people like it here

Bienvenue a Bienne

EE
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  #53  
Old 09.09.2015, 21:47
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

I nearly moved to Nidau, which is the southern side of Biel. It doesn't look so sad, even pretty, but I didn't get the apartment.

https://www.google.ch/maps/place/Nid...111c5d05d8d1e2
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  #54  
Old 10.09.2015, 18:40
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

I personally don`t find Biel so nice, but it`s one of our bilingual towns and the lake is just lovely, with the little charming villages in the wine yards and it also has the St Peter`s Island where Rousseau worked and lived.
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  #55  
Old 09.01.2016, 19:35
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

I suppose it comes down to perspective.

I think Biel is a cool place. The fact that it has a lot of immigrants gives it some spice, and we know variety is the spice of life. I'm an irishman but I've connect with some of the Africans, very friendly and welcoming people!!! Especially the Cameroonians!!ü

Biel is also Switzerland's biggest Bilingual city which gives it something special. The mix of Swiss French and German's is an interesting dynamic and it's a great place to learn both languages.

The Jura is a big wall of mountainous forest that surrounds Biel, a great spot to get into nature, go cylcing, wander into the Jura, and also to go to Macolin which is where the Swiss institute of sport is based.

But yeah it's a bit boring but looking at other Swiss cities, I wouldnt say it's half as pretentious as most. It's got something edgy about it (whether that's good or bad is down to perspective).
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  #56  
Old 10.01.2016, 06:44
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

Biel is a great city if you can afford to live in a wealthier area, you'll have the bieler see to swim, magglingen mountain to hike, French/German hotpot, huge library , lots of museums etc. pretty much everything Switzerland has to offer at one place.



However there is also a lot of crime and a huge junkie/druggie scene, like , you will hear of a stabbing here and there every now and then or some street fights at night .


Reminds me, I was there at night once with my girlfriend when I was 14 , a Pimp who was roaming the streets during the night was looking for a fight (to which it never came luckily, he had lots of silver teeth so i would have probably lost), and his hooker tried to help me. So I guess the city has nice hookers as well...
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  #57  
Old 10.01.2016, 10:24
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

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Biel is a sad city. Hard to believe that it was booming decades ago. The big names, when it comes to watches, still have their main hub there. The city is home to a lot of immigrants from Africa and the East.

Biel as such was NOT booming in the past ---- visited Biel from time to time since the 1970ies and the place only got uo after 1995 and still is
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  #58  
Old 11.01.2016, 14:36
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

I took a job in Brügg in 1980 and lived in Nidau for about 8 years before moving to Bern. I liked Biel a lot, especially the bi-lingual aspect, and of course, the lake ... the park there is a lovely place to be on a sunny day.

The town had a run-down, working-class, seen-better-days feel, but I liked that, it was gritty and honest, unpretentious. That was during the decline of the Swiss watch industry, suffering from the 'quartz revolution', which probably had an influence on the economic climate there and that may now be very different.

The residents were friendly and switched automatically to German when addressed in it, even when their first words may have been French.

The major downside is the winter fog, it's why many locals have properties on the northern slope above the town to escape above the low-lying blanket that spreads over the Seeland area. After moving to Bern my daily driving commute was sometimes quite hazadous because of it.
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  #59  
Old 11.01.2016, 15:43
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Yup....this fog is kind of insane. But it makes it easy to stay indoors and be productive.

Yeah, what are some of your favorite restaurants?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 31.01.2016 at 13:26. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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  #60  
Old 11.01.2016, 17:54
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Re: How is Biel/Bienne?

There's a nice Thai restaurant but my favourite is the lebanese (expensive though). Both are in the old town and well worth a visit!
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