Practical Information

Welcome and thank you for your interest in participating in the United Nations World Data Forum 2021, which will be held from Sunday 3rd to Wednesday 6th October 2021 in Bern, Switzerland.

This note also covers the UNECE Regional Forum on Gender Statistics (13 and 14 October 2020), the Global Forum on Gender Statistics (15 and 16 October 2020) and the Conference of the Global Working Group on Big Data for Official Statistics (17 October 2020) which will all take place in Bern at the conference venue of the Universal Postal Union.


Since the conference is linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we strive to ensure that the event is as sustainable as possible. We strongly encourage you to follow our recommendations and to behave in a sustainable way. Thank you!


To participate in the United Nations World Data Forum, you will be able to register via the UNWDF page in 2021.
Upon confirmation of your attendance, you will receive a formal confirmation, which will allow you to collect your personalised security badge at the venue.
If you have any questions regarding the registration, please contact us under dataforum@un.org
Further information to the other conferences will be shared on a later stage.


Kursaal Bern
Kornhausstrasse 3
3000 Bern
Tel. +41 31 339 55 00, Website: https://kursaal-bern.ch/en

Access to the venue:
From Bern main railway station: Take tram no. 9, direction “Wankdorf Bahnhof” or “Guisanplatz” and alight at the “Kursaal” station (3rd stop).


Information will be shared before the registration process starts.

For further information, please contact: UNWDF@bfs.admin.ch


You are free to choose any hotel according to your needs and preferences. In general, we strongly recommend choosing a hotel that is within walking distance of the conference venue or easily reachable by public transportation.

To guarantee a reservation, most hotels require a valid credit card number (including expiration date). Please add the credit card details during your booking process. The hotel will possibly verify your credit card by deducting the amount of CHF 1.00. The amount will not be charged and the payment will be settled at the hotel on arrival.

These specially negotiated prices via the provided link are not valid when booked through an online operator (e.g. booking.com, etc.). The rooms will be charged in case of a no-show or a cancellation less than 48 hours before the arrival date (see the conditions received with your confirmation).

Should you require any assistance with your hotel booking, you can contact “Bern Welcome” (meetings@bern.com).

The link to the booking platform is provided to all participants of the conference(s) with an access code, which will be sent out with the registration confirmation. Link to the “Road to Bern” website: www.roadtobern.ch


In general, we recommend travelling by train and the public transport system, which is well developed in Europe and Switzerland. We understand that, depending on the point of departure, travel by plane cannot be avoided. We are therefore happy to inform you that Swiss International Air Lines is the Official Carrier of the UN World Data Forum in Bern as well as the other events prior to the Forum in Bern. The Swiss national airline, which operates one of the most sustainable fleets, offers all participants up to 10% discount on the standard fares.
We also ask you to offset your CO2 emissions. The flight can be offset directly while conducting the booking. More information can be found on the following website: https://swiss.compensaid.com/

The reduced conference fares are specially marked with a white triangle and, depending on the chosen fare, allow you to change or cancel your flight with complete ease. All reductions depend on the type of fare, route and availability. They are valid on the entire SWISS route network for flights to Switzerland (flight numbers LX1 – 2999 and LX 7400 – 7465); including flights operated by partner airlines under an LX flight number (LX 8000 – 8999).

The link to the booking platform is provided to all participants of the conference(s) with an access code, which will be sent out with the registration confirmation. Link to the “Road to Bern” website: www.roadtobern.ch


Bern does have a small airport. However, the nearest main airport is located in Zurich. The main travel options to reach Bern by public transportation are the following:

From Zurich Airport:
Direct train to Bern (travel time approx. 1h 20min)
Single ticket:
• 1st class – CHF 98.00
• 2nd class – CHF 56.00

From Geneva Airport:
Direct train to Bern (travel time approx. 2h)
Single ticket:
• 1st class – CHF 98.00
• 2nd class – CHF 56.00

From Basel Airport:
Bus to Basel SBB, then direct train to Bern (travel time approx. 1h 30min)
Single ticket:
• 1st class – CHF 77.20
• 2nd class – CHF 46.20

If you book your ticket in advance, you may be able to buy a supersaver ticket, which is often half price. For more information, please see the link below:

Please note that the supersaver ticket is only valid for the selected travel date and service (specific train).

Timetable information can be found on the website of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB): http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html


Each hotel in Bern city will hand out a “BernTicket” (link:  https://www.bern.com/en/detail/bern-ticket-free-on-public-transport ) which offers free public transportation in the city of Bern. Please ask for it at check-in if it is not issued automatically. On your day of arrival, your hotel reservation confirmation may be used as a transfer ticket from the railway station in Bern to your accommodation.

If you book a hotel room in Thun, please note that in order to get to the conference venue in Bern and back, you will need a ticket for public transportation. There are multiple-journey tickets available. You can find more information on this topic at any Swiss railway station or via the following link:

If the weather in Bern is still mild in October, it is also convenient and easy to get around by bike.

We are pleased to inform the conference participants that they can use PubliBike free of charge during 7 days. You need to download the PubliBike app (for free), register and you can enjoy the first 30 minutes of each ride for free.

More information how to use this offer will be published a few days before the conference starts.


Please note that Switzerland uses the Swiss franc, usually indicated as CHF. While it is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, many prices are nonetheless indicated in Euros so that visitors can compare prices.


The voltage in Switzerland, as in most of Europe, is 230V/50 Hz. Switzerland uses type C (2-pin) and type J (3-pin) plugs (type C 2-pin plugs also fit J sockets). Most power sockets are designed for three pin round plugs. The standard continental type plug with two round pins, applied for many electrical travel products, can be used without problems.


Free wireless access is available at the convention centre. There is free WIFI in many restaurants and public buildings. In addition, travelers WiFi can also be a good way to use cheap internet: https://www.bern.com/en/detail/travelers-wifi


The working language of the UN World Data Forum 2021 is English. No simultaneous interpretation will be provided.


The average temperature in Bern during the time of the conference may range from 5°to 15° degrees Celsius. Please check the weather forecast prior to your departure: http://www.meteoswiss.admin.ch



Together with the other European countries of the CET time zone, Switzerland applies summer time between the last Sunday of March and the last Sunday of October (CET + 1 hour).


The local number for all emergencies is 112.
For other emergencies directly related to your attendance at the UN World Data Forum 2021, you may contact the Event Team at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs at event@eda.admin.ch .