Swiss politics boring? Not with the audio tour of the parliament buildings. This mobile app for smartphones invites you to visit the seat of Swiss government and to take a leisurely stroll into and around the Parliament Building. The easy-to-use free app includes two audio tours presented in five languages, maps for online and offline use, and a few additional surprises!
Did you know that 45,000 gold plates decorate the dome of the Federal Palace of Switzerland, located in Bern? Or that the name Parliament Building actually only exists colloquially and that it is correctly called the Swiss Federal Palace? Whether as hard facts or simply as amusing anecdotes, the new app Federal Palace audio guide conveys a lot of knowledge in an entertaining way, and is presented in the Swiss national languages of German, French, Italian, Romansh and English.
Two audio tours in one app
The app contains two audio tours: one around the outside of the Federal Palace and the government precinct, and the other inside the buildings. On the indoor tour, visitors can visit the areas where Swiss politics is conducted, and enjoy seeing the chambers of the National Council and Council of States. At the same time, you can learn about the architecture of the Federal Palace and discover numerous works of art that reflect Swiss life. There is humour too: in the famous foyer, you’ll find representatives of Swiss tourism… in the form of Mercury, messenger of the gods, who rules over commerce, good fortune and thieves!
The outdoors audio tour invites you to take a walk around the Federal Palace. Find out how the parliament building was built, where some of the gold reserves of the nearby National Bank are stored, or what the chic Hotel Bellevue has to do with the Federal Palace.
In addition to the audio guide, there are many photos, texts and, where appropriate, links to all the important sights. Or take a break from the audio tour, and enjoy some peace and quiet while enjoying the view from the federal terrace or the UNESCO World Heritage site of “Bern Old Town”.
Ideal for independent travelers
This mobile application for smartphones is suitable for all ages, and is aimed at those wishing to explore the Swiss parliament buildings in Bern and the neighbouring sites on their own, and at their own pace. You can choose to follow the suggested route or create your own route, as the important sights along the tour are individually listed and are independent of each other.
The app is equipped with some helpful features:
- It can be used both online and offline. This is especially handy for foreign guests wishing to avoid data roaming charges.
- It’s easy to find the sights; thanks to GPS recognition, a notification appears on your own smartphone display as soon as you come near a place of interest.
- All "Points of Interest" on the outdoor tour are highlighted on Google Maps and OpenStreetMaps. If you have activated your GPS and the location services, you can see your own location right away.
- For offline use, the map material from Google Maps and OpenStreetMap is used.
- Most of the app has accessibility features, so that people with impaired vision or hearing can experience the Parliament Building tours as comprehensively as possible. The programming largely complies with the “Guidelines for Accessible Web Content, WCAG 2.0” and has been optimized in collaboration with the “Access for All” Foundation.
The app can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple and Google app stores.
Developing the application
This smartphone application was developed on behalf of the Swiss Parliamentary Services using the “Tour App Maker” tool from Audiotours GmbH. With this web content management system (WebCMS), content for an app can be easily recorded and managed. Based on templates, the customer can insert the app content themself and update it at any time, even when live. The templates can be adapted to specific customer requirements; for the Federal Palace audio guide, the template was customised to enable two audio tours being recorded in the same app.
For the Federal Palace audio guide app, Audiotours provided the following services on behalf of and in cooperation with the Swiss Parliamentary Services:
- Conception of the audio tour
- Script editing (in cooperation with wortwert.ch)
- Programming the application
- Sound production in five languages including sound design
«The creation of the Federal Palace audio guide app in collaboration with Audiotours was very exciting. Thanks to the technical tools and guidance provided by Audiotours, a good quality product was created.»
Head of Event Planning and Coordination
Deputy Head of Guided Tours & Events
Key Project Facts
App «Federal Palace audio guide »
Since March 2021.