HomeAbout SwitzerlandCelebrating 1st of August - Swiss national day 2023

Celebrating 1st of August – Swiss national day 2023

Swiss National Day is a celebration that happens every year on August 1st in Switzerland. This day is special because it marks the time when Switzerland first came together as a nation way back in 1291 (well, some of the cantons at least). The Swiss are proud of their history, and on this day, they celebrate their country and culture. What is the best way to enjoy the 1st of August, and how do the Swiss spend this day?

Spend the day like a Swiss

While there is no one single way to spend the national day of Switzerland, there are a few recurring activities that are beloved to do on the 1st of August. If the weather is nice, many Swiss leave the cities to go on a hike and discover their beautiful country. Bring a picnic with typical Swiss products such as precooked eggs (pic-nic eggs), cervela sausage, cheese and Swiss bread. To top if all off, many people organise a barbecue to enjoy with friends and family.

Many cities and villages also organise some events for the national day of Switzerland, but don’t expect large national parades. The Swiss national holiday is still relatively young, and there are no deep-rooted traditions on this day. Simply enjoy your day off and spend it eating good food and being with friends!

Farmers brunch on the 1st of August

Another event that has risen in popularity the past few years is the Swiss farmers brunch on the 1st of August. Hundreds of farms open their doors and organise a brunch for visitors with local products. You can find participating farmers all over the country where you can celebrate the 1st of August in style. More information can be found on the website for Swiss farmers. Prices for the brunches vary, but most require you to reserve your spot prior to the 1st of August.

Enjoy the traditional fireworks

Fireworks are definitely tightly connected to the Swiss national day. Some cities might organise a fireworks display for the entire community to enjoy. Good to keep in mind that this can be on either the 31st of July (the day before the national day) or on the 1st of August.

Many citizens also enjoy setting off their own private pyrotechnics show, with supermarkets and other shops selling fireworks in the weeks leading up to the 1st of August. This

Important: Like many other regions in Europe, Switzerland has been battling severe droughts in part of the country. If you plan on setting off your own fireworks, always check if there are any restrictions in place by your local commune/Gemeinde/comune. If you want to visit a public fireworks show, keep yourself informed as shows might be canceled due to weather or fire bans.

Activities in big Swiss cities on the 1st of August

While many Swiss will go into nature during the 1st of August as already mentioned, there is still plenty to do in the bigger cities of the country. Here is a small selection of things do to in Lugano, Zürich, Bern and Lausanne during the national day of Switzerland!


Bundesfeier 2023 at the Stadthausanlage at Bürkliplatz. Expect traditional salutes, musical entertainment and activities for children. More information here: Bundesfeier 2023 Zürich


A firework display in the bay of Lugano will set off at 22.30 (10.30 PM). In case of bad weather, the pyrotechnics show might be postponed until the next day.


The famous Bundesplatz in front of the Swiss parliament will turn into a garden party on July 31st and August 1st. Expect plenty of food stands and concerts of up-and coming artists!

In addition to this, many Bern institutions will welcome visitors for an open house. Among the buildings you can visit is the Swiss parliament, the Bundeshaus. More information on the website of the event.


A firework display will set off at 22.15 (10.15 PM) on the Lac Léman (Geneva lake) in Lausanne. Entrance if free and best spot to see the show is at Place de la Navigation at the metro station Ouchy-Olympique. More information on the website of Lausanne tourism.

And you, how will you celebrate Switzerland on the 1st of August 2023?

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Originally from the Netherlands, I landed in Luzern, Switzerland in March 2022 after 10 years in Sweden. Now, I aim to explore as much of Switzerland as I can, and share it here!

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