What are you doing on Swiss National Day?

In early August in the year 1291 representatives from the Cantons of Schwiz, Uri, and Nidwalden met to swear an oath of confederation at the Rütli Meadow perched above Lake Lucerne. It was the birth of Switzerland. There is no better way to celebrate the day than to dive in with two feet into the local celebrations. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in Central Switzerland on August 1st…

July 31st

Villages traditionally have a large fireworks display the night before Swiss National Day. Here are a few:

Flüelen – at the end of the lake the Urner village of Flüelen fills their lake promenade with bars and food stalls in preparation for a large fireworks display starting at 22:30. Flüelen can be reached by boat (it’s the last stop on the lake cruises) or by train.

Lungerersee – the village of Lungern turns into one big party the night of July 31st. There is music, food, and beer with a fireworks display over the water starting at 22:00. Lungerne is a 45 minute train ride from Luzern and there is plenty of parking if you decide to drive. Program

Littau – there will be a celebration on the Littauer berg starting at 18.00 and lasting well into the night with fireworks.

August 1st

There is no shortage of things to do on August 1st; whether it is on Lake Luzern or throughout the country. A good summary of local festivities can be found on the Luzern tourism site. It covers events in Altdorf, Andermatt, Beckenried, Brunnen, Einsiedeln, Engelberg, Grossen Mythen, Melchsee-Frutt, Morschach, Rigi Klum, Rigi Scheidegg, Rütli, Sörenberg, Stoos, Weggis, Wolerau, and Vitznau.

Farmer’s Brunch – it is tradition to find a farmer’s brunch for your first meal on August 1st. Dozens of farms in the area convert for the day into an all-you-can-eat brunch with bacon, eggs, rösti potatoes, fresh apple cider, and an assortment of breads and cheeses. Most locations also have entertainment for the kids; horse carriage rides or a pettig zoo with farm animals. It’s best to find and reserve a table well beforehand. Tickets are usually CHF20-30 per person. Thankfully there is a website where you can see many of the local farmer’s brunches along with their contact details. Just select the Canton, enter a town and a radius for your search. Results can be seen in a list or on a map.

Lake Cruises – if you want to watch the evening’s fireworks from the lake there are spots available on the various dinner cruises.

If you would like to do something different the old Gotthard locomotive will be doing a golden-oldie tour from Erstfeld to Bodio in the Tessin and back, including a lunch on board. The trip begins at 9.45 and ends at 16.00. Go to the train station ticket counter for more information and to book your ticket.

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