Federal Palace in Bern to open to the public for free in July

Federal Palace in Bern to open to the public for free in July

To celebrate 175 years since the signing of the first modern Swiss constitution, the Federal Palace in Bern will be opening its doors to the public for free. The event at the beginning of July will be a rare opportunity to see within the halls of power, with a number of exciting talks, tours and speeches planned.

Swiss Parliament to open to visitors on July 1 and 2

From 1pm to 9pm on July 1 and 9am to 6pm on July 2, members of the public will be able to visit the seat of federal power in Switzerland, the Federal Palace in Bern. The massive complex in the de-facto capital will be open to members of the general public in order to celebrate when the first Swiss Federal Constitution was signed 175 years ago in 1848.

Expats, tourists and citizens alike will be able to explore the Parliament Building, Swiss National Bank, the west, east and north wings of the Federal Palace, the Bellevue Palace, the Bernerhof Hotel, the Media Centre and the government canteen. These buildings will be free to enter and will play host to a number of talks about Swiss history, culture, the economy and more - many of which will be in English.

President of Switzerland to speak at parliament open day

The centrepiece of the weekend is likely to be the speeches given by official government figures, with the first-ever Federal Councillor from Canton Jura, Elisabeth Baume-Schneider, and the President of the National Council, Martin Candinas, slated to speak at 3pm on July 1 in the National Council Chamber. Then, the President of Switzerland himself, Alain Berset, and the President of the Council of States Brigitte Häberli-Koller will speak at noon on July 2.

Entrance to the event is free for all. Attendants over the age of 16 will be subject to an ID check before entering the buildings - valid forms of ID include passports, Swiss or EU ID cards, Swiss driving licenses and residence permits. All entrants and their belongings will also be x-rayed by the police.

SBB offers cheap transport ticket to and from Bern

To help get people from across Switzerland to Bern, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will also be offering a special, cut-price public transport ticket, valid for one journey from any station to Bern and back on July 1 or 2. The second-class pass costs 35 Swiss francs per adult or 17,50 for those with a Halbtax-abo (half-fare travel card).

To find out more about the event, check out the official brochure (in English). For access to the special SBB ticket, please visit the official website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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