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What will be open in Switzerland over the Easter holiday weekend?

The Local Switzerland
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What will be open in Switzerland over the Easter holiday weekend?
Brunch is an Easter tradition in Switzerland. Image by Terri Cnudde from Pixabay

To make the best out of your Easter weekend in Switzerland, it is important to know what is open and what is not.


Let’s start with Good Friday, March 29th, which is a holiday everywhere in Switzerland with the exception of Ticino and Valais.

This basically means that it will be business as usual in these two cantons, but the other 24 will come to a standstill (read more about this below).

Though many people in Switzerland take a four-day break over the Easter weekend (from Good Friday until the following Tuesday), Saturday is a ‘normal’ day, which means that businesses will close but shops will open until their regular Saturday time (which varies from one region to another), are as restaurants, bars, cafés, cinemas, and other entertainment venues.

READ ALSO: Which Swiss cantons don't get public holidays over Easter?

What can you expect on Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

It goes without saying that churches will definitely be open on both days.

But much of everything else will shut down.

Supermarkets and other retailers will close, though shops at airports and major train stations will remain open, as will small convenience stores at petrol stations, like Coop Pronto and Migrolino. 

And you should have no problem finding a place to sip a cuppa because many coffee shops / tea rooms will open their doors.

As for restaurants, while some will close, many others will remain open. 

The reason is that a brunch on Easter Sunday is a long-standing tradition in Switzerland, so there is a good chance that some venues will serve it in your area as well.


What about medical and other services?

Pharmacies will be closed, but ‘duty’ ones will open, even if on a limited schedule. You can find out which ones are open in your area, and their hours of operation, by calling the general information number, 1811.

Trains, trams, and buses operate 365 days a year, but they usually run on a limited (‘Sunday’) schedule during the holidays. It’s best to check the timetable on the SBB app or online.

In fact, if you live in the Swiss-German part and are heading to Ticino over the Easter weekend, you are in luck: there will actually be more trains in service on that route.

What about emergencies?

While your doctor’s office will be closed, hospitals and emergency rooms will operate as normal.

If you need urgent medical help during the Easter weekend, call 144.

The same holds true for police and fire services, which can be reached 24/7 on numbers 117 and 118 respectively.


What is happening (or not) on Easter Monday?

It too is a public holiday in most of Switzerland, except in Neuchâtel, Solothurn, Valais, and Zug.

So if you live in one of those four cantons, everything will be as usual, in terms of openings.

For others, Easter Monday will be pretty much the same as Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Is anything open?

Some movie theatres and most major museums will stay open.

You will also be able to visit most tourist sites.

If you are heading to the mountains, ski lifts will be operating as normal too.


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