It’s the largest celebration every year in Switzerland, a party no one living in Switzerland should miss—Swiss National Day, August 1.
The holiday—inspired by the Federal Charter Day, set in early August—is a massive celebration attended by up to 120,000 people in the city center. The festivities start at 5pm of July 31st and continue until 2am of August 1, ringing in the holiday with food, music, drinks, memories with good friends, and a spectacular fireworks display.
The National Day observance was moved up to July 31 in 1993, and after this it has only continued to grow into the celebration that it is today.
The ‘Bundesfeier’ firework display takes place at 11pm, and fireworks are set off from two boats in the middle of the Rhein on either side of the Mittlere Brücke.
Undoubtedly, one of the most fun things Basel does in the summer is the concert series on the barge set up on the Rhein every July/August, ImFluss. The concerts host bands and musical groups from all over the world, as well as in the past some local favourites including Sina, Basel’s own Lovebugs, and many others.
It’s a colourful and fun evening out, hosted right by the Mittlerebrücke on the Cafe Spitz side of the water. With a wide variety of acts and genres, you’ll never know exactly what kind of music to expect, but you can preview the series on their website at imfluss.ch/index.php/programm.
And of course there are drinks and food, as well as a small VIP lounge for special guests, royalty, and those who can generally sweet-talk their way in. Try to come ahead of the start time, though, as the crowd can get pretty massive (even on the rainy days!)—make sure to save a spot early if you’d like to get one on the steps of the Rhein or somewhere near the front.
Concerts usually run from 21h to 22h Tuesday through Saturday, and 20.30h to 22h on Monday. The concerts kick off on 24 July.
Here is a clip from the Lovebugs’ performance at ImFluss last year…