Here is a list of school holidays in Switzerland in 2020 and 2021 so that you can plan what to do and when if you have kids in Swiss schools.
If you’re a parent who lives or works in Switzerland, it’s important to find out the dates of Swiss school holidays and other days kids may have off so that you can plan accordingly. School holidays cross over with public holidays in Switzerland (such as Christmas and Easter), plus there are other breaks such as the summer holiday.
Collège du Léman
Collège du Léman is an international day and boarding school located in Geneva, for students aged two to 18 years old. The curriculum comprises the International Baccalaureate (IB) and IGCSE, and is taught in French and English to more than 100 different nationality students.
Swiss holiday schedules
School holidays in Switzerland are set by the individual cantons. Swiss schools typically have five standard holidays each year: an autumn holiday of one to three weeks, a Christmas holiday of 1.5–2.5 weeks, a holiday around February/March of one to two weeks (generally referred to as a sport holiday, a carnival holiday, or a February holiday), a spring holiday around Easter of two weeks, and a summer holiday of 4–8 weeks – which need to be taken within certain periods. International schools in Switzerland generally follow the same holiday dates as other schools within their canton, although they may have longer summer and Christmas breaks and there may be additional or different days off such as teacher training days. Check with your child’s school for full details.
Swiss families tend to spend school holiday periods getting together to celebrate festivities such as Christmas in Switzerland or Easter, going away on holidays or day trips, or planning activities for kids. The Swiss National Day, which is celebrated within individual communities, falls within school summer break. There may also be regional holidays which occur during school holidays in Switzerland, or that are celebrated with days off at regional level.
School holidays in Switzerland: 2019–20
- Autumn break: 1–3 weeks between 23 September and 1 November 2019
- Christmas break: 1.5–2.5 weeks between 22 December 2019 and 6 January 2020
- Carnival/sport break: 1–2 weeks between 25 January and 16 March 2020
- Spring break: Two weeks between 6 April and 5 May 2020
- Summer break: 4–8 weeks between 29 June and 28 August 2020
School holidays in Switzerland: 2020–21
- Autumn break: 1–3 weeks between 23 September and 1 November 2020
- Christmas break: 1.5–2.5 weeks between 22 December 2020 and 6 January 2021
- Carnival/sport break: 1–2 weeks between 25 January and 16 March 2021
- Spring break: Two weeks between 6 April and 5 May 2021
- Summer break: 4–8 weeks between 29 June and 28 August 2021
You can consult the website of your Swiss canton for full details of holidays during the 2020–21 year.
Additional holidays and days off
There are other days to look out for on the Swiss school holiday calendar. The following days are given as holidays each year in many of the cantons:
- All Saints Day: 1 November 2020 & 1 November 2021
- Labor Day: 1 May 2020 & 1 May 2021
- Ascension Day: 21 May 2020 & 13 May 2021
- Whit Monday/Pentecost: 1 June 2020 & 24 May 2021
- Corpus Christi: 11 June 2020 & 3 June 2021
Each Swiss school may also have additional days off for things such as teacher training, service days, or pupil book days. Check with your child’s school for a full list of days off throughout the year. You can also check your school’s website as many will publish a calendar detailing all dates to be aware of. For example, ICS Inter-community School Zurich and the British School of Geneva have calendars available on their websites.
Childcare during school holidays in Switzerland
Working parents may need to make daycare arrangements for their children during holiday time. During vacation periods, a popular option for expat families is international summer camps. If your child attends an international school in Switzerland, the school may offer provision or be able to recommend a good camp to attend.
There is no nationwide daycare provision during school holidays in Switzerland. Facilities and activities are organized at the local level through either the cantons or individual schools. You can check with your regional canton or school for information. Some cantons may provide a holiday program (Ferienprogramme in German) of activities. One provider of these is Pro Juventute, which offers a series of holiday programs and promotions for children aged 6–16 in various Swiss regions. Another is Profawo, which provides varied holiday daycare to children in the Basel, Bern, Geneva, and Zurich cantons. For kids into football, InterSoccer runs summer and Easter camps all across Switzerland. Other options include home daycare provided through childminders or daycare foster families. Information is available through the regional cantons. Prices and availability for activities vary, so it’s worth making inquiries as soon as possible.