Would you like to follow a debate in the Council of States or the National Council? When Parliament is in session you can follow debates and votes in either chamber – all you need is a valid form of identification which you leave with security.

 

Individuals

There are 25 spaces available which cannot be reserved in advance. You will need to present yourself at the visitors’ entrance on the Bundesterrasse. You will be allowed to take a seat half an hour before the sitting is due to begin. You can also go up to the gallery during the sitting as long as there is still space available. You may have to be prepared to wait for some time during busy periods. If that is the case, the amount of time you are allowed to stay in the gallery may be limited to one hour.

 

Groups

Groups of 10 – 40 people should book at least 8 months in advance. On the day of the visit all members of the group are required to leave an official identity document with security. In order to pass through security and be seated in the gallery in good time, we would ask groups to gather at the vistors’ entrance (Bundesterrasse) 30 mins before the scheduled start time.

Please note that Council sittings can sometimes end earlier than expected. In such cases it is not possible to take up seats reserved in the gallery.

Q&A session and visit to the domed hall

As well as watching a debate from the gallery, groups also have the possibility of holding a Q&A session with a member of Parliament (30 mins). The group organiser shoud contact their chosen member of Parliament in advance and complete their online reservation by adding the name of the contacted member as soon as he has agreed, at the latest three weeks before the visit.

On request groups can also register for an information session (30 mins) in the domed hall where one of the guides will be able to tell you about the workings of Parliament, the history and symbolism of the building and answer any questions.

It is not possible to book a Q&A or information session without visiting the gallery.

Reservations

From now on, you can make your free group bookings online using the link below. As well as booking places in the gallery, group vistors can also register for an eventual Q&A session with a member of Parliament and/or an information session in the domed hall. Once the booking is completed, you will get a confirmation mail with all the necessary information.

Link to the booking page

Please use the following address for any further information: sessionsbesuche@parl.admin.ch

 

Sitting times

National Council

DaysTimes
Monday:14.30 – 19.00
Tuesday:8.00 – 13.00
Wednesday:8.00 – 13.00 and 15.00 – 19.00
Thursday:8.00 – 13.00 and in week 3 15.00 – 19.00
Friday:8.00 – 9.00 (only in week 3; final votes)

 

Council of States

DaysTimes
Monday:16.15 – 20.00 (week 1); 15.15 – 20.00 (weeks 2 and 3)
Tuesday:8.15 – 13.00
Wednesday:8.15 – 13.00 and 15.00 – 19.00
Thursday:8.15 – 13.00 and in week 3 15.00 – 19.00
Friday:8.15 – 8.30 (only in week 3; final votes)


The precise times of the sittings are published in the session programme two weeks before the session begins.