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Zurich - the city of festivals

Street Parade Zurich
The Street Parade attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year (photo: Verein Street Parade, Zürich)

Zurich the Party City

Whether you are looking for music, culinary delights or just a convivial atmosphere, when it comes to festivities Zurich has something to suit every taste. The city on the River Limmat is well-known for its many charming events, from small community festivals to internationally renowned flagship parties - and justifiably so. Whatever floats your boat, you are sure to find an event to suit you in Zurich.
For many Zurich residents, the start of the summer also marks the beginning of the festival season. Thanks to the throngs of visitors who flock to the city for "Züri Fäscht," which takes place every three years, and the fiery Latin "Caliente," the streets are already full at the start of the summer. Performers and artists from all over the world invite you to join them in dancing and making new discoveries.
Zurich Openair
International stars and acts such as The Prodigy and Dillon Francis play at Zürich Openair (photo: Zürich Openair)

A Mecca for Music Lovers

The "Street Parade" with its wild and colorful Love Mobiles is, of course, the most famous ambassador for Zurich's festival scene and is the world's largest house and techno party. If techno is not your thing, then why not try "Zürich Openair", where you can watch indie, electro and rock acts from around the world over four days of performances? All just a short train ride from the city center. "Live at Sunset" also beckons, with its unique atmosphere: For two weeks, giants from the world of music grace the city with their sounds, performing against the backdrop of the Zurich sunset. Zurich also has much to offer for fans of classical music: At "Oper für alle", around 10,000 people gather on Sechseläutenplatz to enjoy a free open-air opera performance in the city's largest square.
The Sechseläuten festival with its traditional parade of guilds is very popular among tourists (photo: Zentralkomitee der Zünfte Zürichs ZZZ)

A Modern Interpretation of Tradition

The annual "Sechseläuten," or "Sächsilüüte" as the locals call it, takes place every year in April on Sechseläutenplatz. Following a traditional parade of Zurich's guilds, the "Böögg" (an effigy of winter) is burnt on the square. According to the local folklore, the sooner the snowman figure's head explodes, the finer the summer will be. This is then followed by Zurich's largest traditional festival "Knabenschiessen," with the target-shooting competition for 13 to 17-year-olds featuring as the main event.
The Dörflifäscht is one of Zurich's best-loved community festivals (photo: Geschäftsvereinigung Limmatquai - Dörfli)

Discover the Variety of Zurich's Various Districts

For many Zurich residents, the countless community festivals, such as the "Dörflifäscht" or the "Röntgenplatzfest," offer a welcome distraction from the daily grind. They provide an opportunity to chat and have a drink with other festivalgoers and to get to know the many different areas of the city. The "Lettenfest," named after the river pool that hosts the event, oozes Mediterranean charm, boasting concerts, DJs and food stalls directly on the waterfront.

Wide Spectrum of Events

Zurich offers even more: In June, the colorful and joyful "Zurich Pride Festival" takes place, an event much-loved by the LGBT community that demonstrates for their rights and incorporates parties and numerous different happenings. Foodies will find much to delight their taste buds at the "Street Food Festival" in the former soccer stadium Hardturmstadion and film lovers would do well to make room in their calendars for the "Zurich Film Festival" which takes place in the fall. In short, Zurich's festivals are simply unmissable.

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