Switzerland’s best events in 2017

Written by
Emily Rose Mawson

Whether you are a food aficionado, culture buff or spa-goer, Switzerland’s jam-packed 2017 events calendar features something for everyone. As we round up a few highlights, get these dates in your diary.

Macht Ferien!

Switzerland’s towering summits, sparkling lakes and chocolate-box towns have been captivating tourists for decades - in part thanks to the national tourism board’s enticing advertising campaigns. Now, as Switzerland Tourism celebrates its 100th birthday, tourism posters from the past century are set to go on display at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich. The exhibition will depict the development of mass tourism through mountain railways, helter-skelter roads and striking hotels. Expect to want to start planning your next vacation before your visit is up.

The exhibition runs from 4th March to 9th July. Click here for more information.

Worldwide Festival Leysin

This huge British electronic music festival, which brings some 20 famous DJs to the Vaudois Alps for five days, combines electro après-ski and nightlife. Based on the established Worldwide Festival and presented by British radio star Gilles Peterson, the event is the largest of its kind in the area. Special lift passes are available for festival-goers.

The festival will be held from 23rd to 26th March. Click here for more information and tickets.

©Courtesy of Worldwide Festival Leysin

Cully Jazz Festival

The smallest of Switzerland’s big jazz festivals, Cully Jazz shuns the pop extravaganzas popular with its neighbour Montreux, and instead focuses on new discoveries. The result is a jazz/ethno/acoustic panorama that offers something to suit every taste.

From 31st March to 8th April 2017. Click here for more information and tickets.

©Jean-Denis Borel

Lucerne Festival at Easter

Celebrate the essence of Easter this year with sacred music in Lucerne’s magnificent churches and awe-inspiring KKL concert hall. With Catalan gamba virtuoso Jordi Savall serving as artist-in-residence, other highlights for 2017 include John Eliot Gardiner exploring Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and William Christie and star tenor Rolando Villazón tackling an early Mozart opera. Mariss Jansons will also conduct Shostakovich’s evocative Leningrad Symphony.

The festival runs from 1st to 9th April, with tickets from CHF 30. For more information and tickets, click here.

Carnaval de Lausanne

Following its sizzling 2016 edition that attracted some 50,000 spectators, Carnaval de Lausanne is returning to spice up Lausanne with its parades of jangling Guggenmusik and entertainment. This fantastical event, which celebrates diversity and is free to attend, is a real must-see.

The carnival runs from 4th to 7th May across Lausanne. For more information and the programme, please click here.

Zurich Pride Festival

A cacophony of noise, colour and laughter, Zurich Pride Festival is a joyous stand against discrimination. Under the motto ‘No Fear To Be You’ and promoting the rights of homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals, this year’s festival will feature stage shows, concerts and events designed to encourage debate. The undoubted highlight, however, is the parade – and absolutely everyone is welcome.

This year’s festival will be held from 9th to 10th June at the Kasernenareal. More information here.

©Courtesy of Zurich Pride Festival


If you miss this festival, you’ll have to wait a long time to see it again. Held every 10 years, the Badenfahrt transforms the wellness town of Baden, Aargau into one big festival. The name stems from the 19th century, when wellness tourists would make pilgrimages to Baden's thermal springs. Now, the festival is a thoroughly modern affair featuring music, food and concerts, and attracting some million visitors.

This year’s Badenfahrt takes place from 18th to 27th August. A 10-day festival pass costs CHF 42. For more information and tickets, please click here.

©Courtesy of Badenfahrt


It’s no secret that Zurich has become quite the foodie capital – and this is perhaps no better exemplified than in FOOD ZURICH, a culinary festival which will transform the city into a gourmet paradise for two weeks again this September. At venues including restaurants, hotels and food trucks, you can sample exotic dishes, participate in cookery classes, browse markets and discover new trends from the world of food. 

The second edition of FOOD ZURICH runs from 7th to 17th September. More information here.

©Courtesy of FOOD ZURICH

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