People sitting at a long table outside, at a food festival.
David Biedert

Film festivals, photography and foodie heaven: 12 things to do across Switzerland before the end of 2020

Written by
Time Out editors

Remember going out? Before staying in became the new going out, going out was actually pretty popular, and kind of fun, too. In fact, it looks like going out might be making a slow, cautious comeback, as events are starting to be scheduled again in some spots around Switzerland – albeit with rigorous safety standards firmly in place, just as there should be.

If you do feel like going out and doing stuff once again, we’ve put together a list of 12 events over the coming months that are well worth investigating.

Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival
Venues around Lausanne, Oct 14-18
The name says it all, really, but in case you need more clarification, this collection of cutting-edge movies and music is still going ahead, but with a slightly altered programme. Check the website to find out about the latest bleeding-edge goings-on.

Food Zurich
Venues around Zurich, Oct 22-Nov 1
Foodies, prepare to feast on 109 culinary-focused events over 11 days at 54 venues across the city. There are workshops exploring everything from bread-baking to food-recycling to gin-distilling, plus tons of sit-down meals, tastings and chef demos.

Discopolis with Purple Disco Machine
Das Viertel, Basel, Oct 24
Nightlife is still a thing in some parts of Switzerland, including this Basel club, where funk and disco don Purple Disco Machine will be behind the decks for a night of upfront grooves. The club’s website also details safety measures in place at the venue, which is good to know.

Urban bike tour
Zurich, Oct 31
Whether you’re new to the area or a Zurich veteran, this bike tour through some of the most interesting and exciting neighbourhoods will give you a new perspective on the city. You’ll learn about history old and new, from locals who know the area intimately – and you’ll get fit in the process!

Geneva International Film Festival
Geneva, Nov 6-15
This annual festival has been celebrating independent film-making, TV and digital arts since 1995, and this year will be no different. Grab a ticket and plenty of popcorn, and ready yourself for some of the finest recent cinema and TV programming, plus a few special Swiss film premieres.

Blickfang Zurich
Zurich, Nov 13-15
An acclaimed design fair exhibiting some of the most stylish ideas and products plucked from 180 international designers. You’ll also be able to purchase any of the super-smart stuff you see on display, so come prepared to spend.

Chillon Castle
Lake Geneva, Vaud, open daily
Explore one of Switzerland's top historic tourist attractions, which inspired the likes of Byron and Rousseau. There are Gothic vaulted chapels and Medieval dungeons to explore at your own pace or as part of a guided tour. Plus, the famous Clos de Chillon white wine is produced here and available to take away.

Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & Spa
Lugano, open daily 
Pamper yourself and switch off from the world at the luxurious Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & Spa, where experts can guide you into total relaxation, which is definitely what we all need right now. There are numerous treatments and packages available, plus a whole world of wellness facilities in the DOT.Spa to indulge in.

Lausanne markets
Around Lausanne, weekly
Strolling around an open-air street market is still a pleasure you can enjoy, especially if you’re in Lausanne. Regular markets are taking place across the city, selling everything from antiques to vintage clothes to delicious street food to Christmas decorations – yep, you heard that right. Get browsing.

Alpine Workshop: The Artisans
Alpine Museum, Bern, until Jan 2021
The Swiss Alps isn’t just for skiing, as you’ll find out in this exhibition, which examines the lives of individual artisans and makers from around the Alps region, who make their living by creating and building products. There’ll be guest workshops featuring some of the makers themselves, and visitors will even be able to try their hand at a few craft techniques.

Street. Life. Photography
Fotomuseum Winterhur, until Jan 10, 2021
This vibrant and colourful exhibition celebrates seven decades of street photography with over 200 works from 37 international photographers, compiled over the last 70 years.

Jean Dubuffet, a Barbarian in Europe
Musée d’ethnographie de Genève, until Feb 28, 2021
Known for pioneering the idea of ‘Art Brut’, painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet became regarded throughout the art world as a visionary thinker. Find out why in this retrospective of his career, featuring nearly 300 works.

If that’s got you in the mood for going out, head over to our guide on the best things to do in Switzerland this autumn for more inspiration.

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