Festivals in Zurich

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Zurich plays host to a slew of diverse festivals throughout the year. While some serve to celebrate a love of music or the arts, others simply mark a change in season.  

Caliente! Latin Music Festival 

Zurich may not seem like the type of city to host a Latin music festival yet each summer residents welcome this popular event with great excitement. The Caliente! Latin Music Festival features performances from live bands, DJs and dance troupes. Boasting a wide array of music, including salsa, flamenco, mambo and reggae, the festival caters to the varying tastes of its nearly 150,000 visitors. Booths featuring food, drinks, and arts and crafts relating to Latin culture remain on hand as well.


Sechseläuten serves as one of the most popular events in all Switzerland. The highlight of any Sechseläuten festival remains the burning of the Böögg, or a snowman effigy, an act that celebrates the onset of summer. If the Böögg burns quickly it’s said to symbolize the fast arrival of summer. The festival also features a series of parades, including one specifically for children, in which the participants dress in traditional Swiss folk costumes.

Street Parade 

Staged on the banks of Lake Zurich, this "parade meets music festival" brings in massive crowds from all over the country. In 2008 alone, over 820,000 people attended the festival. The day begins with a series of mobile stages streaming through a parade route. On these stages, visitors can hear music from some of the region’s most popular bands and DJs. In recent years, the festival has also erected permanent stages around the festival grounds featuring live music and various dance troupes.

Zurich Film Festival 

This fall-based festival showcases films from around the globe. While some films may compete for top prizes at this prestigious festival, the event also serves to simply celebrate the work of both new and established filmmakers. As a result, both feature length films and documentaries receive play at the Zurich Film Festival. The event also honors luminaries in the world of film with lifetime achievement awards.

Zürcher Theater Spektakel 

Established in 1980, the Zürcher Theater Spektakel remains one of the most respected festivals of its kind. Used as a showcase for some of the finest performing arts groups around the world, including theatrical and dance troupes, this festival has become a staple amongst Zurich’s jam packed summer events schedule. The festival convenes near the shores of Lake Zurich, as well as on the grounds of a giant city park. For an added sense of convenience visitors will also find a host of restaurants and bars on the festival premises.

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