Answers from Our Experts (1)
Zurich is a wonderful destination all year round, but the city comes alive during special festivals and celebrations throughout the year. These are the events that Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest you experience to make your trip extra special:
1. Swiss National Day. Stop anywhere in Switzerland on August 1st and you’ll find parties going on — but the one in Zurich is by far the biggest and most fun. Expect markets, live music, fireworks and some locals indulging in their favorite spirited libations.
2. Street Parades. There are few music festivals that consume an entire city, but Street Parade is one of them. Held every year on the second Saturday in August, the parade involves dozens of trucks driving along the lakeside, blasting out music to the million-plus visitors dancing in the street (and to everyone else within a 10-mile radius). After midnight, the party moves inside at a variety of Zurich clubs.
3. Weltklasse Zürich. For sports fans, it’s hard to beat the annual IAFF Diamond League track-and-field meeting held in the city each August. Weltklasse Zürich attracts the biggest names in athletics; and since 1928, it has seen new world records being set by the likes of Sebastian Coe and Haile Gebrselassie.
4. New Year’s Eve Magic. If you are in Zurich at the end of December, consider yourself lucky. Not only do you get to enjoy the city’s beautiful snow-covered Christmas markets, but you can also experience this enormous New Year’s celebration, which draws over 150,000 revelers line the banks of the river all night long.
5. Zürifäscht. As it only occurs every three years (with the next one set for 2013), this weekend-long festival is the most anticipated event in the city. It’s a celebration of Zurich that involves music, dance, open-air theater, fireworks and air shows. There’s nothing else like it in Europe.