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FESTIVALS

What’s on: Five things to do in Switzerland this weekend

With festivals, music, outdoor cinema and sport, this weekend in Switzerland is a busy one.

What's on: Five things to do in Switzerland this weekend
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Fête des Vignerons

It’s the event of the summer, when the town of Vevey on Lake Geneva celebrates winegrowing with an enormous festival held only once every 20 years or so. With a daily spectacle, parades, music and lots of wine drinking, the festival takes over the whole town until 11 August. Some 40,000 people turned out on Thursday to see the opening parade, while six gold medal winning winegrowers were ‘crowned’ in the traditional ceremony during the first day’s show – among them Corinne Buttet, the first ever woman to receive the award. Check out our guide to the festival here.
 
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
 
Basel Tattoo
 
It’s not too late to catch Switzerland’s biggest military music show, which finishes on Saturday. Modelled on the famous Edinburgh Tattoo, it’s an eclectic show bringing together military bands from around the world, this year including troupes from China, the Netherlands and Greece. But of course, Scottish bagpipe players are the stars of the show. Read our rundown of the show here.
 
Photo: Basel Tattoo
 
Gurten festival
 
The annual Gurten music festival held atop Bern’s local mountain kicked off on Thursday. From now until the end in the early hours of Sunday morning you can catch Lauryn Hill, Editors, Sophie Hunger and electro collective Rudimental. If tickets are sold out, try the secondhand ticket exchange next to the Gurten funicular valley station. 
 
 
 
Open Air cinema
 
This weekend’s set to be a hot one, so what better way to end the day than watching a film outside as the air cools into evening? There are pop-up outdoor cinemas all over Switzerland. This weekend, catch Rocketman in Fribourg, Anna in Geneva, Bohemian Rhapsody in Zug and A Star is Born in Lucerne.
 
 
 
Ironman Zurich
 
It’s too late to register to take part (and anyway, an Ironman isn’t exactly a spontaneous weekend activity), but it isn’t too late to go and watch the ultra-fit participants of this epic triathlon in and around Zurich on Sunday. They’ll tackle a 3.8km swim in Lake Zurich, followed by a 180km bike ride along the lakeside and a 42.2km run through the city’s streets. As a side event, kids of any ability can take part in the IronKids event at Zurich Landiwiese on Saturday. Visit the website here.
 
Photo: Depositphotos
 

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FESTIVALS

What’s On: Five fun things to do in Switzerland this weekend

From five franc cinema tickets to a street food festival in Geneva, here are some of the top ways to enjoy this weekend in Switzerland.

What's On: Five fun things to do in Switzerland this weekend
The Flammende Sterne fireworks festival is just across the border in Germany. Photo: Joachim Mell

1) Swiss Cinema Day (nationwide)

On Sunday September 1st, you can go to movies all over Switzerland (and Liechtenstein) for just five Swiss francs. The special deal covers over 500 screens. Visit the event website for details on participating cinemas.

2) Geneva Street Food Festival

After a successful run in June, Geneva’s festival of street food is making a return. It is running all weekend at the city’s Jardin Anglais park. Apart from the food, there are beer brewing and wine growing stands, along with a Sunday market, DJs and workshops for kids. Read more here.

3) Kandinsky, Arp, Picasso …Klee & Friends, Bern

This weekend marks the last chance to see this impressive exhibition featuring the works of Swiss born artist Paul Klee and friends including Wassily Kandinsky and Pablo Picasso. The works are on display at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, and Sunday is the final day. Here are the details (in English).

4) Flammende Sterne fireworks festival, Weil am Rhein (Germany)

While this festival is not technically in Switzerland, it is just over the border in Germany and is a great chance to see amazing fireworks. There are three nightly fireworks shows (one each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) featuring artists from Greece, China and Germany. See the festival site for ticket information.

Image: Flammende Sterne_Copyright Schenkl

5) Sion Festival

This festival of classical music in Sion in canton Valais features top performers around the world. This weekend is the culmination of the two-week long festival with two concerts on Saturday and one on Sunday. There are more details here (in English).

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