Swiss Traditional Costume Festival

Swiss Traditional Costume Festival

Jun 28, 2024Jun 30, 2024
Various locations,
Various prices

Folk costumes and traditions will be celebrated all over Zurich at the 2024 Swiss Traditional Costume Festival. Regional singing, dancing and food all get an opportunity to shine, and of course, there's a big parade at the end!

Swiss Traditional Costume Festival 2024 (Eidgenössisches Trachtenfest)

The Swiss Traditional Costume Festival is a huge event. It is only held every 12 years, in a different city each time, which makes it a truly special occasion to witness or take part in. 

Held over three days, with four main locations across Zurich, the festival gives people a chance to see old traditions resurrected and enjoy them for the living, breathing things that they are. The event also celebrates modern Switzerland, with spaces given to people celebrating the traditions of their native land, including demonstrations by Ukrainian choirs and Kyrzyg dance groups.

Starting at 2pm on Sunday, June 30 there is a grand parade through the city centre, with over 60 different groups taking part.

The main stages of the Swiss Traditional Costume Festival

There are four main stages at this year's festival. Sechseläutenplatz will be hosting the children's dance festival and competition on Saturday, June 29, which is always a hugely popular event.

The stage areas at the Hauptbahnhof and on Bürkliplatz and Lindenhof are providing a dizzying array of activities, including many craft and dance workshops, singing demonstrations and displays of costumes from different regions. Events run all day, every day at these stages. The Hauptbahnhof stage keeps going on Saturday until 4am!

There are also so-called spontaneous stages at Helmhaus and Züghusplatz, where individuals and small groups can demonstrate their songs and crafts as they wish, without a set programme.

Exhibition of folk costumes

For those who want to see a huge range of costumes up close, there is an exhibition at the Lindenhof. With over 700 costumes, every Swiss canton is represented here. There are examples of working clothes, Sunday best, wedding dresses and festive outfits. The exhibition is open every day through the festival.

There is also a traditional costume trail (trachtentrail) throughout the city, where you can wander through the streets and admire shop windows decorated with regional arts, crafts and clothing. Answer questions at each stop on the trail and you could win 3.000 Swiss francs!

What workshops are at the Swiss Traditional Costume Festival?

There are so many opportunities to get involved with different crafts over the weekend. There's workshops on how to play the alpine horn or the jaw harp, on the art of Swiss paper cutting, yodelling and folk dancing among others!

Food at the event

This isn't a typical city centre festival, so you won't find food trucks lining the streets and clogging up the thoroughfares. This is an altogether more civilised affair! Food is served at set times in certain locations. You must reserve a place for this. If you do not want to eat as part of the festival, well, you're in Zurich city centre so there are plenty of options available to you! 

Tickets for the Swiss Traditional Costume Festival

Festival passes cost 60 Swiss francs and are valid for the whole weekend, and the best thing about them is they include free public transport to and around Zurich!

As the festival is a celebration of the whole country, they want to encourage people from all regions to travel in for it but without the traffic jams. Their solution is that the ticket includes a pass on any SBB train from anywhere in the country to Zurich and back again, as well as free transport in Zurich city centre. 

If you can't commit to a whole weekend, you can purchase a seat to watch the parade for just 25 Swiss francs. Tickets and a full breakdown of everything that is happening can be found on the Swiss Traditional Costume Festival website.

Thumb image credit: courtesy of / Andy Mettler