September brings us to the beginning of autumn. As you may know, this is also the months when the Swiss cows are hiking down from their summer vacation in the mountains back to the warm stables. To get protected from the coming cold weather. This is a reason for celebrations here in Switzerland! And usually, you’ll find different Alpine festivals with cows decorated with flowers passing through villages back to their warm homes.
This events are an absolute MUST visit here in Switzerland. But, of course, there are also many other things going on this month!
All of that and more can be found in a list that I’ve curated for you here:
1st of September
Fribourg: Craft Beer Festival- From the 01-02.09, Fribourg invites beer lovers to discover Swiss craft beers at the Place George-Python. You can expect as well music and food trucks.
La Chaux-de-Fonds: The “Horlofolies” is a watch festival in the watchmaking town La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Avenches: Tattoo Festival- an international music festival also known as the 2nd biggest event of its type in Switzerland. When: 31.08-02.09. This festival brings together nearly 500 musicians – military and civil – from all over Europe.
Zug: The Museum Burg invites you to celebrate a 40 years anniversary in the castle. Between the 1st and the 3rd of September you will find a fun program for the entire family. Including musical entertainment, workshops, fairy tales and hotdogs.
Montreux: The Freddy Mercury celebration days invite you to a program of free concerts and activities.
Aigle: the Aigle braderie is an unmissable opportunity for locals and visitors alike to get together in the historic town centre for 3 days of festivities. What to expect: Different concerts, food stalls and fun activities.
Lausanne: Equissima- an international equestrian event that will bring together the best athletes of the main equestrian disciplines. Such as: dressage, show jumping, eventing, horse teams and aerobatics.
Champex-Lac: The UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc) – the “queen” and original race, and the CCC (Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix) pass through La Fouly where a refreshment stand and activities will be organized.
Toggenburg: The Irish Open-air Festival invites you to indulge in Irish music. Where: At the foot of the Stockberg with a unique view of the Säntis.
Basel: The Basel Youth Culture Festival will take place on the 01-02.09. Here you will get to see young talents showcasing Basel’s rich theater, music, art and culture scene.
Ascona: The Polo Cup event in Ascona with more than 80 horses will take place between the 01-03.09.
Vaduz: The Gourmet Festival will take place between the 01-10.09 and invites foodies from all over the country.
2nd of September
Gstaad: The alpine Festival in Gstaad is one of the most beautiful events. With a traditional parade going through the magical village. In addition to the parade you will also find cute little stands selling regional products.
Solothurn: The Dragon Boat Race will take place on the 2nd of September on the Aare river.
Flumserberg: From the 02-03.09 national and international alphorn players, flag throwers and friends will meet on Flumserberg.
Bellinzona: On September 2nd and 3rd the city of Bellinzona will be transformed into a true corner of Japan, with traditions, gastronomy, and fun activities.
Fribourg: The Luna Park in Fribourg will take place from the 02.09-24.09.
Twann: Between the 02-03.09 you can explore the vineyards on the north bank of Lake Biel. A tasting glass cost 20.- CHF.
Gruyères: The medieval village invites you to explore the stands of Artists and craftsmen of the fire profession in the heart of Gruyères. Pro tip: you can combine this trip with a visit to the castle and the famous cheese factory.
Locarno: The Triathlon Locarno is taking place in the stunning scenery of Lake Maggiore with different races for every level.
3rd of September
Yverdon-les-Bains: The Yverdon-les-Bains Triathlon will take place this year on September 3rd and perfect for sport lovers from the region.
5th of September
Baden: The international festival for animated films will take place in Baden between the 05.09-10.09.
6th of September
Bern: For music lovers in Bern- The Bern music festival between the 06.09-10.09.
7th of September
Ascona: The international horse riding competition (Longines CSI Ascona) will take place also this year on the vast fields of Ascona’s former airstrip. Dates: 07.09-10.09.
8th of September
Romont: The Bénichon is a traditional festival in the canton of Fribourg celebrating the end of harvest.
Geneva: The Cultural Stage Festival takes place from the 08-09.09. What to expect: Traditional dances , concerts, shows and more.
La Neuveville: A traditional wine festival will take place between the 08.09-10.09. With wine tasting, a procession, children activities and more.
Baar: The Swiss Soca Festival invites you on a Caribbean Experience. Where you can enjoy the Caribbean culture up close with food, drinks, art, concerts, DJs and lots of soca music.
Lenzburg: The Medieval Market in Lenzburg will take place between the 08.09-10.09. With jugglers, crafts and many other highlights at the castle. As well as the castle kitchen and the medieval oven will be filled with the smell of medieval food.
Lucerne: “Rüüdig bayrisch” – is the Lozärner Oktoberfest at the Eiszentrum in Lucerne. Probably, if you like bear and dirndls that’s the place for you.
Wengen: The Jungfrau Marathon is one of the most famous mountain marathon. Route: Interlaken – Lauterbrunnen – Wengen – Eigergletscher – Kleine Scheidegg. Dates: 08-09.09.
Champéry: The Bike & Sound is a unique festival with multiple disciplines of cycling and concerts. Dates: 08-09.09.
9th of September
Zurich: The “Knabenschiessen” – is one of the largest folk festivals in Zurich with a traditional shooting competition, culinary delights, many market stands and amusement rides. When: 09.09-11.09.
Müstair: Alpine Festival – S-chargiada d’Alp with music and folklore. The arrival of the cows is expected around 13:30.
Wassen: Alpine Festival – What to expect: magnificently decorated cows walking back down to the valley with the alpine farmers, surrounded by a large village festival. When: 09:00-16:00.
Breil / Brigels: During the Alpabzug – Romansh “Scargada” – on September 9th, around 600 animals make their way from the five Brigelser Alps into the valley.
Frauenfeld: Cheese Festival – the Autumn Cheese and Harvest Festival takes place from 09:00-16:00 and is a perfect place for cheese lovers.
Gemmi-Leukerbad: Traditional event – The annual sheep descent from Gemmi to Leukerbad is a special experience. Approximately 700 sheep are rounded up on the Gemmi on Saturday between 09:00-10:00.
Saas-Balen: Alpine Festival – Experience how the Alpine herdsmen return to their village after a summer up on the Alp with their beautifully decorated cows.
Féchy: Wine Festival – Where you can enjoy tasting the Swiss wines of the region at the local caves.
Ticino: A Street Food Festival will take place in Riva San Vitale with a culinary journey to explore the world’s flavors. In case of bad weather the event will take place on the 16.09.
10th of September
Zermatt: The widely popular Shepherd’s Festival with the adorable black-nose sheeps including a sheep beauty contest.
Spiez: Experience a traditional wine festival on Lake Thun with plenty of wine and a beautiful procession.
Saas-Fee: The Nostalgic Culinary Mile – turns back the time and presents life and delicacies from the past.
Appenzell: The nostalgic fair – “Schwendner Chölbi” with a merry-go-round, a boat swing, a restaurant and confectionery, as well as stone throwing, Hau den Lukas, a wheel of fortune and other game booths.
Bad Ragaz: The Cervelat-Töffli-Tour – is a 70 km trip by “like-minded” moped enthusiasts in the beautiful holiday region of Heidiland.
13th of September
Biel / Bienne: The Festival du Film Français d’Helvétie invites French films and artists into the German speaking part of Switzerland.
14th of September
Ebnat-Kappel: A Hot-air balloon event starting from the village of Ebnat-Kappel – a family-friendly event easily accessible by public transport.
15th of September
Sumiswald: Alpine festival- the villages of Sumiswald and Wasen, celebrate the return of the cows from the summer pastures with traditional spirit.
16th of September
Klosters: Alpine Festival- offering culinary delights, entertainment and cows parade.
Innertkirchen: Alpine Festival in the beautiful Bern Oberland.
Einsiedeln: Alpine Festival- This event happen here only every 5 years with animals parade of the cows and the sheeps coming back home from the alpine pastures.
Flims: Alpine Festival- with a decorated cows parade, live music and a market.
La Fouly: Alpine Festival – from 10:00, a parade of the herds from Val Ferret and Espace Mont-Blanc.
Urnäsch: Alpine Festival- with the herds expected to pass through the village between 09:00-13:00.
Blatten bei Naters: Alpine Festival- with country music and cows parade.
Môtier: A Wine Festival – taking place in the village of Praz in September. With Concerts, processions, different activities and plenty of wine. When: 16.09-17.09
Grandvillard: The Open Bike Haute-Gruyère is a big festival of mountain biking in which you can take advantage both of a splendid route through 6 villages.
Ligerz: A Grape Harvest Festival – Visit the winegrowers in their cellars which are open to the public, and taste the regional wines.
Morges: A Rock Music Festival – Le Paillote Festival will take place in the beautiful little town.
Champéry: The Trail des Dents du Midi is a competitive and sporting event.
Grindelwald: The Alpine Cheese Festival invites you to discover the locals specialties.
17th of September
Hofstetten bei Brienz: Alpine Cheese Championships – The hugely popular Bernese Alp Cheese Championships take place on the third Sunday in September every year. Local cheese producers submit around 120 different examples of AOP Bernese Alp Cheese (Alpkäse), Hobelkäse and Alpmutschli to be judged by a panel of experts.
Augst: Day of living traditions – the Finale – The event celebrates the grand finale with a diverse and top-class program. Visitors can look forward to lots of music, an international ribbon dance, snuff spells, open dancing for young and old and much more.
18th of September
Bern: Traditional Event – “Sichlete” on the Bundesplatz. You can expect the alpine procession from the NPZ over the Kornhausbrücke to the Bundesplatz, delicious products from the six regions, mother cows with calves, a petting zoo, delicious food and drink and much more. When: 10:00-17:00.
Jaun: Tradition- Sheeps fair and autumn celebration with dances and culinary treats will take place from 09:00-21:00.
19th of September
Herisau: Traditional Event – In autumn, when the farmers return from the alp with their cows, the cattle shows take place in Appenzell Ausserrhoden. The most beautiful and best performing cows are awarded prizes. (without a parade)
21st of September
Zurich: The 17th Züri Oktoberfest celebrates the Bavarian tradition in Switzerland’s largest train station. Dates: 21.09-14.10.
22nd of September
Neuchâtel: The Grape Harvest Festival – For 3 days, the city celebrate the beginning of the harvest season with a huge procession, lots of wine, food stands and music.
Sigriswil: Traditional Event – The “Chästeilet” in the Justistal invites you to experience a piece of Swiss tradition above Lake Thun.
St. Gallen: The beer Festival in St. Gallen invites you to discover different beers from the 22.09-23.09.
Orbe: The Cabbage and Sausage Festival – Three days of gastronomic celebrations spiced up with musical animations and demonstrations for a local food.
Schupfart: The Schupfart Festival is a music festival that takes place between the 22.09-24.09.
Flims: From the 22.09-02.10 15 crews from Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg will meet to fly their colorful balloons.
23rd of September
Schüpfheim: Alpine Festival- The Entlebucher Alpabfahrt has grown into a huge street festival, one of the largest alpine descents in Switzerland and a kind of “small yodelling festival”.
Les Charbonnières: Alpine Festival- More than 4,000 people come to this local festival where they can enjoy the cows parade, a local produce market, traditional entertainment and, above all, a chance to taste the first vacherin of the season.
Charmey: Alpine Festival- The Festival of the Descent from the Alpes is Charmey’s flagship event with folklore music and cows parade.
Blonay: Alpine Festival – with a cows procession, food stands and regional products.
Schwarzsee: Alpine Festival- A traditional event with decorated cows and fun fair.
Lignières: Alpine Festival- with a festive ambience and cows parade.
Le Châble: The event “Bagnes Capitale de la Raclette” is the must for all lovers of this cheese specialty. For one weekend, visitors will be able to discover the local products for which the region is famous, in particular the raclettes prepared with quality cheeses from the surrounding mountain pastures.
Lausanne: The sport event – LG Trail Lausanne-Geneva. The athletes will travel through stunning settings in the cantons of Vaud and Geneva
Erlach: Experience a colorful parade and enjoy a cheerful festival with culinary delights and musical entertainment in the heart of Erlach, a medieval little town on Lake Biel.
24th of September
Wengen: Cheese Festival – An event for cheese lovers where farmers share the produced alp cheese of the summer. As well as, Musical entertainment, games, competitions, and plenty of food and drinks.
Ennetburgen: Alpine Festival – in the small village of Nidwalden.
Rapperswil: The slowUp are festivals of encounter and Human Power Mobility, i.e. movement with one’s own muscle power.
28th of September
Zurich: The Film Festival – tens of thousands of film fans and media and film professionals attend the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) for eleven days to see one of the approximately 160 films. When: 28.09-08.10.
29th of September
Döttingen: The largest wine festival in German-speaking Switzerland with a parade on Sunday, food, music entertainment and plenty of wine. When: 29.09-01.10.
Nyon: The Wine Festival – The wine festival is a free event which proposes various animations in different locations in Nyon, particulary in front of the castle.
Chur: The Schlagerparade Chur – with decorated Hossamobiles and vintage cars leading the audience to the Stadthalle Chur, where many live bands are waiting for them. The parade of the Schlagerparade is free of charge.
Cortaillod: The Grape harvest festival – A gathering event in the heart of the wine village of Cortaillod to celebrate the end of the grape harvest. With stands, musical entertainment and a procession. Dates: 29.09-30.09.
30th of September
St-Cergue: Alpine Festival- The descent of the cows is the reason for a big traditional festival called Désalpe. In the Vaud Jura above Nyon, the St-Cergue Resort continues this tradition every autumn.
Albeuve: Alpine Festival – with traditional music, colorful cows parade and local products.
Semsales: Alpine Festival- a living and authentic custom with cows parade, Alphorns, bell ringers, craft market and local food stands.
L’Etivaz: Alpine Festival – On this day the cows are decorated with their most beautiful bells. The herds of cattle accompanied by the herdsmen – local name for “Alphirt” – are cheered upon their arrival in the village.
Kerns: Alpine Festival – The alpine descent is a colorful piece of living tradition and real customs.
Thun: Cheese Festival – cheesemakers from all over the Bern region are ready to offer their homemade specialities at the Käsefest Thun. Here they explain, show, enjoy and sometimes even dance.
Val Müstair: Festa da racolta is a Traditional harvest festival in Valchava. with colorful parade, large market with many stalls.
So that’s about it! This month is truly loaded with fun and activities. So many traditional events that I wish I could have been in several places in the same time! Feel free to let me know which events speaks to you and if you visited some of them. And I hope this list will help you nevigate the information.