Art and Museums - Part II (2)

Performing Arts: Music, Theatre, Dance and Comedy

Zürich and the surrounding area has much to offer in relation to the performing arts whether this is music, theatre, dance, comedy and more. The summertime is a particularly good time for open air music and theatre to suit all tastes. This article will cover a wide range of performing arts, what kinds of things are on offer, the best ways to find out what is on as well as how to buy tickets either online or from Ticket Offices around the city.

One way to be sure that you don’t miss out on events is to subscribe to some of the e-newsletters of the venues, ticket sellers or to pick up brochures from various locations around the city, including the Zürich Tourist Information Office in the main train station. Ticket websites are also good for finding out what is on or will be playing in the weeks to come so that you don’t miss an event you want to attend. You can buy tickets online and either print your tickets at home or have them sent to you (this method does include some additional charges, so check before purchasing).

To get you started here are two such websites to find out more:


In Zürich alone there are a wide variety of music venues, large and small, for everything from pop-music, country & folk, blues & jazz to pop and classical. Zürich features largely on the tours of many musicians from all over the world giving us the chance to see old favourites as well as trying something new. There are several music festivals throughout the year both in and around Zürich, many of them at open-air venues in the summertime.

In addition to the regular music events at locations large and small in and around the city there are annual festivals, some of them outdoors in the summer and others that are scattered over various city venues. For example, the annual JazzNoJazz festival in late autumn, is held in a range of city venues, see: The website has information about Jazz concerts throughout the year and is linked up to the AllBlues and covers a wide range of music styles.

ZIWA has recently started an interest group for those interested in hearing Jazz at a local hotel on Thursday evenings during the winter months – see, out and about section of Interest Groups after you log in as a member.

For information on Music Festivals throughout Switzerland check this website:

This website combines event information for Opera, Dance and Music:ürich

There are lunchtime as well as evening concerts at the Tonhalle, and if you are interested check out ZIWA’s own Lunch Concerts at the Tonhalle group, see Interest Groups section, Out and About.


Theatre – the majority of theatre in Zürich is in German or Swiss German but there are also a long standing English speaking group (see below).
There is no collective online search list for Zürich Theatres but some websites such as or list various shows at large and small theatres in Zürich and around. Another place that has multiple listings can be found here:ürich.html

For performances in English, The Zürich Comedy Club, presents two plays per year. One in the spring and the other in the Autumn. Despite the name, an historical legacy from when the group started in 1954, not all the plays they perform are comedies. In addition to the public performances twice a year, the ZCC meets all the year round to read plays and conduct auditions etc. More information here:

Sometimes theatre in English is on offer elsewhere, so it is good to check the ‘what’s on listings’ regularly. A good example of occasional English comedy theatre shows are those by American Sylvia Day who has lived in Zürich for many years. Some of you will remember when Sylvia performed just for us at our last ZIWA Kickoff event in September. To follow Sylvia and find out when and where her next shows are, see this link: 

And for outdoor theatre fun, the annual Zürcher Theater Spektakel on the lawns at Landiwiese, by the lake, is hard to beat! The dates for 2017 are 17.08-03.09.17. There are a wide variety of theatre, dance and other performances along with bars, street food and other entertainments. 


There are many types of dance and dancers in Zürich, everything from classical ballet, to modern dance as well as a wide variety of international dancers who perform national dance from their countries of origin. There are also various opportunities to learn dancing with many dance studios offering courses. Here we will focus on Dance as public performance and how to find out what is on and where to get tickets.

Here are some useful links to find out about dance of all kinds:ürich,%20Switzerland
For tickets you can visit websites such as and just select the ‘Tanz’ section for Dance performances.


In addition to the comedy theatre outlined above, there is stand-up comedy. Zürich hosts stand-up comedians from around the world. For example, in June 2017, the very popular British comedian, Michael McIntyre will be playing at the Samsung Hall in Dübendorf. On a more regular basis, comedians from around the world, but particularly Britain, appear at the Mascotte, Bellevue or the Volkshaus near Helvetiaplatz in Zürich. If you are interested in seeing stand-up then you might find it helpful to subscribe to the newsletter for the International Comedy Club. A lot of the stand-up shows are for one night only by comedians on a European tour so it is always good to book tickets early to avoid disappointment. The best known acts sell out fast! is a good place to find tickets for comedy shows. There is of course, comedy in other languages which gives you a wider range of choices, so simply type ‘comedy’ into the website and various shows will come up.


I hope this overview of the performing arts in Zürich and around has given you some great ideas for summer and beyond. Please log on to the website to read the complete article and look out for the next Newcomer Tip which will be Arts and Entertainment Part III. It will focus on all things related to movies in both the local cinemas and the wide range of special film festivals in both Zürich and beyond. Please click here to become a member of ZIWA.

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