Bern Onion Festival Merits Special SwissRail Train Schedules

Events, Things to Do, What's New — By Sonja Holverson on November 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

The day starts early at the Onion Festival: image courtesy of

The “Zibelemärit” (the onion market) is a traditional folk festival which takes place on the fourth Monday every November starting at 5:00 AM! For about 100 years farmers from the surrounding areas have been bringing more than 50 tons of onions – in artistically woven plaits – and garlic to Bern,  the Swiss federal capital. Colorful market stalls offer ceramic pots, bread, vegetables and mementos to the visitors. Hundreds of visitors come from home and abroad for this festive occasion (OK you don’t have to come right at the beginning). This is the day which this year is Monday, November 22, when cheese, cheesecake, onion cakes and onion soup are on offer in all the restaurants, giving off a spicy aroma. Enjoy a video view of a previous year’s festival to give you an idea of the festive ambiance!

To help resist the winter cold, don’t miss the Glühwein (hot spiced wine) stand. There are also children’s activities to occupy the little ones in the streets and at the fairgrounds while you warm up with Glühwein.

Onions, onions everywhere: image courtesy of

Early-morning special trains in the region with many local stops to include everyone will depart from Thun, Biel, Solothurn, Worb and Zurich. Timetable information is available from any SwissRail station or online (in English).

Bern Station. Image courtesy of Dominique Schreckling

Don’t forget your camera (and a few breath mints!)

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Tags: “folk festival”, “Onion Festival”, “onion soup”, “Swiss cheese”, “Swiss federal capital”, Bern, garlic, Gluhwein, Onions, Swiss, SwissRail, Switzerland, trains


  • Happy Hotelier says:

    I wonder why it isn’t called Zwibelimaret…

  • Sonja Holverson says:

    Thanks for your question! I can’t speak for Bern Tourismus but as you no doubt know, Schwiizertüütsch is the spoken dialect of the German speaking parts of Switzerland. To complicate that even further, there are 55 different sub-dialects. Since Schwiizertüütsch is not recognized as an official language and is not written, the Swiss generally use standard German in documents. You will note that the use of Zibelmemärit is in quotations marks and if you look at the The German page of their website you will see: Der “Zibelemärit” (Zwiebelmarkt) ist ein traditionelles Volksfest. All the best, Sonja

  • water cooling says:

    I had to read through this post two times because it had been interesting.


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