It may not yet be on your radar, but Zürich offers an ideal balance of many key aspects of a truly international city. Here sophistication meets edge, nature blends seamlessly with urban metropolis and a vibrant creative culture rubs shoulders with opulent grandeur.
Perfect in the summer, Zürich’s riverside location lend it cooling breezes and the waterways and lakes make the ideal backdrop for an alfresco lunch or sundowner cocktail.
Zürich-West is currently one of the city’s most cosmopolitan areas and draws in a young, hip and well-travelled crowd. This former industrial district is home to the majority of the city’s high-end fashion labels, designer ateliers and artist’s studios, many housed in beautifully renovated former factories.
Your best bet for effortless, inexpensive travel around the city is to buy a ZürichCARD; the local Oyster equivalent that comes with an enticing selection of added extras. Choose from a 24 or 72-hour option to give you unlimited use of public transport, free entry to most museums and discounts in many shops and restaurants. Click here for more tips & ideas for your perfect weekend break to Zürich.
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The popular and upscale Acqua Restaurant has just undergone an impressive makeover and has emerged as the nautical, aqua-hued bare-foot chic styled Quai 61. Directly on lake Zürich, it’s set to become one of the city’s hottest alfresco dining spots. Soak up a few rays as you sip a refreshing glass of chilled Chablis, chat with friends and dine on freshly-caught fish from the enticing menu of Mediterranean classics, grilled seafood and fresh salads.
With over 50 museums in the city and fourteen of these devoted to art, there’s more than enough to keep your aesthetic eye sharply fine-tuned. One of the most seminal collections of modern art resides at the Kunsthaus Zürich; aka the Museum of Fine Arts. Here you’ll find an extensive permanent selection of works and innovative temporary exhibitions. The museum features a wide cross section of mediums spanning painting, sculpture, photography, prints and video art.
Zürich is a label-lovers mecca, here locals love to peruse the sublime selection of fashion or ‘lädele’ as they call it. Bahnhofstrasse is the famous pedestrianised street where department stores and international designers dominate. Zürich-West with Aussersihl are trend-conscious areas with independent boutiques in dense concentration. Beige and Ikou Tschüss, two high-end Swiss style labels have stores here. Tran Hin Phu is one of the country’s most renowned designers and should be top of your list, too.
There aren’t many chic cities where you can enjoy a leisurely dip in crystal clear waters and still find yourself slap, bang in the middle of the metropolis, literally. The Frauenbadi river swimming area is an excellent choice; this women only zone runs through the Art Nouveau style Old Town. When the sun goes down, the area transforms into Barfussbar; a relaxed and casually cool, lively open-air bar where heels are left at the door.