Zurich is always a good option for a quick trip around the Alps if you’re that kind of person. With so many ski resorts around and the perfect timing and convenience of the Swiss trains, getting around is easy. And everything in the city (and country for that matter) seems to work just like that!
This is where all the action is starting to move towards with all new hip shops, cafes and trendy hotels move to. Langstrasse has starting to fill up with brand new office space and lots of companies like Google have started setting up shop there. The area used to host (and kind of still does) the red lights hood where some of the night action takes place but is slowly getting gentrified with new entrepreneurs taking up space on and around the main road. The urban, grey and dull have started blending with ochre walls and bright painted signs and neon lights.
As hinted by its name, District 1 is about the oldest part of the town featuring some of Zurich’s most classic historical sites such as the St Peter’s church of Romanesque & Gothic architecture and a large church clock – one of the city’s four main churches. The river split across two streams creates all sorts of intertwined routes for nice walks around the cobbled streets, with the odd stube featuring some good ol’ Swiss cheese and meat bites. Bahnofstrasse is the main commercial high street with all the big Swiss watches brands you’d expect. As you go down the emblematic avenue you’ll also come across Confiserie Sprüngli with its signature macarons called “Luxemburgerli”.
More residential, more upscale and more quiet, Seefeld is known for its lush promenade along Lake Zurich, featuring green areas like the Chinese garden and Tiefenbrunnen, a swimming spot with Alpine views. Morning dips for locals is a must during the summer months. Around Christmas, Sechseläutenplatz square is also a central location for festivals and the annual Christmas Market.
As of 2018, Monocle opened their Swiss bureau attracting a sophisticated crowd to its cafe and lounge (members only). At the one end of Seefeld and closer to District 1, you can visit Kronenhalle, a century-old restaurant, with art masterpieces lining wood-paneled walls. Also features a cosy traditional bar with high ceilings and a well-stocked bar. A bit further up the hill you can also catch some art at Kunsthaus.
- St Peter – one of the most famous churches of Zurich, also featuring a church clock facing the river
- Fraumunster Church – elegant church with a delicate, copper-topped spire and stained glass by Marc Chagall
- Kunsthaus – Art museum with major European collections from 15th century to the present, plus some temporary shows. The bar in the new building is also great for unwinding with some Negronis
- Schwarzenback Teecafé – cute old school tea and coffee shop with some fine blends established in 1864
- Confisserie Sprungli – classic confectionery shop established in the 1800s. The chain also operates another 8 locations across Switzerland
- Bahnofstrasse – great shopping attraction and the main high street of Zurich
Playful decoration at the 25Hours hotel Langstrasse
- Maison Manesse – one Michelin star restaurant with great service and a casual setting. Try their killer egg and truffle dish, cooked at 63 degrees Celcius for more than an hour. Read our full review here
- Kronenhalle – classic old school gourmet dining at this carefully designed century-old space just off the river, serving Swiss cuisine. Make sure you get a reservation and dress appropriately though if you want to fit in. Read our full review here.
- Ooki – a cosy, small and buzzing Izakaya joint that resembles Japanese nights out with some tasty ramen or tonkatsu. Read our full review here.
- Bebek – Middle-Eastern dishes and a very nice vibe for your brunch in an immaculate two-storey space. The upper deck is also good for drinks later on in the day. Read our full review here.
- The Bite – juicy proper burgers at this hip space. Reservations a must. Read our full review here
- Josef – creative Med cuisine in a trendy setting featuring photo portraits on the wood-covered wall
- Zeughauskeller – casual Swiss design in this wood-covered heigh-ceiling space in the city centre. A bit touristy but worth it if you’re up for something casual
Dinner at Kronenhalle
Cheese bread roll at Babu’s
- Coffee Shack – great specialty coffee and apparently a killer signature latte (see above) handmade by Evi Fragolia who recently moved to Zurich. Drop by for a quick espresso on your way to work
- Buchmann – great bakery in Seefeld. Stop by for a quick bite on the go
- Mame – another great option for the perfect espresso from high quality roasted beans
- Babu’s Bakery & Coffeehouse – if you’re looking to get a quick bite or just relax at their comfy setup, pop in. The sweet and savory choices by the counter are endless!
- La Cucina Tee & Gewurze – great leaf tea, albeit a bit pricey. After all, you’re in Switzerland! They feature a very wide variety of black and green tea as well as a few signature herb mixes