a citizen's guide to Zurich, Switzerland

say hello to Zurich

citizens, we’d like to introduce you to someone, a stylish Swiss siren for whom luxury isn't a lifestyle but a way of life. It could only be Zurich! Here, elegance is as natural as breathing air; a place where even the swans on the Limmat River strut.
Speaking of water, Lake Zurich is not just a sparkling gem but a mirror reflecting the classy citizens gracing its banks. They’re as refined as the timepieces ticking away in the chic boutique windows.

Chocolate isn’t just sweet here, it's decadently divine, just like Zürchers (Zurich’s residents, FYI) who know how to savor the good life. And don't even get us started on the cars! The sleek, luxurious rides filling Zurich's cobbled lanes would give any auto-aficionado a run for their money.

So, come on down citizens, and mingle with the great and good of Zurich.

best time to visit zurich

The best time to visit Zurich is from June to August: full summer bloom. Temperatures are a comfy 24°C – soak up the sunshine all day and dance under the starry sky when the breezy twilight kicks in. Unsurprisingly, Zurich can get crowded during these times, but who doesn’t love people watching?

Now, what about the rest of the year? Good question. Zurich has a habit of dressing to impress, whatever the season. It’s the city where sunshine flirts with the lake and snowflakes throw a party on mountain tops. Depending on what floats your boat (literally) you can visit this Swiss beauty anytime you want. 

Here’s what to expect by season:

Autumn (September - November): Grab your camera, folks! Zurich in autumn is leaf-peeping heaven. Fall in love with fall colors as you zoom through nature on a train or e-bike. Chilly day? Call it Raclette o'clock! Chow down on some oozy Swiss goodness and feel the warm come back into your bones.

Winter (December - February): Winter in Zurich is picture-perfect. It's all about cozy sweaters, hot cocoa and mountains glistening like a million diamonds. Snowy days and candle lit nights? Hello, winter wonderland!

Spring (March - May): Expect fewer people but more Swiss charm, as the city puts away its winter coat and pops open the terraces for some sunny spritz sessions. No-one can resist the cheeky allure of spring!

Summer (June - August): Sun's out, fun's out! With temperatures between 19-24°C, it's the perfect time to splash around in Lake Zurich. Soak up the Vitamin D and let the good times roll!

getting around in Zurich

With a public transportation system that rivals a perfectly-timed Swiss watch, Zurich is all about smooth moves. Trams, buses, and boats (yes, you can rent boats too) will ferry you around with the precision of a prima ballerina at the Zurich Opera House. For a truly local experience, try a Velorent bike – perfect for peddling around town. 

Speaking of locals, though you'll hear Swiss German spoken, most citizens are polyglots, fluent in English and more. And for your wallet's convenience, the Swiss Franc (CHF) is the local currency. Good to know!

Zurich's best neighbourhoods

Get your urban explorer hat on, citizen! We're about to take you through the beautiful city of Zurich. There’s more to discover than chocolates and watches, you know. This city knows how to blend history, culture, and a cracking good time like nobody else. Let’s go! Wander through the cobbled streets steeped in centuries of history, from the stunning architecture of the Old Town to the vibrant art scene in the trendy districts. Indulge in the fusion of traditions at local cafes and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Lake Zurich. This city invites you to delve deeper, offering a tapestry of experiences that go beyond the iconic, promising a truly unforgettable adventure.

Altstadt (Old Town)

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? As you wander the cobblestone streets, you'll feel like you've been transported back in time. The Altstadt district is brimming with quaint cafés, antique shops and some serious history. Stop by the majestic Grossmünster for a birds-eye view of the city from its tower. All in a day’s stroll, friends.

Zurich West

Welcome to the hip side of town, citizen. This transformed industrial district is now a vibrant cultural hub, home to avant-garde art, trendy eateries and chic boutiques. Pop into the Im Viadukt, a shopping mall in the arches of a railway viaduct. Cool factor 11/10.

Seefeld

When the concrete gets too much, make your way to Seefeld. It's all about the lakeside lifestyle here. Fancy a swim? Head to the Tiefenbrunnen bathing area. More of a landlubber? Pull up a chair at one of the many lakeside cafés and restaurants – the views are Instagram-worthy.

Langstrasse

Calling all night owls! Langstrasse was once infamous as Zurich's red-light district, but has been reborn as an epicenter of Zurich's (legal) nightlife. Dive bars, gourmet kebabs, quirky boutiques… it's all here. This neighbourhood doesn’t sleep and neither should you!

Enge

If you're seeking tranquility in the heart of the city, Enge is the answer. It has leafy parks, the stunning Lake Zurich and Rietberg Museum to explore. Tip: sunsets over the lake are a must-see.

Riesbach

Riesbach is what happens when bohemian-chic meets lakeside charm. Art galleries, cozy bistros, antique shops, plus an incredible local market, make it arguably the most delightful area in the city. Don’t miss the Chinese Garden, a gift from Zurich's sister city, Kunming.

Niederdorf

Finally, we give you Niederdorf. Think of it as Altstadt’s less serious, more fun cousin. During the day, it's a quiet, pedestrian-friendly area filled with shops and cafés. At night, it comes alive with bars, clubs and live music. Warning: spontaneous dance-offs are not uncommon here.

That's our whirlwind tour of Zurich's best neighbourhoods. Remember, whether you're sipping a macchiato in Altstadt, dancing the night away in Langstrasse or soaking up the lakeside vibes in Seefeld, stay at citizenM Zurich to be smack-dab in the middle of everything!

best restaurants in Zurich

If your heart beats faster at the mention of culinary exploration, you’re going to love this bustling city’s foodscape. Prepare your taste buds for a symphony of flavors and textures that celebrate both tradition and innovation. From the aromas wafting through the traditional markets to the haute cuisine served in Michelin-starred restaurants, Zurich caters to every gastronomic desire. Indulge in the iconic Swiss fondue or raclette for a cheesy delight, savor the delicately crafted chocolates that melt in your mouth, or relish the fusion dishes merging global influences with local ingredients. Plunging into the delicious labyrinth that is Zurich's food scene in three, two, one…

If your heart beats faster at the mention of culinary exploration, you’re going to love this bustling city’s foodscape. Plunging into the delicious labyrinth that is Zurich's food scene in three, two, one…

Kick-start your gastronomic journey at the charming, authentic "Zum Weissen Kreuz." This isn't just any restaurant, it's a bona fide Swiss food haven. Get ready for a night of laughter and sparkling conversation, as you dip bread into a bubbling pot of fondue and scrape a deliciously melted raclette onto your plate.

Next on your itinerary is a place where fantastic food comes with even more delicious views. Welcome to "Pumpstation," Zurich’s most serene gastronomic pit-stop. With each bite, you'll taste good food; with each glance, you'll see heaven. Talk about perfect pairings. 

Onwards to "Stazione Paradiso," your little piece of Italy, right in the heart of Zurich. Here, the pasta is al dente, the pizza dough is puffy and the tiramisu is pure dolce vita. Make this your go-to for a slice of la bella Italia.

If you agree that fresh is best, "Echo Restaurant" is for you! This culinary oasis creates memorable meals using only the freshest of ingredients – trust us, each dish tastes like pure happiness. They say you are what you eat, so eat good and feeling good is sure to follow.

Finally, get your pho-fix at "Sapa Canteen." There's something profoundly comforting about a bowl of aromatic broth, slippery rice noodles, tender meats and fresh, fragrant herbs. It’s like a warm hug from the inside.

things to do in Zurich

As you can tell, Zurich’s got it all – epic outdoor adventures, irresistible chocolatey treats, jaw-dropping cultural spots and shopping opportunities like no other. If you need an itinerary, here’s our ultimate hit list.

Uetliberg

Start your Zurich journey on an energy-packed note with a hike or bike up our fave local mountain, the mighty Uetliberg! The no-filter-needed views are the best way to start your day in this gorgeous city. And if you're into two-wheeled adventures, rent a bike and freewheel your way around Zurich’s best parks.

Lindt Home of Chocolate

Who doesn't love a good chocolate fix? We're talking about a visit to the Willy Wonka-esque Lindt Home of Chocolate. It's a dreamland for sweet tooths, complete with an immersive museum and 'all-you-can-eat' buffet of Swiss chocolate.

Rhine Falls

Want to add a big splash to your vacation? Head to Rhine Falls. Think of it as the Swiss Niagara, it’s just as breathtakingly beautiful. If you really want to feel the rush, rent a boat and venture out to feel the water's power from up close.

Cultural spots

When it's time for some culture, The Zurich Opera House is the place to be. With top-notch performances in a beautiful historical building, it's a real feast for the senses. Or stop by the Fraumünster Church for some spiritual serenity – keep your eyes peeled for the stunning stained glass.

Kunsthaus Zurich

Art alert! Get your culture vulture vibes on at the Kunsthaus Zürich, where classic meets contemporary in the art world. It's a must-see spot for art lovers.

Zurich Zoo

Need to shake things up for the little ones (or your inner child)? A day at Zoo Zürich will do the trick! With a lineup of furry, scaly and feathery friends, it's a day well-spent for kids and kids-at-heart.

Lake Zurich

Time to cool off? Our tip: rent a boat and set sail on Lake Zurich for fresh air, serene waters and dreamy city views. It's the most relaxing sightseeing you'll ever do.

Parks and greens

For those quiet moments, go green at Zurich’s parks. Or kick back and relax by the lake. It's the recharge you didn't know you needed.

Shopping

Flex your credit card on the luxury shopping hub, Bahnhofstrasse. It's the perfect place for fashionistas and those looking for a Swiss watch or two. Shop ‘til you drop/your card’s declined.

Thermalbad & Spa

Treat yourself to some world-class relaxation at the Thermalbad & Spa. Housed in a former brewery, this is your go-to for ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation in Zurich. Dip into thermal baths fed by the city’s hot springs, before a quick visit to the rooftop pool (hello, views!). Then pop back to citizenM for a well-earned snooze!

Zurich after dusk

Just when you thought the picture-perfect postcards of Zurich couldn't get any better, along comes nightfall. The city slips into a sequin-studded evening dress, dusts itself with shimmering lights, and readies itself for spirited citizens up for a bit of twilight merriment. Buckle up, folks, your night is about to get an upgrade. From the lively beats echoing through the cobblestone alleys to the inviting glow of bars and clubs, Zurich's nightlife is a symphony of excitement. Sample local brews in cozy pubs, sway to the tunes of live music at vibrant venues, or simply relish the city’s nocturnal charm along the Limmat River. Whether it's a chic rooftop bar with panoramic views or hidden gems pulsating with underground vibes, Zurich's after-dark scene promises an electrifying adventure for all who dare to dive into its glamorous embrace.

Rooftop bars

Begin your nocturnal adventure at a rooftop Bar. Imagine lounging on a comfy sofa, your hand curled around a stylish cocktail, the dazzling panorama of Zurich stretched out below you like a glittering carpet. Sounds dreamy, doesn't it? For the best of these starlit moments, Schipfe 16 is your go-to spot. Up there, the city doesn’t just look good, it looks unglaublich (that’s incredible in Swiss German).

Langstrasse

Time to lose the tie, kick off those heels and let your hair down on Zurich’s vibrant Langstrasse. This is where beats drop and feet move, where laughter fills the air and memories are made on the dance floor. Pack your dancing shoes and get ready to groove.

Opera

Have a penchant for the refined? An enchanting evening at Zurich Opera House awaits. Whether you're an opera veteran or just dipping your toes into the cultural realm, it’s the perfect place for a classy rendezvous under a sea of stars.

Street Parade Festival

Party people, the Street Parade festival is calling your name! Picture a river of color sweeping through the streets, a hedonistic mix of art, music and pure unadulterated fun. If you're not afraid of a neon smudge or two, join the jubilant jamboree and become a part of the masterpiece that is Zurich after dusk.

Züri Fäscht

Still not ready to call it a night? Try another of Zurich’s equally enticing festivals. The grand Züri Fäscht, held every three years, sees more than two million party goers descend on the city for a night of fireworks and music. And who can forget Zurich Film Festival? The red carpet is rolled out for movie stars and film lovers alike in this joyful (and glamorous!) celebration of global cinema right.

Zurich's night has never been just about the darkness, but the lights, the fun and the unforgettable memories. Now, go make some of your own. 

where to stay in Zurich

Alright, jetsetters, if you're planning to touchdown in this marvellous city, you need an equally perfect pad – citizenM Zurich. Right in the heart of the city, this place is as central as a Swiss watch. The hotel scream modern chic, with beds so comfy you'll be counting sheep before you know it. The lobby? Like your cool best friend's living room, just with 24/7 snacks.

Business traveller? listen up. citizenM Zurich is not just a sweet spot to lay your head, but a co-working space that’s equally good for getting that deal done. We’re talking plush open workspaces, swanky meeting rooms and Wi-Fi so fast it'll make your head spin. Seriously, it's like your office, only better – and in the heart of one of the coolest cities in the world.

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