It is no secret that Zürich is quickly becoming Europe's newest hot spot. Located in the North of Switzerland on Lake Zürich, the city is divided by a river, with nature, museums, and burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scenes on either side. So rid yourself of the old-fashioned notion that Zürich is just for bankers and chocolate freaks—even fashion designer Demna Gvasalia, of Louis Vuitton and Vetements, relocated there for its serenity and nature, and its burgeoning youth culture. Meanwhile, the Zürich Film Festival has been gaining major steam, turning it into a new hub for international cinema. So book your flight on SWISS Air, and head to one of Europe's coolest cities!
Start your day at Conditorei Péclard im Schober, the quintessential Swiss-German patisserie and bakery. All pastries are homemade in their kitchen, so make sure to try a tasting plate of macaroons, croissants, or croustades, and head to their second floor seating area, where you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a dollhouse, with its rich velvet tapestries and upholstered banquettes. For the traditional Swiss experience, try Kronenhalle for dinner, a favorite of Michelin-starred chefs such as Daniel Humm, a native Swiss. It's a mainstay in Zurich, and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. For those in search of a fine-dining experience, Restaurant Pavillon is also not to be missed. Situated lakeside in the glass rotunda of the Hotel Baur Au Lac, the restaurant is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Laurent Eperon, who caters to your every taste; his pantry is stocked with vegetables and herbs right from their garden. The restaurant is open for both breakfast and lunch, but make sure to reserve in advance! While lunch is as short as an hour, lavish dinners can go up to four.
Look no further than the Baur Au Lac, a five-star hotel owned by the same family for six generations. Founded in 1844, the rooms have hosted the likes of Alfred Nobel, Richard Wagner, Marc Chagall, and Fernando Botero. The hotel has also earned a reputation for being an art destination, thanks to "Art In the Park," an annual outdoor exhibition held the week before Art Basel on the front lawn, featuring installations from modern and contemporary artists like Yves Klein and George Condo. The lakeside location also has impressive views of the Swiss Alps, and is only a 10-minute walk to old town. And for the chocolate lovers traveling there, yes, they produce their own chocolates (and honey) on site.
For your cultural fix, head to Cabaret Voltaire, the famous Dada hub founded by Hugo Ball in 1916, in the center of Zürich's old town. While the cafe was abandoned for half a century, a group of Neo-Dadaists revived it in 2002, and it is now used as an event space for Dada-inspired happenings, from sound poetry readings to performances. Don’t skip Kunsthaus, Zurich’s most renowned art museum, with a collection that has something for everyone, from impressionist paintings, original Dada prints, and an extensive video collection (cue: Nam June Paik, Vito Acconci, and Fischli/Weiss). Once you’ve taken in the culture, head to Tasoni, Zürich's hottest store, which is owned by sisters Tari and Taya Sawiris. The girls have curated an impressive collection of modern designers, from Raf Simons to Loewe, and do exclusive collaborations with brands like the Elder Statesman.
For a post-dinner nightcap, head to Raygrodski Bar, but skip the wine. Instead, choose from a host of creative cocktails, mixed and shaken to perfection. The bar looks like it’s from the 70's, sparsely decorated with vintage touches and leather-swathed stools. They’re known for making a killer Lillet Vive, so if you’re not keen on a complex cocktail, you have a reliable backup. If you’re looking for something a bit more entertaining, try Widder Bar. They have nightly live jazz acts that attract both hotel guests and locals. For the night owls, make sure your visit falls on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday and check out Club Zukunft (“Future” in German). The subterranean techno club is as close you’ll come to electronic paradise, with impressive weekly line-ups such as Acid Pauli, Marcel Dettman, Honey Dijon, and Bob Moses. The door is a bit tricky to find, but it’s part of the allure. Grab a drink at Bar 3000 (the club’s smoking lounge), and look down the alley—the club is hidden between two buildings. As to how to enter? Make sure you dress the part.
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