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We love Zurich. It’s awesome. 

Although it’s the home of business and banking, Zurich is far from dull. The city is among the country’s liveliest, and it’s one of the best places for a night out. Wander through the old town, and window-shop at the glitzy Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. Switzerland in general isn’t a great place to shop, but Zurich is excellent.

Things to see

  • Kunsthaus: Zurich’s world-class gallery has a strong early 20th-century section, with important works by Switzerland’s own Alberto Giacometti plus Munch, Picasso and Matisse, and impressionists and post-impressionists including Manet and Van Gogh.• kunsthaus.ch, £15, closed Mondays
  • Guildhalls (self-guided walk): In 1336, Zurich’s first independent mayor, Rudolf Brun, established the guild laws, effectively shifting power from the abbeys in favour of the merchant nobility. The city’s commercial clout was established there and then. The handsome guildhalls (zunfthäuser) lend themselves to a walking tour. See the bakers’ guild (Oberdorfstrasse 20) and then go down to the east bank of the river to see the guilds of the carpenters, builders and wainwrights, the food and wine dealers, and the textiles and spice merchants at numbers 40, 52 and 54 Limmatquai, respectively. In the same area – close to the Rathaus (town hall) – are guildhalls for black-, silver- and goldsmiths (Marktgasse 20) and tailors (Stüssihofstatt 3); over the river are the mansions of the weavers (Münsterhof 8) and saddlemakers, painters and winemakers (Münsterhof 20).
  • Stained glass windows: There are beautiful windows created by artist Marc Chagall in 1967 at the Fraumünster church; Sigmar Polke’s windows in the Grossmünster are also stunning.
  • Zurich food tour: Join a six-stop walking tour of food and drink outlets around the Viadukt retail centre and fashionable Zurich-West for an insight into the gastronomic culture of the city.: £58pp every Friday, 4-7pm, starting at the entrance to the Markthalle indoor market, zuerich.com

Food

  • ***Didi’s Frieden, Stampfenbachstrasse 32: excellent, one of the best wine lists in Zurich. Near the city center.
  • **Gasthaus Rathauskeller: excellent, in the old town. Classic Swiss standards and a nice rotating menu of elegantly plated seasonal options.
  • [to do] Kronenhall: https://www.zuerich.com/en/visit/restaurants/kronenhalle. Fancy/historic option in the city center.
  • ***LaSalle: very hip spot and location, in a concert hall converted from a shipbuilding warehouse. Huge portions. Average food.
  • [to do] Old Crow Bar in Zurich: “very classy”
  • **Restaurant Zugersee Lido: really pretty setting on the southeast side of the lake, but fairly average food, windy and exposed, and indifferent service. It’s okay, but not a destination.
  • **Sapa Canteen: decent Vietnamese in a modern/hip setting, easy walking distance to the main train station
  • [to do] Zeughauskeller: Housed in a 15th-century armoury, this is the ultra-trad venue in which to drink foaming ales and try the Zürich standard known as geschnetzelte: strips of veal in a creamy white-wine and mushroom sauce. zeughauskeller.ch

Hotels

  • **25hours Hotel Zurich West: This funky, 125-room budget hotel, by local designer Alfredo Häberli, is in the Zurich-West district. It is filled with contemporary art and has an innovative restaurant, Neni. Rooms range from bunk beds to suites and there’s free Wi-Fi, sauna and bikes. Doubles from £93, 25hours-hotels.com
  • **Scheuble Hotel: https://www.scheuble.ch/en/hotel: we liked this. Clean, friendly, very central, reasonable prices.
  • **Hotel Seehof: in a quieter part of town but still accessible. Nice beds, clean, good breakfast.

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