What to do in Zurich

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March 18, 2022

For the city that frequently graces the 'Top 10' list for most expensive cities in the world, it actually has a lot of character and soul too. Zurich is a perfect destination to get your 'metropolitan fix' and indulge in the dynamic cultural and foodie scene.

Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been living in Lausanne for over a decade; we’ve grown accustomed to the sleepy streets, the quasi-country quasi-city feel. Don’t get us wrong, we wouldn’t trade our lives here for anything, but the weekend we spent in Zurich recently with girlfriends was an eye-opening experience—one that had us, on multiple occasions, revel in the fact that only a little over 2 hours away, we have an entirely different metropolitan universe at our fingertips. The landscape, the people, the creative energy, the food, the fashion — why, oh why, do we not visit this city more often?

© 25 Hours Hotel

Where to stay in Zurich

You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to hotels in Zurich, but if you’re arriving by train and if you’re into a funky vibe with classy touches (and a killer breakfast buffet) stay at the 25Hours Langstrasse. Rooms average around 200 CHF per night, and they have special touches throughout your stay that make you smile. Make sure to check out the bar after dinner – you’ll find many patrons are not hotel guests who come for the DJ, dancing, and cocktail scene.

Where to eat in Zurich

For an all-out-hands-down-insanely-delicious meal try this Vietnamese treasure in the Langstrasse quarter. Co ChinChin is lively and trendy, with large windows and a stocked bar with copper backsplash. The service is quick and kind, the food bursting with flavors, and the cocktails on-point.  It’s a must when in Zurich.

Known by every Zurichois, and for good reason – the building, located on Bellevue Square, has been around since 1862. The restaurant itself opened in 1924, serving home-style cooking. Being near the opera house, theaters, and art galleries, there is a fundamental spirit with an appreciation of the arts – which is why the walls are covered with Chagalls, Miròs, Bonnards, and Braques.

If you’re not scared of a bit of kimchi on your brunch plate, head to Miss Miu – a funky, retro Korean resto that specializes in Bibimbap, Bulgogi, and Korean Fried Chicken. Also on the menu? Angry Chicken – which are double-fried wings, tenders, or a chicken burger served with pickled radish and sauces that are to.die.for.

©TLG @ CocChinChin

©Brisket

©George’s Bar & Grill

An elegant but playful penthouse bar and restaurant, if there was ever a place to meet Don Draper, it would be here. Oysters, seafood towers, bone-in ribeye steaks are paraded around, with music (sometimes live jazz!) and a beautiful view of the city below.

Their website displays the mantra “We can also be sad without alcohol” and their quirky and playful vibe permeates the physical restaurant but balanced with a serious approach to the quality of their food. With 15 Gault & Millau hats, this balance is working quite well.

Ask any American living abroad how far they’d travel for good BBQ and the answer is much further than the distance between Lausanne and Zurich. With a custom-made smoker brought in all the way from Dallas, Texas – these two Swiss brothers know a thing or two about ribs, brisket, and pulled pork. Come with an appetite, leave with a fully-satisfied belly (and maybe a few friends).

A butcher and a restaurant: you can get your cut of meat and eat it too. Gorgeous black and white tiling, airy space with light leaking in from the large windows – this brasserie bistro a cozy spot, with delicious regional specialties where meat is the star of the show.

clock tower in Zurich in alleyway

Where to drink in Zurich

A Zürich institution, and rated as one of the top 50 bars in the world, Widder Bar’s liquid offering is so vast bartenders need to use a ladder to reach the top shelf. Here you can sample both classic cocktails and innovative new trends – regardless of your choice, you can be sure you made the right one.

A swanky metroplitan setting offering high-quality innovative cocktails, this is a great place to either start or end your evening (or heck, just settle in—the setting is pretty close to perfection)

The phrase “don’t judge a place by their website” never was truer than with Nude – a gorgeous interior as well as terrace directly on the Limmat river. Whether you’re here for the exceptional coffee or the outstanding cocktails, this place is one where you’ll want to linger.

©Dante

©Nude

widder bar in zurich a wooden bar with bottles behind

©Widder Bar

You come here for one thing and one thing only: gin. This trendy and low-lit bar features more than 80 gins with innovative cocktails just waiting to be sampled.

Unpretentious yet trendy in all the best ways, Bar Basso sits on a canal and offers the neighborhood Italian fare. If you’re sitting inside, settle up at the bar and order a sbagliato and watch the resident pizzaiolo warm up the woodfire for the evening’s pizza rush.

What To Do In Ascona

Only a 3.5 hour drive from Lausanne, you can be transported into a charming and vibrant lakeside town that boasts Italian flair—but without even leaving Switzerland.
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