If you Google Zurich the first keywords that pop up are finance and banking. But scroll a few results down and you’ll start to see that Switzerland’s largest city is so much more than an economic centre. Set at the foot of the Swiss Alps, Zurich is a thriving cultural city surrounded by endless opportunities for the outdoor or urban adventurer. From alpine hikes, to a world renowned wine region and a trendy industrial precinct, this 48-hour guide will help you convince your clients to add a Zurich stopover to their next Swiss summer jaunt.



Rise early and jump on the train at Zurich main station that journeys south toward Schwyz about 85 minutes away. A quick bus trip from here will take you to Schwyz Stoosbahn where you can catch a ride on the world’s steepest funicular railway leading 1,300 metres into the slopes to the car-free mountain village of Stoos. Take in the spectacular views over Lake Lucerne with a coffee and a Swiss cheese sandwich at mountain restaurant Stoos Hüttä and then catch the chairlift to the summit of Klingenstock where the Crest Hike Stoos begins. Not one for those afraid of heights, this moderate four-kilometre hike winds along a ridgeway taking in views of glistening lakes and towering Alpine peaks, culminating at the spectacular Fronalpstock summit, 1922 metres above sea level. The sun terrace at the namesake summit restaurant is the perfect spot to share a cheese fondue and an afternoon beer. From here catch the chairlift back down the mountainside and begin the return journey to Zurich.

If wine is more your flavour, catch a one hour train toward the lush rolling hills of Andelfingen, the heart of Zurich’s wine country. With vineyards spanning over six square kilometres and beautiful walking trails connecting the surrounding villages it’s best explored by bike or on foot, depending on how much you like walking. For a shorter journey 600 year old vineyard Weingut Schipf, set on the Gold Coast of Lake Zurich, is just half an hour outside of Zurich and the perfect spot for guided tastings of the great Swiss Pinot Noir. While Landolt Winery, the largest winegrower in the city hosts regular tastings at their Vinotheque in Bederstrasse.


After a quick nap at 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse head across The Sihl river for a pre dinner drink at the eclectic waterfront bar El Lokal. Fitted out with mismatched chairs, old electric guitars and vintage posters, and serving a heap of Swiss craft beers, this local haunt is a restaurant, bar, gallery and live music venue all in one. Make sure you’ve booked a table at Widder Bar and Kitchen for a more refined but still unmissable dining experience, just ten minutes walk away. Attached to the recently revamped five-star Widder Hotel, the extensive a la carte menu prompts you to choose dishes by flavour. Stay for the bar’s 1000 strong spirit collection and the live jazz. If you’re up for an all nighter, five minutes walk away is the legendary Kaufleuten Club, and if you’re lucky they might be hosting an RnB & HipHop night or disco themed party.



Brunch is at BANK, a chic industrial complex just a six minutes walk from 25hours Hotel. Occupying the spot where a Swiss bank once resided, this restaurant, bar and coffee shop serves an epic Swiss brunch with cheese, fish, meats and specialty coffee. Next stop is a post-brunch soak at Thermalbad & Spa. Housed beneath barrel-vaulted ceilings in what was once Hürlimann Brewery, the mineral rich water from these thermal baths is sourced from the Acqui springs that run beneath the city of Zurich. But despite the supposed health benefits, the biggest drawcard is the incredible rooftop pool that looks across the entire city.


Head to Zurich West (affectionately nicknamed Zuri West) by the locals. Over the past ten years this old industrial precinct has been revitalised by creatives who have opened fashion and design boutiques, galleries, cafes and bars in the old shipping containers and abandoned warehouse spaces. The former Löwenbräu brewery is at the centre of Zurich West’s burgeoning contemporary art scene, surrounded by the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Kunsthalle Zurich and a host of other major contemporary commercial galleries. Don’t miss Im Viadukt, a brimming market hall set beneath the arches of an old railway viaduct. And if you’re looking for an outdoor spot to spend the last hours of sunlight head to Frau Gerolds Garten, an incredibly cool urban garden bar with its own weekend design market and kitchen garden.


A visit to Zurich isn’t complete without a ride on the kitsch but cool Fondue Tram. This vintage 1930s tram runs two sessions per night and treats its passengers to a traditional Swiss meal of Glühwein, a Grisons starter platter, cheese fondue and dessert while it journeys through the city and along the promenade Limmatquai into Zurich’s Old Town. After you disembark try and catch a late night classic flick at independent cinema Kino Xenix. In summer they hold outdoor screenings and the adjoining bar is just one more reason to stay longer. For a touch of history head to Cabaret Voltaire, the birthplace of the eccentric Dada movement that has a bar open until 2am on Friday and Saturday and hosts a program of cultural events year round; or stop at 4 Tiere Bar near your hotel for one last memorable gin nightcap.