Why you should go to Zurich!

Zurich provides one of the highest standards of living in the world in a perfectly tidy and picturesque setting on the banks of the Limmat River and Lake Zurich.

A center of commerce since the 12th century, the banking and financial center is wealthy and efficient but has developed a hipper edge, particularly in its "äußere Kreise" (outer rings), where warehouses and factories have been converted into hip clubs and cultural centers. And beyond, within easy reach, are the Alps.

At its center, cafés and bars, museums, galleries and luxury boutiques line fancy streets, and the pedestrian old town of cobblestone alleys and medieval churches continues to exude its well-preserved charms.

Despite its neatness and traditionalism, the Swiss capital has long been a hot bed of out-of-the-box thinking. As the birthplace of Dadaism in the early 20th century, it attracted a countercultural set of writers and artists who set up shop in the old town's cafés, bars and guild houses before moving on to Paris and Berlin.

The world's first gay and lesbian organization was formed here in the 1940s, as documented in the award-winning Der Kreis (The Circle) film, and by 1942, same-sex relationships were decriminalized. In 2009, the city elected lesbian mayor Corine Mauch.

LGBTQ life centers around the Niederdorf quarter, but the scene extends to a colorful selection of late-night hangouts throughout the 12 districts and a fine selection of specialized club nights from established LGBTQ party labels. And, each year the city comes together in June to celebrate Zurich Pride and the Pink Apple Film Festival.

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Hotels (18)
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Restaurants (20)
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Nightlife (22)
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Things to do (37)

Activity

Zurich's lake is formed by the Linth river, and is, after the Limmat, probably the second-most important aspect of the city's landscape. A wide, blue surface surrounded...
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Shopping

Although a convention center may replace Frau Gerolds Garten when its contract with the city is up, this cool open-air shopping-slash-restaurant-slash-urban-gardening...
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Hotel

Lady's First is close to Lake Zürich and in a thoughtfully renovated 19th-century building. It's a snazzy-looking package for those with a mid-range budget, and despite...
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Restaurant

Vladimir Lenin, James Joyce, Benito Mussolini and Albert Einstein are all said to have frequented the Odeon, although not together. Opened in 1911 in the style of...
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Nightlife

The Old Crow is one of those no nonsense bars that oozes Old World charm off a cobblestone backstreet in the old town with a collection of over 1,500 spirits and rare...
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Nightlife

Although a men-only swimming pool by day, this Badi-Bar turns into a popular riverside lounge come summer evenings, inviting the young and artsy to lounge on cushions...
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Restaurant

Facing Bäckeranlage park on a street closed to traffic, Schönau is a popular meeting place for a rotating menu of shared Mediterranean plates, particularly on the...
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Shopping

Operating since 1971, this is Zurich's most famous Flohmarkt, offering the biggest collection of vendors, with between 400 and 500 traders. Right on the tip of Lake...
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Restaurant

Once one of the oldest gay bars in Europe, this stylish sushi bar and lounge draws a diverse clientele and serves sushi, sashimi and cocktails into the weekend's wee...
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Shopping

Zurich is famous for the finer things, and no street offers as many opportunities to take home or window shop some of these finer things than Bahnhofstraße, the city's...
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Nightlife

The go-to gay bar for award-winning cocktails, Cranberry has been a mainstay since it opened in 1997 with a long drink menu, and industrial chic décor and a summer...
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Flowing out of Lake Zurich northwest through the city, the Limmat is a giant river that is both navigable by smaller watercraft and swimmable, just be careful where you...
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Zurich's old city, situated between the Bahnhofstrasse and the left bank of the Limmat is a charming collection of cobbled streets and houses dating back to the middle...
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The most history-rich part of the old city might just be the Neumarkt quarter, where along the eponymous street are beautiful examples of homes from the Middle Ages (the...
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Shopping

For the mall enthusiasts, the go-to shopping center in Zurich is Glatt, just outside Zurich's city limits. Opened in 1975, the 463,000-square foot (43,000-square meter)...
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Nightlife

Completely renovated in 2011, this sauna is the perhaps the best, though not most spacious, in all of Zurich. Modern, spotless and swank, facilities include a bio sauna...
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Restaurant

Blindekuh, which translates to Blind Man's Bluff, was the first restaurant in the world to offer dining in the dark in support of the visually impaired. Although diners...
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Restaurant

The friendly Kafischnaps café also doubles as a bar with house made schnapps and a pension with five neat and artsy rooms. Once a butcher shop, the hip interior...
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With 1,100 seats, the Zurich Opera House might be mini in relation to all the other great opera houses in the world, but it's size doesn't detract from its beauty and...
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Hotel

Part of the 25hours hotels group with properties in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Vienna, the 126-room Zürich West location is designed in a bold colorful style and...
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It might not cover a lot of ground, but the Old Botanical Garden is a paradisiacal garden and arboretum in the city center, not to be confused with the Botanical Garden...

Nightlife

Located along the Limmat under the Wipkingen train tracks, Damm is a bar that is loved by locals for its laid-back atmosphere, quirky mismatched decor and pleasant...

Hotel

This stunning example of modernist architecture lies at the foot of the Üetliberg Mountain and is famous for, in its heyday, hosting famous musicians such as...
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Hotel

Housed in what was once the Hürlimann Brewery, the B2 is a high-tech urban hotel with a fashionable modern design that honors the building's industrial heritage....
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Tucked below a clock store, the Beyer Museum displays the history of timekeeping from the Middle Ages (candles, it turns out) to the wristwatch. There are also countless...

Shopping

Beyer has been in the watch and jewelry business since 1760, carrying big names like Patek Philippe, Rolex and Cartier and delivering custom time pieces to members of...

Activity

A tower from the late Middle Ages, the Brunnenturm was first the headquarters of 14th-century Lombard merchants and has since been everything from living quarters to a...

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If you must see one thing in Zurich, make it the fantastical sculpture garden by Bruno Weber, a 220,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) park filled with pieces by the preeminent...

Activity

Dadaism - an art movement of the European avant-garde - got its start at Cabaret Voltaire, although it soon moved on to cities like Berlin and Paris. Opened in 1916 by a...

Nightlife

With an assembled collection of furniture and a homey refurbished feel, this neighborhood local draws the a mixed and friendly crowd come evening. Summers, pleasant...

Restaurant

This charming Parisian-café is tucked away in a residential area and serves classic bistro fare: steak tartare, quiche lorraine, Nutella crepe and so on. The large...

Restaurant

With its sun-soaked pine interiors and minimalist flower arrangements, this cozy café near Hardplatz inspires unhurried conversation, reading and writing. Coffee is from...

Nightlife

First opening when Zurich West looked like something out of a nuclear-fallout dystopian sci-fi, the Supermarket is still raging strong, attracting a young and restless...

Restaurant

Near the Grossmunster, this very famous café is inconspicuous, but inside the gorgeous interiors, there are even more gorgeous cakes, bonbons and other sweets. The...

Nightlife

This is the closest Zurich comes to an every(gay)man's bar. It's laid-back, blue collar vibes and rather overlookable aesthetics manage a welcoming atmosphere for a...

Restaurant

Founded by two Swiss sisters, this funky vegan restaurant on Limmatplatz is one of the few in Zurich. The large rock 'n roll themed dining room has plenty of seating,...

Shopping

Though not as big as the flea market in Bürkliplatz, Flohmarkt Kanzlei has the advantage of being open every Saturday year round, regardless, so they say, of the...

Activity

The Stadthausquai river pool has long existed as a public bath for women only, built as part of the 19th century Seeuferanlage promenades. Art nouveau in style and with...

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Named after the abbey founded on the site in 853, the Fraumünster might be a beautiful example of early modern Gothic nave architecture, but the still-visible crypt of...
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Shopping

Two Swiss brothers are behind the sustainable Freitag boutique label, which has made a name for itself at home and abroad since launching in the mid-1990s by upcycling...

Nightlife

For those who want to go straight to the source, Frieda's is a house of electronic music founded by a group of DJs. Legendary weekend after-parties powered by top DJs...

Activity

The Ganymed statue was completed by Hermann Hubacher in 1952 and sits on the Bürkliterrasse on the shores of Lake Zurich. Inspired in Greek mythology but sculpted...

Shopping

In the basement of the Globus shopping center, this immaculate and pricey delicatessen is a destination for Swiss delicacies, whether to take home or just to gape at the beautiful presented local cheeses, meats, wines, sweets, produce and prepared foods.

Nightlife

Attracting a younger set of foreigners and students, this club provides all the "underground" feels. No one is overdressed, there are no fascist door politics, and the...

Activity

Zurich's most imposing cathedral, the Grossmünster, is said to have been commissioned by Charlemagne to be built on top of the graves of Felix and Regula, the city's...
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Nightlife

This small and cruise-favorable disco showcases local and international DJs that play all the hits, with a more techno-leaning bite on Fridays. The campy Balkan Gay...

Hotel

This snug little two-star near the train station is a family-run refuge from the price gouging everywhere else. Though it won't be anything to write home about, it is a...
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Hotel

Overlooking the Limmat River behind a 19th century facade, Hotel Central Plaza is an affordable four-star property in a central location with 105 soundproofed rooms, a...
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Hotel

A three-star design hotel with lots of character, every room of the du Théâtre playfully evokes the building's history as a theater and cinema. It is centrally...
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Hotel

This neo-Baroque whammy of a luxury hotel was built at the start of the 20th-century. It is so tradition-conscious that it's still serving the same hors d'oevres that it...
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Hotel

The 14 rooms at the Helvetia are basic, bright and stylish with an inviting greyscale scheme and city and river views. Although the property is centrally located and...
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Hotel

Located on a cobbled street in a stately old city townhouse, the hotel first provided lodging to 15th century pilgrims during the annual Whitsun processions on the...
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Hotel

Located in the university quarter and only 10 minutes by foot from the old city and the scenic Lake Zürich, Hotel Plattenhof is a classic affordable design hotel, in...
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Hotel

Just off the banks of the Limmat River in the old city and a short stroll to Lake Zurich, Hotel Rössli's 27 chic guest rooms - which range from singles to rooftop...
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Hotel

The 20-room Seehof is a convenient and hip 3-star housed in a pink 20th century townhouse steps from Lake Zurich and the Opera House. Dressed in a nautical look,...
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Activity

Established in 1985, the James Joyce Foundation pays homage to the Dublin writer, who lived, died and wrote Ulysses in Zurich. It has the largest European collection of...

Nightlife

Named after legendary soccer champion Franz Beckenbauer, this bare-bones watering hole is one of the best places to go to watch a game. Neither the simple decor or the...

Restaurant

The Kronenhalle is a local institution set in a gorgeous dining room with red booths and an impressive art collection (yes, that is an original Miro), popular with the...

Activity

Founded in 1787, the Kunsthaus is one of the most prominent art museums in all of Europe. Munch, Monet and the various permutations of Impressionism are its strong suit,...
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Hotel

This 3-star hotel veers from functional with what the property calls a Swiss ethnic décor, largely because of the cow hide print on some of the furnishings, including...
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Nightlife

Despite its name and 1920s gentlemen's club decor, Les Garçons makes for a stylish and inclusive night out for men, women and heteros in the Langstrasse red-light...

Restaurant

Lily's is pan-Asian through-and-through and has made for a good quick meal of curries, noodles, soups, dumplings and wok fare since the 1990s, served at communal tables...

Shopping

Tucked away in a back alley near the Rathaus, this concept store is a must-see for lovers of domestic design. It's a veritable temple of small-run home products, many hand-made and high on style with prices to match.

Nightlife

For gay men only, this cruise-centric bar has an underwear to naked dress code and darkrooms in the basement. Smoky and popular with an older set.

Restaurant

Maison Manesse, with one-Michelin star and a young Australian-born chef, is informal dining but fine cuisine, emphasizing creativity on the changing menus, served in a...

Nightlife

A fetish and sex-toy shop during the week, the Männerzone ("men zone") turns bar on Fridays and Saturdays Heavy on the daddies and bears, it follows a strictly men-only...

Hotel

Smack dab in the middle of the old city, this legendary inn is one of Zurich's oldest. With gleaming oak floors, a subtle black-and-white color scheme and rooms...
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Shopping

Turns out despite the country's fame for its luxury watches, almost none are actually designed and manufactured in Switzerland. Maurice de Mauriac, on the hand, makes...

Nightlife

A schlager bar for the gays, Petra's is a beloved local with a rambunctious and entertaining drag host, Peter, also known as Petra. The small space makes good use of...

Nightlife

This relaxed gay bistro bar is open everyday of the year from 2 pm to 2 am with a friendly staff, diverse music and guests, marble-topped pub tables and a summer garden....

Nightlife

The minimalist interior and none-too-shabby cocktails have made this bar a crowded favorite among the extremely hip.particularly on Fridays and Saturdays. Its drink to...

Restaurant

Three of the four walls at the fancy Parkhuus restaurant in the even fancier Park Hyatt hotel are floor-to-ceiling windows. The cuisine is creative and contemporary,...

Restaurant

The two-Michelin starred restaurant from Chef Rico Zandonella serves artistic classic French cuisine in a less than classic dining room with 45 seats, red leathers...

Shopping

Though small compared to the other flea markets, Rosenhofmarkt, held in a small old city square, dates back to 1973 when it was founded by hippies and continues to peddle unique odds and ends including curios from around the world, Swiss handicrafts and locally-made ceramics. Operates Thursdays and Saturdays, March...

Hotel

On Zurich's gold coast overlooking Lake Zurich, the luxurious mixture of the old and new at Seehotel Sonne will make any romantic weak in the knees, and thankfully, the...
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Restaurant

One of Zurich's most beloved bakery and sweets shop, particularly this location on Bahnhofstraße, Sprüngli offers eveything from chocolates to fresh-baked loaves of...

Activity

In 1706, St. Peter was consecrated as the first church built under protestant rule and is the oldest parish church in the city (that is, a church not belonging to a...
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Restaurant

Sternen Grill has been a bratwurst destination since it opened in 1963, popular with locals, which often makes for long lines at the takeout counter. There are other...

Shopping

This is the flagship store for the Swiss men's-fashion label Strellson, with two stories of hip and mid-price range suits. There is also has a nice assortment of casual...

Nightlife

A restaurant by day, Stüba comes alive at night with full-on bar mode, often throwing DJ and dance nights. Giant framed portraits of fußball legends look on as the young...

Restaurant

The touristy and chalet-style Swiss Chuchi at the Hotel Adler provides a full menu of classic and more innovative fondues alongside the rest of the hearty Swiss classics...

Nightlife

The long-running Tanzleila club night is a dance party for women only, lesbian or not. Organized four times a year at the plush Club Exil, the female DJs keep the crowd...

Hotel

It calls itself a "city resort" and no wonder, for this castle-turned-hotel is only a 15-minute furnicular ride from the city and yet promises all of the solitude and...
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Shopping

It's second-hand but second-hand that is curated within an inch of its life: only that which the owner's deem of-the-moment will make it onto the racks, and this means...

Restaurant

On a hillside with large picture windows overlooking the lake and the Alps, this formal two-Michelin-starred and Gault Millau stand out is led by German Chef Heiko...

Restaurant

With several locations throughout the city, Tibits is an unpretentious, all-veggie restaurant with a pay-by-weight buffet of over 40 salads, hot dishes, soups and...

Activity

Inaugurated in 1895 with a Johannes Brahms conducted concert, Zurich's concert hall is known for its superb acoustics. Its symphony orchestra plays over a hundred...

Shopping

The owner Laurence Antiglio has made this boutique store on St. Peterstraße a world-renowned, one-stop-shop for all that is trending and of the moment in modern fashion....

Shopping

The over 500 meters of the 1894 viaduct have been reclaimed as an impressive shopping event, filling the 36 arches with boutiques, delicatessens and galleries. The...

Nightlife

Founded in 2013, this one of few lesbian parties in Zurich takes place at the Longstreet Bar, often showcasing impressive lineups of DJanes and warm, sexy vibes well...

Activity

This island in the Limmat is a popular recreation spot for locals - including families, nude bathers and the LGBT community - with a public park, sandy beaches, river...

Restaurant

White Elephant has been serving a refined Thai menu in an elegant dining room at the Zürich Marriott Hotel since 1991. And, every fall, the restaurant converts the...

Nightlife

In the Widder hotel, the "Library of Spirits" at this high-end specialty-drinks bar has 1,000 bottles, with some excellent and hard-to-come-by single malts and a...

Hotel

A five-star lux hotel with some astonishing interior decoration, the Widder emerged from the synthesis of 10 neighboring medieval houses in the Bahnhofstrasse shopping...
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Activity

Like most industrial districts in these post-industrial times, Zurich's western quarter has also been converted into a trendy mishmash of boutiques, restaurants and...

Shopping

These two alternative districts offer a wide variety of more off-the-beaten-track options from the creatives who have moved into the abandoned factories in the area. There are textile designers, jewelry makers and local boutiques, as well as the Langstraße, which is as close as Zurich gets to multi-culti.

Activity

A river delta on Lake Zurich's lower basin, its lawns are one of the most popular recreation spots among locals. By boat, tram, or foot it is worth going a little our of...

12 community reviews / Zurich

General impression
Good
LGBT-friendly
Good
Lolo has been to and reviewed Zurich

Added 3 weeks ago

Zurich has it all, style, good food , very friendly

Rusty Beukes has been to and reviewed Zurich

Added 2 months ago

I loved the LGBT nightlife in Zurich. I had a lovely time in the city. I stayed in Zurich for a few days and then moved to Lachen (30 minutes train ride). It was beautiful.

fionab has been to and rated Zurich

Added 5 months ago