• the sunday guide to // zurich

zurich / mahabis journal photo: bucketlistly

 

Our Sunday Guide travel series has dotted across the world, bringing alternative recommendations for visiting some of the most interesting cities in countries as far spread as Sweden, Canada and Australia. For this latest instalment, we’re sharing our secret tips for a relaxing, slow-paced getaway to the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich.

 

zurich //

It’s little wonder that Zurich is known for being one of the happiest cities in the world. Fresh mountain air, dramatic views, and snow-capped peaks usher in a sense of calm as soon as you arrive. Culture takes second place only to natural landscapes here, with a thriving arts scene and a very cosmopolitan atmosphere thanks to the city’s international inhabitants. Since Switzerland is a relatively small country, day trips to nearby mountains, other lakes and nearby cities such as Basel are all easily achievable when basing yourself in Zurich.

It’s easy to relax here, whether you're spending your time in the city, strolling by the lake, or hiring bikes to soak up the scenery en route. Read on for our recommendations for spending a slow weekend experiencing the very best of the city.

 

zurich / mahabis journal

photo: dennis jarvis

 

stay //

There are plenty of stylish hotels located in the centre of the city, but why not take the opportunity for a more peaceful sleep in the shadow of Zurich’s Uetliberg Mountain at the Atlantis by Giardino hotel. The slick contemporary exterior is mirrored inside, with a design that marries style and comfort. Large windows and protruding balconies look out over the lake with the city in sight only a short journey away. Take advantage of the hotel’s outdoor & indoor pools, Ayurvedic spa and two luxury eateries – or head out into the woods for a stroll.

 

wander //

Before planning day trips, or heading to the wealth of galleries and designer shops, it's worth taking advantage of the natural scenery on your doorstep. Lake Zurich extends southeast of the city, and the famously clean water makes it a great spot for a quick swim in the city's public baths and beaches. The boardwalk starts from Bellevue and allows you three kilometres of uninterrupted strolling along the shore with plenty of opportunities for you to stop and rest whilst soaking in the sight of the mountains looming across the lake.

 

switzerland // mahabis journal

 photo: martin sattler

 

unwind //

Luxury meets traditional at Zurich’s Thermalbad & Spa, housed in an old brewery. Here, you can cast aside any stresses and completely switch off as you soak in thermal water drawn from mineral-rich springs below the city. On sunny days, float around in the rooftop infinity pool, admiring the mountain vistas in the distance. Don’t worry if the weather takes a turn for the worse, instead retreat to the cellars to bathe in huge wooden barrels under stone vaulted ceilings. Highlights in the thermal spa include a meditation pool, a shallow pool for relaxation, whirlpools, the Kneipp wading pool and a massage lane. If you want to spend more time indulging and relaxing, opt for the Irish-Roman Spa Ritual, which aims to warm, cleanse, relax and then cool your body for the ultimate pampering experience.

 

eat //

There’s no shortage of luxury restaurants in which to enjoy a delicious evening meal before embarking on Zurich’s nightlife scene. But if you want to immerse yourself in local customs, Sunday brunch is the most important meal of the week. Every Sunday around noon the most popular eateries in the city are bustling with people enjoying casual meals, reading the newspapers and socialising with friends. Head to Kafischnaps to dine with Zurich’s most fashionable crowd, Fork & Bottle for artisanal fresh food and craft beer, or Hitl for a diverse buffet brunch at the world’s first vegetarian restaurant. Just remember to book to ensure that you get a seat.

 

zurich / mahabis journal

photo: bucketlistly

 

float //

Take advantage of Zurich’s abundance of water and book a boat trip on either the lake or the river, sitting back and relaxing as you admire the city from a different perspective. Specially designed flat boats cruise past the sights of the Old Town on the river, journeying beneath a series of seven low bridges during the trip. Alternatively, take to Lake Zurich and take a round-trip around the entire lake, drinking in the dramatic sights of the mountains, trees and small towns that you pass along the way.

  

switzerland // mahabis journal

 photo: azer koculu

 

explore //

Make the most of your time in Zurich by heading up into the mountains to hike amongst luscious green hills and snow-capped peaks. If you’d like to see the breath-taking views of the city from above, but don’t fancy a strenuous hike, take the SZU train to the top of the Uetliberg, the mountain that overlooks the city. Once at the top of the peak, you can climb the observation deck for 360 degree views as far as the eye can see. If you fancy a stroll, you can wander along the trail to the Felsenegg, enjoy a meal with a view on the terrace of the restaurant and take a cable car back down the mountain.

 

visit //

There’s no shortage of entertainment for art lovers in Zurich with over one hundred galleries to explore. Visit the Kunsthaus to view an impressive collection of both Swiss and international artists and sculptures, including an entire room devoted to Swiss artists Alberto Giacometti and a collection of interesting Japanese wood cuttings. If you’re more into contemporary art, head to the Lowenbrau complex, a former brewery where you will find a collection of pioneering galleries including Kunsthalle and Galerie Francesca Pia. Kunsthalle showcases a constantly rotating series of experimental exhibits, whilst Francesca Pia promotes emerging talent with her carefully curated collections. There’s also an interesting selection of street art that has been popping up around the city, easily discovered during a slow-paced stroll.

 

zurich / mahabis journal

photo: bucketlistly

 

the sunday guide to // zurich

zurich / mahabis journal photo: bucketlistly

 

Our Sunday Guide travel series has dotted across the world, bringing alternative recommendations for visiting some of the most interesting cities in countries as far spread as Sweden, Canada and Australia. For this latest instalment, we’re sharing our secret tips for a relaxing, slow-paced getaway to the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich.

 

zurich //

It’s little wonder that Zurich is known for being one of the happiest cities in the world. Fresh mountain air, dramatic views, and snow-capped peaks usher in a sense of calm as soon as you arrive. Culture takes second place only to natural landscapes here, with a thriving arts scene and a very cosmopolitan atmosphere thanks to the city’s international inhabitants. Since Switzerland is a relatively small country, day trips to nearby mountains, other lakes and nearby cities such as Basel are all easily achievable when basing yourself in Zurich.

It’s easy to relax here, whether you're spending your time in the city, strolling by the lake, or hiring bikes to soak up the scenery en route. Read on for our recommendations for spending a slow weekend experiencing the very best of the city.

 

zurich / mahabis journal

photo: dennis jarvis

 

stay //

There are plenty of stylish hotels located in the centre of the city, but why not take the opportunity for a more peaceful sleep in the shadow of Zurich’s Uetliberg Mountain at the Atlantis by Giardino hotel. The slick contemporary exterior is mirrored inside, with a design that marries style and comfort. Large windows and protruding balconies look out over the lake with the city in sight only a short journey away. Take advantage of the hotel’s outdoor & indoor pools, Ayurvedic spa and two luxury eateries – or head out into the woods for a stroll.

 

wander //

Before planning day trips, or heading to the wealth of galleries and designer shops, it's worth taking advantage of the natural scenery on your doorstep. Lake Zurich extends southeast of the city, and the famously clean water makes it a great spot for a quick swim in the city's public baths and beaches. The boardwalk starts from Bellevue and allows you three kilometres of uninterrupted strolling along the shore with plenty of opportunities for you to stop and rest whilst soaking in the sight of the mountains looming across the lake.

 

switzerland // mahabis journal

 photo: martin sattler

 

unwind //

Luxury meets traditional at Zurich’s Thermalbad & Spa, housed in an old brewery. Here, you can cast aside any stresses and completely switch off as you soak in thermal water drawn from mineral-rich springs below the city. On sunny days, float around in the rooftop infinity pool, admiring the mountain vistas in the distance. Don’t worry if the weather takes a turn for the worse, instead retreat to the cellars to bathe in huge wooden barrels under stone vaulted ceilings. Highlights in the thermal spa include a meditation pool, a shallow pool for relaxation, whirlpools, the Kneipp wading pool and a massage lane. If you want to spend more time indulging and relaxing, opt for the Irish-Roman Spa Ritual, which aims to warm, cleanse, relax and then cool your body for the ultimate pampering experience.

 

eat //

There’s no shortage of luxury restaurants in which to enjoy a delicious evening meal before embarking on Zurich’s nightlife scene. But if you want to immerse yourself in local customs, Sunday brunch is the most important meal of the week. Every Sunday around noon the most popular eateries in the city are bustling with people enjoying casual meals, reading the newspapers and socialising with friends. Head to Kafischnaps to dine with Zurich’s most fashionable crowd, Fork & Bottle for artisanal fresh food and craft beer, or Hitl for a diverse buffet brunch at the world’s first vegetarian restaurant. Just remember to book to ensure that you get a seat.

 

zurich / mahabis journal

photo: bucketlistly

 

float //

Take advantage of Zurich’s abundance of water and book a boat trip on either the lake or the river, sitting back and relaxing as you admire the city from a different perspective. Specially designed flat boats cruise past the sights of the Old Town on the river, journeying beneath a series of seven low bridges during the trip. Alternatively, take to Lake Zurich and take a round-trip around the entire lake, drinking in the dramatic sights of the mountains, trees and small towns that you pass along the way.

  

switzerland // mahabis journal

 photo: azer koculu

 

explore //

Make the most of your time in Zurich by heading up into the mountains to hike amongst luscious green hills and snow-capped peaks. If you’d like to see the breath-taking views of the city from above, but don’t fancy a strenuous hike, take the SZU train to the top of the Uetliberg, the mountain that overlooks the city. Once at the top of the peak, you can climb the observation deck for 360 degree views as far as the eye can see. If you fancy a stroll, you can wander along the trail to the Felsenegg, enjoy a meal with a view on the terrace of the restaurant and take a cable car back down the mountain.

 

visit //

There’s no shortage of entertainment for art lovers in Zurich with over one hundred galleries to explore. Visit the Kunsthaus to view an impressive collection of both Swiss and international artists and sculptures, including an entire room devoted to Swiss artists Alberto Giacometti and a collection of interesting Japanese wood cuttings. If you’re more into contemporary art, head to the Lowenbrau complex, a former brewery where you will find a collection of pioneering galleries including Kunsthalle and Galerie Francesca Pia. Kunsthalle showcases a constantly rotating series of experimental exhibits, whilst Francesca Pia promotes emerging talent with her carefully curated collections. There’s also an interesting selection of street art that has been popping up around the city, easily discovered during a slow-paced stroll.

 

zurich / mahabis journal

photo: bucketlistly

 

  • Emma Lavelle
Sign up here to keep updated with our latest posts