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Summer in Zurich

Natural beauty, cultural treasures, urban excitement – Zurich has them all. Which one will you choose?

By Time Out in association with Zurich Tourism

Switzerland's pretty lakeside city knows how to make the most of its natural alpine beauty, but there's also plenty to excite the culture lover and the urban explorer alike. From swimming in crystal-clear waters to clubbing in disused factories, from traditional cuisine to contemporary fashion, and from well-stocked galleries to international arts festivals, Zurich offers something for every taste and temperament.

Book your Zurich city break now with Expedia, and decide when you get there whether you want to go natural, cultural, or urban – or even have a taste of all three. And don't forget to sign up for a ZürichCARD too – the best way to save money on museums, transport and selected restarants while you're there.

Better still, enter our Zurich city break competition to be in with a chance of winning it all for free, with a two-night stay for two people, including breakfast, at the Marktgasse Hotel – the perfect base for exploring the city’s historic old town neighbourhood, and a short walk into the city centre.

Explore Zurich

zurich, lake

Natural Zurich

The lakeside location, river and Alpine views are a stunning setting for any city, and Zurich makes the most of its good fortune. During the day, the crystal-clear waters of the city’s lakeside beaches and riverbank lidos are the perfect place to relax or enjoy a refreshing swim; on summer evenings they transform into waterfront badi bars and the city comes out to play. Alfresco restaurants in the city and on the lakeshore cook up fresh local produce, including fish straight from the lake. Energetic visitors can throw themselves into learning watersports or climb Üetliberg, the imposing tree-covered mountain that presides over the city.

Cabaret Voltaire is a museum, shop, cafe, gallery and event venue in Zurich
© Martin Stollenwerk

Cultural Zurich

For culture vulture’s there has never been a better time to gorge on this pretty Swiss cities unique artistic experiences. Don’t miss the spectacular European Biennial of Contemporary Art, as Zurich plays host to Manifesta 11 for 100 days from June 11 to September 18. Or celebrate 100 years of Dada, the legendary cultural movement famous for the absurd art it used to protest against World War One, born 100 years ago in the heart of Zurich’s honeycombed “Niederdörfli” (old town). There are special Dada events and exhibitions throughout the year in the Zurich. Also celebrating Dada this year is the Zurich Festspiele , from June 3 to September 26. This annual festival covers the best of Zurich’s theatre, opera and dance and this year will examine the Dada art movement’s influence on society. 

Urban Zurich

Urban Zurich

Alongside its sparkling waterfronts and Alpine views, there's an exciting urban side to Zurich. The reinvention of the city's old industrial quarter, Zurich West, between the railway and the River Limmat, has conceived a new creative district where old industrial buildings now house cool bars and modern restaurants. Designer fashion and homegrown streetware brands are sold from railway arches and shipping containers, new food markets have sprung up, and clubbers can make the most of the huge spaces vacated by steelworks and ship builders to dance the night away.

Zurich meets London

Zurich meets London

'Zurich meets London — a Festival of Two Cities' celebrates the alternative culture and art scene of the two cities with a series of performances, talks and workshops happening across London between May 17-21. Its central focus is on the 100th anniversary of the artistic and literary Dada art movement, founded in Zurich. Plus there is a number of pop-up events such as the Zurich Food Hub at Borough Market. Find out more on the festival here

Win two nights in Zurich


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