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Vin Shahrestani

Vin Shahrestani

Vin is the contibuting editor to Time Out Switzerland. It is said that his only weaknesses are gourmet burgers and binge-watching Game of Thrones.

Articles (15)

Switzerland’s most exciting mountain attractions

Switzerland’s most exciting mountain attractions

Taking advantage of Switzerland's incredible mountain scenery is a must for those willing to scale the epic Alpine peaks and the more casual explorers. In fact, Swiss passion for mountain engineering has resulted in some outstanding attractions, such as Europe's highest train station, Europe's longest tobogganing track, and the world's first Cresta Run. So put on your woolly mittens and check out these high altitude revelry. 

35 great things to do in Switzerland this summer

35 great things to do in Switzerland this summer

The waiting is over: summer is here and we’re all over it. Swiss summers are a thing of wonder, particularly when you get out and about and start exploring the countless beautiful places that the country has to offer.  To help fire-up your summer, we’ve selected 35 of our favourite activities and experiences for everyone’s favourite season. There’s hiking, biking and rafting if you fancy getting active, thermal baths and wine-tasting if you’re more in the mood for indulging, and plenty in-between. Read on and ready yourself for a truly memorable summer.

16 eerie pictures of Switzerland's secret bunkers

16 eerie pictures of Switzerland's secret bunkers

Switzerland hasn't been engaged in a military conflict for over 150 years, but hidden beneath the country's surface is a vast network of military bunkers and fallout shelters that exist to protect the Swiss people from potential onset of war and nuclear devastation. Many of these were built during the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear bombs seemed very real indeed. Although the exact number of military bunkers isn't known, a common estimate is that there are around 20,000 bunkers dotted around Switzerland. There are also¬†more than 300,000 private and public fallout shelters around the country. All of which means that Switzerland would appear to have¬†some potential protection for its citizens if nuclear conflict did occur, although it's not known just how effective these shelters ‚Äď some built many decades ago ‚Äď would be against modern-day threats. But that doesn't stop us from taking a look into some of these mysterious spaces, thanks to a photographer calling himself¬†Kecko, who's¬†chronicled some of the most interesting bunkers and shelters in Switzerland. Here are a few of our favourites.

Discover this winter's top hotspots with Germania

Discover this winter's top hotspots with Germania

Got plans for this weekend? Break them! Fly off somewhere exciting with us. Time Out has partnered up with Germania to help you plan your ideal winter getaway from Zurich. Read on to get the insider lowdown on these five fantastic locations you can fly to with Germania and Book here now.  

Top acts to see at La B√Ętie - Festival de Gen√®ve 2016

Top acts to see at La B√Ętie - Festival de Gen√®ve 2016

From September 2 to 17, La B√Ętie - Festival de Gen√®ve¬†will plunge the city of Geneva into an artistic frenzy. Contemporary theatre and dance shows, electronic DJ sets or rock concerts are all a part of the event‚Äôs flamboyant program. A series of stimulating appearances, ‚Äď in French, English, German, Spanish or even Farsi ‚Äď in various original locations all over the canton and beyond.

Video of pro skier jumping off the edge of Matterhorn will make your palms sweaty

Video of pro skier jumping off the edge of Matterhorn will make your palms sweaty

The Matterhorn is one Switzerland's most iconic mountains, with it's steep slopes and triangular¬†shape representing the power of nature. But even with its imposing form, there are some willing to risk their lives to conquer¬†the mountain. Harrowing footage shot by professional skier Nicolas Falquet shows him precariously navigating along the¬†Matterhorn's high altitude¬†cliff edge in order to find a spot to ski down from. ¬† // (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); // Nicolas Falquet au Sommet du Cervin! :) / Nicolas Falquet on the Top of the Matterhorn! :)Bonjour √† tous! Si le cŇďur vous en dit, nous vous invitons √† venir liker la page! Vous √™tes les bienvenus! Posted by I Love SwitzerlandÔľĀ on Wednesday, 9 March 2016 Although the mountain is 4,478 metres tall, it's not clear how high the skier is in the video. We're betting that for most people, the video itself enough to induce vertigo. 38-years-old Frenchman¬†Falquet has been shooting ski videos for past 10 years, with this one clip becoming an online hit, ¬†garnering nearly 400,000 views on YouTube¬†and nearly three million views on Facebook. If this has made you feel adventurous for some high altitude fun, check out our handy guides:

POV video shows how good the view is on this mountain toboggan ride

POV video shows how good the view is on this mountain toboggan ride

When it comes to high altitude amusements, Switzerland has you covered for some of the world's best rides. But it also comes down to the views on offer, this video of a thrilling toboggan run near Oeschinen Lake shows the stunning scenery Switzerland possess.  The breath-taking footage was filmed by Brice Milleson in 2013 and shows how the ride swerves through the mountain with an incredible backdrop.  The attraction is located next to Oeschinen station, an eight minute cable car ride from the village of Kandersteg.

Activities in Basel for spring and summer

Activities in Basel for spring and summer

When the sun shines on Basel, you'll see a city transformed from it's postcards-perfect snowy settings to a rambunctious hive of activities. So whether it's a much needed retail therapy or a relaxing river cruise on the Rhine, we've got something for you to try.

Zurich Film Festival 2015 essential guide

Zurich Film Festival 2015 essential guide

Zurich Film Festival (ZFF), now in its 11th year, is a well-respected fixture of the internatonal film festival circuit. The 11-day festival attracts some big names and around 80,000 attendees to its premieres, screenings, galas and red carpet events. Featuring the work of emerging and established filmmakers, ZFF presents films in a range of languages, but predominantly English and German. Find below your full guide to the Zurich Film Festival 2015.

Art Basel essential guide

Art Basel essential guide

Nicknamed ‚Äėthe art world Olympics,‚Äô this art fair brings together the best and brightest names in the business. This year, Art Basel is shaping to be even more of a global event than its predecessors, with a host of unique international collections on display. And like every year, this one has loads of great places to see, plus plentiful wining and dining opportunities.

Listings and reviews (1)

Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville

Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville

Serving classic French food, Restaurant de l‚ÄôH√ītel de Ville, one of the most famous restaurants in the world, has a long reputation for superb dining after holding onto three Michelin stars since 1998. So it's no wonder the cost of dining there ranges from an eye-watering CHF 172 to CHF 375, but it's still far cheaper than eating in the Parisian equivilent¬†and the setting is serene and charming. The menu changes each season and there is an extensive selection of Swiss and French wine on the menu too.¬†

News (16)

Oral sex service by robots offered by Geneva cafè

Oral sex service by robots offered by Geneva cafè

Plans for a new café in Geneva has attracted international media attention thanks to its concept of offering ...er...added extras... that is unlike any other in the city. We're talking a lot more than a skinny cappuccino. The firm behind the café, Facegirl, says male customers will be able to order coffee, costing a hefty CHF60 a cup, select a sex robot of their choice from an iPad to give them oral sex and then get "comfortable" at the bar. Originally the café was planned to have human sex workers. Although prostitution is legal in Switzerland (sex workers require permits), paid-for sexual services are banned in public establishments under catering legislation, said a spokesperson from the Department of Security and Economy. As a result, the sex café operator has been forced to explore the idea of using robots as a way around the ban and is in talks with a US firm that manufactures lifelike robot-women for up to US$3,000. If these plans are approved, Facegirl says it will provide up to eight robots to service customers for CHF60 a pop, meaning locals might soon be ordering an "extra shot" at this raunchy café.

Robots to begin delivering mail around Switzerland

Robots to begin delivering mail around Switzerland

If you weren't convinced that we aren't living in the future, news of robotic sentinels delivering mail in Switzerland might help you think otherwise.  Swiss Post has announced that they will be testing out drone mailmen in Bern, Köniz, and Biberist as part of an initiative to improve postal services by speeding up deliveries. According to a Swiss Post statement, the trail is to start in September and it will test the robots' application in "same-day and same-hour delivery, grocery deliveries or even home deliveries of medical products". The pint-sized robots can run up to two hours or six kilometres (3.7 miles), with a cruising speed of about three kilometres per hour, with a maximum speed of six kilometres per hour. They can carry up to 10kg at a time and navigate using nine cameras, four frontal sensors and GPS technology. The trail will be run in partnership with British technology company Starship Technologies, who have outlined the workings of the robot in a neat video.    

The world's longest train tunnel is now open

The world's longest train tunnel is now open

Gotthard Base Tunnel, a mammoth railway system constructed through the Swiss Alps, is now open after 17 years in the making. It opened with a flamboyant opening ceremony, with dancers putting on a dramatic performance inside the tunnel entrance in Erstfeld.    Measuring 57km in length, the Gotthard Base Tunnel is the longest tunnel system in world, allowing trains to complete a journey from Zurich to Milan in two hours 50 minutes, 1 hour less than the current rail networks. 1,000 people have been selected for the maiden voyage of the tunnel , which has been financed entirely by the Swiss government at a cost of around CHF103 billion. Even though the tunnel is 8,0000 feet beneath the Alpine peaks in some parts, it has been designed so the tracks are almost completely flat throughout, allowing trains to travel at up to 150mph. The link will be essential for connecting the densely-populated communities of north west Europe with the south and east of the continent, allowing people and goods to be transported much faster. 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains are expected to pass through the tunnel when it officially opens for business in December. For those who simply can't wait til then, the clever clogs behind the construction of the tunnel have created a 360 virtual video tour to give you an idea project's huge scale. For more underground adventure, be sure to check out the Sonnenberg tunnel tours, where you can explore the world’s largest civilian fallout shelter. T

Cyclist makes a bike obstacle course out of Lausanne city centre

Cyclist makes a bike obstacle course out of Lausanne city centre

For bike enthusiasts out there, there are times when you want to turn your trusty two wheeled steed into more than just a transportation device. Rather than booking a session into a BMX park, why not turn your own city into a obstacle course worthy of any pro biker. At least that's what biker Hazlitt Thonney must have had in mind when he decided to turn the city centre of Lausanne into his very own adventure park, as seen in this video on Lausanne Tourism's video channel. To see more fun videos about Lausanne, click here.

Car brands begin moving away from controversial use of glamour girls at Geneva Motor Show

Car brands begin moving away from controversial use of glamour girls at Geneva Motor Show

Geneva Motor Show, one of the biggest car events of the year, has been known to get the crowds excited with state of the art machines and scantily clad "models". But what was once deemed as a cheeky but acceptable gimmick for promoting the latest car is now finally being seen as not-so-subtle sexism, a long standing issue of the auto industry. A model inside a car at Geneva Motor Show Automotive Rhythms As well as portraying¬†women as objects, car events like the¬†Geneva Motor Show have had models harassed and touched as they worked. Roxane Baumann, a model for Japanese motoring company¬†Yokohama, told reporters¬†she had¬†been groped at the car show.¬†A Nissan hostess also said she was asked on dates multiple times. ¬† 86th Geneva International Car Show ūüėćūüöó‚̧ԳŹ YOKOHAMA #yokohama #yokohamatire #fast #car #wow #me #happy #yokohamatires #carshow #car #geneva A photo posted by Roxy (@_roxy.__) on Mar 5, 2016 at 10:26pm PST For brands and organisers, the changing attitude in the use of show girls has prompted some to adopt a more updated formats for promotion. Swiss satirist Andreas Steel and his colourful Mohican hairdo was somewhat oddly used by Land Rover to promote their cars whilst Volkswagen brought in both male and female models wearing costumes made from airbags and car seats rather. ¬† Things are also changing institutionally. Last year¬†Auto Shanghai banned show girls¬†from the event, but allowed for¬†"senior sales consultants" to be dressed appropriately on stage.

Outrage after Swiss restaurant posts video of '5 star' cat meat dish

Outrage after Swiss restaurant posts video of '5 star' cat meat dish

Widespread outrage was sparked by restaurant La Table Suisse after it released a video showing cat meat being cooked and served in a high class venue. Billing itself as the "first restaurant in Europe that serves traditional Swiss menus with cat and dog meat," the professionally shot video shows chef¬†Moritz Brunner on a quest to reintroduce his grandmother's cat dish to mainstream diners. But all is not what it seems, as the restaurant's website¬†has now confirmed the promo video is actually a hoax for anti-meat campaigners Beyond Carnism. When the video was first released, many took the message on as a serious campaign by the fictional restaurant and immediately blasted it on social media. A message that appeared on the website before the hoax was revealed La Table Suisse Within a day, an online petition was set up¬†demanding a¬†stop to "this barbarity and keep our beloved fury friends as pets and not a meal", with over 2000 people backing it. ¬† La Table Suisse: Stop cat and dog meat served at the restaurant La Table Suisse, https://t.co/kum6Z4VENp via @ChangeFrance ‚ÄĒ Sara-Louise (@sizzlespangle) February 13, 2016 In a message on¬†La Table Suisse's refreshed website, the aim of the viral campaign is to¬†highlight the¬†values society places on killing different animals. It states: "Millions of restaurants just like La Table Suisse do exist ‚Äď the only difference is that they serve the flesh of pigs, chickens, cows, and other animals we have learned to think of as edible." Ad

Zurich tops lists for the best place to live - and the priciest

Zurich tops lists for the best place to live - and the priciest

Zurich has once again beaten many of the planet's biggest and best known cities to top various rankings for the world's top cities.  Mercer has published its 2015 report that ranks cities according to the quality of life available to its citizens and, according to the US consultancy firm, it's something that Zurich triumphs at - holding the second position out of 230.  The report ranks cities by assessing the living conditions provided, such as the political and social environment; the economic environment; public services and transportation and other criteria.  Switzerland also features prominently in another survey published by Mercer this year: the cost of living city ranking. The study lists the most expensive cities for expatriate employees to live in by assessing housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. Out of a total of 207 cities, Zurich, Geneva and Bern are in the top ten for the priciest city to live in for overseas workers, ranking third, fifth and ninth respectively. These accolades are also supported by the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) 2015 survey on liveability ranking, where Zurich was one of only three European cities to be placed in the top ten. Rank City Country 1 Melbourne Australia 2 Vienna Austria 3 Vancouver Canada 4 Toronto Canada 5 Adelaide Australia 6 Calgary Canada 7 Sydney Australia 8 Helsinki Finland 9 Perth Australia 10 Zurich Switzerland The EIU's results show that mid-size

Swiss restaurants declared the best in the world

Swiss restaurants declared the best in the world

It seems that when it comes to gourmet food, no one does it as well as Switzerland, according to¬†a¬†new French publication, La Liste¬†(The List), which named Swiss restaurant Restaurant de l‚ÄôH√ītel de Ville, in Crissier near Lausanne, the best in the world. But that's not all, as the Schauenstein restaurant¬†in the small town of F√ľrstenau, a village of around 300 people sitting at 650m in the mountains of Graubunden in Switzerland, came in at number five. The wins represent a huge accolade for Switzerland, as the two Swiss restaurants beat 250 international¬†eateries to be ranked the world's top dining establishment.¬† The exterior of Restaurant de l‚ÄôH√ītel de Ville ¬©Restaurant de l‚ÄôH√ītel de Ville The other three countries represented among the top five are¬†the US, Japan and France. Serving classic French food, Restaurant de l‚ÄôH√ītel de Ville, has a long reputation for world class dining after holding onto three Michelin stars since 1998. So it's no wonder why the cost of dining there ranges from CHF 172 to CHF 375. This scallop fried with ginger is a mouthwatering dish by Restaurant de l‚ÄôH√ītel de Ville¬©Restaurant de l‚ÄôH√ītel de Ville The head chef is Swiss-French Beno√ģt Violier, who has been in charge since 2012 after working with former culinary stars Fr√©dy Girardet and Philippe Rochat who both ran the restaurant. The Schauenstein restaurant also has three Michelin stars to go with its¬†six guest rooms. This restaurant serves French cuisine at prices ranging from CHF 198 to CHF

How to do Zurich in Paris Hilton style

How to do Zurich in Paris Hilton style

Paris Hilton is visiting Zurich as she continues her relationship with¬†Swiss multimillionaire businessman¬†Thomas Gross.¬† ¬† #SundayStroll through the streets of #Zurich. I love this beautiful city! ūüá®ūüá≠ A photo posted by Paris Hilton (@parishilton) on Nov 8, 2015 at 6:14amPST ¬† As well as uploading various pictures of her shenanigans in the city, the former reality star has also been dining and wining around some of Zurich's top notch establishments. ¬† ¬† Beautiful day at my favorite hotel in #Zurich @TheDolderGrand. ‚̧ԳŹ A photo posted by Paris Hilton (@parishilton) on Nov 11, 2015 at 7:32am PST ¬† Visiting establishments like¬†The Dolder Grand¬†hotel, luxury brands department store¬†Grieder, party hotspot¬†Kaufleuten¬†and cosy coffee area¬†Niederdorf. ¬† ¬† Fun day #HolidayShopping at @BongenieGrieder! ūüéĀūüéĄūüéĀ Such an amazing store!ūüėć A photo posted by Paris Hilton (@parishilton) on Nov 10, 2015 at 1:37pm PST ¬† Fancy doing your own Paris Hilton trail around Zurich? Here are a few places¬†you'll need to hit to splash the cash. ¬†

Expats living in Switzerland have ‚Äėworst social life'

Expats living in Switzerland have ‚Äėworst social life'

A survey by banking giant HSBC¬†claims that expats living in Switzerland have the worst social life out of the 39 global destinations for overseas workers. The¬†survey assessed the lives of expats and categorised their experience into three sections: economics, experience and family. Despite Switzerland taking the top spot last year, the overall¬†score for the Alpine Nation was number 10. One reason for the considerable drop in ranking has been put to¬†the difficulties expat face¬†integrating with locals and make friends, even though they enjoy¬†high economic benefits and a safe environment to raise a family. ‚ÄúOver four in five (83 percent) expats in Switzerland believe their job security is better or just as good as in their home country and 77 percent are confident in the Swiss economy,‚ÄĚ said the survey report. Nearly a third of expats in Switzerland (29 percent) earn over $200,000 a year, second only to expats in Hong Kong, added the report. However Switzerland fell down in the other two categories, ranking 26th for experience and 25th for family. Despite scoring highly in the criteria of quality of life, safety and health, the country fared badly when it came to making friends, scraping into 38th place, one from bottom. It also ranked poorly in integration (35th) and culture (34th). ‚ÄúOnly 35 percent have found it easy to form friendships in the country and 43 percent have found it easy to integrate with the local people and culture (compared with 61 percent of expats globally)

Switzerland is set to receive automated buses for Spring 2016

Switzerland is set to receive automated buses for Spring 2016

As the potential of driverless technology is set to become an everyday possibility with every passing day, Switzerland is embracing the future of transportation after signing a two-year deal to have a fleet of automated buses roam through the city of Sion, Valais as early as Spring 2016. The venture will see Swiss tech start-up BestMile and bus operator PostBus (aka CarPostal to the Swiss French) joining forces to roll out the automated public buses for the first time in Switzerland. The electricity-powered buses can carry up to 9 passengers and are set to operate on public roads in urban areas, eventually expanding their range to provide automated public transportation in remote areas. The development challenges for these buses lies in how they deal with traffic, pedestrians, and other obstacles in a safe and efficient manner. BestMile has already demonstrated readiness of the technology when it lead the CityMobil2 project in Lausanne, where six driverless vehicles operated on the EPFL university campus between April and June 2015, as part of a large-scale demonstration for the use of the technology.

Lausanne Tourisme interactive video wins award

Lausanne Tourisme interactive video wins award

An interactive video made for¬†Lausanne Tourisme has dazzled the judges at this year's Swiss Web Program Festival to win the¬†Prize of the Jury award. The clever¬†‚ÄúLausanne Interactive City Tour‚ÄĚ video allows the viewer to navigate through¬†Lausanne's¬†locations and seasons via on video prompts.¬† The 5 members of the jury, all professionals in the domains of communication, video and television, had to settle between more than 50 videos from 7 different categories.

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