Discover Switzerland's best nightlife venues
Zurich’s best clubs
When it comes to experiencing an energetic nightlife scene and discovering some cool clubs, Zurich wins hands down over all the other Swiss cities. Zurich has the highest density of nightclubs in all of Switzerland so it’s not hard to find a place to party late into the night, or even well into the morning after. There are a huge range of music genres and venue styles on offer but the most popular clubs, such as Aura and Jade, are quite splashy and flashy and frequented by the city’s so-called "somebodies”. The emphasis at these venues is more about dressing up than dressing down, with big drink prices to match the big house sounds. Hipsters head over to Zurich West for a more gritty nightlife experience such as the intimate basement style of Zukunft and it’s edgy electro sounds. Plaza is one of the few that pulls off of a cool atmosphere, fun people, stylish surroundings and great DJ names. So read on for our guide to more clubs where you can get your groove on in Zurich.
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LGBT guide and venues
Switzerland’s best LGBT clubs
The LGBT party scene in Switzerland offers something for everyone, from relaxed, mixed-queer shindigs to sweaty danceathons. For all their alpenhorn-apotheosizing and minaret-marginalising traditionalism, the Swiss have for many decades taken a world-leading stance on gay and lesbian rights. Same-sex relations were decriminalised here in 1942, and on New Year’s Day 2007 a referendum made Switzerland the first country on Earth where gay civil unions were voted in by the public, not just parliament – and by a massive majority. Today Zurich, which happens to have a chic lesbian mayor in Corine Mauch, is very much Switzerland’s LGBT capital, as well as one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities, with bars, cafes, saunas and clubs adding up to dozens of gay venues. The old town’s Barfüsser is considered Europe’s oldest gay hostelry and the annual Zurich Pride event now draws around 45,000 pink party people. Bern, Geneva and Basel all have bijou scenes, in particular the restaurant Hirscheneck in Basel being a particular influential name, but it’s little Lausanne’s young, student-rich population who have pushed forward a vibrant nightlife culture which has produced a dynamic, international LGBT scene and venues such as 43&10. Free print and online LGBT magazines including 360°, CR and Display are great for getting up to date news on events all over the country. 2014 saw Swiss LGBT culture establish another milestone, one that is bringing its trailblazing history belated credit,
SUD • Basel
Making good use of the spacious former Warteck brewery building, this cocktail bar, music venue and cultural centre has a wide range of events, from concerts and theatre to DJ nights and LGBT club queerPlanet and even poetry slams. With palm trees and a disco ball, it’s a cheerful sort of place, particularly during happy hour. It also serves delicious tapas and a decent Sunday brunch.