The first time I visited Zürich was in June 2003. I was just passing through, and I was just a kid back then, so I wasn’t really able to enjoy the city fully. The only thing I really remember about that first time was a green river running through the city, a few old buildings and the vanilla coke I got from a kiosk at the railway station.
11 years later I returned to Zürich, with a great excuse – one of my best friends had moved to there. Being a grown-up and having a “local” guide proved to be invaluable to my experience. Now the first memories I have of Zürich are a happy, lively summer atmosphere and several summer nights spent partying.
Not that the green river and old buildings aren’t worth a peek. Lindenhof hill actually has a magnificent view over the city. Altstadt or the old town is also very idyllic and extremely Swiss, with watch and chocolate shops on every corner.
Lake Zürich divides into several branches that split the city
At the southern edge of the city center lies Bürkliplatz, which has some great views over Lake Zürich and the surrounding hills. This is also where you can find ferries if you want to take a boat trip.
Zürich was enjoying a record-setting heatwave during my visit, which forced the entire city out into the water to cool off, or to the parks to find solace under a shady tree or a cold glass of wine.
Naturally, I choe the wine. If parks aren’t your thing, you should try SihlCity, a fantastic shopping center at the edge of the city, which feels more like a distinct neighborhood. You can sit by the river and enjoy some great street art and lively bars. The old industrial buildings are filled with great restaurants, and during summers they have a “beach club”, with actual sand and beach chairs!
For me, the most authentic way to spend a summer evening in Zürich is still to head to a park. You can easily have a good time until the next morning, because most summer nights will feature some big parties, pop-up restaurants and bars, and loads of young, attractive locals!
Zürich is not really a nightclub kind of town, but outdoor bars they have more than inhabitants. My favorite is definitely the Rimini Bar (Badweg 10). During daytime it’s a men-only swimming pool. At night it becomes a very popular nightclub, with the edge of the pool filling up with beanbag chairs, the music pounding away and a fountain spritzing in the middle of the pool. It’s like an urban oasis in the middle of the city.
Zürich also has some salsa dancing cruises that are an amazing experience!