City guide: 24 hours in Zurich

Heading to Zurich for business? Slip in the city's sights with this handy 24 hour guide.

Zurich might be best known as a sleek financial hub, but it’s also one of Europe’s most liveable cities. If you’re lucky enough to be headed there for work, make sure you squeeze in some local sights with stop offs at these favoured haunts. 


8am  Coffee up at Grande Zürich

A classic Zurich riverside shot, credit Zurich Tourism

A classic Zurich summer scene by the river – pull up a chair and sip a coffee (or wine!); credit Zurich Tourism

The low-key atmosphere of Grande Zürich belies the fact that this charmingly scruffy café on the Limmatquai promenade brews some of the best coffee in Zürich. The bistro tables and chairs out front, with their riverside views, fill up quickly on sunny days with everyone from students to suits.


12pm Cruise through your lunch break on River Limmat

One of Zurich's many gorgeous sights. credit Zurich Tourism

Hop on a cruise and slip up the river in your lunch break; credit Zurich Tourism

The River Limmat flows through Zürich Old Town – with locals frequenting the restaurants lining its banks and dipping in the badis (pools) that pop up in summer. The handy Zürich Card (which offers unlimited public transport over 24 or 72 hours) includes the services running on the river between April and October. Get some fresh air on the 25-minute trip between the Swiss National Museum and Zürichhorn, or loop back on the return sail.


5pm Soak off the day at Zürich Thermal Baths & Spa

Rooftop infinity pool at Zürich Thermal Baths & Spa credit Zürich Thermal Baths & Spa

Rooftop infinity pool at Zürich Thermal Baths & Spa; credit Zürich Thermal Baths & Spa

Most tourists puff up to the top of Grossmünster cathedral for city views, but the heated infinity pool on the rooftop of Zürich Thermal Baths & Spa makes a vastly more relaxing option. A day pass grants you access to this scene-stealing pool – fed by a mineral-rich hot spring beneath the city – as well as wood-lined baths nestled underground between century-old stone arches in the former Hürlimann Brewery.



8pm Have a hipster meal at Zürich West

LaSalle in West Zurich, credit Zurich Tourism

The sleek indoor dining room at West Zurich eatery, LaSalle; credit Zurich Tourism

The hipster-certified Zürich West has undergone a transformation in the past decade, with galleries, markets and bars taking over previously utilitarian spaces. Impress a client at LaSalle – a chic French-Italian restaurant enclosed within a glass box inside the Schiffbau development, a former shipbuilding factory LaSalle now shares with a jazz club, theatre and bar.



Published Thursday 27 February 2020; words by Krysia Bonkowski

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