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Zurich Off The Beaten Path

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Hear the word "Zürich" and most people initially think of a monotonous life within a reserved city, full of historic buildings, perfectly neat streets lined with upper-class stores, and serious bankers, suited and booted, walking in the middle. This guide is created to break that stereotype and let you enjoy the real and slightly peculiar hype of Zurich with some occasional tranquil escapes.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

9 Places

5 City Tips

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9 Places

Blinde Kuh

Restaurants

Friedhof Fluntern (Fluntern Cemetery)

Cemeteries

Rimini

Restaurants

Moulagenmuseum - Museum of wax moulages

Speciality Museums

Schwamendingerplatz

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Frau Gerolds Garten

Restaurants

Im Viadukt

Speciality & Gift Shops

Cabaret Voltaire

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Rheinfall

Waterfalls

Lan T's City Tips

  • The ZurichCARD is the ideal ticket to fun and exploration for any visitor, as it includes public transit and free or reduced entry to many of the city's attractions.
  • If you have the guts, go for a Ghost Walk of Zurich and discover the darker and more sinister side of the city.
  • Gratuity is not obligatory and depends totally on how you feel about the service. Usually 10% on top of the bill will do.
  • Check which train/bus/tram you should take on either the SBB (Swiss Federal Railway) or ZVV (Zurich Transport Network) websites. They are very efficient!
  • While Irchel Park — the biggest natural park in Switzerland — offers some peace and tranquility, Seebad Enge is the ultimate chilling spot on a hot summer day.
  • Save
    Blinde Kuh
    Restaurants (European)
    See more photos
    Lan T Says:

    Blinde Kuh (Blind Cow) is the world's very first (and unrivaled) dining-in-the-dark restaurant. Initially founded on the philosophical and philanthropic concept of creating employment opportunities for the blind and visually impaired, Blindekuh has turned into a highly praised gastronomic destination in its own right. Let your eyes and mind be opened while enjoying award-winning dishes in complete darkness.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • There are cultural events that take place at the restaurant 2-3 times per month, with various interesting topics such as Criminal Dinner (currently available in German only.)
    • The restaurant can be reached by taking tram No. 4 from the Central Station, stop Höschgasse. It's located close to the Botanical Garden.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #77 of 1,348 restaurants in Zurich
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • It's all about the experience (and food is no less!!!) 17/08/2015
    • Great experience 12/08/2015
    • Blinde Kuh
    Address:
    Muhlebachstrasse 148
    8008
    Switzerland
    Phone:
    +41 44 421 50 50
    Price range:
    $0 - $89
    Other:
  • Save
    Friedhof Fluntern (Fluntern Cemetery)
    Cemeteries
    See more photos
    Lan T Says:

    Odd as it may sound, visiting a cemetery could actually be a very unique learning experience. Fluntern Cemetery was first constructed in 1887 according to a strictly axial Baroque design, and has since gone through several extensions. Today, it is one of Zurich's most famous and also most beautiful final resting places for many prominent figures, including the celebrated Irish author James Joyce and his family.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Take tram No. 6 and get off at Zoo station, then continue walking north (direction of Zurich Zoo) on Zürichbergstrasse for a minute or two.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #60 of 161 things to do in Zurich
    • James Joyce - of course 28/04/2015
    • worth finding 03/02/2015
    • Friedhof Fluntern (Fluntern Cemetery)
    Address:
    Zurichberg district
    Switzerland
  • Save
    Rimini
    Restaurants (Bar, Pub)
    Lan T Says:

    When it comes to parties, you'll be suprised at how creative Zurich can get. One example is the city's original Badi-bars, or bathing pool bars. As night falls, this riverside pool transforms into a bohemian paradise with oriental cushions, delectable foods and cool drinks. Sit by the water with your peers and relax under the stars; now that's a cool story to tell back home!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • There are other really interesting Badi-bars, such as Barfussbar or the one at Seebad Enge. Rimini is still my personal favorite however!
    • There's a very interesting market held the last Monday of the month from May to August here, where you can find cool second hand stuff and meet other interesting, creative fellows.
    • The nearest tram station is Bahnhof Selnau.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #181 of 1,348 restaurants in Zurich
    • Pool by day, bar by night 19/08/2015
    • Great location for a drink in the evening 09/08/2015
    • Rimini
    Address:
    Badweg 10
    Switzerland
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    19:15 - 5:00
    Fri
    18:45 - 5:00
    Sat
    17:00 - 5:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Moulagenmuseum - Museum of wax moulages
    Speciality Museums
    Lan T Says:

    The history of wax moulages dates back as far as the Renaissance and yet, unless your job is related to medical services or military, I guess that few people would know exactly what they are all about. Therefore, take this opportunity and visit the Moulagenmuseum at the University of Zurich and explore the world's best-preserved, most life-like study collection of wax moulages of skin diseases. A tad creepy yes, but plenty amusing and of course, educational!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    Tips
    • Free entry!
    • The museum is only open to the public on Wednesday (2pm to 6pm) and Saturday (1pm to 5pm). Visits on any other weekdays should be arranged in advance.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #97 of 161 things to do in Zurich
    • A great, free exhibit 14/03/2015
    • Something different - for the non-squeamish 29/11/2013
    • Moulagenmuseum - Museum of wax moulages
    Address:
    Haldenbachstrasse 14
    Switzerland
    Phone:
    41442555685
    Other:
  • Save
    Schwamendingerplatz
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Lan T Says:

    Schwamendingerplatz offers a completely different vibe from the touristic areas of Zurich. Surrounded by pubs, restaurants, grocery stores, florists, and other shops, it is still far from crowded. It's always great to stumble upon such unassuming and green areas as this after all the hustle and bustle of a big city.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There's a flea market held every last Saturday of the month here.
    • Tram No. 9 goes directly to Schwamendingerplatz. There are other connections but you'll need to change once.
    • There are some excellent Asian cuisine options around the area, such as Asiaway or My Kitchen, in case you're seeking something different.
    • Right in front of Coop supermarket near the tram/bus station is Schwamendinger X, where trams change from the right-hand overground lines to left-hand travel in the tunnel.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #114 of 161 things to do in Zurich
    • A little town in a big city 19/12/2014
    • The small square offers most essentials 17/10/2013
    • Schwamendingerplatz
    Address:
    Schwamendingen
    8051
    Switzerland
  • Save
    Frau Gerolds Garten
    Restaurants (Swiss, European, Fondue)
    See more photos
    Lan T Says:

    Great food, great drinks, great quirky fashion outlets, great live music, great art studios and, of course, a great urban garden. All of this inside, or next to, old shipping containers within an industrial wasteland have made Frau Gerolds Garten one of the most eclectic party scenes in Zurich. No words can describe all the fun and surprise that you can find here.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • You will find Frau Gerolds Garten very close to Hardbrücke station.
    • Serving as the background of, and only a few step away from Frau Gerolds Garten, is Prime Tower — Switzerland's highest skyscraper.
    • Right next door is Helsinki Club — the meeting venue for out-of-the-box performances of talented, up-and-coming musicians.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #288 of 1,348 restaurants in Zurich
    • Very particular place for a drink 28/08/2015
    • Good food, amazing spot 27/08/2015
    • Frau Gerolds Garten
    Address:
    Geroldstarsse
    Switzerland
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 3:00
    Mon - Sat
    11:00 - 5:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Im Viadukt
    Speciality & Gift Shops
    See more photos
    Lan T Says:

    With a chain of cool restaurants, unique bars, hipster fashion venues, authentic Swiss delicatessens, and much more gathering under the 36 arches of this 1894 viaduct, this area surely lives up to its reputation as 'the most exciting shopping street in Zurich.' The highlight is probably the Market Hall, where you can expect to snap up some local wares sold by the region's local vendors and farmers.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You can get here either heading northwest from the Central Station along the Limmat River on foot for about 20 minutes, or by taking a tram and stopping at Quellenstrasse station.
    • Cheese aside, don't forget to visit The Pie Shop at the Market Hall. The pies there are irresistible!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 43 Shopping in Zurich
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovely stroll. 25/08/2015
    • Ingenius Re-Use But No Big Deal As A Market 30/07/2015
    • Im Viadukt
    Address:
    Viaduktsrasse
    8005
    Switzerland
    Hours:
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 - 1:00
    Fri - Sat
    8:00 - 1:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Cabaret Voltaire
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Lan T Says:

    Despite its central location in the Old Town, one could easily miss this quirky but super cool place — unless you're already a fan of the Dada art movement. The house, once belonging to Dada artist Hugo Ball, has now turned into a one-of-a-kind art museum, as well as a shop filled with unusual goods. Located upstairs is a pretty peculiar cafe/bar, where you can enjoy a glass of Carajillo while learning that the name of the bar — Duda — is a wordplay stemming from Dada and the German phrase for 'you there!'

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • The cafe/bar is open from 11am to midnight from Monday to Thursday; 11am to 2am on Friday; 10am to 2am on Saturday; and from 12pm to 7pm on Sunday.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #51 of 161 things to do in Zurich
    • DaDa in Zurich 07/08/2015
    • Bummer. Closed for the day. 20/07/2015
    • Cabaret Voltaire
    Address:
    Spiegelgasse 1
    8001
    Switzerland
    Phone:
    +41 43 268 56 30
    Other:
  • Save
    Rheinfall
    Waterfalls
    See more photos
    Lan T Says:

    If you ever feel slightly overwhelmed with all the constant fun and parties in Zurich, or simply have some spare time on your hands, hop on a train and head straight for Rheinfall — Europe's largest waterfall. Lying north of Zurich city and right on the border between the two Swiss cantons of Zurich and Schaffhausen, this 150m-wide and 23m-high natural wonder will take your breath away.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • From Zurich Central Station, take an S-Bahn to "Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall." You will have to change once at Winterthur. The entire journey will take about an hour.
    • Schloss Laufen (Laufen Castle) right above the fall offers spectacular views from its viewing platform and panoramic lift. The castle itself is also worth a visit.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Neuhausen
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great day out and interesting boat trip 27/08/2015
    • Just ok 27/08/2015
    • Rheinfall
    Address:
    Rheinfallquai
    Neuhausen 8212
    Switzerland
    Phone:
    +41 52 632 40 20
    Other:
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