A Day Out in Cool Zürich

What’s cool to do in Zürich? 

Welcome to my series on My Zürich… that is Cool Zürich, Cheap Zürich and yes, even a feature in the works on Veggie Zürich!

I get tired of hearing from people who don’t know what they’re talking about that Zürich is bland, buttoned up, unavoidably expensive and culturally vanilla. Those people don’t know my Zürich.

Check back regularly because I’ll be updating every time I find something new. You’re welcome.

And Now… Your Cool Day Out in Zürich:

Start at Zürich HB. What’s that crazy, graffiti covered building by the train tracks? it’s Zürcher Brockenhaus, one of the largest and most well curated thrift stores I’ve ever been to. Update your vinyl collection, buy yourself a genuine antique steamer trunk, swan around in a fur coat in front of a vintage art deco mirror, you can even buy yourself a coffee in the cafe.


Graffiti facade at the coolest thrift shop ever

If you’re thirsty from all that shopping grab some libations at el Lokal, where you can sip a beer and nosh on Swiss comfort food underneath the watchful eye of a skeleton suspended from the ceiling. There’s live music here sometimes and a laid back outdoor beer garden and BBQ in the summer.

Choose your own adventure from this point on. You could head over to the formerly industrial and now super hip Züri West and make a day out of trolling around looking at street art.


Frida inspired street art in the former industrial quarter

Browse in the shops at the Viadukt, chill out with a beer at Frau Gerold’s Garten, Zürich’s last word in cool and cozy outdoor eating and boutique shopping venues.


Eat, shop and be merry at Frau Gerold’s Garten

The entire street running from the Hardbrücke train station to the Viadukt is a delight, packed with street art, cool alleyway stores and restaurants and of corse, the famed Freitag store.


Even the Freitag shop itself is recycled! 

If you haven’t had enough culture yet, impress the skinny jeans off of your hipster date over at the Schiffbau, once a shipping factory, now a mega performance venue and home to the super atmospheric Moods Jazz Club. 


Get Close to the action at Moods. 

In the mood for something a bit more authentic? Head down the street to Helsinki Klub. This weird little venue offers live music in a cozy, if rough around the edges atmosphere. It’s the closest thing to a dive bar that I’ve found yet in Zürich.

Or maybe you fancy staying on the, “right”, side of the tracks? In that case, after drinking your fill at el Lokal,  you might head across the street to Stall 6 for some experimental theater, or over to the Volkshaus, which houses a cool bar & restaurant and a gorgeous concert hall,  for some live music. Now you’re in the slightly seedy Langstrasse neighborhood which is home to a few of my favorite bars, the Dia de Los Muertos themed La Catrina where you can dance to reggae until the wee hours, or the more laid back hipster hideaway, Der Kern. 

It must be mentioned though, that my very favorite music venue in Zürich isn’t in the city– it’s right on Lake Zürich. If you love music and the arts, you owe it to yourself to check out the Rote Fabrik, a former brick factory turned graffiti strewed artist commune and bar with a spectacular lakeside location.


The Rote Fabrik is a music lover’s paradise. 

Looking for another achingly cool European city break?

Check out my guide to Copenhagen!

Have a hot date to impress? Knock their socks off with something a little classier. Take them to Old Crow for some fancy and well worth it cocktails, then indulge in some vintage glamour at Ohh! Lala! Cherie!, the Plaza Club’s monthly burlesque show.


Fun Fact: This cocktail is called the Limmat Wasser, because it really does look just like the river water!

As you can see, if you open your eyes, Zürich really is anything but dull. Did I miss any of your favorite, “Cool Zürich”, haunts? 

6 thoughts on “A Day Out in Cool Zürich

  1. Hey there! What a great post on the more practical aspects of getting around Zurich. I agree, it is a must see for anybody visiting Switzerland. I’m a big fan of the Zurich Zoo too!

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