Pretty Paris, raging Landahhn, dazzling NYC – all awesome, but all a little too ‘been there, done that, bought the t-shirt’ (yup, bringing back some brilliant 90s phrasing). Not trying to be travelblasé at all, but I’m sure you understand what I mean. There is, though, a city that brings the same starry-eyed sentiments as those greats mentioned above, a city slightly overlooked; a diamond in the rough, if you will.
Not all banks and hole-y cheese, the phenomenal Zurich is a minefield of FFF (fashion, food and fantastic). This was further confirmed by a recent visit to the Swiss city. What kicked off my A++ experience was a day-jaunt to the Flohrmarkt (‘flea market’ for those not-so well-versed in Swiss-German dialect, like yours truly). Let’s just say, thank G I was in town over the weekend. Held every Saturday in a giant park, the market boasts up to 400 vendors selling everything from bikes to Persian rugs to dreamy vintage finds. (Mostly) All items were fantastically affordable – quite the contrast for what is supposed to be one of the world’s most expensive places to live. Highlight was a new pair of snakeskin-patterned leather loafers I picked up for two francs. Two. Scavenger heaven!
For more fashion fireworks, I chose to head to concept store, Making Things. What can most closely be described as Zurich’s own Colette, Making Things is a culture playground curated by designers Clod Bernegger, Annina Züst and Hanna Kawasaki. Local and international labels can be found here, along with a myriad of accessories, books, music, toys, etc. A different exhibit by up-and-coming artists is also featured every month. This store is 2COOL4SCHOOL. In less weird words: you must visit.
When it comes to dining, German cuisine isn’t the most experimental. I did melt over the fondue (PUN INTENDED!) – the best can be found in many restaurants peppering the Old Town. Zurich’s bar scene is far more interesting, and we concentrated our efforts in the former industrial district turned hipster-mecca of Zurich’s west end. Zukunft is one of the most popular nighttime spots, and for good reason. Packed with the coolest kids, it’s the place to drink, check out the city’s stylez (currently, sneaks with everything) and dance to deep house (inescapable in this area of Europe). Once a cabaret, the converted Longstreet Bar is another smasher of a hangout with a mixed crowd of suits and the unemployed, just having a time until the early hours, as it should be. Zurich is a lot of things, but pretentious it is not.
! THE CANAL !
To round out the fun factor(y) of this city, my travel friend and I spent our last day sunbathing and enjoying a delightful combination of cherries & beer at the Letten – a swimmable canal slash social scene. It seems as though all of Zurich’s young and hip gather at this spot in the summer months for simply the BEST. TIME. EVER. But, don’t take my word for it (hey, Levar Burton).
Check out this amazing platz for yourself. Zurich.