The independent city guide to Zurich


Summer! If it would only begin earlier... and last longer. In recent years we grew accustomed to warm and inspiring springs full of barbecues in late April and even quick dips in the lake in early May. However, this year has clearly reminded us that May is not, in fact, a summer month here. Most of this spring was cold and rainy and some snow could even be seen on Zurich’s rooftops not too long ago.

Although it may sound odd for a city surrounded by soaring mountains, Zurich has developed a certain Mediterranean vibe over the years. There are roughly a dozen lake and river pools bustling with sunbathers, the city is bursting with open-air bars and beer gardens and as soon as the mercury rises, Zürchers flock to the city’s parks and squares for barbecues or perhaps a round of pétanque.

The only thing that contradicts this Mediterranean aura is the regrettable curfew for bars and restaurants. It’s forbidden to serve drinks outdoors after midnight. However, there is currently a push in the city’s parliament to permit longer opening hours in the summer for so-called ‘Mediterranean Nights’. The motion has the support of the major parties, so there’s a good chance that you might be able to have another round in the open-air before calling it a night next year. We’ll let you know! 

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