As regular readers of Luxurious Magazine will know, we adore Zurich, there is so much to do and discover. Sabi Phagura headed back to this magnificent City to uncover more hidden gems
When thinking of Zurich, it’s likely the first image that springs to mind is one of it being a financial hub. But did you know this vibrant city is home to over 50 museums, more than 100 galleries and is fast earning a reputation as ‘the place to be at’ thanks to its rapidly increasing café, shopping and nightclub culture? Well, it was certainly an eye opener for me during a recent hop into this Swiss city.
Keeping in mind that Zurich is commonly known for being a financial city, a group of artists decided to marry this very aspect with some mind-blowing entertainment. So if you thought numbers, figures and algorithms are dull, think again. The fact that they can be turned into mind-blowing works of art is perfectly demonstrated at Zurich’s Museum of Digital Art. The museum is dedicated to art forms based on codes. With three organised annual shows, artist(s) can show-off their meticulous work to mesmerised folk. Walking into the museum with a beast of an original train station timetable board flicking methodically in a fascinating pattern was just something else. The noise almost mimicked the sound of waves and had a soothing calming effect, therapeutic even. Dragging myself out of its enchanting grip proved somewhat difficult.
Zurich West is known as the trendy quarter. The former industrial district has replaced noisy machines and is now home to funky bars, shops and nightclubs. There are areas dedicated to a bit of nostalgia like Gerolds Garten where you can find old items of yesteryear used to kit out drinking holes. A visit to Freitagtower is a must. The shop sells recycled bags, t-shirts and purses using fabrics that can be produced without wasted resources, endless transport distances and are 100 per cent bio-degradable. The bags are amazing and would look good hanging off any arm.
Transport links via trains and tram are great but those wishing to explore the city on two wheels can do so via a scheme similar to Boris Bikes in London which operate in the summer months. Meanwhile, a slow food market hall is a perfect place to replenish energy levels. I can highly recommend the St Jakob Beck bakery which employs handicap people in a bid to help them integrate into society and give them a sense of belonging.
A short tram-ride away you can find yourself in Dada city which is more modern in terms of its shop offerings but a glance up and you can see the amazing architecture of the buildings erected centuries ago. But if you want a cracking view then head to Lindenhof Square (named after the linden trees dotted here) where you can look over the river Limmat and the fascinating city housing the two universities – one of which Einstein attended.
All that sightseeing works up an appetite and so we headed off to the highly recommended Hitl – believed to be the world’s first vegetarian restaurant. Opened by Ambrosius Hitl in 1898 it offers both vegetarians and non-vegetarians all the dishes they could desire. In fact, I would challenge everyone to pop along regardless of their culinary preferences as this place really is amazing. The aromas alone will have you salivating before you walk into this popular hangout.
Zurich has numerous hotels catering for the businessman and leisure folk alike. We were incredibly fortunate to stay at the five star Kameha Grand Zurich.
One of the highlights of the hotel is their nine themed suites: the Workout, Princess, Diva, Serenity, Watchmaker, Burlesque, Gentleman, Fair Play and Poker Suites. Designed by Marcel Wanders they cater for guests who want to feel that extra little special.
You can imagine my delight at being presented the Workout Suite. As a gym enthusiast, I was thrilled to find my very own treadmill, a gym wall and weights. On both mornings of my stay, I literally jumped from bed, had a workout and straight into the stand-alone tub for a much-needed soak after the hard work.
I really didn’t have to leave my suite, but food helped to lure me to enjoy the rest of this grand place. The luxury hotel offers two dining options. The menu at the L’UNICO the Italian restaurant is a pasta and sauce lover’s dream while the YOU restaurant serves fine dining where we were served course after course until we run out of fingers on our right hand. The oriental red and white décor gives it a special ambience which is perfect for both group and couple dining.
Kameha Grand Zurich – Where and How?
The Kameha Grand Zurich in Switzerland offers rooms from CHF 190 / £136 per night. For more information, visit kamehagrandzuerich.com or call +41 44 525 5000.
By Sabi Phagura