Zurich is known as Switzerland’s capital of commerce, where major Swiss banks and insurance companies have their headquarters in the city center. Thanks to a stable economy and workforce, about 30% of passengers entering the city via Zurich Airport are business travelers from various parts of the world.

    The Swiss are typically punctual and soft spoken (even during meetings), so it’s a good idea to keep that in mind while you’re doing business in Zurich. To help you make the most of your free time on a Zurich business trip, we’ve listed down some ideas on where to eat, what to do, and where to go at night.



    A popular meeting place

    • Families
    • Shoppers
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Paradeplatz is a public square connecting Zurich’s Old Town, the upmarket Bahnhofstrasse, and Zurich Lake. It is known as the city's financial center, and you can find many Swiss banks, offices, and high-end boutiques surrounding this meeting place.

    There are 7 tramlines converging at Paradeplatz – you’ll often see huge crowds of businessmen, office workers, and shoppers coming in and out from the tram stops, especially in the mornings and evenings.

    Location: Paradeplatz, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland


    photo by Drahnreb (CC BY-SA 2.5) modified



    A starting point to explore on your own

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Münsterhof is the largest town square in Aldstalt, Zurich’s Old Town. It’s surrounded by many of the city’s guild houses and historical structures, including Fraumünster Church and the Zunfthaus zur Meisen art museum.

    Münsterhof is also a car-free zone in the Lindenhof district, making it easy for sightseeing on foot or bicycle. You can also dine at restaurants that were part of Zurich’s Dadasim (anti-war artistic movements), such as Zunfthaus zur Waag, Zeughauskeller, and Sprüngli.

    Location: Münsterhof, 8001, Zurich, Switzerland


    Zunfthaus zur Waag

    Good for a business lunch

    • Food

    Enjoy traditional Swiss delicacies at Zunfthaus zur Waag, a well-loved dining venue occupying a 19th-century guild house in Alstadt (Old Town). You’ll find Zurich’s business crowd taking their lunches in the Biedermeier-style dining room, which has stained glass windows overlooking medieval structures and cobblestone streets.

    During the summer, you can enjoy your meals paired with regional wines at the outdoor terrace with views of Fraumünster Church and Zunfthaus zur Meisen. Zunfthaus zur Waag’s specialties include Zürcher geschnetzeltes (Zurich-style sliced veal in a creamy sauce) with rösti, Viennese schnitzel, and chocolate mousse by Marcel Chardon (a fine patisserie store owner who gave away his safeguarded recipe to the guild hall).

    Location: Münsterhof 8, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

    Open: Daily from 11am to 2pm and from 6pm to 12.30am

    Phone: +41 44 216 99 66


    photo by Marco Zanoli (CC BY 4.0) modified


    Rimini Bar

    After-work drinks with colleagues

    • Nightlife

    Rimini Bar’s riverside space makes for a casual drinking spot with colleagues after a day of meetings. It serves as a men’s swimming pool during the day, and becomes a lively bar decked out in cushions and canvas chairs at dusk.

    You can enjoy a walk along the wooden deck overlooking Zurich’s Sihl River and Botanical Garden. The menu has a selection of cocktails, beers and liquor, as well as finger foods such as sandwiches and pizzas.

    Location: Badweg 10, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

    Open: Daily from 5pm to midnight

    Phone: +41 78 956 98 36


    photo by Daniel Lobo (CC BY 2.0) modified



    A recommended rooftop bar

    • Nightlife

    Clouds occupies the rooftop of Prime Tower, a 36-storey skyscraper in Zurich West. It has a restaurant, bar, and bistro that overlooks the Swiss capital, Lake Zurich, and the snow-capped Alps.

    Cocktails are mixed with Clouds’ in-house gin – signature concoctions include Perfume Number Four, Bloody C, and Clouds Cherroni. If you’re a cigar person, head over to the onsite Kreis 5 lounge for a smoke and cognac with your fellow business colleagues.

    Location: Maagpl. 5, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 4pm to midnight, Friday–Saturday from 4pm to 2am

    Phone: +41 44 404 30 00


    photo by Rosmarie Voegtli (CC BY 2.0) modified



    A good Swiss restaurant on the casual end of the scale

    • Food

    Zeughauskeller is a Swiss beerhall that serves comfort food, wines, and beers – you can choose from over 5 types on tap. It occupies a 15th-century arsenal near Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s upmarket shopping boulevard.

    The casual joint attracts locals and tourists alike, thanks to its reasonably priced meals – a standout here is the Mayor's Sword, a dish of marinated baby-beef steaks wrapped around a sword blade. Pair your Swiss meal with a pint of Zeughauskeller’s house beer, poured straight from the keg.

    Location: Bahnhofstrasse 28A, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

    Open: Daily from 11.30am to 11pm

    Phone: +41 44 220 15 15


    photo by Paebi (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified



    A good Swiss restaurant on the fancy end of the scale

    • Food
    • Luxury

    Since 1924, Kronenhalle has been the go-to restaurant for local politicians, businessmen, artists, and prominent figures such as Sigmund Freud, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein. Its old-world dining room features chandeliers, elegant furniture by Giacometti, and decorated with paintings by Picasso and Matisse.

    Tuck into Swiss cuisine such as sliced veal served with rösti, veal sausage salad, chateaubriand, before treating yourself to chocolate mousse with heavy cream for dessert. Do book a table in advance as seats tend to fill up quickly, especially in the evening.

    Location: Rämistrasse 4, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

    Open: Daily from 12pm to midnight

    Phone: +41 44 262 99 00


    photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Confiserie Sprüngli

    For Swiss chocolate and macaroons

    • Shoppers
    • Food

    Confiserie Sprüngli, located in Paradeplatz, is a luxury chocolatier dating back to 1836. It’s also where the city’s elites often meet up for coffee and desserts. The ground floor window entices many with its colorful display of chocolate truffles, cakes, pastries and bonbons.

    The café is famous for its Luxemburgerli macarons, which come in flavors such as chocolate, raspberry, and bourbon vanilla. Pick up a tray of these treats and some Swiss chocolates to bring back home, and another to enjoy throughout your business trip in Zurich.

    Location: Bahnhofstrasse 21, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

    Open: Monday–Friday from 7am to 6.30pm, Saturday from 8am to 6pm, Sunday from 9.30am to 5.30pm

    Phone: +41 44 224 46 46


    photo by Misaochan (CC BY 4.0) modified



    A landmark worth seeing

    • Couples
    • History

    Grossmünster is one of the city’s most important churches, as it was the starting point of the Switzerland’s Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The Romanesque cathedral dates back to 1230, and was supposedly built on the graves of Zurich’s patron saints, Felix and Regula.

    The Reformation Museum occupies the church cloister, while the crypt hosts seasonal art exhibitions and literature events. For about 5 Fr, you can climb 187 steps to the top of Karlsturm tower, where you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of Zurich and the Glarus Alps.

    Location: Grossmünsterplatz, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

    Open: 1st March–31st October: daily from 10am to 6pm. 1st November–28th February: daily from 10am to 5pm

    Phone: +41 44 252 59 49


    Kunsthaus Zürich

    If you want to see something else

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo

    Kunsthaus Zürich is an art museum covering all the major genres, from Monet's impressionist landscapes to Munch's expressionist paintings. The museum has over 95,000 works, including sculptures, paintings, and sketches from the 15th century until present day.

    Kunsthaus Zürich’s biggest draw is the Alberto Giacometti collection, spotlighting the Swiss surrealist's thought-provoking masterpieces. The gallery showcases more than 150 sculptures and 20 paintings, most of which were created by Alberto and his brother, Bruno Giacometti.

    Location: Heimplatz 1, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

    Open: Tuesday and Friday–Sunday from 10am to 6pm Wednesday–Thursday from 10am to 8pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +41 44 253 84 84


    photo by Roland zh (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveler

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