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25 Reasons To Visit Zurich (Part 2)

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11. La Stanza

Description: La Stanza, the popular espresso bar, just off Pradeplatz, brings an Italian flavor to the heart of the financial district

La Stanza, the popular espresso bar, just off Pradeplatz, brings an Italian flavor to the heart of the financial district

This popular espresso bar, just off Pradeplatz, brings an Italian flavor to the heart of the financial district. Many locals say it serves the best espresso in town. Sit on a cosy window bench, share a table on the small outside terrace or get your caffeine fix standing at the marble-topped bar. Small snacks (pizza bianca, daily soups), classic cocktails, beer and wine are also served. Bleicherweg 10 (00 41 43 817 6282; www.lastanza.ch). Open 7am Mon-Fri, 10am Sat/Sun; to 11pm Mon-Wed, midnight Thurs, 1.30am Fri/Sat, 10pm Sun

12. Restaurant Fischstube

Description: Restaurant Fischstube

Restaurant Fischstube

You’ll have to hurry if you want to visit this lakeside bar, lounge, restaurant and beer garden: it is to be torn down in late autumn to make way for new, winter-proof premises. The present building, dating from 1939 and set on stilts at the tip of Zurichhorn headland, is open only in summer. It’s a great spot for a sundowner and the perfect place to try local fish after a stroll along the lake. Bellerivestrasse 160 (00 41 44 422 2520; www.fischstube.ch). About SFr160 ($165) for two without wine.

13. Freitag Tower

Description: Freitag Tower

Freitag Tower

Snap up one of Zurich’s famous Freitag messenger bags, made from recycled truck tarps. The company’s cleverly designed flagship store is built from 17 freight containers meticulously balanced on each other and soaring 26 metres into the air. After your purchase, enjoy the rooftop outlook over the rapidly evolving industrial district in which the store is located and watch the trains winding smoothly in and out of the main station below. Geroldstrasse 17 (00 41 43 366 9520; www.freitag.ch)

14. Oberer Letten lido

Description: Oberer Letten lido

Oberer Letten lido

Unwind at Zurich’s most happening daytime lido, on the Limmat River. Cool down in the river and hang out with the young and trendy crowd at the neighbouring Primitivo bar, which serves drinks and food until midnight. With vast sunbathing areas, two beach volleyball grounds and even a petanque court, the lido exudes an urban but down-to-earth charm that is typical of Zurich, Lettensteg 10 (00 41 44 362 9200). Open daily, 9am – 8pm (closing time may vary according to the weather)

15. Maurice de Mauriac

Description: Maurice de Mauriac

Maurice de Mauriac, Zurich

Visit Zurich’s first and only watchmaker’s workshop, a worthy (and affordable!) alternative to the watch boutiques lining nearby Bahnhofstrasse. Each timepiece is designed and handmade in Zurich by the brand’s passionate founder Daniel Dreifuss (pictured with his son, Massimo) and his small team. You can customize your watch by choosing from a wide range of materials, finishes, dials, bezels and straps. Todistrasse 48 (00 41 44 280 0112; www.mauricedemauriac.com). Price start at SFr1.450 (about $1500)

16. Helvetia hotel

Description: Helvetia hotel

Helvetia hotel

You’ll feel right at home in this central, stylish and affordable family-run hotel. Its 14 rooms and two luxury business apartments provide everything you need for a comfortable stay in the heart of Zurich; and the interiors, by the renowned local design company Atelier Zurich, give classic Art Nouveau elements a modern twist. The ground-floor bar, affectionately known as the “Helvti”, is a popular meeting spot, and the first-floor restaurant (which has 14 Gault-Millau points) serves regional cuisine and Swiss gourmet classic. Stauffacherquai 1 (00 41 44 297 9998; www.hotel-helvetia.ch). Doubles from SFr 250 (about $265)

17. Jules Verne bar/ Urania-Sternwarte

Description: Urania-Sternwarte

Urania-Sternwarte

Enjoy the 360-degree view from the Jules Verne bar, on the tip floor of Zurich’s century-old Urania-Sternwarte observatory. Then, when night falls, head up to the observation deck to gaze at the stars. A 12-ton Zeiss telescope, installed on the top floor of the 51-metre-high tower, lets you see celestial objects magnified up to 600 times. Enter on street level through Brasserie Lipp and take the lift to the top. Uraniastrasse 9. Jule Verne bar open Mon-Thurs 11am – midnight, Fri/Sat to 1am, Sun 11.45am – 11pm (00 41 43 888 6666; www.jules-verne.ch). Observatory tours (about 90 minutes) Thurs-Sat 9pm (www.urania-sternwarte.ch)

18. Masoala Rainforest at Zurich Zoo

Description: Masoala Rainforest at Zurich Zoo

Masoala Rainforest at Zurich Zoo

Experience the tropical climate of Madagascar’s Masoala rainforest – one of the earth’s most diverse and species-rich habitats – in Zurich’s 11,000-square-metre reproduction. See bright birds, chirping frogs, camouflaged chameleons, exotic insects and bats up close, along with several hundred plant species. The display is housed in a 30-metre-high glasshouse with approximately 80,000 litres of rainfall per day. Zurich Zoo (www.zoo.ch) open daily from 9am: Masoala Rainforest from 10am. Adult SFr22 (about $23), children SFr11 (about $12)

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