With the age-old joke about the name translating as too rich (zu reich), Switzerland’s biggest city has long been stereotyped as a banking capital, and little else.
And while there is no disputing the wealth of many of its inhabitants – one third of which are expats who have taken one-way flights to Zürich– the diversity throughout is a joy to behold.
The city is home to many of Switzerland’s music, arts and cultural highlights, including Schauspielhaus, one of the most revered theatres in the German-speaking world. There’s also the Opernhaus on Falkenstrasse 1, which regularly stages world-class operatic productions.
But the city doesn’t limit itself to highbrow theatre and opera. There is a wealth of outdoor pursuits and al fresco events for much of the year. Visitors and locals alike can often be found on the enormous Lake Zürich or at one of the many Badi Bars (lidos) dotted along the River Limmat.
It is also a pedestrian-friendly city that’s popular with runners. Its proximity to the Alps means it’s easy to pop out for a day’s skiing in the winter, or perhaps a spot of cycling or hiking in the summer.
Zürich also has a sparkling restaurant scene – in 2014, nine of its restaurants were Michelin-starred, with chefs such as Laurent Eperon and Antonio Colaianni driving this culinary revolution.
In turn, a thriving nightlife scene is boosted every summer by open-air music festivals, the largest of which is the Street Parade, a dance music event that attracts a million people.
Considering its abundant cultural, gastronomic and recreational options, Zürich is ‘too rich’ in more ways than one.