Summer vacation has already begun in most Swiss cantons and many people are looking forward to travelling abroad again. But let's not forget that there are many amazing travel destinations right on our doorstep here in Switzerland. To help you discover what our different Swiss regions have to offer, leaders from our different KPMG office locations have shared their summertime tips.
Many Swiss people will stay on home turf for their summer vacation again this year. Are there any spots (museums, cinemas, art galleries or local beauty spots) in Zurich you would recommend?
Zurich is a vibrant canton rich in cultural, sporting and entertaining experiences for locals and tourists alike. There are endless possibilities from museums (the Zurich Art Museum and the Landesmuseum are good choices) to swimming in the lake or one of the many local 'badis' (outdoor swimming pools). But if you are looking for something off the beaten track, I can highly recommend the Bruno Weber Park in Spreitenbach – a park full of weird and wonderful sculptures. A very popular and intriguing spot in Lenzburg is the Stapferhaus. The current exhibition is about gender.
In Baden, movie lovers can catch another summer highlight - the open air cinema runs from 7 till 17 July and you can watch some very cool movies there.
Do you have any favorite restaurants in your location, whether in the city or the surrounding countryside?
A favorite of mine is the restaurant Fischerstube at Zürihorn (which only recently reopened after refurbishment), near Tiefenbrunnen train station for fresh, local cuisine in an original and peaceful lake-side setting. Also nice is the Restaurant Roter Turm in Baden. They serve great food and what I like the most is their social project where they involve people with mental disabilities.
Are there any 'must-do' hikes you would recommend in Zurich or the surrounding areas? Are there any particular beauty spots or places they simply have to visit on the way?
In the city itself, you simply must take a trip up Zurich’s 'house mountain' the Uetliberg. KPMG’s Zurich temporary office is at the foot of the Uetliberg, and I have enjoyed the challenge of regularly running up to the top (870m above sea level) over the lunchbreak. To get to the summit, choose your own pace: You can walk, run or bike up one of the many routes that lead to the top. Why not hire an e-bike to ride up and experience the thrill of the different twisting and turning trail routes back down – not for the faint hearted! Whether you go early in the morning or on a late summer evening, you can enjoy a drink or a meal when you reach the top, and if heights don’t bother you, then you can pay a small entry fee to climb the tower at the top for breathtaking 360° views. You can also walk the easily accessible Planetenweg trail path to Felsenegg and then get the cable car back down to Adliswil and catch the train back into Zurich. Other Zurich hikes include Pfannenstiel or simply taking a stroll around the lake to the Chinese Gardens near the Seefeld district.
On hot summer days: Which public swimming pool, lake or river do the locals go to when they want to cool down or go for a swim in Zurich or the surrounding area?
Water is an integral part of Zurich life, and here again, you have plenty to choose from. Some like to just sit and admire the view at the lake side in one of the different bars or cafés. There are many popular swimming spots that can get quite crowded in the summer – take a portable barbeque for a grill and chill session, rent a stand-up paddle or a pedalo to see the city and the mountains from the vantage point of the lake – but make sure you get there early so you don’t have to wait too long in line. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, then Werdinsel in Altstetten is a good bet. Swimming in the Letten is popular with the locals but because of the currents, for strong swimmers only. You might also choose to talk a walk down the lake to Rote Fabrik, a popular bar with concerts, events and food – with a very laid-back atmosphere and a strong community feeling. A great place to watch the sun go down by the lake.
For those travelling with kids, what is the coolest attraction in Zurich to keep younger tourists entertained? Are there any go-to places if the weather is bad?
When it’s hot, most kids love nothing more than a day at the badi. There are many child-friendly places to paddle or swim such as Freibad Letzigraben, a favorite of ours because of its interesting architecture (designed by Swiss author Max Frisch). On the lakeside, head to Mythenquai if you have smaller children and let them play on the sandy beach before grabbing a bite to eat at the Hiltl (the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant) there. If you can’t decide between the lake and a pool, then why not venture out of Zurich to the Badi am See on the Pfäffikersee where you have both the lake, a waterslide and swimming pools. Make it a day trip and visit the close-by Jucker Farm at the same time – this beautiful, traditional Swiss farm offers a playground, a café/restaurant, a farm shop and activities for kids such as the maze and barefoot trail in the apple garden. Get there early as parking can be tricky on sunny days. On rainy days, adopt the Swiss mantra 'there is no bad weather, just the wrong clothing'. Don’t let the weather deter you - get out the rain gear and go for a hike. I understand that not all kids will go along with that, so as an alternative, head to the Technorama or to the Skills park in close-by Winterthur. Not to forget the Lindt chocolate museum at its Kilchberg factory location for all the chocolate fans out there.
Everyone loves an ice-cream when it’s hot – do you have any insider tips on the best gelateria in town?
The Gelateria di Berna is the place to be. It is very popular but in my view their ice creams are worth the wait!
Finally, a question for you: Can you tell us where you are spending your summer vacation this year?
I will go cycling at the Lenzerheide. You don’t need to go far in Switzerland to 'get away from it all' and come back to work refreshed and energized.
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