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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Ferry-Hopping Across Lake Zurich


5. Oddball Day

Im Viadukt, in West Zurich, houses boutiques, galleries, and a food hall.  

Trade the shore for the city with an urban adventure in Zurich West, a once-industrial neighborhood that’s already a couple of years into its revival but shows no signs of slowing down. Kick off the morning with caffè crema ($4.25) at Ambrosi Coffee Bar, under the stonemason arches of Im Viadukt, an 1894 railway viaduct that’s been converted into boutiques, galleries, cafés, and the city’s first covered gourmet market hall. Fuel up for the day at the Restaurant Markthalle, which serves a Swiss breakfast spread ($11) that includes birchermüesli (the traditional name for muesli, which was first developed by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner). Next, tap into the progressive arts scene at the Löwenbräu Brewery complex, the renovated home of the contemporary art museum Kunsthalle Zürich ($13 admission), which reopened here last summer and features rule-breaking exhibitions of local and international artists, including an upcoming show of work by American artist Wade Guyton (opens August 31). Afterward, stop by the flagship Freitag store, housed in a tower of freight containers, which has become the emblem of the neighborhood and ushered in a wide variety of design stores. (Among these is the one-of-a-kind Senior Design Factory, where senior citizens share their knowledge of crafts like knitting and crocheting with young designers.) For dinner, ascend to two-year-old Clouds at the top of Prime Tower, which was built on the grounds of a former cogwheel factory and is now the tallest building in Switzerland. Dine at the bistro bar instead of the restaurant—it’s cheaper, but the views are just as good—and order a glass of white from Swiss winery Weingut Burkhart ($12) with Catalan-inspired tapas like blood sausage with red onions ($8). For the full Zürich West experience, spend the night at the 25-Hours Hotel (from $190), which opened last fall and aims to reflect the neighborhood by going “beyond banks, chocolate, and watches.” Top off the evening with a Swiss Feldschlösschen Dunkle Perle beer ($6) at Neni, the hotel’s lively bar.

Published on Jun 27, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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