Established in the late 19th century at the heart of Zurich’s industrial quarter, tucked between the rail yards and the river, the Zurich West neighborhood thrived until the 1970s, when its factories began to shut down amid a sagging economy. As industry moved out, artists and other creative types moved in. In the ’80s and ’90s, the area was known for its pop-up performances and parties. But from squatters and underground raves, Zurich West has since emerged as the most dynamic and forward-looking part of town.
How to get there: Swiss International Air Lines flies nonstop from Bangkok and Singapore to Zurich daily.
Places of note: Browse around for one-of-a-kind bags and accessories at Freitag or check out Frau Gerolds Garten, a popular neighborhood rendezvous that is part urban gardening project, part shopping enclave, and part restaurant and bar. Dine at Clouds, one of Zurich West’s few fine-dining destinations located on the top floor of Switzerland’s tallest skyscraper, or go for Les Halles for its easy-on-the-wallet menu and unique personality. If you’re looking for a place to stay, designer Alfredo Häberli has filled the 126-room 25hours Hotel Zürich West with splashes of bright colors and a laid-back communal vibe.
When to go: Visit between June to August during Zurich’s warmer summer months.