Often ranking among the world’s most liveable cities, Zurich is exactly the kind of place you’d want to call home: efficient, clean, and safe.
No surprise then that Switzerland’s financial center and its largest metropolis is a magnet for foreigners who, along with multilingual Swiss nationals, enjoy one of the world’s highest standards of living. This global city landed at #8 in our People category, which takes into account the diversity of a city’s population, and at #8 for Global 500 companies (Migros, Credit Suisse, and UBS AG are just a few of the companies based here). For the uninitiated, Zurich may seem like a bourgeois and reserved kind of place, but under the buttoned-down oxford you’ll find a thriving arts landscape, an adventurous restaurant scene (try the pumpkin gnocchi with celeriac and forest herbs at Maison Manesse), and plenty of vintage finds that won’t break the (Swiss) bank account. Speaking of bank accounts, Zurich ranks #3 for GDP per capita.
Start your visit with a coffee and an exhibit at Cabaret Voltaire, which is said to be the birthplace of Dada. Then hit up Geroldstrasse, an edgy street lined with galleries, art studios and recycled furniture shops, including Walter, which stocks everything from Hermes typewriters to metal file cabinets, retro vases and leather accessories. In summertime, the city comes alive and everyone heads to the river or the lake’s edge for picnics, swims, and drinks. Don’t miss Frau Gerolds Garten, a cool hangout spot in an industrial area where cargo containers retrofitted as bars and eateries offer locally grown food served in earth-friendly—and oh-so-’Grammable—containers.