Gay Zurich: Gay Capital of Switzerland

Zurich has one of the highest standards of living in the world, so it isn't surprising that it is a great place to visit. But what might be surprising is the vibrant, active and exciting gay community that calls Zurich home. Nightlife of all shades, great neighborhoods, excellent dining and fun accommodations all add up to a great vacation.

Situated on the Limmat River and surrounding Lake Zurich, Zurich is laid out in twelve distinct districts or Kreis. The center of the city, Alstadt, Kries 1, is the Old Town, with lots of dining, shopping, art and theatre attractions. Many of the gay venues are here. Zurich West, formerly the Industrial Zone, is an up and coming hip urban spot between the main tracks and the Limmat. Here and in Aussersihl, you will find a hip, edgy, up and coming area with lots of incredible restaurants, art galleries, racy clubs and unique stores.

Zurich has an impressive public transportation system that is easy to learn and accessible from all parts of town. Many bars will include tram directions on their websites, making it easy to get around. Old Town is particularly walkable, as there will be so many stores and cafes to stop at along the way. Bikes and other people-powered transportation can be rented for free at the central train station and several other locations throughout Zurich, and are great ways to see the city.

Cafes can be found all over Zurich and are excellent places to relax, drink, people watch and make new friends. As in many places in Europe, people are just as likely to hang out in a cafe as in a bar. The bars in Zurich tend to have a casual, relaxed atmosphere, and to close early. Zurich bars are not where you go to party all night--that is for the clubs. Zurich has proportionately more clubs than any other European city. They often don't open until 10pm or later but go all night. Zurich clubs range from bright, friendly spaces to darker, heavy cruise scenes and everything in between.

Restaurants to check out