Busi­ness Trav­ellers’ Guide

Qantas - - Contents - story by MICHELLE MARGHERITA

Work meets play in the Swiss city of Zürich

A se­cret Swiss bank ac­count has long been a sym­bol of power, yet cen­turies be­fore Switzer­land be­came a safe haven for the wealthy, it was an im­por­tant Euro­pean trade hub with Zürich at its cen­tre.

This has been both a bless­ing and a curse, for although the city reg­u­larly tops qual­ity-of-liv­ing in­dexes with its pretty Old Town and neat-as-a-three-piece-suit fi­nan­cial dis­trict, Zürich suf­fers from the per­cep­tion of be­ing, well, a bit bor­ing. The past few years, how­ever, have seen the city re­claim the bo­hemian char­ac­ter it en­joyed dur­ing the First World War, when the city was an asy­lum for artists and writ­ers who founded the an­ar­chic Dada move­ment in the dark­ness of the Cabaret Voltaire night­club. Th­ese days, young ur­ban cre­atives on fix­ies are driv­ing the city’s cul­tural re­nais­sance in the for­mer in­dus­trial dis­trict of Kreis 5, where, in con­verted rail­way arches and ship­ping-con­tainer res­tau­rant spa­ces, you’ll find a flour­ish­ing con­tem­po­rary art, food and night-life scene.

A knock-on ef­fect is that cool cafés and bars can now be found around Pa­rade­platz – the Swiss equiv­a­lent of Lon­don’s Square Mile – along­side the lux­ury ho­tels and ex­cru­ci­at­ingly ex­pen­sive restau­rants for which the area is known. Com­pact and eas­ily nav­i­ga­ble, the fi­nan­cial dis­trict is only min­utes away from the Bahn­hof­s­trasse bou­tiques and Lake Zürich fore­shore, while the cob­ble­stoned Old Town is a 10-minute walk from Pa­rade­platz. Here’s how to mix busi­ness with plea­sure in the “city of banks”.

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