While Switzerland is best known for its rugged peaks, it also punches well above its weight on watering holes. Here’s why it has a growing reputation as the place to go for a great bar scene.
Whether you’re after something relaxed, elegant, quirky or cosy, the Swiss bar scene has a little tipple for everyone. Here’s a round-up of some of the most unique taprooms around the country.
SUNBATHING WITH A SIDE OF SWISS CUISINE
How’s this for a plan? First, spend the day swimming on a sun-drenched lake. Then, enjoy a drink from a deckchair as the sun goes down. And finally… seamlessly transition to a delicious dinner at the water’s edge.
It doesn’t get much better than Seebad, a lakeside swimming spot and bar on the lake of Luzern. It’s an unpretentious, beautiful place to spend the day or the night. For dinner, you’ll find everything from modern Swiss cuisine to delicious Mediterranean and Asian meals.
AN ALFRESCO GARDEN PARTY
After spending a day exploring the city, there’s nothing better than a garden oasis to kick back and relax. Frau Gerolds Garten started as a pop-up establishment in the heart of Zurich’s industrial district – and now, it’s a popular haunt for locals spending the afternoon with friends.
In the winter, you’ll find fireplaces and cozy nooks to enjoy a cheeky cheese fondue. In the summer, it comes to life with a lush kitchen garden and sun terrace. Some weekends, you’ll even find urban gardening classes and design markets.
MEET YOU ON THE ROOFTOP?
Coffees in the morning. Cocktails in the afternoon. Whatever the hour, Friends Café is the place to go in Lausanne.
This lounge bar is part of LHotel in the fashionable Le Flon neighbourhood. Stop in at the ground floor if you’re after an early cuppa, but if the sun’s out, head straight for the rooftop terrace. Here, you’ll have a gorgeous view over the streets, a perfect position for people-watching and all the time in the world to linger over a generous cocktail list.
If you’re lucky enough to be spending summertime in Basel, you can’t miss the Buvettes, a series of refreshment stalls that line the edge of the city’s River Rhine. For sun-loving locals who are after a snack, an afternoon bevvy, or splash in the river, this is the place to be. Think of it as a pub crawl, but instead of walking between venues, you can swim right up to the next stop.
THE GREATEST CULINARY HITS
For some proper local nosh, sign up for a self-guided foodie tour with Taste my Swiss City. Thoughtfully designed and compiled by locals, these mini-tours guide you through a handful of stops — from jazz bars to cosy bistros — where you’ll get a taste of delectable Swiss foods. The tours are available in eleven cities across Switzerland, and each one has been curated carefully, so you’ll have a leisurely stroll between some of the best meals of your life.
To learn more about the most fabulous restaurants and unique taprooms in Switzerland, visit myswitzerland.com.