ELLE Escapes: Zurich

Dubbed “The Beverly Hills of Switzerland,” the Swiss city of Zurich is so much more than a finance capital, despite the palpable banker presence. Located at the northern part of its namesake lake, with picturesque waterfront promenades and stunning alpine views—especially via the Glacier Express to nearby St. Moritz—Zurich is a seriously underrated European destination ready to have its moment. Whether you’re planning a vacation or are just in the mood for a healthy dose of winter wanderlust, here’s what to see, eat, drink, and where to stay.

elle escapes see

Kunsthaus Zürich

kunsthaus zürich

Courtesy Kunsthaus Zürich

Boasting one of the largest collections in the country, including pieces by Andy Warhol, Piet Mondrian, and Claude Monet, to name just a few, Kunsthaus is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and tourists alike. Fun fact: the flowers in the planters inside are replaced every day.

Glacier Express

glacier express

Roberto Moiola / Sysaworld

If you have some time to kill (approximately three and a half hours, give or take), hop the train to St. Moritz, a luxe ski resort in the Swiss Alps, and enjoy the incredibly scenic route, replete with (many) mountains, tunnels, and bridges.

Audemars Piguet

audemars piguet

Nicolas Delaroche Studio

Watch lovers (or those aspiring to be) should definitely make a stop at Audemars Piguet’s new store. The high-end manufacturer put down roots in the historic Art Nouveau-style Leuenhof building, once home to the Bank Leu headquarters, and it’s almost as special as the timepieces themselves.

Nuptse Short Jacket

The North Face Nuptse Short Jacket

Boyish Chino

Alex Mill Boyish Chino


Asics x P.E Nation PE NATION x GEL-1130
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Thomas Engler

You can’t go to Zurich without eating at Kronenhalle, by far one of the city’s most iconic restaurants. Dating back to 1924, the former beer hall-turned-fine dining establishment has hosted celebrities the likes of Sophia Loren and Yves Saint Laurent and doubles as an art gallery—original works by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Joan Miró fill the walls.



Courtesy The Dolder Grand

Tucked away on the lowest floor inside the legendary Dolder Grand hotel, the very Instagrammable, Rolf Sachs-designed Saltz eatery features a fire engine red interior, six wine cabinets, and a menu of options made from locally-sourced ingredients. Don’t sleep on the black cod.

Raclette Factory

raclette factory

Yulia Gursoy//Getty Images

Even those who are mildly lactose intolerant might want to pack extra Lactaid for Raclette Factory, an oasis for Swiss cheese dishes and raclettes served every which way. Wash it down with a Heineken or Carlsberg, then walk it off.

Murphy Balaclava

Janessa Leone Murphy Balaclava

Oversized Crew

Guest In Residence Oversized Crew

Satin Slip Skirt

Vince Satin Slip Skirt
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Bar am Wasser

bar am wasser


After sundown, this sleek cocktail bar with river views transforms into a dimly-lit nighttime spot, with tons of creative cocktails that are almost too pretty to drink. Almost.

Widder Bar

widder bar

Steven Kohl

*Stefon voice* The Widder Hotel’s eponymous watering hole in the Old Town neighborhood has everything: live piano music, over 200 malt whiskey offerings, and top-notch jazz performers.

Tales Bar

For a proper night out, head to Tales Bar. Staffed with the friendliest bartenders, the cozy lounge serves up delicious drinks like the Atacama (pictured above), with Pisco, passion fruit, cardamom tincture, and smoked sea salt.

Faux Leather Mckenna Dress

Cinq à Sept Faux Leather Mckenna Dress

Now 60% Off

Cloud Pearl Earrings Silver

Little Liffner Cloud Pearl Earrings Silver

Mini Rachel Nutella Croco Embossed Bag

BY FAR Mini Rachel Nutella Croco Embossed Bag
elle escapes stay

The Dolder Grand

the dolder grand

David Biedert

One of the city’s most illustrious landmarks, the five-star Dolder Grand is the pinnacle of luxury, with a two chic restaurants, a world-class spa, indoor pool, gym, and 175 suites overlooking Zurich, the lake, the alps, and the woods from above. But what really sets the Dolder apart is the unparalleled level of privacy. It makes sense, then, why Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah Winfrey, and Justin Bieber have all checked in.

FIVE Zurich Hotel

five zurich hotel

Adrian Chambre

Part of FIVE Resorts and Hotels, FIVE Zurich caters to zillennials with its unique dining experiences, mountainside spa and pool, and DJ sets by names like Robin Shulz, Jax Jones, and Lost Frequencies at The Penthouse rooftop lounge, where you can see the skyline and pay a visit to the bathroom bar (yes, you read that right).

Badrutt’s Palace

badrutt’s palace

Courtesy Badrutt’s Palace

Where better to get some R&R after a long train ride than Badrutt’s Palace? The world-renowned property has been a popular getaway for the Swiss since it opened back in 1896. Offering 156 rooms, including a three-story penthouse facing Lake St. Moritz, two infinity pools, a fitness center, shopping on Via Serlas, and some of the best skiing in Europe, the hotel and surrounding area has been the Gucci family’s go-to winter retreat for generations, and it’s easy to see why.

Small Clear Cosmetics Case

CALPAK Small Clear Cosmetics Case

Thermoball Traction Mule V

The North Face Thermoball Traction Mule V

International Carry-On

Tumi International Carry-On
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Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

Treat your skin to luxurious skincare, just like the Swiss. Dubbed “Skin Caviar” for a reason, this potent day and night cream improves skin elasticity, gently exfoliates, and retexturizes the skin’s surface, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Cherry Smoke Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Cherry Smoke Eau de Parfum

Sweet or spicy? With Cherry Smoke, you can have both. The rich cherry scent has a fragrant masculine undertone of wood and leather for a decadent perfume that you will want to wear over and over (and over) again.

L’Essentials Hydrating Essence Pre-Serum Treatment

Luzern Laboratories L’Essentials Hydrating Essence Pre-Serum Treatment

Switzerland is known for its skin care technology—with a plethora of products at your disposal, use this essence to ensure optimal absorption of your regimen. Formulated with Bio Suisse extracts, ceramides, and organic green tea, you’ll simultaneously prep your skin for products while toning and hydrating.

Headshot of Claire Stern

Deputy Editor

Claire Stern is the Deputy Editor of ELLE.com. Previously, she served as Editor at Bergdorf Goodman. Her interests include fashion, food, travel, music, Peloton, and The Hills—not necessarily in that order. She used to have a Harriet the Spy notebook and isn’t ashamed to admit it. 


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