Zürich is the new Berlin. No hesitation, no competition. This formerly staid banking capital has experienced such a creative explosion in recent years, and such a mushrooming of trendy bars, restaurants and shops, it resembles Berlin's salad days of the mid-eighties and early nineties.
Like most of Switzerland's cities, Zürich runs on minute-perfect time. That doesn't mean it's predictable: it did, after all, spawn Dadaism, which goes to show that even cities starched up to the eyebrows with order and privilege have some surprises up their sleeves.
Chocolate bars will battle gold bars for your attention, the town boasts free bicycle loans, and a varied cycle of festivals keeps the people hopping. Visitors can explore galleries, the pedestrian streets of the old town and Zürich's lakeside setting.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track