From industry to trendy: discover Zurich West

Take on the artsy vibe of District 5, otherwise known as Zurich West, and see another side to the city in this cultural, trendy quarter.

The city of Zurich is divided into twelve districts, so if you were to visit only one, then you should choose District 5. This area was once heavily industrialised but has been transformed into ‘the’ place to hang out. The redevelopments have stayed true to the area’s heritage and signs of Zurich’s industrial age still remain, making for the perfect gallery, shopping and café spaces. Here are our top picks for District 5:

Be inspired at Kunsthalle

If you like contemporary art, this is the place to be in Zurich. Each year Kunsthalle hosts up to eight exhibitions, along with around five temporary displays. These are supported with guided tours, artists’ talks, publications and educational events for all ages. The reputation of Kunsthalle is big internationally and they cooperate with leading art institutions, such as Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Tate Liverpool and Moderna Museet Stockholm. To see the best of Zurich’s modern art scene, definitely visit here.

Zurich west - exhibition art room Kunsthalle in Zurich.

©Kunsthalle Zurich 2015/Thomas Strub

Soak up the atmosphere at Im Viadukt

Im Viadukt is set under the arches of a railway viaduct bridge in District 5. It is the perfect representation of the city’s industrial past, while simultaneously housing much of Zurich’s cultural sector. Vibrant, creative fashion and interior stores are complimented by restaurants, cafés and music venues under one roof. Perhaps the biggest draw is Markthalle, the market hall. Your senses are in for a treat with local and international flavours on offer. Sample seafood and meats, to herbs, fruit and vegetables, and delicacies from across the globe. This architectural and cultural hub is definitely worth checking out.

Zurich west - shopping passing by.

©Im Viadukt/Lea Huser

Stroll around with Free Walk Zurich

The best way to get a real feel for a city is from the locals. They hold an array of information and fun stories that you can only know from living there. Free Walk Zurich offer guided tours of Zurich West and it doesn’t cost you a penny. You simply choose whether you want to tip based on how much you enjoy the tour. Tour routes can vary but along the way you can see Prime Tower, Schiffbau Theatre, Toni-Areal Art School, Im Viadukt and the quirky Freitag Tower, Zurich’s highest building made out of containers. Tours depart daily from Prime Tower at 3pm and last 90 minutes. There is no need for advance bookings, just show up and look for the person with a ‘Free Walk, Follow Me’ sign.

Zurich west -part of free walk tour i Zurich west.

©Free Walk Zurich

Gaze down in style from Prime Tower

For an overview of District 5 and the beyond to the mountains that surround Zurich, take the elevator to the 35th floor of Prime Tower, one of Switzerland’s tallest buildings. From 120 metres up, you can absorb the panoramic views whilst sampling delicious cuisine, accompanied with refreshments made by in-house mixologists in Clouds Restaurant and Bar. From the top, you can look out on Zurich’s industrial past, an area that is now the city’s cultural, creative quarter, loved by so many.

Zurich west - cloud restaurant and bar in Prime Tower

©Prime Tower/Thies Wachter

If you are staying at the Park Inn by Radisson Zurich Airport Hotel and want to spend the perfect day in the city, choose District 5.