What you need to know for your Zürich business trip

Zürich, the financial hub of Switzerland, blends centuries-old charm with modern sensibilities. Known as one of the world’s most livable places, the city sprawls along the banks of the River Limmat, which is fed by the famous Lake Zürich. Easily navigable by car, train, bike and walking, Zürich is a top 10 destination for BCD clients.

Zürich is a very international city, as many companies have their European HQ in Zürich. Language is not an issue here anymore. Zürich is a very old town, with buildings from the 12th and 13th centuries. Our public transportation system is the best in the world, quality of life is great, and Zürich offers everything within walking distance – city fair, mountain, green areas, parks, and the lake.

Michael Flück, BCD Multi-National Operations Director

Getting to Zürich

Zürich airport

Zürich Kloten International Airport (ZRH), commonly known as Zürich Airport, is the largest international airport of Switzerland. More than 1.9 million passengers passed through ZRH in January 2024, a 13% increase over 2023. Within the airport, the Zürich Airport Skymetro train connects the airports gates. Travelers should note extensive construction is underway at ZRH at Check-in 1, until March 26, 2024.

Moving around the city

Zürich’s transportation system is renowned for its punctuality and efficiency. From Zürich Airport, you can reach the city center within minutes via train service. Once in the city, an extensive tram network makes getting around Zürich a breeze. Basel City, Zürich’s northern neighbor and host site for the Association of Swiss Travel Management 2024 Spring Conference, can be reached by train in 65 minutes, with around 93 trains per day. Consider purchasing a ZürichCARD for unlimited travel on public transport and discounts on various attractions. From Zurich, travelers may take direct trains to Paris, Munich, Vienna, Milano, Geneva and Stuttgart.

To travel the city by bike, look for Züri rollt bicycle stations throughout the city. Adult and children’s bikes can rented against a deposit of CHF 20 (USD$22.67). E-bikes and cargo bikes cost CHF 30 (USD$34).

Rideshares and taxis are available throughout the city.

Zurich business districts

Zurich is organized into 12 districts, known as “Kreis” in German. Each is divided into one to four neighborhoods, for a total of 34. The districts boast a range of architectural styles – from Romanesque and historicism to modern – and are populated by hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, and office buildings. Districts 1, 5 and 11 are top business destinations. District 1, Old Town, ambles along both banks of the River Lammat and is home to Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich’s main downtown street and one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. Formerly an industrial area, District 5, called Zürich West, is quite fashionable and is home to the city’s tallest building, Prime Towers, where spectacular city, lake and mountain views can be observed from the 35th floor. District 11, Zürich Nord, is closest to the airport and the location for the Hallenstation indoor stadium where sports and music events are held.

The districts are home to a plethora of business-friendly accommodations, ranging from luxury hotels to boutique options. Many hotels offer amenities tailored to business travelers, such as high-speed Wi-Fi, spacious work areas, and meeting rooms.

Best work spaces in Zürich

Of course, my No. 1 favorite space to work is BCD’s office in Zürich – Oerlikon; just 20 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes to Lake Zürich. The Satellite Office: Haus Gryffenberg, a historic home built between 1883 and 1885, is a spectacular co-working space in the city, with soundproof cubes, lounges, conference rooms, digital rooms and open spaces throughout. The Westhive Zürich Seestrasse co-working space is a few minutes walking distance from Lake Zürich. Ample natural light illuminates a modern design at a vintage address. Close to the Zurich Opera House, museums and theaters, Westhive offers memberships for virtual offices, flex desks, fixed desks and team space.

Food & drink in Zürich

Zürich is a paradise for food lovers, offering a diverse culinary scene with international food from anywhere in the world and many small restaurants offering real Swiss food. Start your day with a traditional Swiss breakfast of Birchermüesli and freshly baked bread at any of the city’s cozy cafes. If you’re looking for coffee, support the local economy and purchase from ViCafe, a local brand with two locations offering coffee made from beans roasted in Zürich. Just don’t visit McDonald’s in Zürich. It will be the most expensive McDonald’s ever.

For after-work drinks, visit CLOUDS Kitchen in District 5 and enjoy panoramic views from the Prime Towers. Another great place is Europaallee in Zürich, next to the main train station. There you have many bars, restaurant and shops. One to recommend is Bridge Zürich, a three-floor combination supermarket, food court and bars, serving everything from small bites to pizza and sushi. For a special dinner, head to Uetliberg, Zürich very own mountain just 45 minutes from the airport and overlooking Zürich, the Lake of Zürich and the Swiss Alps. In winter, guests indulge in fondue over candlelit tables at any of Uetliberg’s eateries. Looking for a meat-free dinner option? Try Haus Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world, dating back to 1898. Hiltl is known for serving one of the best Indian buffets outside of India. It has a great rooftop terrace and transforms into Hiltl Club at night. In summer, head to Pumpstation, a lively open air venue by the lake serving local food and drinks. Prepare for simple yet hearty fare and big local crowds. In warm weather, outdoor terraces throughout the city will be packed with diners lingering over meals.

And, of course, there’s chocolate. The Swiss are reported eat more chocolate than anyone else in the world. Zürich is home to some of the world’s best chocolate and chocolatiers and shops and cafes are nestled around the city. Not sure where to start? Head to Sprungli in the heart of downtown or ask a local for a recommendation.

Art, culture & bleisure in Zürich

Zürich boasts a rich cultural heritage. Walk through Old Town, starting and ending at the Odean Café at Bellevue. Visit Sprüngli Café shop at Paradeplatz for the best hot chocolate you’ll ever have (but be prepared, it’s expensive). Wander into the iconic Café Felix at Bellevue for mouth-watering pastries, homemade chocolates, and freshly baked cakes served amid stunning floral bouquets and dazzling decorations. If time permits, visit iconic landmarks like the Grossmünster Protestant church or the Kunsthaus Zürich, the city’s largest art museum. Take the train to Stadelhofen Station and step out onto the banks of Lake Zürich. The lake promenade is great for a one to two-hour walk. If you can extend the trip over the weekend, head to Lucerne, the most beautiful city in Switzerland and just one hour from Zürich. Lugano, the Italian part of Switzerland, is three hours away. Most of the time it’s sunny and warm as it is very close to Italy; enjoy real Italian food and espresso here.

Stay well and relax during your Zürich business trip

Maintain your well-being during your business trip by indulging in Zürich’s wellness offerings. Unwind with a rejuvenating spa treatment or a leisurely swim in one of the city’s luxurious wellness centers.

Travel managers, help boost employee well-being on every business trip with our marketplace partner Sanctifly, the world’s largest travel wellness club.


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