Things to Do in Zurich This Weekend and Dreikönigstag

Dreikönigstag – 6th January

This weekend it is Epiphany on Sunday 6th January, which is celebrated in Switzerland with the baking of the special Dreikönigskuchen, or “Three Kings” bread. The bread is actually made of balls of sweet dough, sometimes with raisins, stuck to a central larger piece of dough to make a kind of “crown shape” and baked in the oven. Tradition has it, that if you are lucky enough to find a small king (usually the small white plastic kind!) in your piece of bread, you get to be crowned “King for the Day”  and can be absolved of washing up and clearing and other household chores for the day  … AND you get to wear a paper crown for the day too! Good luck and enjoy your rule!


6th January is also the traditional day for taking down your Christmas decorations and tree. Check with your recycling / rubbish calendar as sometimes you can leave your tree out in the street for collection / recycling.

Photo13 Exhibition at the Maag Haalle

Photo13 takes place at the Maag Halle in Zurich, near Hardbrücke until the 8th January from 11am – 8pm each day. It is a great opportunity to view some fabulous photography and there are also lectures on photography from famous and world-renowned photographers. Entrance cost CHF 15 (lectures extra). For further information read our previous post about the event or check the website.

Photo13 Zurich

Free Ice Skating – “Gratis Auf Glatteis”

Heuried and Oerlikon ice rinks are offering another “Gratis auf Glatteis” ice skating event at their ice rinks this Sunday from 10am – 7pm. So if you’ve never been before and wanted to try it out for free – why not take advantage this Sunday 6th? Not only is the entrance free, but the skate hire too. If the previous event they had in November is anything to go by, this is sure to be a popular event! For more details (in German) check the website.

Paul Gaugin at the Kunsthaus

If you fancy visiting a museum or art gallery why not pop into the Kunsthaus to view “the Prints” exhibition showing work by Paul Gaugin which is on till 20th January? Click here to read our previous post. Or indeed, “Chagall, Modern Master” which runs till 8th February?  For more information check here.

Chavin Exhibition at the Rietberg Museum

The Chavin Exhibition at the Rietberg explores Peru’s mysterious temples in the Andes and runs till the 10th March. For more information.


And of course there is skiing to be had!  Check out our Practical Info page for information on various ski resorts near to Zurich and check the webcams before you set off too!

Whatever you do, have a great weekend!

Snow scene in Switzerland ©

Photo credits: Bruce Gilden at Photo13, NewInZurich


New Year Fireworks in Zurich – New Year Magic in Zurich!

New Year's Fireworks in Zurich







Anything planned for New Year’s Eve in Zurich? In case you didn’t know there is an amazing firework display taking place in town on December 31st which started back in 1988 as a small New Year’s Eve party on Zurich’s Gemüsebrücke and which has now evolved into an annual event. Starting at 8pm, the party goes on till 3am (program below) with the highlight being a spectacular 20 minute firework display lighting up the Zurich skies.

Firework Display Zurich









Visitors from across Switzerland and overseas are expected to visit the country’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations and enjoy the party atmosphere and watch the amazing display. The area around the Quaibrücke and the Limmatquai will be pedestrian-only from 8pm on 31st to 6am on 1st January, and the whole area around the lake from Limmatquai through Hechtplatz and up to Utoquai as well as over the Quaibrücke at Bellevue as far as the General-Guisan-Quai will be full of vendors selling food and drinks and there will be music too!

The fireworks, which are sponsored by Zurich Hoteliers Association, will be set off from 00.20am to 00.40am from two specially anchored boats.

Parking will be extremely limited so it’s best to use public transport to go to the New Year’s celebrations. The ZVV trams and buses will be running until 4 o’clock in the morning – so why not go along and see in the New Year with a bang?

New Years Eve Fireworks Zurich

Photo credits:

NewInZurich Guide to Shopping in Zurich After Christmas and over New Year

Happy Boxing Day or St Stephen’s Day or “Stephantag” as they call it here in Zurich! Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays.  In case you were hoping to join the stampedes of shoppers rushing to the shops to buy stuff in the sales as reported in other countries, relax and enjoy the tranquility and the sunshine …. .the shops are still shut in Zurich today.

However, they do open again tomorrow and here is a Quick Guide to the main Shopping Hours for the apres-Christmas and New Year season:

Shopping in Zuerich ©








Zurich’s big stores Opening Hours eg Globus, Jelmoli etc (NB some of the smaller shops may have shorter hours):

Wednesday 26/12/12 (Boxing Day / Stephanstag)  – Closed

Monday 31/1/12 (Silveter / New Year’s Eve)  – 9am – 5pm

Tuesday 1/1/13 (Neu Jahr / New Year’s Day) – closed

Wednesday 2/1/13 (Berchtoldstag) – 9am – 8pm

Globus  and Jelmoli and Manor

Glatt Shopping Hours over the Festive Period:

Wednesday 26/12/12 (Boxing Day / Stephanstag)  – Closed

Monday 31/1/12 (Silvester / New Year’s Eve)  – 8am – 4pm

Tuesday 1/1/13 (Neu Jahr / New Year’s Day) – closed

Wednesday 2/1/13 (Berchtoldstag) – 9am (instead of 8am) – 8pm

Volkiland Shopping Hours over the Festive Period:

Wednesday 26/12/12 (Boxing Day / Stephanstag)  – Closed

Monday 31/1/12 (Silvester / New Year’s Eve)  – 8am – 6pm

Tuesday 1/1/13 (Neu Jahr / New Year’s Day) – closed

Wednesday 2/1/13 (Berchtoldstag) – 9am (instead of 8am) – 8pm

Here are some Shopping Locators for Supermarkets across Switzerland:

Shop locator for Coop Stores with address and opening hours

(NB use the  German option as the English option doesn’t appear to be working yet)

Shop locator for Migros Stores with addresses and opening hours

Shop locator for Volg Stores  (search term entry at bottom of map on left hand side)

And for good measure here is Aldi’s store locator:

And Lidl’s store locator:

Most of these store locators are all in German, and in most cases enter you simply type in your postcode to find the nearest store to your address.

Since we’re in a Shopping frame of mind why not also check out these Shopping Guides which we’ve posted about before :

Cool Shopping Guide to Zurich – covers Kreis 1, Kreis 4 and 5 and there is also a guide to Luzern. Lists independant stores and cafes etc too

Hope Hope Boutique Shopping Guide – covers Kreis 1- 5 and Kreis 8 great for clothes shopping and some little known boutiques as well as doing a small section on men and it also has a second-hand section

Because shopping is a topic many of you will wish to return to, we have also listed the Shopping Loctators and Shopping Guides in a special section all of their own under “Practical Info” top of the website.

Happy Shopping! And hope you find some bargains in the sales!

Sales in Zurich © Glatt

Photos:© and Glatt

Happy Holidays … Happy Christmas … Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone Happy holidays, a Happy Christmas and all the best for a great 2013! Whatever you are celebrating have a great time! It’s extremely unlikely that we will have snow in Zurich tomorrow – but here’s some to remind you of the city a few days ago!

Snowy Christmas scene










If you’re lucky and have been very good, hopefully this man in red will be bringing you and your family lots of presents tonight!

Samichlaus, Father Christmas
















But whatever you do, we hope that you enjoy these festive days and have fun. Thank you for reading and we look forward to exploring more of Zurich with you in 2013!


Lichterschwimmen in Zurich Thursday 20th December 6pm

Lichterschwimmen in Zurich






Don’t miss the very pretty and quaint tradition of “Lichterschwimmen” on Thursday December 20th at 6pm as hundreds of candles are lit and released onto the river Limmat and then float gently downstream. It all happens just off Weinplatz near Stadhausquai and as the children float the lights gently on the water, you can watch them sail downstream along the Limmat. The Zurich tourist office will be providing refreshments at Weinplatz – so grab something hot and wrap up warmly as the lights sail by. If you want a view right by the river it’s advisable to  get there a little earlier as the lights start setting sail promptly at 6pm.

Click this link in blue to check out a video from the Tages Anzeiger to see what goes on.

Lichterschwimmen in Zurich

Great weekend ahead in Zurich! Silvesterlauf, Skating, Singing Christmas tree and more…

This weekend as usual you will be spoilt for choice in Zurich as there is so much to do!

On Saturday you could check out one of the Christmas Markets in Zurich, go and watch the children singing at the Singing Christmas tree and then, if you’re brave enough, why try some do some ice skating at the Dolderbahn, at Live on Ice in Kusnacht or take the children skating at the ice skating rink at Glattzentrum whilst you’re shopping. And of course that way you could also get some Christmas Shopping done!

On Sunday, there is Sunday Christmas Shopping in Glattzentrum and Volkiland too (but NOT in Zurich!) and it is also the day of Zurich’s annual Silvesterlauf! If you haven’t managed to sign up for it, no sweat – simply relax, grab a Gluhwein (for medicinal purposes of course!) and cheer and watch as your friends go by on this annual run through the city of Zurich.














The week ahead offers the very pretty and quaint tradition of “Lichterschwimmen” on December 20th from 5pm as hundreds of candles are lit and released onto the river Limmat and then float gently downstream. It all happens just off Weinplatz – so a great place to watch and grab (yet another!) Gluhwein! Do wrap up warmly though as it can get very cold!!!

There is also a Faye Dunaway retrospective at the Xenix Cinema and then then there is the Paul Taylor Orchestra in Zurich and Zumikon. If you fancy a show do check out Swiss Christmas, Conelli Circus and Salto Natale. For Christmas Carols this weekend at 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday visit St Andrews Church in Zurich. And if you’re lucky enough to get to the slopes and do some skiing or snowboarding – enjoy and have fun!

Conelli Circus, Salto Natale Circus and the “Swiss Christmas” Show in Zurich

Swiss Christmas

If you’re looking for a show or some traditional festive entertainment in Zurich over the Christmas period there are a couple of traditional circuses on offer, for example Conelli running until the 6th January and Salto Natale running until the 2nd January and there is also the “Swiss Christmas” show which is on until the 31st December and takes place in a great big white tent close to the Hallenstadion in Oerlikon.

Although not billed as a circus, Swiss Christmas features acrobatics, trapeze acts, dancing, singing, comedy acts and an amazing magic show by conjurer Peter Marvey.  Most of the acts are more visual than verbal, so you can follow what is going on with only minimal German although many of the introductions to acts and any comedy routines will be in German or Swiss German.  However, you don’t need much German to get the gist!

Salto Natale Zurich

By now, many of the performances for all three productions are selling out, however, there are still tickets to be had – please click on the blue links above for more information.

conelli circus Zurich
Conelli Photo Credit: Daniele Lupini

What’s new in Zurich this weekend ….and beyond

Snow scene in Switzerland ©

Hope you’re all enjoying the snow.  Looks like there’s more on the way – so a great weekend for making snowmen, tobogganing or going skiing.  All the nearest ski resorts are now open – Flumserberg, Flims /Laax, Davos, Klosters, Lenzerheide and Hoch Ybrig – but check on their websites (click the resort links in blue above) before you head off to check how many runs are open and the latest conditions. We also always have the Snow Report listed on this website under Practical Info.snow falling

If you’re not hitting the mountains, here’s a round up of things going on in Zurich and a couple of tips too!

1. If you fancy taking part in the annual Sylversterlauf run round Zurich on 16th December you need to be quick.  Online registration closes on Sunday 9th December.















2. Why not visit the Heiliger Bimbam Market with late night shopping, which is on this weekend at the Plaza.

Heiliger Bimbam in Zurich














3. And after Samichlaus Day last Thursday if you (or your children) have Santa on your mind you could take them to visit Father Christmas in his cabin in Waldhüsli in Chäferbergwald. Take Tram 11 or 15 or bus 32 or 72 to Bucheggplatz and the cabin is a short stroll in the woods signposted from Restaurant Neue Waid. Open just this Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December from 10am – 4pm.   Visiting Father Christmas is free of charge but donations are welcome.

4. Or perhaps take the kids to see Santa on the Marlitram?
The Marlitram in Zurich ©NewInZurich
5. Or see the Singing Christmas Tree if you haven’t already. in Werdmühleplatz just off Bahnhofstrasse. Christmas carols are sung by children all lined up in the formation of a Christmas Tree.  Why not go along and watch with a warming glass of Gluhwein! From 24th November to 23rd December
 For more information.

6. Why not visit a Christmas Market in Switzerland?

7. Or visit a Christmas Market over the border?

8. Sunday 9th December is another Shopping Sunday in Zurich with most of the shops open till 6pm.  For the full list of dates and opening times of all the Shopping Sundays leading up to Christmas check here.


On a practical note, the SBB are putting up the prices of tickets, Halbtax etc on Sunday 9th and tram tickets are going up too – so do check you have the right cash for your ticket!

Have a great weekend!

Photos: Silvesterlauf and NewInZurich

Are you going to “Heiliger Bimbam” Christmas Market and Night Shopping 7th – 9th December?

Heiliger Bimbam in Zurich














Fancy doing your Christmas Shopping somewhere different? Why not try the Heiliger Bimbam Market?  From the 7th – 9th December it will be at the Plaza with an array of local designer stalls, changing daily, and there will also be night shopping in districts 3 and 4 with concerts, exhibitions, readings and tastings and plenty of Gluhwein on offer.

Opening Friday7th from 5pm – 10pm,  Saturday 8th from 1pm – 9pm and Sunday 9th from 1pm – 7pm. At the Plaza and in Districts 3 and 4

There will also be another Heiliger Bimbam event on 21st – 23rd December at the MAAG Halle and in District 5. For more information (in German). For the NewInZurich Guide to Christmas Markets.

The Plaza Zurich
Photo Credit: Heiliger Bimbam

Samichlaus Swim in the Limmat in Zurich – brrr!!!!

Samichlaus Swimming in Zur

Despite the ridiculously cold temperatures, not to mention the snow falling in Zurich on Sunday, there was a long line of people of all ages qeueing up to take (almost) all their clothes off and jump in the river! What’s more they had had to pay for the privilege – as well as register in advance for this rather mad tradition known as “Samichlaus Schwimmen”.

Samichlaus Schwimmen Zurich
















Now in it’s 13th year, it usually takes place at the beginning of December and involves jumping into the Limmat at Pier 7 near Bellevue and swimming across to the other side ending up (hopefully) at the Frauenbadi, preferably wearing a Father Christmas hat or some other festive adornment.

Samichlaus Swim in Zurich

The blue and sunny skies belied the cold temperatures – and the water temperature was between 4 and 7 degrees !!! However,  this did not deter just under 350 eager participants taking part this crisp December day.

Samichlaus Swimming in Zur

The groups were divided into small batches as they jumped into the Limmat every 4 minutes, accompanied by divers from Scuba Viva, the local scuba diving company based at Pier 7.  Around nine divers were on duty including Bruno (see photo below) and a boat ferried the swimmers’ luggage across to the Frauenbadi.  The police and a number of ‘watch men” were also on hand for safety.

Samichlaus Schwimmen Zurich

Some swimmers, including Lisa (see photo wearing garland) were not quite cold enough and insisted on swimming across whilst eating ice lollies.  Thankfully though they warmed up with a glass of schnapps once they arrived at the other side (after finishing off their lollies).

Samichlaus Schwimmen Zurich

If this has inspired you to try the “Samichlaus Swim” swim next year then don’t forget to register next year!


Samichlaus Schwimmen Zurich