Zurich may just be one of Europe's best-kept secrets.
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The Swiss city's long association with financial order and good timekeeping disguises an increasingly progressive cultural hub, where historic landmarks sit alongside arty pop-ups and night spots. With its windy streets, stunning lakeside backdrop and scope for Alpine adventure, Zurich is a medieval gem reborn for the 21st century.
Festivals and events
Restaurateurs, amateur cooks and culinary enthusiasts rub shoulders at more than 100 events across the city for Food Zurich in late May and early June, which celebrates local and international cuisine. Annual highlights include the Street Food Festival and a final-day party in vibrant Zurich-West.
The worlds of theatre, art and music join forces every two years for the highly-regarded Zurich Festival. Over a period of four weeks in June, the city's major cultural institutions present shows, concerts, dances, exhibitions, readings and discussions, all of which are based around a single theme.
Zurich's Street Parade – the city's largest annual event – is one of the world's best-known techno parties. Up to a million people proceed energetically along the banks of Lake Zurich in August to promote freedom, love and tolerance.
Visit Zurich in December and there are several Christmas markets to choose from. The city displays its festive side with gatherings in the Old Town, at the Wienachtsdorf pop-up village at Sechseläutenplatz, and around the enormous Christmas tree at the station. With winter temperatures averaging at 0°C, even the snow is authentic