Zürich is an enigma. It's a savvy financial centre that also has a gritty, post-industrial edge that echoes parts of Berlin. And it's undeniably hip. The locals might be hard-working early risers but, come clock-off time, they throw themselves wholeheartedly into a festive vortex.
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The Sheraton Hotel Zurich is the perfect starting point for a stroll through the area and its trendy shops and bars.
Elegant Bahnhofstrasse is simply perfect for window-shopping and affluent Züricher-watching. The bank vaults beneath the street are said to be crammed with gold and silver. Above ground, you'll find luxury shops selling the best Switzerland can offer - from watches and clocks to chocolates, furs, porcelain and fashion labels galore.
James Joyce Foundation
James Joyce spent much of World War I in Zürich and wrote Ulysses here. The foundation hosts regular public readings in English from Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake.
Symbolic of the renaissance of once-industrial western Zürich is the Schiffbau. Once a mighty factory churning out lake steamers and, until 1992, turbine-engine parts, this enormous shell has been turned (at considerable cost) into the seat of the Schauspielhaus, a huge theatre, with three stages. It is worth just having a look inside. It is also home to a stylish restaurant (LaSalle), upstairs bar (Nietturm) and jazz den (Moods).
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