A decent week for Zürich


A couple of weeks ago Zürich was just another of many trending hubs in Europe, perfect for dashing in and out over a weekend to do some local shopping in the city’s Vice district. This part of Zürich that, instead of being constructed as your local Swiss bank vault, actually looks like it’s painted with colours from the vibrant streets of Berlin-Mitte.

Last week the spotlight certainly turned to Zürich. It started when they snatched the award for Best European Airport right in front of the always confident Münich airport. Which was, I think we all feel, quite an upset, especially since Lufthansas work pods ranked as Most productive place in Monocle’s Travel Top 50.

Later last week Monocle released one of the absolute highnotes of the year – The Most liveable cities list of 2009. What affected the list this year were the new metrics. First, The Zara/Starbucks index, i.e. the independence of a city’s retail. Secondly, how easy it is to set up a new small business shop. And last, planned improvements in infrastructure. This change of metrics of course meant that all previous bets were off. Frankly we had our money riding on Münich for a long time, but after this radical change of the lists fundamentals we would have put our money on Copenhagen.

But Zürich proved unbeatable this week, snobbing Münich not once but twice in seven days. We’re guessing the equally elegant as arrogant people of Zürich have been celebrating on Bahnhofstraße all week long, probably drinking large quantities of Fledschloesschen while filling up with some delightful hot chestnuts at some of the best street corners in Europe. We tip our hat for Zürich and plan on taking a closer look at the city later this year.