Culture vultures rejoice: Zurich transforms into a cultural mecca for 2016

European cities of culture: London, Paris, Berlin… Zurich? Perhaps it’s not the first place to spring to mind, but times they are a-changing.

Put to one side your preconceptions. This summer, the city is shaking off its stiff reputation with the coming of the Manifesta Biennial, one of Europe’s most exciting cultural festivals. The 11th annual iteration of the world-renowned arts festival will arrive in Zurich for the first time on 9th June, with 35 exhibitions over 100 days, all based around the rather fitting theme of what people do for money.

Credit - Zurich Tourist Board (2)

Credit – Zurich Tourist Board

From finance to feline grooming, careers and work/life balances will be questioned through a series of artistic projects curated for the first time by the Berlin-based creative Christian Jankowski. The concept will explore how work can shape identities and how we speak, behave and relate to others – whether magicians or politicians, news anchors or Vatican members.

At the heart of the festival will be Zurich’s hottest summer hangout: the Pavillion of Reflections. A temporary structure erected on Lake Zurich, the floating pavilion will house an open air cinema, swimming pool and bar, drawing the city’s creatives together in a setting like no other. Forget an aperol spritz in Rome; leave your glass of merlot in Paris: sipping on absinthe whilst afloat on Lake Zurich, following a day of culture and afternoon dips in the lake, must surely be the ultimate way to spend an evening.

Credit - Manifesta

Credit – Manifesta

Many of the artists will be holed up in Zurich’s funkiest new addition: the Marktgasse Hotel. Located right on the cobbles of the atmospheric old town, the 39-room boutique hotel mixes pared-back Scandi vibes with unique and quirky designer accents and heritage features to create a one-of-a-kind hideaway in the heart of the city. With its close proximity to the Cabaret Voltaire – a key venue for the Manifesta festivities – and the hotels’ vibrant Baltho bar, popular with local artists and guests alike, the Marktgasse offers the ideal base from which to explore the exhibitions.

New Marktgasse Hotel

Combined with a flurry of funky new openings, a burgeoning foodie scene, the vibrant neighbourhood of Zurich West and the recent centenary of the avant-garde Dada art movement, its little surprise that culture vultures in the know are touting Zurich as the place to be in summer 2016.

Enge, Seebad

Credit – Zurich Tourist Board

From the 11 June 2016, the Marktgasse will be offering two-night stays from CHF 634 for two people in a double room on a B&B basis including a day pass to an exhibition of choice, a day pass to an open-air lido in Zurich of  choice, a travel card valid for one-day, a spritz cocktail and complimentary access to the Fitnesspark Hamam Münstergasse located close to the hotel. Valid for stays until the 18 September 2016 .

To book: call+41 44 266 10 10 or email:

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