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Underground Zurich: District 5 in Zurich, Switzerland

Explore Zurich’s coolest area: District 5 isn’t what you picture when you think of Zurich, and it’s definitely worth a visit.

District 5 in Zurich, also known as Zurich West, is a gentrified industrial centre. It’s a cool part of the city and it’s the new place to hang out amongst Zurich’s millennials. There’s a LOT to see and do in Zurich West, all without the hoards of tourists you may find in the old. Keen to spend a day here? This is what we discovered.

Want to see more of Switzerland? Here’s a great four day itinerary.

The Viaduct

This is the backbone of District 5. It’s an old viaduct that’s been turned into the ultimate place to stroll along, and. cafes, restaurants, and shops lay within the old viaduct arches. I really liked walking along all the shopfronts – the furniture shops’ interior design seemed to match the vibe of this area – old, classic items meet modern shapes and styles.

Reasonable Prices? In Switzerland?!

Switzerland is known for being beautiful, mountainous, and expensive. Whilst you’re exploring Kreis 5 (district 5), pop into the Zurich Brockenhaus, an incredible thrift store. They have some beautiful antiques, clothes in great condition, and a cafe on top. They’re super reasonably priced- I got a really nice sweater for 12CHF.

Address: Neugasse 11 Address: Neugasse 11

An Old Vacuum Cleaner

Freitag’s Flagship Store and the Freitag Tower

Next we went to Freitag. Freitag is a bag brand that was started in Zurich and you see these bags on everyone. Freitag’s flagship store is made up of old shipping containers. It has all of the models and ALL of the colourways (there are MANY) of the bags displayed, and at the top of the store is a staircase that takes you to the top of Freitag Tower. It’s about 9 stories up and it gives you a great view of Zurich West.

Address: Geroldstraß 17 Weekdays 10:30 – 19:00, Saturday 10:00-18:00, Closed Sundays

Frau Gerold’s Garden (Mrs. Gerold’s Garden)

After looking at the view from the tower, we saw Frau Gerold’s Garden. It is an outdoor space that has super cute stores, popup bars/restaurants, and picnic tables in the courtyard. It’s year round, though I think there’s definitely more going on during the summertime, when it’s a popular place to get a drink with friends after work.

Gerold Chuchi

Gerold Chuchi is a restaurant off of Geroldstraß. Even if you aren’t hungry, it’s worth taking a look at! It’s a very #instagramable spot and worth a visit on your way to Freitag.

Address: Geroldstaß 5

Art Galleries

There are tonnes of art galleries in District 5. They tend to focus on contemporary art. If classic art is more your thing, I reckon Old Town would have more galleries to your liking.

Transa Outlet

This is something we just stumbled upon, but it’s definitely worth a mention! Transa is a big outdoor goods company- think the REI of Switzerland. It’s typically quite expensive, but this outlet has some great deals and is definitely something you should visit if you’re in need of outdoor/sports clothing or camping/climbing/cycling equipment.

Address: Josephstraß 59

Cheap(ish) Eats

We actually ran out of time because we found so much to do in Zurich West, but we did manage to get a quick bite to eat near the train station. We ate at Pho Na, which I HIGHLY recommend. The food tasted like real Vietnamese food and the two women who ran it (from Saigon!) were so so soooo lovely. Pho is 19 CHF but they also had curry for 13.50 and I had duck with veggies and rice for 15 CHF. A steal in Switzerland.

Address: Josephstraß 42

District 5 was such a lovely surprise. It was an area I never thought I’d find in Zurich, but I loved it. Discovering Zurich West, and everything within it, was such an unexpected occurrence.

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