Elected this past March, Corine Mauch is Zurich's first female mayor. In addition, the 49-year-old is the city's first openly gay mayor -- so it's only fitting that she spoke at the EuroPride festivities on parade day, June 6, 2009. Mayor Mauch offers the following insider tips for those planning to visit her city on the Limmat River.
As she says, "You won't have problems getting in touch with the locals."
Can you suggest a must-do activity in Zurich?
Besides the tourist classics old town and lake side, you should definitely take advantage of Zurich's outstanding cultural offers. For example a visit to the beautifully located Museum Rietberg, dedicated to Asian, Indian and African culture. Or aconcert at Moods, Zurich's place to be when it comes to jazz. If you are more into theater: the Schauspielhaus is one of the most renowned theaters in German-speaking Europe.
In the evening, I recommend a visit to one of Zurich's river bars: Rimini for example, the city's former men's lido.
Do you have any restaurant, bar of caf? recommendations?
Personally, I like Les Halles in Zurich West. A market hall during the day and a down-to-earth restaurant in the evening. It's also a good starting point for hitting the nightlife in the upand-coming and fashionable neighborhood of Zurich West.
To have a coffee, why not try the newly opened Felix at Bellevue or the traditional Odeon just across the street, visited by such famous guests as Stefan Zweig, William Sommerset Maughn, James Joyce, Lenin and Albert Einstein.
What's your favorite neighborhood in Zurich, and why?
Zurich's advantage is the short distances in town. High-end shopping at Bahnhofstrasse is just a stroll away from the old town-district Niederdorf and in less than twelve minutes you are in the almost Latin atmosphere of Langstrasse, Zurich's former red light district. It's the variety of different close-by neighborhoods that makes Zurich such a special place.
Some tips for getting to know the locals?
You won't have problems getting in touch with the locals. People are open-minded and cosmopolitan. Over 30 percent of the people living here are foreigners. Ask them questions about the city, for instance. That's the best way to find out what's on, too.
Can you suggest a good daytrip in the Zurich area?
If you like to walk: Take the train to Mount-?etliberg. From there it's a one and a half hour walk with a spectacular view over the lake to the mountain station Felsenegg. From there a cable car will bring you down to the valley and you are back at Zurich's main station by train in 15 minutes. If the weather's nice: Go on a tour on the lake. A four-hour round trip takes you to Rapperswil and back.
Some travelers will have more time to spend in Switzerland. Where should they go?
There surely are a lot of beautiful spots to visit in Switzerland. But for me, Mayor of the City of Zurich, there is of course just one correct answer to this question: Stay in Zurich! As long as possible!
For more on what to do in Zurich, check out these foodie treats. Or, skip straight to our photo and video coverage of EuroPride Zurich 2009 and our interview with sexy Mr. Gay Switzerland 2009.