Zurich's Summertime Big Outdoor Bar
People Party In, On and By The Water
Zurich in the summertime is like being at one big outdoor bar by the water.
Zurich sizzles in the summertime.
Not with the weather, mind you – the temperatures are quite pleasant in the lower to mid-20's C and there's little humidity – but with the nightlife scene.
Actually, it's more than nightlife; it's daylife that spills into the night.
When the weather is good, locals turn out by the thousands to party and play by the water. The cafes are full along River Limmat and a walkway and park that runs for about 3 kilometers along Lake Zurich buzzes like a beehive. And you're likely to get stung by the sensation of it all.
When in Zurich, do at PubClub.com does – have beers by the water!
The summertime scene brings out the beautiful Swiss girls of Zurich.
Table for how many!? They are in high demand by the River Limmat.
The tables of this cafe along the Lake Zurich waterfront is full of people having beers.
All along these two bodies of water are a lot of bodies. Some are walking around, some are eating and drinking (mainly the latter at the cafes) and some are just hanging by the shore. On a nice evening or weekend afternoon there are thousands or people enjoying the scene. It's a dynamic scene, too, full of energy and enthusiasm. There are tour boats, power boats, sailboats and paddleboats.
And because you can drink in the streets in Zurich, you can go to a bar or a food stand and get beers, wine and cocktails to go, and consume them on a bench or walking along the water. At night, the bathhouses become bars.
It's as if the entire waterfront is one huge outdoor bar. Talk about the good 'ol summertime.
Not only that, but people are swimming in Lake Zurich as if it's a lake in the countryside, not in a major city.
With a cafe in the background, these girls stroll along Lake Zurich in the summer.
On any nice summer evening, Zurich 's waterfront is buzzing with activity.
Some people park it in the lakeside park.
If you have – or find a date – hanging out by the water can be quite romantic.
It's an awesome scene, as invigorating to the soul as jumping into the water is for the body. You want to party in Zurich, this is the place to start, be it in the afternoon or before or after dinner. Have a date (or meet someone in a bar)? What's more romantic than going for a stroll, by the water, and stopping to have wine or beer along the river or lake? The cafes along the water where people are sitting out having beers are potential places to meet people.
It even goes strong on Sundays, a rare treat in a country when that day of the week is usually reserved for quiet time with families.
The way for tourists to do this is to grab a beer (PubClub.com got a large can from a stand by the Ferris wheel where the Limmat meets the lake for 6 CHF), and start strolling along the lake. There are people everywhere, even a guy playing piano on the sidewalk.
A saiboat catches the gentle summertime breeze on Lake Zurich.
The summer scene by the River Limmat in Zurich.
Stop wherever you like, or go into a bathhouse and jump in the water (there's a 7 CHF fee to get into the bathhouses during the day, but they have lockers and showers. and provide easy access to floating platforms in the lake, and some have paddleboat rentals).
Now, nobody is going to mistake this for Paradise Beach in July, mind you, but it's one of the best things about being in Switzerland in the summertime.
If you do want a taste of the craziness of Mykonos, then there's this gem: Primitivio. It's a completely outdoor bar further down the Limmat where people have drinks, then jump in the water, have a few more drinks, then jump in the water again. Drink, rinse, repeat. It's as if they are holiday, even if they live in Zurich.
Primitivo is an outdoor beach bar of sorts with summer BBQs.
Along a less busy part of the Limmat, outdoor bars like Primitivo shine day or night.
The bar itself is nothing more than a covered counter but the focus is large bar area with a few tables and even TVs, all under the sun or stars. Heck, there's even a beach volleyball court!
Beers – which as mentioned before you can get to go to walk around up and down the shore – are 6 CHF and 8 CHF for a large, which is about as good a price as you'll find anywhere in Zurich. Primitovo is open from 11 a.m.-midnight(ish) and sells beer and wine and a few food items (chicken, tuna and veggie burger, chicken wings and salads for 10-20 CHF) and on Saturdays and Sundays puts brats on the grill. Its open from the end of April thru September.
There's a couple more places along the river, as well, one of which is called Dynamo.
This part of Zurich easy accessible, just three stops from the main train station on the tram (#4, #13) to Limmatplatz. Cross the bridge and then take the stairs down to the waterfront. You can use the Sheraton as a landmark.
With this kind of activity outdoor from noon to midnight, you can have great nightlife in Zurich without ever even stepping inside a bar.