Zurich surprises visitors in numerous ways. Business travelers accustomed to sprawling European cities like London, Paris or Berlin will relish in the compact urban infrastructure of Zurich, but that doesn’t mean monolithic high-rise ennui. Anyone expecting a wealth of insurance towers, banks and high finance will jump for joy at Zurich’s immediate proximity to swaths of nature, lakeside restaurants and the green outdoors.
“We’re a city with lots of water, with a river flowing through it, lots of parks, the lake, and within an hour you’re in the middle of the mountains where you can go skiing,” says Ricarda Deragisch, project manager Meetings & Conventions at Zurich Tourism. “So it’s a perfect incentive destination if somebody has one day to explore the area. It’s not just a city. It’s so easy to go out into the green.”
For example, just a few minutes away by train and popular all year-round is Uetliberg, Zurich’s very own mountain, 2,850 feet above sea level. Especially in November, the peak of the mountain juts out above the blankets of fog often covering the city during this month. As winter unfolds the hiking trails will convert to sledding runs.
In the city itself, numerous incentive activities will connect groups to the urban fabric. To get work done, groups often congregate outside the main city and then take an excursion into the guts of Zurich proper, as opposed to the other way around.
“This is something that a lot of people like when coming to Zurich,” Deragisch says. “They can have their meeting a little bit in the outskirts, and they can take a historical tram or an eTukTuk to the city center, have their aperetif, or fondue, or your meal, while exploring the city.”
For example, Food on Wheels provides a 90-minute eTukTuk ride for two to four people. In other cases, the Fondue Tram makes a circular route through the city, covering all the sites, and the Apero Tram offers wine and Italian antipasti while hitting the primary places of interest.
3 Terrific Small Hotels
Atlantis by Giardino
With an elevated location at the foot of Uetliberg mountain and after completing extensive overhauls, upon opening next month Atlantic by Giardino will feature 95 guest rooms and five meeting rooms.
Kameha Grand Zurich
Marcel Wanders designed 245 guest rooms, including six business suites, at the Kameha Grand Zurich, which opened last March. The property includes several event rooms, all of which can be connected, accommodating a total of 960 people.
The Marktgasse Hotel
One of Zurich’s oldest inns, located right in the middle of town and recently completing a careful multi-year renovation that retained its architectural character, this boutique property now features 39 individually furnished rooms, plus a salon and library that can be booked for small meetings.