Zürich is Switzerland’s largest and most diverse city. It’s a business hub and a tourist destination known for its luxurious lifestyle, high-end shops, fancy chocolates and even fancier watches. But there’s so much more to it than this.
Away from the glitz of Bahnhofstrasse and Paradeplatz is a city that’s surprisingly small and intimate, punctuated with cosy hangouts, lush green spaces and hidden hotspots that are well worth venturing beyond the usual tourist attractions for.
Even better? Most of them are just a bike (or e-scooter) ride away. Worst case, the network of always-punctual public transportation options will get you where you want to be. But for the ultimate experience, we suggest you go for a run. Obviously.
From the banks of the Limmat river to the peak of the Uetliberg mountain, Zürich is incredibly runnable. And it’s full of natural zones where you can relax and catch your breath – which is just as well because the stunning views you’ll discover are sure to take it away.
The greater Zürich area is home to 1.4 million people. Internationals from an estimated 172 different countries make up an impressive 32% of the city’s population, adding an unmistakably multi-cultural twist to its charm.
The official language is German but, like most of Switzerland the language you’ll hear the most is actually a unique Swiss German dialect — züridütsch in this case. But if you’re thinking of visiting then there’s no need for a crash course, you should be fine with English.
Being in our home city, we had quite a few choices when picking your guide. Mike is a UX designer at On, and he’s lived and worked in Zürich for most of his adult life. He loves being outside and he loves to move. In fact, he’s tried his hand at pretty much every sport you can think of — from golf to Crossfit.
Mike takes a varied approach to training – regularly finishing or breaking up runs with bodyweight exercises. And he’s a firm believer in the ‘sharing is caring’ mantra, as he’s well known at On HQ for rounding up random groups of team members to take part in lunchtime workouts – followed, of course, by high-fives and hearty meal.
“I love how simple running is. A pair of shoes and some clothes is all you need. And it can be anything you want; a break in the day, meditation, sport, competition or self-improvement,” he says.