Undoubtedly the Gay Capital of Switzerland, Zurich might have a reputation as an uptight hard-working financial center but is also home to a vivacious, energetic and thriving gay scene and plenty of artsy, post-industrial grit.
We did not expect to describe any visit to Gay Zurich as liberating, but there is no better way to sum up the exciting, active and innovative queer scene we unearthed here with something for absolutely everyone. Seriously, don’t let its old-world facade fool you, this city could wear out even the most energetic boy or girl who tries to take it on all at once.
Voguing balls, seedy sex clubs, queer music festivals, epic circuit parties, opulent gay cafes, and all-inclusive nightlife are just the beginning. There is also the historic old town, gorgeous Lake Zurich, world-class dining, fabulous accommodation options and contemporary cultural centers aplenty. And let us not forget all the gorgeous natural attractions of Switzerland that can easily be accessed on the countries famously efficient rail system.
A city as much in touch with its past as it is looking to the future, we are absolutely obsessed for good reason! And the fusion of French and German cultures in Switzerland – with a dash of Italian – have only made things all the more fascinating. In German-speaking Zurich, you will find a squeaky clean city and sprawling outdoor beer gardens in the German tradition, but you also get the fashion, wine, and preoccupation with sensual pleasures and relaxation of the French.
In fact, open-minded Zurich has always been a very sexually liberal city and homosexual activity has been legal here since 1942. Sadly however same-sex marriage still alludes Switzerland and for now queer folk here must make do with inferior civil unions (even if Switzerland was the first country on Earth where gay civil unions were voted in by a public referendum, not by parliament – and with a massive majority to boot!). Full joint adoption and IVF access also remain unavailable in Switzerland though we hope this changes soon.
No matter where your interest lie – culture, nightlife, food, wine, luxury stays or nature – this culturally vibrant and utterly animated city will ensure you don’t leave disappointed. We don’t know how Gay Zurich has managed to fly under the radar for so long as this sensualist’s playground is just too fabulous to stay away…
Gay Zurich Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Zurich Switzerland
In this article we will cover...
Attractions in Gay Zurich
Obviously, being gay doesn’t define which attractions most of us will want to see in any destination and therefore most queer travelers will just want to check out the top things to see in Zurich during the day!
There is a lot to see and do here, but we found our favorite memories were lounging at the Lake Zurich beachside on a hot summer day, dancing till dawn surrounded by fabulous queers or exploring all of the gastronomic delights on offer…
However, if you’re someone who wants to see it all, we have put together a few of our other things to do in Zurich that are sure to keep you busy! Rest assured, Zurich is a very safe and progressive city, and gay travelers here do not need to take any extra precautions regarding public displays of affection.
Top Highlights of Zurich
- Zürich Card – If you want to discover the secrets of Zürich, a great way to explore this incredible city is using the 24-hour or 72-hour Zürich Card. You’ll enjoy unlimited 2nd class rides on the city’s tram, bus, train, boat, and cableway – plus you can even take short boat trips or hop on the Limmat river cruise for free. If you’re an art or history lover, make use of the discounted or free entry to over 40 museums in the city.
- Swiss Chocolate Walking Tour – Take a chocolate walking tour of Zurich, and let your sweet tooth lead the way around the city’s artisan confectioners and chocolate producers. With a guide at your side, you’ll sample the signature Zurich sweet of Luxemburgerli, along with pralines and Champagne truffles. Learn about Swiss chocolate in the city, and check out some of the city’s landmarks such as the Grossmünster Church and Lindenhof.
- Sunset Tour and Cheese Fondue Dinner – A romantic way to the best of Zürich with a visit to the famous Lindt & Sprungli chocolate shop, a cable car ride, and a 4-course cheese fondue dinner and a homemade chocolate cake with breathtaking sunset views.
- Glacier Express – Experience the majesty of the Swiss Alps by train on this amazing day trip from Zurich. Explore the Old Town of Chur — Graubünden’s ancient capital — then board the famous Glacier Express. Travel through the Grand Canyon of Switzerland to Disentis in the Rhine valley, and onward through Andermatt and Brig. Along the way, take in spectacular views over Switzerland’s soaring peaks and stop off to sightsee with a private guide. Then, travel along Lake Thun’s beautiful shoreline back to Zurich.
- Jungfraujoch Day Tour – One of the top things to do in Europe – quite literally. This UNESCO World Heritage Site hidden in the Swiss Alps is home to the world’s highest train station at 3500 meters. Hop aboard your comfortable transfer in Zurich then journey through the Swiss countryside to through the Bernese Oberland and picturesque Interlaken before boarding a cogwheel train in Grindelwald for a once in a lifetime ride to Jungfraujoch. On your way to the top, marvel at the stunning views of the world-famous mountain ranges – and once you’ve reached the summit, try out some of the activities available including the Sphinx Observation Terrace, the Ice Palace, and more. Or just take it easy and enjoy a splendid meal with views you’ll not soon forget.
- Thermal Baths and Spa with Panoramic Views – Take a bath in the mystic cellar of the old Hürlimann brewery’s hundred-year-old vaulted stone walls and enjoy beautiful views of Zurich’s skyline from the rooftop thermal pool. Immerse yourself and let the distinctive architecture and unique building design take you to another world.
- Swiss National Museum – Showcasing the history of Switzerland from its beginnings up to the present day, this is a great way to spend a cold winter day gaining insight into the Swiss identity and the rich tapestry of this country’s history and culture. There are also temporary exhibitions covering issues of current interest.
- Swiss Travel Pass – Use the Swiss Travel Pass and get access to unlimited rides on trains, boats, buses, and premium panorama trains across the country for 3, 4, 8, or 15 consecutive or non-consecutive days! Once you’re in Switzerland, just present your pass at the station to begin visits to Switzerland’s most popular destinations plus get free access to 500+ museums and galleries and discounts on other means of transportation!
- Kunsthaus Zürich – A multifaceted museum offers attractive exhibitions of international scope and one of the largest art collections in Switzerland, with works from the 13th century to the present day.
- Swiss Finance Museum – Find out about the first modern stock corporation, revolutionary business ideas, and how huge corporations have emerged from the 16th century to the present day. The permanent exhibition of the Swiss Finance Museum offers a comprehensive look into the Swiss financial market and provides fascinating links between economic history and the modern innovations of the financial sector.
- Zurich Old Town Walking Tour – Delve into Switzerland’s colorful past and discover top Zurich attractions on this Zurich walking tour. Follow your guide along the beautiful Bahnhofstrasse, where locals mingle in bustling boutiques, art galleries, and cafes. Head towards Lindenhof, and discover local landmarks including the City Hall and St. Peter’s Church. Stroll the winding alleys of Niederdorf in the Old Town, home to the attractive churches of Fraumünster and Grossmünster.
Gay Things To Do In Zurich
- Werdinsel Beach – A cute island for getting an all-over located in the Limmat river. After the nude section, you will find the gay area and plenty of hot guys, but police checks frequently ensure there is no cruising. Best to have your fun back at your gay Zurich hotel after…
- Kweer Ball – A dance celebration of uniqueness, inspired by queer ball culture of New York City. If one of your favorite LGBT TV shows is Pose, or you love Paris is Burning, you’ll not want to miss one of their events. Kweer Ball is safe and playful space for all the colours of the rainbow and letters of the alphabet. Whether you are a leather daddy, fierce kween, voguing master or something in between, KWEER BALL is the place that celebrates your uniqueness. So come on in and lose yourself on the dance floor. Be fabulous, be you! Besides amazing, opulent and creative balls – they also organize workshops.
- Erotik Factory – With over 1000 square meters you will find everything your senses desire, 365 days a year The soft to bondage and SM – you will find it with us. There is an extremely wide selection of toys, and free discreet advice from well-trained and experienced staff should you need it. There is also video booths and a cruising area in the basement which is popular with gay men in Zurich.
- Barfüsser – A historic house at Spitalgasse in Zurich that dates back to the year 1247 and was once part of the Barfüsser monastery where monks offered shelter and took care of sick people. Opened as a gay bar in 1956 (making it one of Europe’s oldest gay bars) the “Fuess” quickly became one of the most important meeting places for gays in the whole of Europe – they even used to print the influential gay publication “Der Kreis” outback. Countless police razzias ended the carefree hours in Barfüsser, but the space again reopening in 2002 with a fabulous sushi restaurant out front and a gay-popular lounge with DJ providing a meeting point outback. Best on Friday’s and Saturdays before a night of dancing.
- QueerNest – An experimental queer space / monthly workshop on sexuality and bodywork in Zurich where you have the opportunity to encounter other beings in a playful and friendly atmosphere. Relax and connect with yourself and others through mindful touch. Celebrate diversity and inclusion while you encounter other people from the LGBTQIA + community as you are guided through various exercises. Discover your ability to show affection and let as much intimacy develop as you like, without becoming sexual. Let go of your insecurities and consciously experiment with closeness and distance, setting you boundaries. Be courageous and authentic!
- Cafe Odeon – A coffee house with a rich history going back over 100 years. Much like the coffee houses of Budapest and Vienna, an array of glittering personalities from the arts, culture, science and politics world have relaxed here over the years including Einstein, Lenin, and James Joyce. Today Odeon is a chic, artsy and rather gay space – especially in late evenings – for drinks and light bites. Elegant high ceilings, mirror walls and outdoor tables near the river complete the appeal.
- Macho City Shop – A gay porn emporium in the Old Town of Zurich offering a huge range of DVDs, books, magazines, and gay adult toys.
- Badi Tiefenbrunnen – The gay beach of Zurich, with a fabulous lakeside location by Lake open to the public from May to September. There is also a public open-air swimming pool with admission costing 8€. The gay area is in from changing area next to the restaurant where many guys can be seen showcasing the results from long winters in the gym…
- Ministry of Kink – A gay lifestyle/fetish shop for the modern, gay man with a varied range of fetish and everyday clothing, shoes and accessories (including sportswear, leather, rubber) Sometimes cheeky, sometimes classic, sometimes keen to experiment – MoK has been an integral part of the Swiss gay scene for over 30 years and will certainly be able to meet your kinky needs, whatever they may be.
Gay Events In Zurich
- Arosa Gay Ski Week (January) – 7 days of fun in the sun and snow of Switzerland. With more than 600 guests, this colorful week has become one of the best gay and lesbian winter vacation events in Europe and one of our favorite gay ski weeks in the world. Imagine sparkling alpine days with fresh powder, breath-taking mountain views, friendly fireside chats, warming mulled wine, awesome parties, delicious dining, and great gay camaraderie. The perfect mix of beautiful surroundings, party, and delightful accommodations.
- Gay Snowhappening Sölden (March) – Winter sports and party-loving participants meet for another of the best-known gay ski week in Europe. The mixture of sun, snow, spring skiing, parties, and like-minded men and women awaits winter sports enthusiasts. In addition to joint ski adventures, the après-ski and evening party program is one of the highlights of the Gay Snowhappening. International DJs heat up the gay winter athletes at various parties and those who prefer a less beat-heavy look forward to events such as karaoke night, bowling fun or the hut and tennis evenings.
- Pink Apple (April) – The largest and most important queer film festival in Switzerland offering up around approximately 120 films from all over the world annually – features, short films and documentaries – and about the same number of fringe event consists of numerous Q & As, panels, lectures, public viewings and, occasionally, exhibitions and masterclasses.
- Zurich Pride (June) – The peaceful demonstration parade of Zurich Pride is the political manifestation of the LGBTIQ community across Switzerland and its friends, and Switzerland’s biggest gay event annually. There is also a fabulous two-day festival where musical acts and DJs will be seen and heard on the music stage. Entrance is always free. As part of wider Pride events, there will be plenty of club parties, workshops, panel discussions and intriguing events in the surrounding days and weeks. The best time to visit Gay Zurich – just be sure to have your queer Pride outfit ready before you go…
- Street Parade (August) – The biggest event on the planet for lovers of electronic music where everyone is welcome – gay, straight or unicorn. Year after year, the most colorful house and techno parade in the world fascinates hundreds of thousands of dance fans from every continent. Around 30 Love Mobiles, brightly decorated trucks packed with giant music systems, DJs and party people, drive at walking pace through the crowd of people around Lake Zurich. In addition to these 30 mobile platforms, 8 stages along the route round off the contemporary electronic music selection with top DJs, live acts and multimedia.
- Lila Queer Festival (September) – One fabulous weekend dedicated to celebrating the queer community. Day and night you will experience international artists, music, dance, poetry, and wild performances. Come mingle with enchanting people on and in front of the stage and embark on a voyage of discovery. Why a queer festival? The short answer: Because it’s fun. The long answer: Queer culture challenges, criticizes, strengthens and enables. The creation of spaces and art forms creates meeting places for our queer subculture. Music, dance and performances are our way of turning the world upside down. Sexualities, youth, relationships, bodies, identities, and friendships are reinterpreted. Queer performances, drag, music, films, workshops and more are just the beginning.
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Zurich Switzerland
Being a pretty liberal country when it comes to sexuality, almost every hotel, and hostel in Zurich can be considered open to LGBT guests. After all, being gay-friendly is about creating an environment of inclusiveness, where all people are treated equally and diverse is welcomed and respected. You won’t have to hide your same-sex relationship or sexuality when you check-in at any of these fabulous hotels – but obviously you don’t have to declare it either.
Elegant design, helpful staff, and excellent value for money never hurt anyone though! Some hotels in Zurich, however, are actively courting queer adventurers and have gone above and beyond in recognizing the LGBT community. Here you’ll also be around like-minded people, often including the staff, so you can relax and enjoy your trip. Given the popularity of these hotels with gay travelers, we would say their efforts have paid off – and these are also the hotels we have chosen to include in our gay Zurich guide.
While there are no exclusively gay hotels in Zurich, any hotel in the the the center of Zurich near the two gay areas is sure to have more than a few gay guests staying – plus being a stumble home from all the gay bars is pretty desirable. Otherwise, we recommend finding a hotel that is as central as possible, so as to minimize travel time during the day or to the best nightlife spots after dark.
There are hundreds of other good hotel options in Zurich if you don’t find what you are looking for but we are confident you’ll find something here for you. Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap place to crash after a night of partying or a chic designer option to sip cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous people – Gay Zurich as something for everyone!
- 25hours Hotel Zürich Langstrasse ☆☆☆☆ – An ultrahip hotel from the wonderfully gay-friendly 25hours hotel group. Red high heels and fishnet stockings, ties and tailor-made suits – Located at the junction between the lively Langstrasse and the ultra-modern Europaallee, worlds collide here as business meetings take place during the day, while at night, red high heels and fishnet stockings pound the pavement while neon lights flicker above the bars. Inspired by the contrasts between banking and the red-light district, between art and capitalism, the 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse created a self-contained microcosm with a regularly changing resident artist program and what is quite possibly the world’s first pawnshop in a high-end hotel. On the ground floor, is a trendy gay-popular bar and modern Asian dining while upstairs is 170 rooms, each comfortable sanctuaries with design elements inspired by themes from the red light district, the bourgeoisie, or the world’s penthouses. There are also loaner bikes and Minis available, a chic sauna, gym, and chilled lounge with record players and games. Our absolute favorite hotel in Zurich – no matter your sexual orientation.
- The Dolder Grand ☆☆☆☆☆ – Located between city and nature, this landmark luxury city resort is popular with gay explorers looking for a discerning stay boasting an elevated location and inspiring moments that will be remembered long after you leave. Set in a regale building dating back to 1889, inside there are opulent rooms, two restaurants, a gorgeous seasonal dining terrace, piano bar, spa, pool, and gym. A shuttle to downtown Zurich is also provided for free. Immerse yourself in another world and experience an unforgettable time at The Dolder Grand. Spoil yourself and your loved ones with a very special stay.
- Le Bijou ☆☆☆☆ – The exceptional service of a world-class hotel, in the privacy and personal surroundings of a beautifully designed apartment. Welcome to Le Bijou; welcome to Switzerland. Each Le Bijou apartment features their signature aesthetic, designed and finished with Swiss quality and attention to detail. Natural materials such as fine wooden flooring, Italian tiles, and award-winning designer furnishings sit alongside cutting-edge integrated technology to create an inviting, stylish space within the privacy of a luxury serviced apartment.
- citizenM Zürich ☆☆☆☆ – We first fell in love with the citizenM concept in Shanghai and Seattle, and now they have landed in Zurich – and have been a roaring success. Their philosophy is quite simple: in a city of big sights and big business, you need big sleeps. You also need a luxurious power shower, and enough entertainment to fill any free time you have left (if that’s even possible in Zurich). While the rooms are modern and thoughtful appointed, there is a buzz throughout this that is utterly infectious – tempting you to put up your feet, grab a book, or flip through the TV channels all you want. Your home away from home, and a hotel like no other.
- Hotel City Zürich Design & Lifestyle ☆☆☆ – A contemporary hotel offering no-frills hotel rooms and a central location close to all the highlights of Gay Zurich.
- easyHotel Zürich ☆☆ – An extremely basic but gay-popular hotel offering clean and comfortable, cheap accommodation in the heart of the city. Great for a short stay or weekend – don’t expect much in the way of amenities or design, however.
- Platzhirsch ☆☆☆ – Centrally located in the old town of Zurich, this owner-managed hotel offers attractive deals for an unforgettable stay. Close to all the gay bars and nightclubs, and just steps from Heaven – the cities biggest gay club. There is also the gay-popular Platzhirsch Bar to tempt you out every night and is a great way to meet locals and travelers to head out with.
- Zürich Overnight ☆☆– A gay bed and breakfast situated close to the heart of Zurich in Kilchberg, the first suburban village on the west bank of Lake Zurich. Close to public transportation which will connect you to the whole city – which is easy when you consider Zurich is a much smaller city than Munich, Paris or Brussels. The downtown is only 12 minutes away from the B&B but you will still have amazing views of Lake Zurich and the Alps…Simple and affordable, here you will find a friendly atmosphere, sauna, garden and swimming pool to enjoy and meet other guests. A great alternative to conventional business hotel rooms.
- Old Town Hostel Otter ☆☆ – A backpacker hostel in old town Zurich with an onsite café and bar to meet locals and other travelers, dorms and private rooms. Switzerland can be expensive so this unfussy accommodation option is a good way to save costs and enjoy a social environment.
Gay Nightlife in Zurich
We are not even sure where to start as the gay nightlife in Zurich is amongst the best in Europe and took us a little by surprise.
If you are as overwhelmed as we are, the only thing you need to know is that the Old Town (District 1) and the Langstrasse quarter (District 4) is the hub of LGBT+ nightlife in Zurich…But by no means the only place to spend the night with your global queer family!
Roaming gay party series in Zurich are all the range currently – as we also found in Vienna, Frankfurt, and Dusseldorf – but we have only listed the most active and fabulous, as there are almost too many to count! There is only two permanent gay clubs in Zurich but these parties more than make up for that. Not to mention they keep things fresh and innovative.
Use our Gay Zurich Map at the end if you’re lost, but there is plenty of bars, cocktail lounges, glitter bearded queens and bear dens littered across Zurich to satisfy even the most discerning of gay travelers. Oh, and speaking of discerning…You know that uptight Swiss stereotype? Turns out, everyone here knows how to unbutton and let loose at night – though we think the alcohol might help.
Still, some guys here are still rather uncompromising and blunt – so don’t take it personally. Much like in Las Vegas and Tel Aviv, people here exceedingly direct and to the point. Besides that get ready to have fun and let loose as the Swiss really know how to party
In fact, proportionately Zurich has more clubs than any other European city…
Gay Bars In Zurich
- Predigerhof Bistro Bar – The only the gay bistro bar in Zurich open daily 2 pm till 2 am, 365 days a year. Here you may not only quench your thirst but enjoy hot and cold snacks and a wonderful summer garden. With marble-topped tables, wood beams and reasonable prices this is a great spot for a first date or meeting for drinks.
- Barometer – A new and comfy industrial gay lounge bar in the heart of the district 4 near Langstrasse. Relaxed and friendly, a wide range of drinks and dishes can also be enjoyed in the small outdoor terrace though we recommend the house specialty: a vodka slush!
- Männerzone – A popular gay cruise bar where men who like men, guys and bears gather together. Here you will find an uncomplicated atmosphere with a garage look. The focus here is actually on their store which sells fetish gear focussed on leather, rubber and army attire – but on Fridays and Saturday nights the bar takes over and is often packed with mature guys.
- Petra’s Tip Top Bar – One of the only gay drag bars in Zurich where Petra, one of the most famous drag queen performers in Zurich, ensures a night here is never boring. Expect plenty of pop and schlager music, and a nightly performance you won’t soon forget.
- Daniel H. – A gay / opened-minded gastropub offering a friendly wood-floored venue, classic Swiss dishes, and outdoor tables. The trendy bar by Daniel H. is a popular meeting place for relaxed chill-out evenings with a large selection of drinks and an ever-changing DJ program to set the mood. You can drink and gossip in the lounge, or sit back and relax by the fireplace in the winter. A low-key destination for those who want to explore Gay Zurich without diving into the ‘scene’.
- Cranberry – Zurich’s most popular gay cocktail bar that has been the place to meet since 1997 for friendly hospitality and amazing drinks. The latest refurbishment in 2019 changed the interior look and feel, adding new colors, flooring, furniture and a lounge area. The Campari Room on the upper floor is generally open on Friday and Saturday from 8 pm until the bar closes. Look out for their fabulous events including RuPaul’s Drag Race viewings, Balkan nights and karaoke. A chill spot to hang with cool people, nice bartenders, and marvelous cocktails.
- PlatZHirsch Bar – Conveniently located in Niederdorf Quater next to Heaven, you will find everything you need for relaxing moments at this gay-popular hotel bar. Lots of light-filled space, award-winning Swiss Made design, friendly service, an exclusive wine selection, a refreshing cocktail menu, and party-starting music played from a high-end surround sound system. Largely recommended by virtue of its location and laid-back vibes, but their mojitos are worthy of a visit alone and will have you dreaming of a hot summer night in Punta Cana, Miami or Puerto Vallarta.
- Infinity – A meeting point for gays & friends in Niederdorf, reopened in 2017 by new owners Sandro and Remo. Enjoy a beer at the bar, make yourself comfortable in their atmospheric lounge on the upper floor, or challenge your friends to a duel at table football, darts or at the Retro Pac Man table. Expect Latin beats every Friday and on Saturday’s its chart hits from yesterday and today. You can often also get a drink here on Friday nights and get free entrance to the legendary gay club, Heaven.
Gay Nightclubs In Zurich
- Heaven Zurich – The most popular LGBTIQ + club in Zurich offering fabulous vibes and wild nights surrounded by queer company. Well-known DJs, talented newcomers, drag queens, hot boys, and fun crowds ensure that Heaven is a colorful cosmos for everyone and offers a line up of events as diverse as its visitors. Sometimes underground, sometimes pop, sometimes Balkan – but never boring. Located in the Old Town of Zurich, a short stumble from most of the gay bars – this is the spot for late-night dancing for those with eclectic music tastes. Clean, safe and vivacious – Fridays and Saturdays after 1 am is the best time to visit! Not related to the popular London gay club, Heaven, but with similar vibes.
- Bronx Club – The newest gay club in Zurich offering queers a new opportunity to dance in excessive celebration. Every weekend the club offers various parties with live DJs and shows, and – thankfully – the admission and drink prices have been kept deliberately low so that everyone can afford a night in the Bronx. There is a fun and crowd dance floor, great décor, friendly staff and plenty of cute boys.
- Alte Kaserne – A gay nightclub in Zurich that focusses on providing distinctive and lively queer events that defy traditional conventions. Thanks to the varied musical orientation, no two nights are the same and even big international circuit party groups set up here from time to time including the REVOLVER Party (Berlin), Matinée (Barcelona) and La Troya (Ibiza). Check upcoming events on their website but don’t miss the chance to dance the night away at this amazing venue perfectly suited to concerts and parties!
Gay Parties In Zurich
- Heldenbar @ Provitreff – The longest-running regular gay event in Zurich taking place at Provitreff Bar every Wednesday night from 8 pm. Queer, gay, lesbian, bi, straight….Everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy multimedia electro-punk type performances and mid-week party vibes.
- King Kong @ Dynamo – A monthly LGBT party in Zurich committed to creating a better free, open and tolerant society. A space for those who value mutual respect and want to party, dance, sing along and have fun together all night long. Expect multiple bars and two fabulous dance floors: one with classic pop hits and another with groovy, electro beats. Several bars ensure that there is enough liquid. King Kong is always a fabulous night – and has been so successful they now take place in Bern on occasion.
- Behave @ Frieda’s Büxe Club – A anything but straight / heterofriendly gay party taking place every month or so with unique themes and Tech-House, Deep-House and Electro music.
- Explicit @ KAUZ – A sex-positive queer dance party and a counter-protest to queer censorship taking place 4-5 times per year. Unfiltered, unrated and uncensored – this is not Zurich as you would imagine it! With an epic line up of DJs and two playrooms (one of which is All Gender and the other is for people who identify as a woman only), Explicit is guaranteed to be one unforgettable night!
- Offstream – An alternative nightlife option for the queer community in Zurich offering a relaxed meeting place for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans people and other weird birds as opposed to a heavily house-oriented and gender-separated club night. The Offstream is organized in changing locations in Zurich – usually once a month – and occasionally makes guest appearances in other cities. A queer dance floor where the music is a focus -expect indie, rock, pop, and electro as well as trashy numbers and pearls from the wider queer disco universe.
- BOYAHKASHA @ Plaza Klub – One of the most famous queer parties in Switzerland taking place in Zurich since 2004 and becoming a mecca for the gay party crowd and their friends. Taking place on average once a month, Boyahkasha is known for fresh beats playing on two floors, euphoric moods and a fun range of patrons from hipsters to bears and everything in-between.
- Angels Events – The leading gay parties organizers in Switzerland since 1994, the team at Angel Events have a sterling reputation for effortlessly bringing together fabulous people, international DJs, and world-class shows. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Gay Zurich while they have an event you can trust this is the place to be! Some of their most popular events including the White Party, Black Party, Kitsch Party and new Flash Party all of which take place once a year and attract a national and international party crowd. Young crowds, sexy dancers, spectacular visuals and sickening sounds…whats not to love!
Gay Saunas & Cruising Clubs in Zurich
Want to explore the naughtier side of Zurich or looking more than just a stiff drink?
Well, you are in luck since Zurich has the largest gay sauna scene in Switzerland and you are highly unlikely to end up disappointed (unlikely chatting with those faceless accounts on Grindr or the other hook up apps…). Sauna culture in Zurich might not be as wild as Madrid, Berlin or Paris but is still is far more mainstream and accepted than in North America. Most of these pleasure palaces are open until midnight and most popular after work or on the weekends – though Zurich’s only gay cruise/fetish club is open until the early hours of the morning…
We did not experience any issues as a non-German speaking foreigner and found the crowds every international. Not that anyone should be visiting bathhouses with the hopes of finding stimulating conversation… If you are nervous, we have a guide to visiting a gay bathhouse for the first time which should help set your mind at ease…
- Moustache – Our favorite gay sauna in Zurich and a popular go-to spot for fun and relaxation in a pleasant atmosphere. Boasting a Finnish sauna, bio sauna, whirlpool bath, smoker’s lounge, dark room, video cabins, and playrooms there is just so much to love here. Tucked away in a nondescript building on the fourth floor, don’t let looks deceive you and once you enter is quite apparent the team here goes to extra-ordinary effort to ensure Mustache is clean, high-end and elegant. There are various prices depending on age and time of visit, with discounts for frequent visitors. We loved that 5 towels were including in entrance and you can get re-entry on the same day free of charge to either Moustache Sauna or Mann-O-Mann sauna in St Gallen. Weekly and monthly events are clearly listed on their website.
- Apollo – The oldest gay sauna in Zurich just 5 minutes from Zurich’s main station. Once inside you will discover a pleasurable oasis of well-being spread over two floors, completely private and discreet. There is a Finnish sauna, steam bath, bar, and cabin area are on the lower floor, and a relaxation area is on the top with a darkroom and private cabin The team here attach great importance to cleanliness, discretion, and a family atmosphere and so Apolla is popular with many mature international business travelers. Open 365 days a year.
- Sauna My Lord – The most intimate gay sauna in Zurich – conveniently located close to the city center. Here you will find gays, bisexuals and married men who value discretion – and everyone from students to pensioners, bears to twinks, trans and more. There is nude yoga held twice a month and events for cross-dressers/ Lingerie lovers /trans-people every Monday from 5 pm. Be warned there are only a few rooms including a darkroom, glory holes and dry sauna but no pool, no steam room, and no private cabins
- Paragonya Wellness Club – With a whirlpool, bio sauna, steam bath, and solarium on 600 meters squared covering two floors, Paragonya is Zurich’s biggest gay sauna. It is just a shame it is frequented almost exclusively by escorts. Open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m there is a discrete cruising area and the rest cabins available, but most people complain of being harassed by the ‘professionals’ here or being asked for money after the fact. For this reason, we probably would not recommend it. All prices include bath towels, shower gel, and body lotion and a lockable wardrobe – plus there are discounted prices for young or frequent visitors. Just don’t expect any fun free…
- Rage – A huge industrial gay cruise club in Zurich that is up there with some of the most wonderfully-filthy we have experienced anywhere in Europe including kink capitals like Antwerp, Prague, Barcelona, and Copenhagen. If you are a lover of hardcore fetish you will want to make the effort to get here (Rage is located in Schlieren on the outskirts of Zurich). If you can imagine it, you can find it here from mazes, cabins, and slings to showers, glory holes and a well-stocked bar. Check their website for upcoming events which range from sexy sports shorts/underwear parties to naked to the legendary “Bay of Pigs” Fetish Gear nights. Hot gay guys in briefs — or less. Count us in! Split into multiple areas, Sector C (1st floor) is a full-on fetish with strict dress codes though Sector A (basement) and Sector B (ground floor) have no dress code. Everything is meticulously explained on their website and there are lockers onsite. Every Friday and Saturday the night bus/train runs from Zurich to Schlieren and back, where you can just walk 5 minutes – or if you have a car there is free parking on site.