The city's nightlife is becoming less conservative, but don't expect it to be too wild. Most of the nightspots in Zurich close down early, so you should begin early. Concerts, theater, opera, and ballet all flourish here.
For information and tips for your stay in Zurich (hotels, sights of interest, culture, excursions, shopping, restaurants, cafes, nightlife and events), pick up a copy of "City Guide," available free at the tourist office.
The Performing Arts
No special discount tickets are granted. All kinds of tickets are now sold online. A useful website to buy tickets is www.worldticketshop.com.
The Zurich Opera is the most outstanding local company, performing at the Opernhaus. The Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, performing at Tonhalle, also enjoys an international reputation.
The Birthplace of Dada
Zurich's art-conscious cognoscenti still patronize Cabaret Voltaire at Spielgelgasse 1 (tel. 043/268-57-20; take the tram marked Rathaus). The art movement known as "Dada," started here in 1916, flourishing until 1922.
Dada was anti-war, anti-bourgeois, and anarchist in nature. The movement later influenced everything from surrealism to pop art and punk rock.
One critic claimed, "Dada philosophy is the sickest, most paralyzing, and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man." When World War II came to an end, most Dadaists left Zurich, returning to their home countries. But Cabaret Voltaire lingered on, drawing such painters as Paul Klee, de Chirico, and Max Ernst.
Over the decades, the building fell into disrepair, and a group of artists, calling themselves "neo-Dadaists," took it over in 2001. They occupied the building until evicted by the police. Since that time, the original site has been restored and reopened as a cabaret with an extensive program of events and exhibitions.
You'll never know until you get here what the entertainment might be. Entrance is free, but you pay, of course, for your drinks. Hours are Tuesday to Friday and Sunday 12:30 to 6:30pm, and Saturday 11am to 7pm.