Not the conservative city it used to be, the nightlife and entertainment scene in Zurich has come into its own, though visitors shouldn't expect it to be rip-roaring wild either. With most clubs closing relatively early, it's best to get a head start with a few early evening cocktails at a watering hole of the traveller's choice.

A good place to start is at one of the open-air bars for a relaxing drink before heading out to the trendy Zurich-West area, home to some of the city's hottest underground bars and nightclubs. The Old Town is also worth checking out, where Paradeplatz features a range of upmarket lounge and hotel bars.

The former red-light district of Langstrasse is the place to go for an edgier night of biker bars alongside strip clubs - just about anything goes in the area. Being more culturally oriented, concerts, theatre, ballet and opera dominate the scene here.

It's worth picking up a copy of the ZueriTipp, the weekly supplement to the Tages Anzeiger newspaper to see what's on when travellers are in the city.