Half price Zurich

June 20, 2014, 1 Comment

Zurich airport

It’s not that often you get something free of charge in Switzerland, let alone 69 things. The Buy-One-Get-One-Free (or BOGOF to its friends) craze that hit Britain never quite made it to the Alps. Until now. A (relatively) new book of 2-for-1 offers makes going out in and around Zurich far more affordable. So I thought I should give it a try, all in the name of research, of course.

Live-Switzerland is a cut above most books of vouchers, mainly because it looks so smart, with great colour photos and no adverts. And all the info you need in terms of where and when the offers are valid – one side with German text, the other with English. Plus the fact that the range of offers is far more than just a few restaurants (though those are there too), so you can choose from museums, galleries, guided tours and adventure trips. Something for everyone.

Live Switzerland

I had an afternoon free in Zurich, so I roped in a friend to help me put the book to the test. We started with lunch at the Movie Restaurant near the main station. It’s a sort of ersatz Planet Hollywood with cheery staff, a good choice of lunch menus and big portions. Plus free coke or water included with your meal. What more do you need? No problem using the voucher, even without a reservation.

Then it was on to the Landesmuseum for a leisurely meander through a few centuries of all things Swiss. It’s one of my favourite museums but it’s a while since I’ve been, so I was more than happy to walk along the Swiss history timeline and admire the wealth of things on display – such as the posters from the 1971 referendum to give women the vote. And again, no problem at all with the voucher.

Our verdict? We both agreed 10 out of 10 for the book in our not-very-scientific test.


But it’s not completely perfect. Finding your way round the book isn’t easy. The offers are divided into Zurich City, Canton and Region, which is fair enough, but then listed alphabetically by company. As is the index. So there’s no way of simply finding all the restaurants or museums, for example, in the book. Or what is good for kids. The maps and coloured dots just weren’t clear enough – it needs some sort of  cross-referenced index which isn’t in the same order as the entries.

And a couple of the offers are quite a way out of Zurich, such as in Appenzellerland or Lake Lucerne. That of course is a bonus for many users who want a day out of the city but if, like me, you’re coming to Zurich itself for the day, then it could feel like they are wasted vouchers. You can’t please everyone all the time!

The best thing is that every single offer is 2-for-1, whether it’s main course at a city centre restaurant or a sailing course on the lake. There are a few restrictions here and there (eg maximum value of the free main course) but generally what you see is what you get. That I liked.

You can buy the book Live-Switzerland at shops like Orell Füssli or direct online here. It costs 69 francs, which is quickly covered by an offer or two, and is valid til the end of the year. Or have a flick through it online.

I’ll certainly be using it to BOGOF again, most likely for the guided tour at Zurich airport.


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