Sport, Health & Wellness | Monocle

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Flussbad Oberer Letten
While most of the city’s badis are lakeside, Flussbad Oberer Letten is perched on the banks of the Limmat river in the heart of Zürich. The flussbad (river pool) was designed by architect couple Elsa and Ernst Burckhardt-Blum in 1952 and features a two-metre-high diving platform and 400-metre-long swimming channel. Its main draw, however, is its racing current: the water is fast – and fun. Bathers are propelled to Pier West, only to hop out further downstream, run back and do it all again. Going with the flow has never been so enjoyable.

Oberer Letten
Going with the flow


Badi culture is gradually letting its hair down thanks to Frauenbadi’s strong example. Cue Barfussbar – or barefoot bar – Frauenbadi’s youthful alter ego. A quaint women-only lido by day and a lively river bar by night, Frauenbadi’s split persona is a result of the city’s relaxation of badi regulations. Established in 1837, this institution kick-started the zeitgeist of badi bathing in 1888. Frauenbadi has the charm of a British bathing establishment, without compromising its sense of Helvetic elegance. A trio of restaurateurs, Glen Müller, Anna Meier and Dany Pfyl, took over in 2016, vowing to complement the bar’s cocktail menu with kiosk snacks and fresh juices. “We want to show that badi culture has adapted to the demands of modern-day leisure,” says Müller. From 20.00, DJ sets and cocktails lure locals here until dusk.



Paddleboarders on the banks of Lake Zürich

Lake Zürich


Sports club
Samigo Sports Club

For a workout among the city’s physically elite, Samigo Sports Club is the place. Located in the heart of Zürich, the club’s rooftop basketball court overlooks Lake Zürich and doubles as an open-air yoga studio and social area, depending on the time of day. Book a class online – you can choose everything from boxing to yoga and bootcamps – before stopping by the adjoining garden restaurant for a well-deserved post-workout pizza and cocktail.


Oyu’s holistic approach to wellbeing extols the benefits of Ayurvedic techniques and traditional Chinese medicine. The central location seems surprising: massages are usually synonymous with a slower pace of life but Oyu aims to subvert this idea. “Our guests want treatments and preventative rituals that can be integrated into everyday life, so our central location is ideal,” says managing director Nicole Muret. Supported by its parent company, Bad Zurzach, and Baden Health Promotion Foundation, which already runs the Zurzach Care rehabilitation clinic and Therme Zurzach spa, Oyu’s teachings build on 60 years of expertise in the healthcare sector.

Calming environs of Oyu


In summer, the promenades and waterfront gathering spots that frame Lake Zürich come alive with groups of young people perching side-by-side with families and older locals. On sunny days and balmier evenings, people enjoy ice creams and music while there is a palpable feeling of joy in the air. The Seepromenade on the lake’s west bank is an especially sought-after recreation spot, with sandy beaches, winding walkways and verdant gardens tempting a picnic or sunset perch. Strolling along the picturesque waterfront, it’s easy to pretend that you’re not in a city at all.

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