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‘Mediterranean nights': Swiss cities to trial late night terrace bar openings

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22 Mar, 2022 Updated Tue 22 Mar 2022 13:28 CEST
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A terrace restaurant in Zurich. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

The cities of Zurich, Lucerne and St Gallen will allow bars and restaurants to open their terraces later than usual this spring and summer.


Authorities in Zurich and Lucerne have been motivated by a similar project last year in St Gallen, which saw businesses recoup much needed funds after the Covid pandemic. 

St Gallen will repeat the project again this summer. 


Zurich’s Mediterranean Nights project will see bars and restaurants allowed to open their terraces to 2am, instead of the current midnight, on six weekends in spring and summer. 

While the project has won support from the hospitality and gastronomy community, neighbourhood organisations have sought to shut it down, even taking the project to court. 

The eventual plan for six weekends was a compromise between the hospitality sector and neighbourhood organisations. 

The specific weekends will be set at a later date. 



Terraces in Lucerne will also be allowed to open until 2am under a similar project. 

Unlike in Zurich however, there will be no cap on the number of weekends that terraces can open later. 

FDP City Councilor Fabian Reinhard backed the project, saying it was worth looking at and there was no guarantee it would lead to a permanent change. 

"It is important that the city of Lucerne simply tries out what works and what doesn't," he told Swiss media. 

Reinhard said all factors would be considered, such as noise pollution and disturbances, not just whether the change was economically viable. 

St Gallen

St Gallen trialled the project in the autumn of 2021 and said it was successful. 

In 2022, it will be held over a longer period. 

Do you think Switzerland’s cities should open later? Or is the noise and disruption too much to take? Let us know. 



2022/03/22 13:28

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