I am travelling to Rio on June 210, but I must stay in Zurich (as the journey is scheduled to stop there) for 19 hours. Can I leave the airport and stay in a hotel?
I am coming from London and I am a UK citizen. Would I need a visa?
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As a UK citizen, you do not need a visa for any purpose in any EU, EEA, or Schengen country. This is true as long as the UK remains in the European Union.
The reason this applies in your case is that the freedom of movement of persons includes a right of residence for up to three months. If you can visit for up to three months without a visa, you can certainly visit for less than a day during a transit.
It is not now known what will happen after the UK leaves the EU, but visa-free access for visitors will almost certainly remain. It's possible that citizens of a post-EU UK would be required to register in the forthcoming ETIAS system, which will be similar to the US ESTA.