Explore Zurich

Explore Zurich
Zurich has mastered the art of European charm. As the largest city in Switzerland and a central hub for travel, you’d expect a city that is congested and overwhelming, which is exactly the opposite of Zurich. In fact, there is only one high-rise in the city leaving a historic skyline of church steeples. The streets are immaculately clean, and, because the transportation system is so good most people commute, leaving the city with a population of less than 400,000! All this and it is also one of the leading financial centres globally. Known for having luxurious shopping, inspiring cuisine, and beautiful scenery, the culture in Zurich is very relaxed with people truly enjoying themselves – it’s a true pleasure to visit.
Downtown Zurich
City view
Zurich's Opera House

Places to Visit in Zurich

  • Zurich Opera House
  • Lake Zurich
  • Swiss National Museum
  • Polybahn
  • Lindenhof hill

Unique Things to See and Do in Zurich

  • Walk down the medieval Augustinergasse street
  • Ride a Limmatschiffahrt (flat bottom) boat
  • Shop along expensive Bahnhofstrasse
  • Take the train up Uetilberg
  • Visit Zurich during Octoberfest
  • Visit the Tram-Museum

A Walking Tour of Zurich’s Altstadt

Beautiful scenery, winding streets and alleys, and many squares; walking through Altstadt is a great way to see the heart of Zurich. As with most spaces in Switzerland, the city of Zurich has incorporated the history and architecture beautifully into one of the most modern, chic and stylized European cities. Walking through the Altstadt you’ll see plenty of luxury shops, inviting cafes and perfect spots for people watching!

A great place to start your walk through the Altstadt is at the town square of Munsterhof, just in front of the Fraumunster church. For centuries, Munsterhof was the main city square, protected within the city’s fortified medieval walls. Still standing today, you can see parts of the old wall at Schanzengraben.

Continuing on, steer your sights on the Fraumunster church and the beautiful stained glass windows designed by artist Marc Chagall. Travel up towards the Weinplatz, built in 1610, it was a former grain house which was eventually demolished and became the square for selling local wines. The name has stuck, and in 1909 the Weinbauer fountain was erected which is a statue of a swiss winemaker.

Lindenhof hill is a great spot to navigate your walking tour. The streets are incredibly narrow with some great shopping along the way, and when you reach the top you can see a great view of the Limmat River.

On the other side of the Limmat River (travel back down to the Rathausbrücke bridge, which was built in 1878 ), is Rathhaus or Zurich’s town hall. Next on the list is the Wasserkirche and the Helmhause. Originally this church was surrounded by waters, hence the name. Travelling south towards the Grossmunster church, Zurich’s famous landmark is a romanesque-style Protestant church and is also the gravesite for the city’s patron saints, Felix and Regula.

Did you know…?

Lederhosen were invented by the Swiss.


Did you ALSO know…?

Zurich has the largest clock face in Europe – St. Peter.

St.Peter Clock

Getting Around Zurich

The Swiss are known for punctuality and that’s probably due to the best transportation system which is rarely late…if ever. Zurich Public Transport runs an extensive network of trams and buses. You can purchase tickets from the vending machines, but if you’re planning on multiple stops it is easier to pick up the Zurich card which offers unlimited travel for 24 or 72 hour time allotments.

If you are driving into the city, find a parking garage (where you won’t get ticketed) and park your car, and then take public transit from there. It so much easier. All parking garages are marked with a P sign.  Taxis are incredibly expensive, especially if you’re travelling long distances. Of course, walking is the best way to take in the sights and experience the culture, but if walking becomes too laborious you can always rent a bicycle for the day.

Best Time of Year to Travel to Zurich

The summer months are a great time to visit Zurich, especially during August when multiple festivals occur. One of the best parties in the city is the Street Parade – the largest techno parade (music) in Europe, and even if techno music isn’t your thing the people, costumes, and energy are still worth seeing. The Swiss are moderate in everyday life, but they love to host parties and they do it well! Summertime weather is manageable with temperatures ranging between 19C to 25C.

The spring and fall months offer moderate temperatures, lots of sunshine, a bit rain, and fewer crowds. This is a great time of year for anyone looking to avoid the high season of summer. Presumably, if you’re travelling to Switzerland in the winter you’ll be hitting chalets and slopes, but make sure to visit Zurich too. It can be quite cold even if it doesn’t snow, but offers some great dining experiences, numerous shopping options, and a plethora of museums and art galleries. And for those who like to liven things up, Zurich’s nightlife is nonstop all night long.

Ready to plan your visit to Zurich? Check out these popular guides and trips.

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