Zurich Travel Guide

Zurich Travel Guide

Set beneath snow-clad peaks on the shores of a glittering lake, a holiday in Zurich will move you not only with its typical Swiss neatness but also with its scenic beauty.

While browsing in the elegant boutiques along Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most beautiful shopping areas in Europe, you'll notice that the streets may not be paved with gold, but you can be certain that a couple of metres below, unimaginable treasures are lying in underground vaults.

Zurich is the world's banking capital, but as well as being a city of fat cats parading in pin-stripes, glued to their mobile phones and swinging patent leather briefcases, you'll also discover that this is the city that gave birth to the avant-garde Dadaist movement, and where James Joyce wrote Ulysses. The city's Museum of Fine Arts houses one of Europe's most extensive collections, from 15th century religious iconography to the modern art works of Dali, Arp, Hockney, Cezanne, Monet, Gaugin, Munch and Picasso.

Visitors can spend days exploring Zurich's cobbled streets, wandering through its museums, exploring its flea markets or walking away with free gifts from its chocolate factories. The quays, with their promenades, are made for walking, especially along the shores of the lake. Zurich also lays claim to an active restaurant and café culture that's ideal for people-watching, and a lively, multi-ethnic population to rival any other major European city. The exacting order of the Swiss, with their passion for neatness and precision, may create an impression of rather a prim and staid society, but visitors will discover quite the opposite when exploring Zurich's nightlife. With more bars, clubs and restaurants than you can shake a stick at, as well as a calendar packed full of street parades and festivals, a holiday in Zurich can exhaust even the most energetic party animal.

Best time to visit Zurich

The best time to travel to Zurich for a holiday is during the height of summer, in July and August, when the best weather is experienced. Spring and autumn are also good times to holiday in Zurich, but winter is cold, overcast and damp. Read more on Zurich's Climate and Weather.

What to see in Zurich

-Marvel at modern architecture in the Museum of Design.

-Take in the panoramic views while you ride the Polybahn and Rigiblick Funiculars.

-Bring along the kids for a trip to the Zurich Zoo.

-Explore the narrow, winding lanes of Niederdorf.

What to do in Zurich

-Spend a few hours exploring the fascinating Swiss National Museum.

-Marvel at the spires of the beautiful Fraumünster Church.

-Soak up some high culture at the Kunsthaus Zurich (Fine Arts Museum).

-Stroll alongside the Limmat River to visit the Centre Le Corbusier.

Beyond Zurich

As a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic to both Switzerland and Europe in general, the city's importance as a base for travelling in and around the region is well recognised and often serving as the entry point for foreign tourists. From Zurich one has easy access to the Swiss Alps, as well as the other major city of Geneva.

Getting there

Flights to Zurich land in Zurich Airport, situated in the Kluton district on the outskirts of Zurich, a short ride to the city centre. Get more information on Airports in Zurich.

Did you know?

-The St. Peter church in Zurich has the largest clock face in Europe.

- You will have the choice of 1200 different fountains in the city to take your photograph.

- Albert Einstein attended the University of Zurich, where he later became professor.

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