Zurich is a popular cosmopolitan city with something amazing around every corner for inquisitive travellers including historical buildings, beautiful parks, vibrant squares and a relaxed atmosphere. The city lies on Lake Zurich and is also located temptingly close to the Swiss Alps with views of its amazing scenery. Zurich is clean, transport is efficient and everything typically runs smoothly. Without doubt, Zurich is a great place to visit.
Staying in Zurich
We recommend you stay in the Hostel HI Zurich
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Things to do and see in Zurich
The Lakeside Promenade is a good place to start your discovery of Zurich and also a great place for an evening stroll or meal. There is a grassy park near the front, great for relaxing, admiring the views and is typically a hive of activity, especially during the summer months. From the lake, take a stroll down Bahnhofstrasse, the world-famous street that runs all the way to Zurich main station. Shops don’t get any trendier than these with one boutique following after another. If you spot Augustinergasse, take a wander down here as the narrow street meanders through the city on its way to the Old Town with colourful old buildings overhanging your journey.
The Old Town is where you’ll find many of Zurich’s delights. A Roman Fort once stood on Lindenhof in the 4th century, but now long gone, the park offers great views of many historical buildings. Grossmünster is an impressive old Romanesque Church and a climb to the top of the tower offers great views of the city. Fraumünster is an old Gothic Church that has window paintings that were made by Marc Chagall. Kunsthaus is a major Swiss Art Museum with free entry on Wednesdays and Landesmuseum is Switzerland’s largest history museum. The main railway station, also home to the Swiss National Museum, is a majestic fairy-tale type castle that is over 100 years old, and the park directly behind is also a delight to see.
Two more ways of seeing Zurich are the Polybahn and a cruise along the river. The Polybahn is a funicular railway that is over 100 years old. It can be found at Tram Station Central and goes all the way up to ETH. Many of Zurich’s attractions line the Limmat River as it winds its way through the city and a great way to see them is one of Zurich’s sightseeing cruises. Boats leave from the Swiss National Museum and typically take in a 90 minute round journey.
Eating out & nightlife in Zurich
A cosy café is a great way to start your day and Niederdorf, also known as ‘little village’, is a great place to find one with its winding pedestrianized alleys. You wouldn’t want to come to Switzerland without sampling some fine chocolate and a few brands to keep an eye out for are Lindt, Frey and Camille Bloch. A local dish to try is Zürcher Geschnetzeltes which is comprised of sliced veal in a cream sauce, served with Rösti (Swiss potato pancake). Muesli was also invented in Switzerland as a health food and tasty bratwurst with crusty bread is a popular choice from street stalls.
Getting around in Zurich
Swiss public transport is clean, safe and efficient and therefore an excellent option for getting around the city. The network includes trams, buses, cable cars and boats and tickets are purchased from vending machines before boarding. Places to discover on foot are the Old Town, Lakeside promenade, the train station and all attractions close by. One in the city, you may not need public transport for most Zurich has to offer.