Orlando may be best known for its excellent selection of thrill rides and theme parks, but it’s so much more than just that: exceptional restaurants, beautiful weather, and a vibrant cultural scene are all waiting to be discovered. Whether you prefer fizzy sodas and roller coaster rides, or fizzy Champagne and five-star dinners, Orlando is the place for you.
Orlando is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, and it’s not hard to figure out why: Orlando proudly bills itself as the theme park capital of the world, with such iconic venues as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida and Legoland providing wonder and excitement to visitors of all ages.
Though it’s easy to get caught up in the bright colours, thrill rides, and excitement that Orlando is known for, many visitors are pleasantly surprised to find out just how charming and sophisticated the city of Orlando truly is. The stream of visitors from around the world has given rise to a city that features world-class restaurants, national sports teams, a diverse selection of museums, and theatres staging everything from ballet to comedy to Shakespeare, all of which provide a serene counterpart to Orlando’s roster of high-velocity rides.
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What is the best way to get around Orlando?
The best way to get around Orlando depends on where you want to go. If you’re travelling to one of Orlando’s many theme parks, all major hotels offer shuttle services that are free for guests to use – keep in mind, however, that these shuttles can be crowded, especially at peak times. If you’re interested in taking a day away from the parks and exploring Orlando’s city centre, the city offers LYMMO, a free rapid-transit service that provides access to many popular down town locations seven days a week during regular hours.
LYNX, Orlando’s public transit service, also offers access to the city and its outlying areas, although this service is not free. Taxi services are not recommended, as they can quickly become prohibitively expensive. For travellers who wish to have more flexibility, car rentals are available, and all major rental companies are represented. Highways are designed with tourists in mind, and visitors should find them straightforward and easy to navigate.
When is the best time of year to visit Orlando?
While Orlando’s warm, sunny weather makes for excellent conditions all year round, it is highly recommended to avoid visiting the city during peak tourist periods. Between late May and Labour Day, over the Christmas holidays, and during American spring break (late March to April), for example, Orlando’s hotels and theme parks tend to become crowded.
How should I pack?
Sunscreen, light clothing, and a good hat are key items to bring to Orlando, no matter what time of year you visit. When visiting between late May and September, travellers will also want to bring a light rain jacket or wind breaker, as while the temperature tends to be hot, rain and lightning are common afternoon occurrences.
Bask in Orlando’s sunny glow
From the moment you walk off the plane, you’ll feel Orlando’s upbeat energy – then again, with an abundance of sunshine, freshly squeezed orange juice, and Mickey Mouse, who could blame Orlandoans for being in a good mood? To get the best possible picture of what the city has to offer, start your holiday by exploring Orlando’s vibrant down town core: wander down Church Street, the unofficial heart of the city, and take in the tantalizing selection of restaurants and art galleries that line the pavements.
Discover Orlando’s Lake Eola
In good weather – and that’s all but a guarantee – Orlando’s city centre is perfect for a stroll: the city is built around Lake Eola, and the calming waters are also surrounded by verdant parkland that provides a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Hop in a swan boat to paddle across the lake, or just walk around the nearly mile-long path that borders the water’s edge.
Theme park fun
Of course, it would be a shame to visit the self-proclaimed theme park capital of the world without visiting any of the city’s iconic theme parks. Between the magic of Walt Disney World, the fun of Legoland, and the blockbuster thrills of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the hardest part of your holiday is going to be choosing where to spend your days. Orlando’s theme parks are the stuff of legend, so don’t be afraid to visit more than one.
- Walt Disney World
- Universal Studios Florida
- Universal’s Islands of Adventure
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- SeaWorld Orlando
With so many choices, what will your Orlando adventure look like? Book your flight from Zurich to Orlando today with SWISS and let us help you find out.
Fresh air and great food in Orlando
Far from being a city that eats nothing but funnel cake, Orlando’s culinary scene has been fostering a growing farm-to-table movement for several years. The result is a diverse selection of restaurants offering seasonally inspired dishes that make use of local produce and protein. For a true Orlando experience, find yourself an outdoor terrace and enjoy your meal near the end of the day, once the heat starts to taper off.
When the theme parks close, the nightclubs open
While the roller coasters might not run all night long, Orlando’s bars and nightclubs provide plenty of entertainment once the kids have gone to bed. Head to Church Street to have a variety of bars only steps away, or pay a visit to the famous Wall Street Plaza to see the epicentre of the city’s bustling nightlife.
Orlando's three S’s: sun, shows, and shopping
Whether you forgot your favourite sun hat, or you just need a little retail therapy after a long day exploring the parks, Orlando’s shopping options are a thrill ride in themselves. The city has several different discount outlet options for shoppers looking to score the best price on the latest fashions, and the legendary Florida Mall is the largest shopping centre in the city, with over 2 million square feet of shopping to be explored – in fact, the Florida Mall famously pulls in upwards of 20 million visitors each year, which rivals the attendance of the nearby Universal Studios theme park. And for those visitors seeking some slightly lower-key shopping, the city’s long-running East End Market features local produce, baking, art, and products from around Central Florida.
Zurich - ChicagoFlight duration: 10:05 hrs total, Frequency: 5 x daily
Departure ZurichTerminal: 1 / 3Counter opening time: 24 h prior to departure
Airbus A330-300Height: 16.80 mLength: 63.70 mSeats: 236
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 11