Though its fame as a hub of international commerce is well deserved, Zurich is a delight for more than just bankers. Switzerland’s largest city boasts a vibrant cultural scene, a world-class public transport network and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most liveable.
Zurich’s multitude of art galleries and museums have something to offer every visitor, while its cafés and restaurants offer everything from fine Swiss chocolate to mouth-watering geschnetzeles. Whether you’re looking for a short city holiday or to discover all that Switzerland has to offer, booking a flight from Birmingham to Zurich your ticket to discovering this historic lakeside city.
The city is worth a visit at any time of the year, from summertime swimming in the badi swimming pools to sledding down the Üetliberg mountain. Begin your sojourn in the old city, or Altstadt, home to the Bahnhofstrasse shopping avenue and the Fraumünster cathedral with its stained-glass windows. Then cross over to the Niederdorf and its imperious Grossmünster cathedral as well as narrow, cobbled streets that lead into medieval squares.
Zurich is eminently walkable, and its incredibly well-designed public transport network makes getting around a breeze. A Zurich Card is your passport to the city, giving you access to the entire transport network, which includes not only trams and trains, but also two funicular railways and even the Lake Zurich ferries. For the active visitor, the Züri Rollt programme offers free bike hires throughout the city.
Visit this great city and book a flight from Birmingham to Zurich now.
What language is spoken in Zurich?
Good question! Of the four official languages spoken in Switzerland, the main language in Zurich is German. Thankfully, most people who work in the hospitality sector speak some English. However, a well-placed grüezi (hello) or danke schön (thank you) will certainly be appreciated and can help you stand out from your fellow holidaymakers.
What should my budget be?
As Switzerland is on average a more expensive destination than most, it pays to plan ahead. Of course, your first step should be booking a flight from Birmingham to Zurich! In Zurich, daily costs including accommodations and food can average around GBP 150-200. Travellers on a budget should look into accommodation that offers self-catering options and eat out more sparingly. Meanwhile, those looking for luxury options will have no shortage of choices to indulge themselves.
How do I get to the city from the airport?
The Zurich airport is located some 10 km outside of the city centre in the town of Kloten. The easiest way to travel into the city is by train or streetcar, though taxi and shuttle bus services are also available.
Zurich has a wealth of things to see and do thanks to its rich history and active cultural scene. The following is just a sampling of what your Zurich holiday could feature:
- Grossmünster cathedral
- Swiss National Museum
- The city’s baths
Grossmünster cathedral: Opposite the Fraumünster, its twin spires continue to dominate the Zurich skyline. Pay a visit to the crypts and admire the stained-glass windows; the 187 steps of the South Tower offer sweeping city views to energetic visitors.
Kunsthaus: The largest art gallery in the country, it contains the greatest collection of sculptures by Alberto Giacometti. Its collections from European artists include works by Munch, Monet and Van Gogh, among many others.
Hauptbahnhof: A train lover’s delight! With nearly 3,000 departures each day, Zurich’s Central Station is one of Europe’s busiest. A nice place to take in the sights after shopping on the Bahnhofstrasse.
Swiss National Museum: With a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits, visitors will be treated to sights from the country’s history from Roman times through to the Reformation and beyond.
The city’s baths, or badi, are located right on the side of the river, taking advantage of its cool, clear water to fill their swimming pools. Many are transformed into lively bars at night.
You may be surprised at first by the vibrance of the city’s cultural scene: a commerce-driven city which, a century ago, birthed the countercultural Dadaist movement. Zurich’s alternative streak is on display in the Züri-West neighbourhood, with sights like the Freitag Tower, a stacked group of shipping containers. For a glance further back into history, the Kunsthaus offers a sweeping view of centuries of European art. The Swiss National Museum has over 100 rooms with exhibits that showcase the country’s past, from Roman times to the present.
Festivals in Zurich
If luck and timing is on your side, you may end up in Zurich for one of its many street festivals: the largest is the Street Parade, a week-long musical bacchanal held in August. Another boisterous event is the February Fasnacht, during which local bands play loudly through the city squares. On a winter trip, be sure to check out the many Christmas markets that dot the city. Zurich’s oldest Christmas market is held in the Niederdorf quarter, extending over the historic Hirschenplatz and Rosenhof squares. Book your flight with SWISS or one of our partner airlines today and experience this enchanting city for yourself!
Get more information about this great city and read our Zurich guide.
Culinary highlights in Zurich
Zürchers have a taste for the finer things in life, meaning that visitors are spoilt for choice as they explore the city’s culinary delights and retail offerings.
During your tour around the city, definitely stop by one of the countless cozy cafes for a cup of coffee or tea and some of the world famous Swiss chocolate. Confiserie Sprüngli is one of the best addresses for serious chocolate addicts. Their Luxemburgerli, little macrons that come in eight different flavours, are to die for.
To regain energy after a long day of sightseeing and shopping, try one of the hearty traditional meals that Zurich is known for: cheese fondue or raclette are perfect for sharing. Typical for the city are also the “Zürcher Geschnetzeltes”, a veal-based dish with mushrooms and lots of cream. The “Züricher Zouftschriibertopf ” combines veal, beef and pork with vegetables and is the perfect culinary finale to a day in Zurich.
If you like to go shopping in Zurich
The Langstrasse and Bahnhofstrasse are two of Zurich’s main shopping areas, though the city offers much more besides. Haute couture, souvenirs and local delicacies all await the discerning shopper.
Situated on the city’s Bahnhofstrasse, the upmarket Grieder department store is just one example of the luxury shopping that awaits in this neighbourhood. It is home to a panoply of luxury brands, a beauty salon and a restaurant that overlooks the Paradeplatz.
Beneath the arches of a viaduct in the Zurich-West neighbourhood is the Im Viadukt shopping centre, a great place to shop for the latest fashion or enjoy the gourmet offerings of its covered food market.
A “city within a city”, the Sihlcity mall extends over three buildings including a repurposed paper mill. This leisure and shopping paradise also contains a multiplex cinema and play areas for children.
Birmingham, GB - ZurichFlight duration: 01:50 hrs total, Frequency: Sun,Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu,Fri
Departure BirminghamTerminal: 1Counter opening time: 2 h prior to departure
Arrival ZurichDistance to city centre: 12 km