Situated on the banks of the Limmat River and Lake Zurich and overlooked by the Üetliberg Mountain, Zurich’s stately surroundings complement its cathedrals, galleries and eateries perfectly. Explore its vibrant cultural scene or just relax on the riverside and watch the world go by.
Zurich’s landscape has a few similarities to that of Inverness: its location at the mouth of a river, the bridges and church spires – and a unique ambiance that invites travellers to explore further. A truly all-season destination, your trip here might see you sipping mulled wine at a Christmas market or sledding down the Üetliberg mountain, or else escaping the summer heat in a riverside bar.
Beginning in the city’s historic centre, your explorations may take you up the spires of the historic Grossmünster cathedral, one of the centres of the Protestant Reformation, or else through the cobbled streets of the Niederdorf quarter. Discover centuries of Swiss art and history in the Swiss National Museum, the Kunsthaus art gallery, or one of the dozens of smaller venues that showcase the local art and culture.
From relaxing drinks by the river to a wealth of cultural sights to explore, Zurich awaits your visit. Book your flight from Inverness to Zurich with SWISS today and discover it for yourself.
What language is spoken in Zurich?
Switzerland, famously for a country of its size, has four official languages: German, French, Romansh and Italian, with English also widely spoken. Zurich, though, is solidly in the German-speaking region, with Swiss German the main language of the city. English-speaking holidaymakers should not worry, though, as English is commonly spoken in the tourism and hospitality sectors, as well as being a language of business.
What is the best way to get around Zurich?
As befits a city with one of Europe’s largest train stations, Zurich’s local transit network is one of the densest and most efficient around. Trains, trams and buses serve the entire city and surrounding region, including a train link to the airport and an integrated ferry system that allows you to explore Lake Zurich as well. For shorter trips, the pedestrianized streets of the city centre are ideal for walks, and the Züri Rollt program offers free bike hire.
When is the best time to visit Zurich?
Zurich welcomes visitors all year round, so the timing of your trip will depend on what you want to get out of it. Travelling in winter will allow you to experience a wealth of Christmas markets, from the extravagance of the Central Station to the charm of the smaller versions that crop up in the many plazas and avenues throughout the city. If you plan to leave Zurich to hit the slopes, note that ski season generally lasts from November to April. Summer visits are ideal for going on hikes in the hills around the city or relaxing on a shaded terrace or cooling off in a riverside pool. If you’re more interested in restaurants, shopping or historical attractions, come and visit anytime.
A financial capital with a flair for art and design, Zurich has an undeniable energy that you’ll notice from the moment you arrive. The city’s many galleries, museums and theatres are a window into the city’s unique culture. Take in a play at the Zurich Opera House or explore the works of Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti at the Kunsthaus. The city’s cultural attractions are too numerous to detail here, but a brief list follows below:
- Swiss National Museum
- Design Museum (Museum für Gestaltung)
- FIFA Museum
- Cabaret Voltaire
- Beyer Clock and Watch Museum
Explore Zurich’s Christmas markets
Visitors to Zurich between mid-November and Christmas will be treated to the wonderful spectacle of Zurich’s Christmas markets. From the massive display at the Central Station to the smaller versions in the plazas of Niederdorf and throughout the city, there are no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the Christmas cheer over a cup of mulled wine.
Get lost in the city centre of Zurich
The city centre is a great place to wander along the riverside or check out the sights, including the city’s two cathedrals, the Grossmünster and the Fraumünster. The Grossmünster’s spire offers an excellent view over the city. In good weather, the city centre offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy its many outdoor attractions, from pedestrianized boulevards to the centrally located Lindenhof Park to its riverside badis – a combination of a swimming pool and a riverside bar. The city’s ambiance makes it the perfect urban getaway, and it’s just a quick flight from Inverness. Book your SWISS flight from Inverness to Zurich today and discover the Swiss metropolis for yourself.
We’ve collected even more information about Zurich’s attractions in our city guide.
Discover Swiss cuisine in Zurich
Zurich is the perfect place to discover the unique dishes that make up Swiss cuisine. Local specialities include Swiss cheese fondue, veal Geschnetzeltes with Rösti potatoes, or a muesli breakfast in the place it was invented. Your eyes will also feast on the venues in which these dishes are served: beer halls set in the basements of medieval buildings or bistros in the city’s historic Zunfthäuser, or guild halls.
Zurich’s refreshing bar scene
Two rivers pass through Zurich, with water that is reputedly clean enough to drink. It’s no surprise, then, that some of the city’s finest bars are located along the riverside. Called badis, they are swimming pools filled with river water by day, and by night watering holes for the city’s trendy crowds. Enjoy a beverage with your feet dangling in the cool river water – then head up to the bars of the Niederdorf quarter to keep the night going. The bar scene elsewhere in the city centre ranges from traditional beer halls in heritage buildings to the Bohemian haunts filled with artwork from some of their former patrons.
No shortage of shopping surprises
With a population with a feel for the finer things in life, it’s no surprise that shopping in Zurich tends towards design boutiques and high-quality products sold in unique settings. These settings include Sihlcity, a mall inside a converted paper mill that sprawls over three different buildings, or the tower of stacked shipping containers. For some good, old-fashioned window shopping and people watching, you can’t go wrong with the boutiques and cafés of the Bahnhofstrasse and Langstrasse.