Zurich is perched at the edge of the sparkling waters of Lake Zurich and the Limmat River. Between treating your taste buds to mouth-watering Swiss cuisine, exploring medieval churches and historic quarters, or hitting the slopes for some winter sport, it’s virtually impossible to run out of things to do.
Overlooking the pristine waters of Lake Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city offers a dazzling array of opportunities for exploration, discovery and experience in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Lovers of nature and the outdoors are spoilt for choice with everything on offer, from extreme sports to unparalleled hiking through the Swiss Alps, to making fresh tracks in virgin powder at any of the numerous resorts located nearby, such as Hoch-Ybrig.
Urban explorers, history buffs and architecture enthusiasts will be impressed by Aldstadt – the Old Town district of Zurich, home to Grossmünster church and the Rathaus (town hall). If art and museums are more your thing, you will also be spoilt for choice as Zurich is home to more than 150 art galleries and museums.
Cultural experiences abound at venues such as the Theatre am Neumarkt or Zürich Opera House. The Central European location of Zurich lends itself to a diverse culinary landscape, featuring local Swiss cuisine such as the savory Zürcher Geschnetzeltes (Swiss Ragout) or sweet Tirggel (Swiss Christmas biscuits), alongside foods from around the world and Michelin-starred gourmet dining experiences.
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- All timetable details may be subject to change. Insofar as is permitted by law, SWISS accepts no liability for the correctness and completeness of the details provided.
Is it easy to get to and from the Zurich airport?
Yes! The public transportation system in Zurich is exemplary and rail, streetcar and bus services all regularly run between the city center and the airport. The trip takes about ten to fifteen minutes by train, which departs every 5-10 minutes, 35 minutes via streetcar (Line 10) and 30-40 minutes by airport shuttle bus. Cabs are also available.
What about getting around the rest of the city?
Public transportation in Zurich is popular, convenient and famously reliable. The city has a unified fare system that includes train, streetcar and bus services, which means one ticket works across all public modes of transportation. Alternatively, explore at your own pace in the great Swiss outdoors on a rented bicycle. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, ferries run along the Limmat River, and the Adliswil- Felsenegg cable car can take you from the base of the Sihl Valley to the top of Felsenegg, where you will enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the alpine landscape below.
When is the best time of year to visit Zurich?
Another great thing about Zurich is that there’s always something to do at any time of the year. During the spring and summer months, the weather is warm enough to be comfortable outdoors, even at night so you can still attend outdoor events, swim in Lake Zurich and go sightseeing. Being an alpine region, it gets cold but for many, that’s the charm! Winter sports in Zurich are the stuff of legends and there is a certain magical beauty to a city cloaked in a blanket of snow.
Attractions in Zurich
Whether it’s historic sites and museums, the arts, outdoor activities or nightlife and entertainment, Zurich has something for everyone. Here are a few of the top attractions:
- Grosser Hafner and Kleiner Haffner
- Altstadt (Old Town)
- Lake Zurich
- Winter sports
- Zunfthaus zur Haue
- Kunsthaus Zürich
The prehistoric alpine settlements of Grosser Hafner and Kleiner Haffner, UNESCO world heritage sites inhabited around 7,000 years ago
Altstadt: the historic Old Town, former city center and home to the Grossmünster church, Fraumünster church and the beautiful Rathaus (Town Hall).
Lake Zurich: Take a dip in it’s crystal clear water in the summertime.
Langstrasse: Langstrasse of home to upmarket brands, haute couture designer labels and more. Shop till you drop or stroll along the street.
Winter Sports: Legendary winter sports at any of the numerous resorts nearby.
Zunfthaus zur Haue: historic guildhall for merchants and traders.
Kunsthaus Zürich: museum of fine art and home to several iconic masterpieces.
Find out more about the attractions of Zurich on offer and read our guide.
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Recommended Restaurants in Zurich
Eating well and being entertained in Zurich is never a problem. Here is just a small selection of the many delicious meals that Zurich is known for:
The right start to the day is absolutely essential and a holiday in Zurich is no exception. Thankfully, Zurich is the birthplace of the breakfast of champions: muesli. Around 1900, physician Dr. Max Bircher-Benner invented the cereal breakfast. Initially, he was mocked by his peers. But muesli quickly became popular around the world for being tasty and healthy at the same time.
For a more hearty meal, tray the “Zürcher Zouftschriibertopf”, which is both delicious and almost impossible to pronounce. The name lossely translates to “guild writer’s stew” and consists of beef, pork and veal filets, bacon, liver and kidney mixed with carrots, peas and potatoes. Alternatively, the “Zürcher Geschnetzeltes”, a veal dish with cream and mushrooms, is equally perfect for restoring your energy levels after a long day of exploring Zurich on foot.
Shopping and club hopping in Zurich
Burn off some of those calories by dancing the night away at one of the many nightclubs in the Züri-West precinct – epicenter of Zurich nightlife! Diehard shoppers will not be disappointed by a stroll down Langstrasse and around Hauptbahnhof (central train station), which is lined with the finest haute couture fashion, souvenirs, and cafes.
Shopping tips for Zurich
Find ‘everything for life’ at Sihlcity – a vibrant and bustling shopping mall with an expansive assortment ranging from clothing to souvenirs to homeware and household items. Also popular with Zurich locals, it’s a great place to people-watch.
For an upmarket shopping experience, we present Grieder – a department store housed in a Gothic Revival building in the heart of Zurich on Bahnhofstrasse 30 and offering many of the world’s most coveted luxury brands, high-end homeware, a beauty salon and the Greiderbar, for an all-day lunch.
New York - ZurichFlight duration: 07:40 hrs total, Frequency: 5 x daily
Airbus A330-300Height: 16.80 mLength: 63.70 mSeats: 236
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 11
Arrival ZurichDistance to city centre: 12 km