Embark on a magical journey to the distractingly beautiful alpine haven of Zurich. Switzerland’s largest city sparkles with life and excitement at the foot of the majestic Alps, overlooking the pristine Lake Zurich. This bustling cosmopolitan city combines the best of nature with creative urban living, an extensive culinary landscape and pumping nightlife.
Often referred to as the gateway to Switzerland, Zurich provides the ultimate escape from the heat and humidity. Fresh mountain air, stunningly beautiful scenery, lakes and rivers and a great place to unwind at a legendary Swiss wellness spa or with a stroll along the waterfront.
Once you arrive, you’ll see why Zurich is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A vibrant cultural atmosphere, rich architectural heritage steeped in history and an underlying contemporary, post-industrial edge await in a city with an unmistakable dynamic energy.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be pleased to know Zurich is the largest chocolate-producing area in Switzerland. Burn off the calories while experiencing the great outdoors. Whether you’re after an adrenalin-fueled ride or a leisurely promenade walk or boat cruise in breathtaking alpine surroundings, Zurich has it all.
Start your cool alpine adventure – book your flight from Orlando to Zurich with SWISS now and discover this vibrant Swiss city.
How do you get to Zurich from the airport?
The Zurich public transportation system is legendary and provides multiple modes of easily accessible transportation from the airport into the city of Zurich. Zurich Airport is located approximately 10 km (6 miles) from the city center. The easiest way is to take the ultra-reliable rail service that connects the airport to the city with a 15-minute journey that departs every 15 minutes. There is also a shuttle bus available that runs to central Zurich on a journey that takes around 40 minutes. You can also travel to the city center by streetcar, which takes around 35 minutes on Line 10. If you’d rather ride in privacy, there are also always plenty of cabs available outside the terminals.
What time zone is used in Zurich?
The whole of Switzerland follows Central European Time (CET) as standard throughout the country. However, the times change twice a year according to the seasonal equinoxes. In the European spring and summer, which is from November to March, the time zone is referred to as Central European Summer Time (CEST) and is 6 hours ahead of Orlando (UTC +2). During the fall and winter months from April to October, the time zone in Zurich is CET (UTC+1) and 5 hours ahead of Orlando local time.
What currency is used in Zurich?
The currency used throughout the whole of Switzerland is the Swiss franc (CHF). Banknotes are issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1,000. Most places in Zurich will accept the EURO currency for payment but will give you any change due in Swiss francs and in such situations, you shouldn’t expect a favorable exchange rate. Use of Swiss francs is recommended.
Action-packed adventure in Zurich
Whether you prefer to soak up the art and culture or get active, Zurich has something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit:
- Altstadt, Wasserkirche and Rathaus
- Swiss National Museum
- Kunsthaus Zurich
- Schauspielhaus Zurich
- Le Pavilion Le Corbusier
- Prime Tower
- Zurich Opera House
View over Zurich
Despite its alpine setting, life in Zurich is enjoyed outdoors all year round. For a getaway packed with adventure, extreme sports and adrenalin, head into the mountains for a hike with a bike, a pair of skis or a sled. Take on the 2-hour walk to the top of the Üetliberg (elevation approx. 2,854 ft) marvel at the jaw-dropping views across Zurich and the lake to the snow-capped Alps.
Architecture and buildings
Explore the cobbled streets, picturesque squares and historical architecture of Zurich’s Old Town (Altstadt) such as the Romanesque-style Grossmünster church and the Gothic Wasserkirche. The Swiss National Museum can also be found here, located in the middle of the Limmat and Sihl Rivers.
Zurich also has an array of modern architecture including Le Pavilion Corbusier, Dado-Haus and the skyscraping Prime Tower – Zurich’s tallest building flanked by two companion buildings, Cubus and Diagnonal. At the top of the Prime Tower is Clouds restaurant, offering high-towering cuisine and magnificent views across the center of Zurich and the lake.
Art and culture in Zurich
There is certainly no shortage of cultural adventures to be had in Zurich. Well worth visiting are the Zurich Opera House and the city’s foremost theater, the Schauspielhaus Zurich. Moreover, the Kunsthaus Zurich focuses on Swiss art and houses one of the most important collections of art in Switzerland, spanning the Middles Ages to contemporary art.
Green city Zurich
Zurich combines urban life and idyllic nature perfectly with approximately 70 parks and green spaces such as Platzspitz, one of the oldest parks in Zurich located right at its heart. Or take some time out and enjoy a stroll along the former city fortifications in Schanzengraben.
Discover more attractions of Zurich in our guide.
Cuisine in Zurich is more than just fondue and chocolate, with an impressive and refined culinary landscape offering everything from local fare to street food and international fine dining. Although cheese and meat are renowned local delicacies, the Guinness Book of Records lists Zurich as home of the world’s first vegetarian restaurant. If you enjoy star-studded dining, there are is no shortage of Michelin-starred eateries in the Swiss capital.
What to drink in Zurich?
No cultural or culinary visit to Zurich would be complete without a stop at the spiritual home and birthplace of the Dada art movement, Cabaret Voltaire. Founded in 1916 by Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings, today Cabaret Voltaire hosts avant-garde art exhibits, live jazz and has a hip cafe/bar.
If you’re a night owl, Zurich is the place to be, with one of the hottest nightlife scenes in Europe. Whether you enjoy cocktails, beer, spirits, sports matches, karaoke, live gigs or poetry readings – Zurich nightlife has something for everyone. You can also greet the dawn at one of the many dance clubs along Langstrasse or in the hip Zuri-West district.
Find out more information where to eat and drink in Zurich.
Pound the pavements
Zurich will spoil your inner shopaholic for choice with some of the best shopping in Switzerland. Shop European style on Langstrasse and the area around Hauptbahnhof (the central train station) for the finest haute couture fashion, souvenirs and a wide selection of cafes. For the ultimate in upmarket shopping experiences, head to the Grieder department store in the Gothic Revival building on Bahnhofstrasse – home to a unique selection of the best luxury brands, prêt-à-porter, shoe and accessory designers in Zurich.
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