Zurich is renowned as one of the friendliest cities and gateway to Switzerland, Zurich will greet you with the majestic and breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps framing the pristine waters of Lake Zurich. The city itself has a vibrant cultural atmosphere, steeped in history yet with an underlying contemporary, post-industrial edge.
Zurich is impressive all year round. The spectacular beauty of its physical location on the shores of the Limmat River and Lake Zurich is only the beginning.
Whether you come to Switzerland’s largest city to see, do, experience, taste, explore or discover, there is something here for everyone. Come and ride the fresh, deep powder in winter or hike the mountains and swim in the lake in summer. You will be rewarded for your efforts when you reach the summit of the Üetliberg (elevation approx. 870 m/2,854 ft) with spectacular panoramic views over the city and the lake to the snow-capped peaks beyond. For those who prefer to be driven, there is a train to the summit.
Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Limmat River and discover the centuries old buildings amongst the cobbled streets of the Altstadt (Old Town), the Romanesque-style Grossmünster church and the exquisitely Gothic Wasserkirche. Follow the river along the Limmatquai waterfront to the 17th century Rathaus (town hall).
No matter what kind of activities you more prefer on your vacation - Zurich offers you the best.
Discover the vibrant lakeside city and book a flight from Chicago to Zurich now.
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How can you get to and from Zurich airport?
Zurich has multiple and easily accessible modes of transportation to and from the airport including streetcar, train and shuttle bus services. Located roughly 10 km (6 miles) from the city center, the airport is well serviced by the extra-reliable rail service – a 15-minute journey that runs every 5-10 minutes. The journey by shuttle bus takes around 40 minutes.
How can you get around the city?
Public transportation in Zurich is fast and reliable. The city has a unified fare system, meaning one ticket works across all public transportation services including train, streetcar and bus. Another great way to explore Zurich is by renting a bicycle and taking it at your own pace.
What is the best time to travel to Zurich?
It depends on what you prefer, personally – if you like the warmth and wearing shorts you should go there in the summertime. If you like winter sports and snow then it’s a must to visit Zurich in Winter to ride down the slopes on skis. Whatever time of the year you choose to visit Zurich, you will not be disappointed. When you get here, you’ll see exactly why it is one of the world’s most popular destinations.
Most popular attractions of Zurich
Renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in the world – it’s easy to see why with a look at Zurich’s physical location. Set against the impressive backdrop of the Swiss Alps and overlooking Lake Zurich and the Limmat River, Zurich is an elegant combination of traditional and contemporary – vibrant with an electric atmosphere and beautiful medieval structures. The most popular attractions of Zurich are:
- Altstadt (Old Town)
- Lake Zurich
- The slopes of Hoch-Ybrig resort
- The museum Kunsthaus
- Zurich’s parks
Take a guided walking tour through the cobbled streets of the Aldstadt (Old Town) to see the Chagall and Giacometti windows of the Fraumünster Church and the old merchant guildhalls.
Blow up your Instagram from the elevated site at Lindenhofplatz for spectacular, expansive views back across the Aldstadt.
If you visit in summer, submerge yourself in the cool, pristine waters of Lake Zurich or take a relaxing lake cruise to view the majestic splendor of Zurich’s alpine landscape.
If you visit in winter, take the family to experience winter sport unlimited on the legendary runs at nearby winter paradise the Hoch-Ybrig resort.
The Kunsthaus is the museum of modern art, a champion of Swiss art and housing one of the most important collections in Switzerland, featuring pieces from the Middle Ages to modern times.
Zurich offers multiple opportunities for those who enjoy engaging in exercise and wellness activities in an urban environment. Take time out and visit one of the 70 parks and green spaces in the city or indulge yourself with a fabled Swiss spa experience.
Don’t miss Switzerland’s sweets
Those with a sweet tooth will be delighted with finding themselves in the biggest chocolate producing region in Switzerland, with a myriad of chocolatiers awaiting a visit such as Confiserie Sprüngli. Located on Paradeplatz in the heart of the financial center, stop by to sample their world-famous “Luxemburgerli” – little macarons.
Zürich Card – The bundle to explore Zurich
Consider a Zürich Card. Available for 24 or 72 hours, it provides urban explorers with travel on local public transportation, boat trips, discounts on entry to key attractions, museums, restaurants, nightlife, wellness and family offers. It is available for purchase at Zurich Airport, the central train station, outlets throughout the city and online.
More information on Zurich’s attractions can be found in our Zurich travel guide.
Eat, drink and shop in style in Zurich
Enjoy a gastronomic experience of international proportions in Zurich, where you’ll find everything from Michelin-starred dining experiences to traditional Swiss cuisine and innovative street food. No gastronomic experience in Zurich would be complete without a visit to at least one of the abundant chocolatiers dotted throughout the city. Then let your hair down with the cool kids in the city with one of the highest concentrations of nightlife venues in Europe.
Zurich’s cuisine has something for everyone
When it comes to breakfast, Zurich has made a contribution that has taken the world by storm: muesli. Invented by Swiss physician Dr. Max Bircher-Benner, who was initially mocked for his invention, Bircher Muesli became world famous for being healthy and tasty at the same time.
Zürich is also a paradise for those with a sweet tooth. Confiserie Sprüngli, one of the countries biggest players of the chocolate industry is based in Zurich. Their most famous creation is the Luxemburgerli, a small macaron that comes in eight different flavors. Other traditional sweets of Zurich are much older than chocolate. “Hüppen”, for example, is a waffle role that can be traced back to the 14th century. Dating back to the 15th century is the “Tirrgel”, a round biscuit made from honey, ginger and flour. It is baked in traditional wooden moulds, which show views of ancient Zurich.
You can find more information on where to enjoy Zurichs exquisite cuisine in our guide to the cities bars and restaurants along with more fascinating culinary tips.
Shopping in Zurich
Give your credit card a workout along Langstrasse and the area surrounding Hauptbahnhof (the central train station), where you’ll find retailers of the finest haute couture fashion and souvenirs. Several side-alleys of the Bahnhofsstrasse are also stuffed with shops offering jewellery, clothing and fine Swiss watches. Even the main station itself is a shopping centre of enormous size.
Chicago - LondonFlight duration: 07:40 hrs total, Frequency: Sun
Departure ChicagoTerminal: 5Counter opening time: 3 h prior to departure