Located at the edge of Lake Zurich and the Limmat River on the Swiss Plateau, Zurich is relatively flat and regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Zurich will greet you with a vibrant cultural atmosphere, beautiful medieval structures and fine dining and nightlife, set against the jaw-dropping backdrop of the majestic Swiss Alps.
Alpine winter sports in Zurich are legendary, but if you prefer something a little less physical, there is a myriad of contemporary and historic architectural masterpieces, museums and art galleries to explore. So, whether you’re looking for an extreme adventure or a little R&R, Zurich has plenty to recommend it.
Once you arrive, it’s easy to see how the friendly city of Zurich consistently ranks at the top as one of the popular tourist destinations in the world. Anytime is a good time to visit – during summer, hike in the mountains, swim in or take a boat cruise on the pristine waters of Lake Zurich or admire the snow-capped peaks of the winter landscape and ride the deep, fluffy powder on the slopes. Whether you are seeking a getaway packed with adventure and extreme sports or something more sedate, Zurich has plenty to offer.
If you want to enjoy fondue with a magnificient few of the mountains, book your flight from London to Zurich now.
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Is it easy to get to and from the Zurich airport?
Flughafen Zürich (Zurich Airport) is located approximately 10 km (6 miles) from central Zurich. Public transportation between the airport and city center includes rail, streetcar and bus services. The journey by train takes 10-15 minutes and departs every 5-10 minutes. By streetcar, the journey is about 35 minutes (Line 10) and 30-40 minutes by airport shuttle bus. Cabs are also available.
What about getting around the rest of the city?
Zurich public transportation is simple, fast and reliable thanks to its unified fare system. Under the system, one ticket works across all public transportation services including train, streetcar and buses. Another great way to get around is to rent a bicycle so you can explore at your own pace.
Is it easy to find a place to stay in Zurich?
Yes! You can find a number of hotels and hostels throughout the city to suit any budget. If you’re looking for something grandiose, try the Widder Hotel or the Dolder Grand for some of the finest hotel experiences in Europe. For budget accommodation, try the Ema House Hotel Suite or the Zurich Youth Hostel. There are also convenient and affordable rooms at the Radisson Blu right outside the airport – perfect if you have an early morning departure and want a little extra sleep!
The sparkling jewel in the Swiss crown offers endless fun and exciting things to see, do and experience during your stay. Here are some unmissable locations in Zurich:
- The Altstadt with Fraumünster
- Lake Zurich and Limmat River
- The UNESCO world heritage sites
The Altstadt – the Old Town district and home of the old merchant guildhalls and Fraumünster Church with its distinctive green steeple and windows by Chagall and Giacometti.
The Kunsthaus – Zurich’s revered modern art museum, this impressive locale boasts some of Europe’s most iconic pieces and is among the most prominent on the continent.
Take a boat cruise on Lake Zurich or take in the historic sites of the Old Town from the water on a leisurely tour on the Limmat River.
For a more refined cultural experience, the city’s foremost theater the Schauspielhaus Zurich or the Zurich Opera House are well worth a visit.
Located just outside Zurich, the prehistoric alpine settlements of Grosser Hafner and Kleiner Haffner are UNESCO world heritage sites that were inhabited as early as 7,000 years ago.
Zurich has more to offer
Explore Altstadt (Old Town) by bike, with its cobbled streets and historical buildings such as the Romanesque-style Grossmünster church or the Rathaus (town hall). Choose from more than 150 art galleries and museums, including the Kunsthaus Zürich (Museum for Modern Art), the Reitberg Museum and the Swiss National Museum. A hike up Üetliberg, elevation 870 m (2,850 ft), or train to the summit is a must for unparalleled panoramic views across Lake Zurich and the city. As the largest chocolate producing region in the country, Zurich has no shortage of chocolatiers where you can sample the famous Swiss confectionery, such as Confiserie Sprüngli on Paradeplatz or Confiserie Honold at Rennwegg 53.
Discover a selection of other must-see attractions in Zurich with our Zurich travel guide.
Culinary specialities in Zurich
Event though restaurants in Zurich offer almost any cuisine you could possibly want, there are some traditional Swiss dishes that you should not miss while you are there.
The more famous representatives of Swiss cuisine are of course the cheese fondue and Raclette. Both dishes are everything a cheese-lover could ask for. These meals are especially great for sharing.
Zurich is also the birthplace of another world-famous dish: muesli. Swiss physician Dr. Max Bircher-Benner developed his recipe around 1900 and was initially mocked by the medical community. But the muesli quickly became popular for being healthy and tasty at the same time.
There are even two very hearty meals that share the cities name: “Zürcher Zouftschriibertopf”, which loosely translates to “guild writer’s stew”, combines beef, pork, veal, liver and kidney with carrots, peas and potatoes. Even more famous is the “Zürcher Geschnetzeltes”, a veal dish containing lots of cream and mushrooms that can be found all over Switzerland.
Shopping in Zurich
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 to refuel.
The Gothic Revival building at Bahnhofstrasse is home to luxury department store Grieder – a 3000m2 shopper’s paradise with a unique selection of the best prêt-à-porter, shoe and accessory designers in Zurich.
Swiss souvenirs for everyone
In the Züri-West neighbourhood, you will find the unique shopping area “Im Viadukt”. Browse through the latest fashion or the offerings of its covered food market. Fine local wines, gourmet cheese and seafood are there for you to enjoy.
If luxury watches or jewelry are not within your budget, consider getting an original Swiss army knife, or a handcrafted cowbell. Some fine Swiss chocolates or a loaf of Swiss cheese will remind you of the great time you had in Zurich.
London - ZurichFlight duration: 01:40 hrs total, Frequency: Sun,Mon,Tue,Thu,Fri
Departure LondonTerminal: 2Counter opening time: 2 h prior to departure
Arrival ZurichDistance to city centre: 12 km