Embark on the experience of a lifetime in Switzerland’s largest city on the shores of the pristine Lake Zurich. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Alps, Zurich is a bustling metropolis, winter wonderland, summer retreat and historic haven tempered by a contemporary post-industrial edge. Architecture, art, museums, sports and outdoor experiences – Zurich has it all.
Zurich is the ultimate in alpine luxury – the beauty of its physical location will stop you in your tracks. Rivers, lakes, mountains – Zurich dazzles with its seemingly endless array of chances for exploration and fun. Get out on the water or take a dip. Hike in the mountains or take a bike with you in summer. In the winter, take a snowboard or a pair of skis to glide over the fresh, deep powder.
For a less physical approach to Zurich, stroll along the serene Limmatquai along the Limmat River and step back in time inside 11th-century churches. Explore the architectural heritage of the cobbled streets and squares of the Niederdorf district in the Old Town. For a cultural experience, Zurich has more than 150 galleries and museums covering everything from the Old Masters to the contemporary.
As the largest producer of chocolate in Switzerland, Zurich has plenty of mouth-watering options, cafes and restaurants to help you refuel before the next stage of your alpine experience.
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How do you get from Zurich Airport into the city?
There are several easy transportation options to get from the airport into Zurich. The city is located approximately 6 miles from the city center. The rail service connecting the airport to the city runs like Swiss clockwork, and the journey time is approximately 10 minutes. There is also a shuttle bus service available, which takes approximately 40 minutes to reach the city. There are also plenty of taxis available outside the airport terminals.
What about transportation around the city?
The public transportation system in Zurich is one of the best in the world – it is fast, reliable and easy to use. All public transport in Zurich uses a unified fare system, which means that one ticket is valid for all public transport including streetcars, trains and buses. Remember to validate your ticket before boarding. Consider purchasing a Zurich Card on arrival at the airport as it gives you unlimited travel on all forms of public transportation throughout the entire city and surrounding region and includes your trip from the airport to the city. These are available for durations of 24 and 72 hours. There are also multiple bicycle rental and sharing options, enabling you to see the city from a different perspective and at your own pace.
What is the currency used in Zurich?
The currency used all over Switzerland is the Swiss franc. A lot of places will accept EURO currency as payment but will give you any change due in Swiss francs.
Worth seeing in Zurich
Here are some of the best attractions on offer in the Swiss haven of Zurich:
- Aldstadt and Fraumünster, Grossmünster, Wasserkirche churches
- Swiss national Museum
- Prime Tower
- Le Pavilion Le Courbusier
- Kunsthaus Zurich
- Migros Museum of Contemporary Art
- FIFA Museum
The city’s architectural heritage is a striking blend of historic and contemporary architectural styles. The Aldstadt (Old Town) is home to the old merchant guildhalls, the Rathaus (town hall), the Fraumünster, Grossmünster and Wasserkirche churches, as well as the Swiss National Museum, designed by Gustav Gull with towers, courts and an amazing park on a peninsula between the Sihl and Limmat rivers. At the contemporary end of the scale are architectural masterpieces such as the Prime Tower – Zurich’s tallest building.
The outdoor site of Zurich
Get outdoors for some fresh alpine air – a summer hike up the Üetliberg (elevation approx. 2,854 ft) will reveal jaw-dropping views over the city and the lake to the snow-capped peaks beyond. In winter, hiking trails are transformed into sledding runs.
Art and contemporary
With more than 150 art galleries and museums, there’s something for everyone. Le Pavilion Le Corbusier is dedicated to the works of Le Corbusier – architecture, sculptures, paintings, furniture designs and writing. Kunsthaus Zurich focuses on modern Swiss art and has one of the most important collections in Switzerland spanning from the Middle Ages to modern times. Or visit the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, which has more than 1,300 works by 700 artists. The FIFA World Football Museum is owned and operated by FIFA and across town from the FIFA headquarters. With more than 1,000 items on display, the museum is a must for all football fans.
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Eating in Zurich
Zurich has a dazzling culinary landscape with everything from Michelin star-studded restaurants to traditional Swiss fare and contemporary street food. While in Zurich, don’t forget to try traditional Swiss dishes such as Zürcher Geschnetzeltes (Swiss Ragout), herb sausages or a classic Swiss fondue.
There is no shortage of enticing cafes and restaurants in Zurich where you can stop for a break between excursions. Zurich’s Central European location lends itself to a diverse culinary landscape, that features local Swiss cuisine such as the sweet Tirggel (Christmas biscuits), alongside foods from around the world.
After dark, let your hair down and get amongst the hipsters in the trendy epicenter of Zurich nightlife in “Züri-West”, where you’ll find one of the highest concentrations of nightlife venues in Europe.
After partying long into the night like a local, grab a bite to eat from any of the many innovative street food vendors offering a range of international eats until the small hours.
The stylish Grieder department store is 3,000 m2 of shopper’s paradise in the Gothic Revival building at Bahnhofstrasse 30. Grieder is dedicated to popular luxury brands and high-end homewares. It also features a concept store on the top level. Or visit Langstrasse and the area around the central train station, home to luxury haute couture brands, souvenirs and plenty of cafes for refueling.