Zurich Travel Guide, Switzerland

Zurich is Switzerland’s biggest city and a cultural center of German-speaking Switzerland. It is the country’s largest city and home to an internationally reputed financial centre as well as being the focus of an economic region which acts as the motor of Switzerland, and along with Geneva is the most important gateway to the country. Located at the heart of Switzerland’s excessively punctual and meticulously maintained train network and being home to Switzerland’s most important airport, it is often the first part of Switzerland that visitors get to see.

Zurich has for years ranked among the world’s top cities in terms of quality of life. The city is not just an financial center, there is much more to be discovered. The leisure offer is huge and there are many parks and green spaces. The infrastructure and public transport are well developed. Zurich is Switzerland’s centre of economic life and education. While Zurich can be expensive, it is also clean, efficient and blessed with a high standard of living, which together with the high wages.

The main attraction of Zurich is the well-preserved old town on the left and right of the Limmat, therefore easiest to reach on foot or with a short tram or bus ride. A visit best begins at Central-Platz opposite the main train station, leads to Bellevue-Platz on the lake, where the Limmat is crossed, via Münsterplatz to Bahnhofstrasse, via Urania to Lindenhof, via Peterskirche back to the town hall, from where you can cross Limmatquai again can get to the lake or back to the train station.

In addition to buildings and monuments, Zurich’s location on Lake Zurich is also worth a look. At Bellevue or at Bürkliplatz there is a beautiful view of the lake and the Alps in good weather. Both lake shores with their promenades and parks are attractions for many locals and tourists.

Compared to other cities, there are few high-rise buildings in Zurich. A few high-rise buildings were then cautiously approved. Modernist buildings from the 1950s and 1960s that are worth seeing can be found on the Schanzengraben and at the Sihlporte as well as near the Enge train station (the school complex of the Freudenberg/Enge cantonal schools). Current architecture focuses on the old industrial district of Zurich West between Langstrasse and Hardbrücke. There are also numerous trendy clubs and the shipbuilding hall of the playhouse in this trend quarter. By 2020, the new Europaallee district will be built southwest of the main train station.

In addition to cultural and historical sights, the city also has extensive green areas with original vegetation just a few kilometers outside of the city center, which are also suitable for demanding mountain hikes. On the Albis chain there is the Fallätsche, an erosion funnel that is slowly being overgrown with vegetation again and is often the talk of the town with large demolitions. A hiking trail worth mentioning is the Denzlerweg on the slopes of the Uetliberg, which leads through dense forest from the Kolbenhof in an almost direct line to the Uto-Kulm and lets the visitor forget the nearby big city in a short time. On the other side of the lake on the Zürichberg there are also longer hiking trails, for example the path from the Hirslanden mill to the Trichterhauser mill.

The main attraction of the Zoo am Zürichberg is the Masoala Rain Forest Hall, which is unique in Europe. Of the various city parks, the (new) botanical garden of the university and the China Garden, a gift from the partner city of Kunming on the shore of Lake Zurich, are particularly worth seeing. The rose garden of the Muraltengut is somewhat hidden in the Enge. In the same quarter is also the Belvoirpark, which is one of the earliest landscape gardens in the region and is particularly noteworthy among Zurich’s parks with its view of the lake, the city and the mountains. Right next to it is the Museum Rietberg in the Villa Wesendonck and Park-Villa Rieter with a focus on Asian and Islamic art. The Zurich Succulent Collection is also located near these museums.

The Zurich lake is the landmark of the city and region of Zurich. It connects Zurich with Rapperswil and offers many activities on and in the water. Popular places to visit around Lake Zurich include the numerous swimming areas, the Alpamare in Pfäffikon – the largest covered water park in Europe – the sunny islands of Ufenau and Lützelau near Rapperswil, the wooden footbridge across the lake between Rapperswil and Hurden, the Baroque church in Lachen, the famous Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate factory in Kilchberg and, of course, the dynamic metropolis of Zurich, with all its many sights, the famous shopping mile of the Bahnhofsstrasse and its vast range of cultural amenities.

Main Attractions
Located in the heart of Europe, the city offers all the modern amenities of a cosmopolitan metropolis. The wide variety of cultural activities and educational institutions define Zurich’s character as a diverse, open city with a passion for life. Zurich combines the advantages of a green and modern city at the foot of the Alps with excellent infrastructure and a strong network of business, education and ambitious start-ups. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic.

In the old town on the right-hand side, the old town hall in the Renaissance style, the Romanesque Grossmünster, the starting point of the Reformation under Zwingli, and the guild houses along the Limmatquais are particularly noteworthy. A tower of the Grossmünster is accessible and offers a good view over the old town. A model of the medieval city of Zurich can also be viewed in the city archives on Neumarkt, at Spiegelgasse 14 is Lenin’s temporary domicile. On Zähringerplatz, next to the central library, is the Gothic Preacher’s Church with the preacher’s choir, which is separated from the church and subdivided with intermediate floors. The best way to discover the sights is to take a stroll through Niederdorf and Oberdorf. In Niederdorf there are a particularly large number of beer halls, snack bars and cafés.

The old town on the left bank of the Limmat also has narrow streets with medieval houses that are well worth seeing. The Fraumünster Church is remarkable because of its windows by Marc Chagall and the painted cloister by Paul Bodmer, as well as the Peterskirche with the largest tower clock face in Europe. The Gothic Augustinian church has been the parish church of the Christian Catholic Church since 1873. Worth seeing is the Lindenhof, which offers a beautiful view of the old town. The municipal offices, which were built by Gustav Gull in the early 20th century, are more recent.

Old Town
The old town of Zürich encompasses the area of the entire historical city. The old town is the highest concentration of clubs in Switzerland, one of the most famous shopping miles, and a plethora of cultural offerings. And all of this against a medieval background. Zurich Old Town is a cultural, social and historical melting pot.

Zurich’s Medieval houses, contorted, narrow lanes and guild and town halls from the Renaissance period offer an attractive backdrop for world-class entertainment. A tour of the Old Town lets visitors experience Zurich’s multifaceted past. The backdrop turns into a living history of characteristic buildings and the people that lived and acted out their lives in them.

Lindenhof quarter
The double towers of the Great Minster are Zurich’s landmark. According to legend, Charlemagne built the towers at the location where the graves of the city saints Felix and Regula were discovered. Further sights worth seeing include the Peter’s Church, which has Europe’s largest clockface, and the Minster of Our Lady, which is known for its stained glass windows by Giacometti and Chagall. Der Lindenhof quarter corresponds to the mindere Stadt, the smaller but more prestigious half of the medieval town left of the river. This is the oldest core of the city, with settlement traces dating to pre-Roman (La Tène) times, and fortified as the Roman Vicus Turicum, a Roman customs station with a surrounding civilian settlement, in the final decades of the 1st century BC.

The Lindenhof hill, in the old town of Zürich, Switzerland, is the historical site of the Roman castle, and the later Carolingian Kaiserpfalz. The castle remained intact during the early phase of Alemannic immigration in between the fifth and sixth centuries.The Lindenhof remained a place of civil assembly into modern times. In 1798, the citizens of Zürich swore the oath to the constitution of the Helvetic Republic on the Lindenhof. In the early 21st century, it serves as a recreational space, a green oasis, and automobile-free zone in the old historic city centre. Its elevated position makes it a popular location for tourists to get an overview of the geography of old Zürich.

Zunfthaus zur Meisen at Münsterhof plaza near Fraumünster church houses the porcelain and faience collection of the Swiss National Museum. Lindenhof also contains the former Augustinian abbey, and formerly the Oetenbach nunnery north of the Lindenhof hill, demolished in 1903 to make way for the Uraniastrasse as part the partially built «Urania-axis» Sihlporte–Uraniastrasse–Zähringerplatz by Gustav Gull, and the Urania Sternwarte. The Fraumünster abbey ruled the town until the 1336 “guild revolution” of Rudolf Brun and which remained highly influential until Zwingli’s Reformation.

Rathaus quarter
The Rathaus quarter is named for the town hall, built in the 1690s. It is the part of the medieval town on the right side of the Limmat, separated by the Hirschengraben from the Hochschulen quarter to the east, and delimited by the Bellevue and Central squares to the south and north, respectively. As such, it includes the Limmatquai as well as the Niederdorf (downstream of the Kirchgasse) and the Oberdorf (upstream of the Kirchgasse). The historical name of this eastern half of the medieval town was “greater town” (mehrere Stadt), contrasting with the “lesser town” (mindere Stadt), the western half along the left river bank.

The Limmatquai was built along the right side of the Limmat, running from Central to Bellevue. It was built in the 19th century, connecting various earlier quais built into the Limmat. The current right bank is some 28 m west of the medieval river’s. The quai was constructed from 1823–1859 from Bellevue to the Rathaus, in 1835–1836 from the Rathaus to the Wasserkirche and 1835–1839 the portion from the Wasserkirche to Bellevue, formerly called Sonnenquai. At the Limmatquai are located some guild houses, as Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten, Zunfthaus zur Haue, Zunfthaus zum Rüden and Zunfthaus zur Saffran. Zürich tram routes 4 and 15 run along the Limmatquai, serving the stops Helmhaus, Rathaus and Rudolf-Brun-Brücke. The quai was one of the main routes through the old town before it was freed from traffic in 2004.

The Niederdorf was the least developed part of the medieval city. The celebrated Old Town district of the Niederdorf is affectionately known by locals as the Dörfli, the “little village”. With its winding, car-free alleys, its emblematic Grossmünster church and its many small boutiques, antiquarian bookshops and craft studios, it is a delight to explore both by day and in the evening. The Niederdorf also perfectly embodies the city’s unique charm. The Schober-Péclard boutique and confectionery, for example, is a listed building that stylishly combines the elements that make a trip to Zurich so special: history, architecture and shopping.

The mehrere Stadt between the Niederdorf and the Oberdorf (between Rathaus and Kirchgasse) includes the Münstergasse, Obere Zäune, Untere Zäune and the Barfüsserkloster (the former Franciscan abbey) as well as a number of alleys leaving Münstergasse: Marktgasse, Spiegelgasse, Krebsgasse, Ankengasse, Römergasse and Kirchgasse. Grossmünster, initially the church of the Predigerkloster (Dominican monastery), it became after the Reformation in Switzerland the parish church of Niederdorf respectively Neumarkt, and owns since 1900 the tallest church tower of Zürich.

Hochschulen quarter
Hochschulen is wedged between Hirschengraben (the historical course of the eastern moat) and Rämistrasse, corresponding to the area taken up by the eastern fortifications of the 17th century ramparts (destroyed following the 1839 Züriputsch), the hillside now holding the main buildings of both ETH Zurich (built 1861 to 1864 under Gustav Zeuner) and University of Zurich (built 1914 under Karl Moser), at the sites of the Kronen Bollwerk and Schönenberg Bollwerk ramparts, respectively. Hochschulen borders on District 6 (Unterstrass and Oberstrass) to the north, on District 7 (Fluntern and Hottingen) to the east and on District 8 (Mühlebach and Seefeld) to the south.

Hochschulen in its southern end also includes the Bellevue and Sechseläuten squares as well as the theater and opera house at Stadelhoferplatz and the Stadelhofen train station. Stops of the Zürich tram system in the Hochschulen quarter are: Central, ETH/Universitätsspital, Kantonsschule, Kunsthaus, Neumarkt, Bellevue, Opernhaus and Stadelhofen. Line 9 follows Rämistrasse which separates Hochschulen from Fluntern, line 3 follows Hirschengraben and Seilergraben (the historical eastern moat), which separates it from the Rathaus quarter. The Polybahn funicular connects Central and the ETH Zurich main building.

The Bellevueplatz, a square at the southern border between the Rathaus quarter and the southern end of the Hochschulen quarter, right next to the lake outflow, is a major junction of the Zürich tram system. It is named for the Grandhotel Bellevue built in 1856, and is the nodal point of the quaysides that were built between 1881 and 1887 crossing the Quaibrücke towards Bürkliplatz and General-Guisan-Quai.

South of Bellevue are the squares Sechseläutenplatz and Stadelhofenplatz. Stadelhofen was an estate just south of the southeasternmost bastion, the Stadelhofen Bollwerk, whilst Sechseläutenplatz takes its name from the Sechseläuten, a traditional Zürich festival that is celebrated there. Stadelhofen station, on Stadelhofenplatz, is an important stop of the Zürich S-Bahn lines to Uster, Rapperswil-Jona and Winterthur as well as the terminal of the Forchbahn (S18) line serving Zumikon and Esslingen. The Zürich Opera House is situated at the southern end of the Sechseläutenplatz.

City quarter
City is the area west of the Bahnhofstrasse, delimited by the Sihl and the Schanzengraben, the moat of the 17th century ramparts. It includes the Paradeplatz, Zürich Hauptbahnhof, the Swiss National Museum and the Platzspitz park (formerly Limmatspitz). It comprises the tram stops Bürkliplatz, Paradeplatz, Rennweg, Bahnhofstrasse / Bahnhofplatz / Bahnhofquai, Löwenplatz, Sihlstrasse and Bahnhof Selnau. City borders on District 2 (Enge) to the southwest, and on Districts 4 and 5 (Aussersihl) to the northwest.

Platzspitz (formerly Platzpromenade, Limmatspitz) is a park at the confluence of the two rivers of Zürich; the Limmat and the Sihl. In medieval times, the area situated north of the city was used as pasture. In the early 15th century it was made into a shooting-range, and in the 16th to 17th centuries, Schützenfeste were held there. A remnant of these can be found in the contemporary Knabenschiessen shooting contest.

Bürkliplatz is a square and stop of the Zürich tram system, situated at the southern end of the Bahnhofstrasse, and west of the Bellevue square, with which it is connected by the Quaibrücke. The lakeshore quay connecting the square with Lake Zurich is named General-Guisan-Quai, after Henri Guisan. From the Bürkliplatz landing gate, Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft boat services leave for Thalwil, Rapperswil, Schmerikon, Erlenbach and down the Limmat to Zürich Landesmuseum. Bürkliplatz is named for Arnold Bürkli (1833–1894), the engineer responsible for the construction of the city’s quays.

Selnau was historically an estate west of the city, which came to lie between the north-western moat (Schanzengraben) and the Sihl. Together with the Gessnerallee, Selnaustrasse and Sihlhölzlistrasse running along the right bank of the Sihl, it is part of the City quarter even though strictly situated outside the city ramparts. Today, Zürich Selnau railway station is a stop on the line of the Uetlibergbahn, running from Zürich Hauptbahnhof to the Sihltal (S4) and to the Uetliberg (S10). The SWX Swiss Exchange building is located in Selnau. The museum Haus Konstruktiv is located in a former power station near Selnau train station.

Religious heritage
The town of the reformer Huldrych Zwingli became the second most important (after Wittenberg) center of the Reformation in 1519. To this day it is considered the starting point of the worldwide Reformed Church and the Anabaptists.

Grossmünster Church
The Grossmünster is a Romanesque-style Protestant church in Zürich, Switzerland. The core of the present building near the banks of the Limmat was constructed on the site of a Carolingian church, which was, according to legend, originally commissioned by Charlemagne. The twin towers of the Grossmünster are regarded as perhaps the most recognized landmark in Zürich. The church houses a Reformation museum in the cloister. The annex to the cloister houses the theological school of the University of Zurich.

Construction of the present structure commenced around 1100 and it was inaugurated around 1220. Architecturally, the church is considered Romanesque in style and thus a part of the first pan-European architectural trend since Imperial Roman architecture. In keeping with the Romanesque architectural style, Grossmünster offers a great carved portal featuring medieval columns with grotesques adorning the capitals. A Romanesque crypt dates to the 11th and 13th centuries. The church now features modern stained-glass windows by Swiss artist Augusto Giacometti added in 1932. Ornate bronze doors in the north and south portals by Otto Münch were added in 1935 and 1950.

Fraumünster Church
The Fraumünster is a church in Zürich located on the west bank of the Limmat, the Fraumünster Church with its green steeple is one of Zurich’s most prominent landmarks. Particularly renowned are the glass windows by Marc Chagall and Augusto Giacometti. Fraumünster Church was built on the remains of a former abbey for aristocratic women which was founded in 853 by Louis the German for his daughter Hildegard. He endowed the Benedictine convent with the lands of Zürich, Uri, and the Albis forest, and granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct authority. Today, it belongs to the Evangelical Reformed Church of the canton of Zürich and is one of the four main churches of Zürich, the others being the Grossmünster, Prediger and St. Peter’s churches.

Today, many visitors are attracted by the five stained glass windows prepared by Marc Chagall in the 1960’s as well as by the the rosette in the south transept. Another significant glass window is “The Heavenly Paradise” (1945) by Augusto Giacometti, the uncle of the famous Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, in the north transept. With 5793 pipes, the organ in the Fraumünster Church is the largest in the Canton of Zurich. A cycle of frescos by Paul Bodmer depicts the legend of the founding of the monastery and of the city’s patron saints Felix and Regula.

St. Peter Church
St. Peter romanesque-gothic-baroque church built on remains of former churches from before the 9th century; with the largest church clock face in Europe built 1538; baptismal font of 1598, baroque stucco; individual stalls from the 15th century from city repealed monasteries with rich carvings and armrests; Kanzellettner (increased barrier between the nave and choir with built-pulpit) of 1705 pulpit sounding board about 1790; rich Akanthus embellishment with Bible.

Predigerkirche Church
Predigerkirche is one of the four main churches of the old town, first built in 1231 AD as a Romanesque church of the then Dominican Predigerkloster nearby the Neumarkt. It was converted in the first half of the 14th century, and the choir rebuilt between 1308 and 1350. Due to its construction and for that time unusual high bell tower, it was regarded as the most high Gothic edifice in Zürich.

Zurich’s place on the world stage does not come down to its size but to its strong international networks. Zurich was already a prosperous centre of commerce in the Early Middle Ages. The 1519 Reformation gave the economy such a boost that the city rapidly became Switzerland’s financial centre. Zürich is home to many financial institutions and banking companies. The world-famous Bahnhofstrasse, which the Swiss National Bank located, is one of the most luxurious shopping strips around.

Bahnhofstrasse is Zürich’s main downtown street and one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. Stretching for 1.4 kilometres from the main railway station to the lake, the Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. Strung along it like pearls on a necklace are department stores, boutiques and jewellery shops; the further you stroll towards the lake, the more exclusive the shops become. The Paradeplatz is the heart of the Bahnhofstrasse and serves as an important tram junction close to Lake Zurich. Since the major Swiss banks set up their headquarters here, the Paradeplatz has made a name for itself as Switzerland’s biggest money-handling centre. Along the way, alleys such as Rennweg and Augustinergasse lead off into the picturesque Old Town.

Zurich West is a modern quarter used to be an industrial one, but modern urban developments made it into a centre of vibrant night life. Zurich West is a former industrial site, stretching between the track leading away from Zürich Hauptbahnhof and the Limmat, and experiencing a gradual conversion into a new quarter, including offices, apartments and arts venues. Zürich West has become the center of economic growth in the Zürich area and is one of eleven central areas of cantonal significance in the canton’s structure plan. It includes the Prime Tower as the highest building in Zürich.

Not only as an economic hub, university city and boutique metropole by the water offering a high quality of life, Zurich is a great place to live. The cosmopolitan city by the water combines creative urban life with nature in all its glory. The high standards of living, working and accommodation are regularly confirmed in surveys of the local residents, and Zurich consistently finds itself at the top of international rankings of cities in terms of quality of life.

The city is a centre of research, development, business formation and innovation. Researchers at the revered Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and companies such as Google and Disney Research produce one innovation after the next. Zurich University of the Arts and other cultural establishments such as the Kunsthaus Zürich, Haus Konstruktiv and Museum für Gestaltung make sure creativity is also in abundance.

The city is also home to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and the University of Zurich, the two largest universities in Switzerland. Zurich is the most important center of the Swiss media and creative industries. With its location on Lake Zurich, its well-preserved medieval old town and a wide range of cultural activities and nightlife, it is also a center of tourism.

Cultural space
The current variety and quality of the cultural offer in Zürich is most impressive. The city’s cultural spectrum was marked in the 1970s by the opera house, theatre, art gallery, concert hall and various cinemas, but over the past 25 years it has taken on an almost unbelievable life of its own. Zürich has centres and niches for the avant-garde and the unconventional from every sector of culture.

The city’s old town along the lake and the Langstrasse area are characterised by the wide variety of bars and restaurants. In the Zürich-West former industrial area, where steel-workers once manufactured turbines and machinery, there are now any number of clubs and discos, as well as galleries (the Löwenbräu art zone) and modern theatre productions (the city theatre’s Schiffbau-Halle) in what has become a thriving district.

Zürich has been the home to several art movements. The Dada movement was founded in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire. Artists like Max Bill, Marcel Breuer, Camille Graeser or Richard Paul Lohse had their ateliers in Zürich. In addition to high-quality museums and galleries, Zürich has high-calibre chamber and symphony orchestras and several important theatres.

Zurich is a boutique city that offers everything that albeit in small and exquisite format. Many museums and art galleries can be found in the city, including the Swiss National Museum and Kunsthaus. Schauspielhaus Zürich is considered to be one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world. Zurich is avant-garde: it was not only home to Dada, but also the place where the Freitag bag and world-renowned Helvetica typeface originated.

Kunsthaus Zürich
Zurich’s most famous art museum. The Kunsthaus Zürich is in terms of area the biggest art museum of Switzerland and houses one of the most important art collections in Switzerland, assembled over the years by the local art association called Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft. The collection spans from the Middle Ages to contemporary art, the collection includes works from many Swiss artists, such as the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti or the paintings of Ferdinand Hodler. There are also major works from international artists on display.

The Kunsthaus Zürich boasts Zurich’s largest collection of modern art and is renowned both for its permanent art collection and its temporary exhibitions. The museum’s collection includes major works by artists including Claude Monet (several works including an enormous water lily painting), Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, Jacques Lipchitz and the Swiss Alberto Giacometti. Other Swiss artists such as Johann Heinrich Füssli, Ferdinand Hodler or from recent times, Pipilotti Rist and Peter Fischli are also represented. Furthermore, works from Vincent van Gogh, Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse and René Magritte are to be found.

Strengths of this outstanding museum include the largest collection of work by Munch outside Norway, the most comprehensive museum holdings of art by Alberto Giacometti, and important paintings by Monet, Picasso, Chagall, Kokoschka, Beckmann and Corinth. The New York School – Pollock, Rothko and Newman – is also represented, along with Pop Art from Europe and America. The expressive innovation of the 1980s is best seen in the outstanding collection of works by Georg Baselitz. Other highlights of the museum include paintings and rare sculptures by Cy Twombly. Video installations and photographs by Fischli/Weiss, Pipilotti Rist and others continue the narrative into the 21st century.

The old museum part was drawn-up by architects Karl Moser and Robert Curjel and opened in 1910. Particularly notable are the several preserved Moser interiors in the original section of the museum, decorated in masterful Neo-Grec version of Secession style. The bas-reliefs on the facade are by Moser’s longtime collaborator Oskar Kiefer. The original museum building was extended in 1925, 1958 and 1976. A $230 million extension was opened in 2020, and he Kunsthaus will become the largest Swiss art museum, overtaking the Kunstmuseum Basel in the available space but not the collection. The two upper floors will be for art, with facilities at ground level and a basement link under the street to the original museum across the street in Heimplatz.

National Museum Zurich
The Swiss National Museum is part of the Musée Suisse Group, itself affiliated with the Federal Office of Culture, is located in the city of Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, next to the Hauptbahnhof. The museum building of 1898 in the historicist style was built by Gustav Gull in the form of the French Renaissance city chateaus. His impressive architecture with dozens of towers, courts and his astonishing park on a peninsula between the rivers Sihl and Limmat has become one of the main sights of the Old City District of Zurich.

The National Museum Zurich shows Swiss history from its beginnings to the present day in the permanent exhibitions “Archaeology Switzerland”, “History Switzerland” and “Gallery Collections”, as well as several temporary exhibitions each year. The exhibition tour takes the visitor from prehistory through ancient times and the Middle Ages to the 20th century (classic modern art and art of the 16th, 17th and 18th century is settled mainly in the Kunsthaus Museum in a different part of the city of Zurich). There is a very rich section with gothic art, chivalry and a comprehensive collection of liturgical wooden sculptures, panel paintings and carved altars. Zunfthaus zur Meisen near Fraumünster church houses the porcelain and faience collection of the Swiss National Museum. There are also: a Collections Gallery, a place where there are Swiss furnishings being exhibited, an Armoury Tower, a diorama of the Battle of Murten, and a Coin Cabinet showing 14th, 15th, 16th century Swiss coins and even some coins from the Middle Ages.

FIFA Museum
The FIFA Museum is an association football museum operated by FIFA. The FIFA Museum was created in honour of the most popular team sport in the world. The museum presents the fascinating history and development of international football, looks back on major tournaments and shows how football has not only influenced but also enriched the lives of all sorts of people. Every year, the museum participates in Zürich’s Long Night of Museums.

The 3,500 m2 (38,000 sq ft) museum occupies the lower three floors of the renovated Haus zur Enge, a ten-story mixed-use building located in the Enge quarter, across from the Zürich Enge railway station and the FIFA-owned Hotel Ascot. The building also contains a sports bar, a bistro, a café, a library, a museum shop and conference rooms; the upper floors have office spaces and 34 luxury apartments.

The museum exhibits over one thousand objects. These include memorabilia from every FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup, the most famous one being the original FIFA World Cup Trophy. The exhibition features various interactive and multimedia installations such as the biggest pinball machine ever made and an audiovisual media installation called Visions of Football using 8 metres (26 ft) LED screens. In 2017, the museum was nominated for the German Design Award.

Lindt Home of Chocolate
Lindt has opened over 410 chocolate cafés and shops all over the world. Since 2020, the main factory of Kilchberg includes a visitor centre and museum, referred to as Lindt Home of Chocolate. The museum notably displays the world’s largest chocolate fountain, measuring over nine metres tall and containing 1,500 litres of chocolate, flowing from a giant whisk. A tour of the Lindt Home of Chocolate covers every aspect of this Swiss cultural asset chocolate, including a chocolate fountain over 9m tall and the biggest Lindt Chocolate Shop in the world, spread over 500m2. In the CHOCOLATERIA, you can create your very own masterpieces under the expert guidance of the Lindt Master Chocolatiers while learning many interesting things about the origin, history and manufacture of Lindt chocolate. In the first Lindt café in Switzerland, you can also spoil yourself during your visit with a range of sweet and savoury treats.

WOW Museum
WOW Museum Zurich is a place full of illusions. A cultural highlight in the heart of Zurich, just 50m from the main train station. Across three floors and more than 400 square metres, you will lose yourself in infinity, stand upside down and wonder about your own perception. Dive into 12 different experience rooms, immerse yourself in lights and lose yourself in patterns. WOW combines fun with learning, culture and virtuality.

Pavillon Le Corbusier
The Pavillon Le Corbusier is a Swiss art museum in Zürich-Seefeld at Zürichhorn dedicated to the work of the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. In 1960 Heidi Weber had the vision to establish a museum designed by Le Corbusier – this building should exhibit his works of art in an ideal environment created by the architect himself in the then Centre Le Corbusier or Heidi Weber Museum. In April 2014 the building and museum went over to the city of Zürich, and was renamed in May 2016.

It is the last building designed by Le Corbusier marking a radical change of his achievement of using concrete and stone, framed in steel and glass, in the 1960s created as a signpost for the future. Le Corbusier made intensive use of prefabricated steel elements combined with multi-coloured enamelled plates fitted to the central core, and above the complex he designed a ‘free-floating’ roof to keep the house protected from the rain and the sun. With this colorful building on the shores of Lake Zurich, Le Corbusier realized his concept of the synthesis of architecture, life, and art in real life. The exhibition pavilion is designed entirely according to the Modulor system, an anthropometric scale of proportions devised by Le Corbusier based on the human body and the golden ratio.

The Zürich Opera House, built in 1834, was the first permanent theatre in the heart of Zürich and was at the time, the main seat of Richard Wagner’s activities. Later in 1890, the theatre was re-built as an ornate building with a neo-classical architecture. The portico is made of white and grey stone ornamented with the busts of Wagner, Weber and Mozart. Later, busts of Schiller, Shakespeare and Goethe were also added. The auditorium is designed in the rococo style. Once a year, it hosts the Zürcher Opernball with the President of the Swiss Confederation and the economic and cultural élite of Switzerland. The Ballet Zürich performs at the opera house. The Zürich Opera Ball, a major social event, is held annually at the Opera House as a fundraiser for the opera and ballet companies.

The Schauspielhaus Zürich is the main theatre complex of the city. It has two dépendances: Pfauen in the Central City District and Schiffbauhalle, an old industrial hall, in Zürich West. The Schauspielhaus was home to emigrants such as Bertolt Brecht or Thomas Mann, and saw premieres of works of Max Frisch, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Botho Strauss or Elfriede Jelinek. The Schauspielhaus is one of the most prominent and important theatres in Switzerland.

The Theater am Neumarkt is one of the oldest theatres of the city. Established by the old guilds in the Old City District, it is located in a baroque palace near Niederdorf Street. It has two stages staging mostly avantgarde works by European directors.

Natural space
The City of Zürich regularly occupies the top spots in rankings of cities based on quality of life, and has attractive working and residential areas that are filled with greenery and have good access to the lake, rivers, hills and forests. Additionally noticeable progress has been made over the past two decades in terms of environmental quality.

The Lindenhof is the oldest public parkland and dates back to the ninth century. In the Zürichhorn area there is a Chinese garden, which was a gift from Zürich’s twin city of Kunming in the south-west of China in recognition of the city’s technical and scientific support in the development of Kunming’s drinking water supply and urban drainage. More park and leisure areas seem to have been springing up of late, including the spectacular modern park in New Oerlikon and the terraces along the river banks.

Native animals such as the lynx, the brown bear, the marmot and the ibex all call the Langenberg nature park at the foot of the Albis home, while the Zürich Zoo has developed innovative concepts for animal breeding using new enclosures. The Zürich Wilderness Park is a real experience for the visitor since it shows nature that is preserved yet untouched by human hands and left to develop as it would in the wild.

Chinese Garden
The Chinese Garden is a chinese garden in the Swiss city of Zürich. The garden is a gift by Zürich’s Chinese partner town Kunming, as thanks for Zürich’s technical and scientific assistance in the development of the Kunming city drinking water supply and drainage. Water is the central element, as a symbol of friendship between Kunming and Zurich.

The garden is an expression of one of the main themes of Chinese culture, the “Three Friends of Winter” – three plants that together brave the cold season – pine, bamboo and plum blossom. The inscriptions and paintings point to the uniqueness of the culture of Yunnan and its influences from various ethnic groups. Trees and flowers represent the source of feelings and aspirations. In Zürich’s Chinese garden, the local poplars are integrated in the overall design. The pond is lined with willows, as symbol of pure water and holyness. Also important are four ginkgos between the open gallery and the northern wall.

The garden covers an exactly rectangular terrain, surrounded by a low wall. Its central element is a pond with a small island. Entering the garden, the pond opens our view to all important elements of the garden. The surrounding wall separates the outer mundane world from art, an ideal microcosm in the garden inside. The wall has on three sides windows, with barred bamboo and lotus flower tiles. Eaves and final bricks as well as the frieze bear small sculptural figures, representing the Chinese dragon of clouds. Wall corners and wall’s top adorns the second of the nine dragon sons, Chiwen dragon.

The main entrance is emblazoned with a calligraphy on a golden plate, meaning China Garden. Nine nail rows and the red color of the gate originally were reserved for the emperor. In China’s Yunnan province, for 300 years they have been an essential architectural element of garden plants. The second door was originally named the second-last gate of the Imperial Court’s inner rooms. The carved panels on both sides, are excerpts from Chinese tales. The artificial mountain represents the meaning of landscape – «Mountain und Water» – and is contrasting Yin and Yang. Rock formations are the bones in the body, focusing the garden. They also are sharing space and draw the viewer’s gaze.

A bridge is connecting the pavilion’s island and the inner garden, reminding the island of immortals. The circular pavilion embodies the middle, and so the fifth cardinal direction in the culture of China. His inscriptions refer to the water as a symbol of friendship between the cities of Kunming and Zürich. The hectagon pavilion suggests lofty heights and snow drift in winter. His carvings are full of allegories: Phoenix as symbol of empress, and flowers as well as a symbol of female beauty. The pavilion’s inside is showing symbols of good luck and landscapes. A square pavilion forms the entrance to the galleries and to the water palace. Its entrance shows two golden Phoenix’. A carved archway is devoted to the spring, a magpie and plum blossoms announce the newly waked life. Open galleries are adorned by more than 500 still lifes and landscapes. Its carved arche beams are a particular feature of the gardens of Yunnan. A short winding path symbolizes abundance and harmony.

The water palace is the heart of the Chinese garden. The painting of its exterior walls, doors and windows is deliberately kept simple, so that visitors are able to concentrate to the inner qualities of the building. Its terrace opens to the water surface, showing all important elements of the garden, its rear garden is called garden of shadows.

The Limmat is a river in Switzerland. The river commences at the outfall of Lake Zurich, in the southern part of the city of Zurich. From Zurich it flows in a northwesterly direction, after 35 km reaching the river Aare. The confluence is located north of the small town of Brugg and shortly after the mouth of the Reuss. The main towns along the Limmat Valley downstream of Zurich are Dietikon, Wettingen, and Baden. Its main tributaries are the Linth, via Lake Zurich, the Sihl, in Zurich, and the Reppisch, in Dietikon.

Historically, the Limmat was an important navigation route. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, voyages from Zurich to Koblenz are recorded. In 1447, the Emperor Frederick III granted the privilege of free navigation on the Limmat and on the Rhine to Zurich. Today, the Limmat is navigable for much of its length by small craft only. On this stretch of the river the Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (Lake Zurich Navigation Company) operates its Limmat boat service, from the Landesmuseum to Lake Zurich, using low-profile motor boats.

Schanzengraben is a moat and a section of the northwestern extension of the Seeuferanlage promenades that were built between 1881 and 1887 in Zürich, Switzerland. Schanzengraben is, among the adjoint Katz bastion at the Old Botanical Garden and the so-called Bauschänzli bulwark, one of the last remains of the Baroque fortifications of Zürich. The area of the moat is also an inner-city recreation area.

There is nearby the Arboretum and the Voliere Zürich, Other attractions include the historical Enge quarter, but mainly the Old Botanical Garden and its arboretum. There is also a unique public bath just for men (Männerbad) that also serves as an event restaurant. That section of the moat is also used as a ground for canoeing and a ‘water stadion’ for canoe waterball. Probably the most natural part is situated nearby the mouth into the Sihl, where also some waterbirds and even fish found an inner-city refugium.

Lake Zurich
Lake Zurich is a lake in Switzerland, extending southeast of the city of Zürich. The Lake Zurich region lies in the cantons of Glarus, Schwyz, St. Gallen and Zurich, which includes the towns and villages around Lake Zurich. The Prehistoric pile dwellings around Lake Zurich comprises 11 of total 56 Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps in Switzerland. Lake Zurich with beautiful scenery is not only a treat to the human eyes but also an excellent place for some recreational activities. Lakeside promenades, bars, restaurants, shops and many other facilities.

Lake Zurich, which looks like a bent almost banana-shaped on the map, is framed on the southern side by the Albis and Zimmerberg hills and on the north by the Pfannenstiel chain of hills. The lake is bordered by the cantons of Zurich, St.Gallen and Schwyz. Zürich, at the north-western end of the lake, is the largest city on Lake Zurich. The famous “golden coast” extends along the northern side of the lake, from Zollikon to Feldmeilen. This sun-soaked region is famous for its low rates of taxation and high property prices, and is therefore the stretch of coast where you can seen the magnificent houses and villas of the upper echelons of society.

On the west shore (which gradually becomes the south shore) are Rüschlikon, Thalwil, Horgen, Wädenswil, Richterswil, Pfäffikon, and Lachen. On the opposite shore are Küsnacht, Meilen, Stäfa, and Rapperswil-Jona with the medieval town of Rapperswil, whose castle is home to the Polish museum. Schmerikon is close to the east end of the lake, and a little further east is the larger town of Uznach.

Lake Zurich is a popular place for excursions, picnic. Bathe in the deep blue water, or cycle around it. With the soft splashing of the water on the shore, fresh fish on the plate and particularly romantic sunsets over the lake: the restaurants on the water have a Mediterranean attitude to life. The surrounding area also includes some well-known destinations: Ufenau Island, the Lindt Home of Chocolate, Rapperswil Castle or a winery near Stäfa.

Take a boat trip on the lake, guests spot the snow-covered Alps on the horizon. Gently rocking waves, peace and quiet, relaxation and fine food: the best way to discover the Lake Zurich area is by taking a boat trip. The two historic paddle-steamers, the “Gipfeli-Schiff” (early mornings) and the “Sonnenuntergangs-Schiff” (sunset sailings), offers all kinds of special excursions available. Musical trips and special tours on public holidays are all part of the programme offered by the Lake Zurich shipping company.

Lake Zurich’s water is very clean and reaches, during summer, temperatures well beyond 20 °C. Swimming in the public baths and beaches is very popular. The lake’s water is purified and fed into Zürich’s water system; it is potable. Lake Zurich offers plenty of bathing opportunities all around. Beaches and seaside resorts can be found in practically every seaside community.

Views over Zurich city, the Glarner Alps, central Switzerland and parts of the Mittelland – at best from the climbable viewing tower. The Uetliberg is a mountain in the Swiss plateau, the mountain offers a panoramic view of the entire city of Zürich and the Lake of Zurich. At the summit, there is the Hotel Uto Kulm, together with two towers. One of these is a look-out tower, whilst the other is the Uetliberg TV-tower.

The summit is easily accessible by train from Zürich. Zurich’s home mountain is reached today by train from the main station; and since1875 (although with some interruptions) a standard-line train has travelled with ease to the “Üezgi”. And here the tradition-steeped Hotel and Restaurant Uto Kulm offers top views and treats.

There are numerous walking paths leading up to the top from Albisgüetli, Triemli or Albisrieden with frequent water fountains and camping spots. Uetliberg also has a downhill mountain bike track which starts in the camping area at the top of the mountain and finishes next to Triemli railway station, also served by the S10. A panoramic footpath leads along the crest of the Albis ridge to Felsenegg, from where the Adliswil-Felsenegg cable car connects to Adliswil and the S4 S-Bahn service in the valley below.

Zoo Zürich
The Zoo Zürich is a zoo located in Zürich, Switzerland. The zoo on the Zürichberg is home to more than 340 animal species in near-natural habitats. About 4,000 animals serve as ambassadors for their fellows in the wild. A nature conservation centre involved in international breeding programmes and resettlement projects. From the Himalayas and South American grasslands to the Masoala Rainforest hall and the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park, ecosystems have been created here to allow the animals – including endangered species – to roam free over wide areas A petting zoo also enables close contact between people and native livestock as well as domesticated animals.

In the middle of the 20th century, under the management of zoo director Heini Hediger, who invented information panels and mixed keeping of animals, the zoo became one of the first scientifically run zoological gardens. To this day, Zurich Zoo continues to be actively involved in nature conservancy and in international breeding programs. At Zurich Zoo, the wild animals reflect the diversity, beauty and fragility of nature. We offer a range of unique locations for cocktails, flying dinners and banquets as a perfect addition to your guided tour. Cocktails can be held at the Lion House, near the penguin enclosure, Elephant House or Capuchin Monkey House. There are seminar rooms available for hire in the compound as well.

The most famous attractions are the Asian elephant exhibit and Masoala Hall, which are inside of a large dome. Guests can even view elephants from underwater. They are also known as the only and first European institution to successfully breed Galápagos tortoises. Over the course of the years, the Zürich attraction has sent the baby tortoises to more than two dozen other zoos. In 2005 the zoo discovered that the seven lemurs caught in Andasibe thought to be mouse lemurs were actually a new species later named Goodman mouse lemur.

Zurich has one of the highest numbers of Michelin-starred restaurants per inhabitant in Europe. The city’s rustic pubs, street food festivals and pop-up restaurants in empty factories are also enjoying a great degree of popularity. Over 1,700 restaurants and bars serve both traditional Zurich and Swiss dishes as well as exotic specialties. Zurich is abuzz with activity day and night with its countless events, diverse museums, own food festival and Switzerland’s most vibrant nightlife.

Zurich’s cuisine knows no limits when it comes to food, this is reflected in the outstanding quality and readiness to experiment in the food mecca, Zurich. The traditional cuisine of Zürich reflects the centuries of rule by patrician burghers as well as the lasting imprint of Huldrych Zwingli’s puritanism. Traditional dishes include Zürcher Geschnetzeltes and Tirggel.

Besides regional specialties, food lovers can find international trends, new interpretations, and culinary rarities. The widely-traveled Zurich chefs love to combine their inspirations from far-off lands with local produce. Many Zurich chefs buy the fresh produce for their dishes directly from the market or team up with local producers. When it comes to wine, cheese, vegetables, or fish.

Taste local specialties when traveling to different places. Among Zurich’s culinary classics are “Luxemburgerli”, “Birchermüesli”, and “Züri Gschnätzlets”. The most iconic restaurants, including some with a tradition stretching back 100 years and more. The locals love a hearty breakfast. Like-minded visitors will find a huge selection of restaurants and cafés in Zurich that serve breakfast. Those who want to discover Zurich in a particularly indulgent way can take part in a culinary city tour.

Comfort Food focus is much more on healing the soul ­­with comfort food. In Summer, Zurich brings a real Mediterranean feel. At this time of year, many people spend much of their time outdoors. Countless restaurants and bars entice guests outside into the open air: onto the shores of Lake Zurich, into secluded gardens, or to the popular “Badi-Bars”.

Fondue (melted cheese in a central pot, dip bread into it) and Raclette (cheese melted in small portions, served with potatoes and pickles) are commonly available at restaurants. Grilled bratwurst from street stands, served with a large crusty roll of sourdough bread and mustard, or sandwiches made with fresh baked bretzeln.

The bread available in Zürich is generally delicious. There are many varieties, and your best bet is to go to a bakery or a supermarket in the morning or just after work hours, when most people are doing their shopping and bread is coming out fresh. A typically Swiss bread is the zopf, a b.raided soft bread that is commonly served on Sundays. For breakfast, try a bowl of müesli, which was invented as a health food in Switzerland. The Sprüngli confectionery store tea rooms serve a deluxe version of this fiber-filled cereal with whole milk, crushed berries and cream.

There’s a huge variety of chocolates to enjoy, from the cheapest chocolate bar to individually handmade truffles. Like most European cities, Zürich abounds with cafés where you can enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee, glass of wine or other beverage.

There are many international dining options available too. The current hot trend seems to be pan-Asian noodle, rice, and sushi places. The Italian cuisine holds the highest popularity among the foreign restaurants. They can be found throughout the city and are relatively cheap. Turkish fast food restaurants are also a delicious, cheap option.

Zürich is ranked the third most expensive city in the world, and offers international names, luxury brands, Swiss products and an ever increasing number of young labels that focus on sustainable production. Each quarter of the city offers its own unique shopping experience: from the finest chocolate, watches, and jewelry on the famous Bahnhofstrasse, to trendy and traditional stores in the Old Town, through to local, urban labels in Zurich-West.

Bahnhofstrasse runs from the Zürich Train Main station “Hauptbahnhof” right down to the lake. Bahnhofsstrasse is famous for being one of the most exclusive and expensive shopping streets in the world. Here you can get anything from diamond rings to chocolate to fur coats. Globus and Jelmoli are two fiercely competitive department stores, both of which carry items from many high-end brands.

Niederdorf is the Old Part of Zurich which expands from “Bellevue” by the Lake right to “Central” which is just over the river from the train station. The Niederdorf is more for young people. Aside from a lot of fast food places you will find a lot of trendy clothes stores here.

Löwenstrasse runs west of Bahnhofstrasse from the main train station, has shops selling everyday items and a large branch of Migros, a department store chain.

In summer, the many weekly markets in Zurich and region sell flowers, vegetables, local specialties, and second-hand treasures. In winter, meanwhile, shoppers are enchanted by diverse Christmas markets.

Night owls and party-goers will find a huge selection of bars, clubs, and event locations in Zurich – ranging from a beer or cocktail bar in the multicultural Langstrasse quarter to the famous electro music clubs in the up-and-coming Zürich-West. While the open-air bars are a popular meeting place for young and old in summer, the first-class concert venues celebrate their high season in fall and winter. They inspire music lovers with excellent sound quality and a host of international stars.

The most famous districts for Nightlife are the Niederdorf in the old town with bars, restaurants, lounges, hotels, clubs, etc. and a lot of fashion shops for a young and stylish public and the Langstrasse in the districts 4 and 5 of the city. There are authentic amusements: bars, punk clubs, hip hop stages, Caribbean restaurants, arthouse cinemas, Turkish kebabs and Italian espresso-bars, but also sex shops or the famous red-light district of Zürich.

Along with various other festivals, there is the annual Zürich Theatre Spectacular every summer, which has become one of the most important European festivals for contemporary theatre. The city has also organised the Zürich Film Festival since 2005. Annual sporting highlights include the “Ironman” Triathlon, the “Weltklasse Zürich” athletics meeting and the “Mercedes-CSI” horse show. As well as the traditional local “Sechseläuten” and “Knabenschiessen” festivals, there is the “Streetparade”, the “Dörfli-Fäscht”, the “Tropical Caliente” Festival, the “Longstreet Carnival”, the “Christopher Street Day” and the “Züri-Fäscht” which all go to make up the rich tapestry of Zürich’s event calendar.

The Zurich Film Festival is an international film festival, lasting 11 days and featuring popular international productions. The Kunst Zürich is an international contemporary art fair with an annual guest city; it combines most recent arts with the works of well-established artists. Another annual public art exhibit is the city campaign, sponsored by the City Vereinigung (the local equivalent of a chamber of commerce) with the cooperation of the city government. It consists of decorated sculptures distributed over the city centre, in public places. Past themes have included lions (1986), cows (1998), benches (2003), teddy bears (2005), and huge flower pots (2009). From this originated the concept of the CowParade that has been featured in other major world cities.

The best known traditional holiday in Zürich is the Sechseläuten (Sächsilüüte), including a parade of the guilds and the burning of “winter” in effigy at the Sechseläutenplatz. During this festival the popular march known as the Sechseläutenmarsch is played.