Switzerland’s largest town is on the shore of its shiny eponymous lake. Zürich may be a money powerhouse with a liveability ranking that outstrips almost anywhere within the world. You’ll be able to catch trains from the Hauptbahnhof and get on a peak inhaling sparkling air in a matter of minutes. And also the city’s rivers and that impressive lake have supreme water quality for swimming. These outside pools or “badis” have become nightspots within the centre of town.
Zürich’s sights, eye-watering pricey retailers and effortlessly cool nightspots are within the Altstadt. A historic centre cut in 2 by the Limmat stream which flows off the lake.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Zürich:
#1 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Lake Zürich
This long, crescent formed lake curves past the wooded peaks of Pfannenstiel to the east and also the Albis chain to the west.
There are many ways to make the foremost of the lake, some we’ll go in a lot of detail about later. But for convenience, if you’re simply ambling around the town, take the scenic promenade on the east shore within the Seefeld quarter.
There you’ll look over to Uetliberg and see the hundreds of yachts and different craft breezing across the lake in summer.
The promenade starts at Bellevue and extends for 3 kilometres right down toTiefenbrunnen. It’s one of a network of walkways plotted around the lakeside in the1880s.
#2 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Museum of Art
Near the Schauspielhaus on Heimplatz is Zürich’s phenomenal museum of Art.
There are items from the 1200s to the 2000s in a collection that stands out for boasting the most important single cache of works by Swiss creator 20th-century creator Alberto Giacometti in the world.
You can indulge your curiosity in Swiss art, viewing works by symbolists like Ferdinand Hodler, Romantics like Henry Fuseli or modern items by the likes of Pipilotti Rist and Peter Fischli.
There’s a good deal of international art yet, just like the largest Edvard Munch collection outside Scandinavia, and diverse works by van Gogh, Monet, Marc Chagall, Picasso and Max Beckmann, going back to masters like Rembrandt and Domenichino.
#3 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Altstadt (Old Town)
Making up all of Kreis 1 (District 1), Zürich’s historic centre is on both banks of the Limmat.
The medieval and early trendy streets of the Altstadt are where a lot of the city’s culture, nightlife and shopping are targeted.
It’s one in all those places you’re happy to get lost in, to chance upon squares, cafes, offbeat one-of-a-kind outlets and every one manner of historic monuments from the four medieval churches to the 17th-century town hall.
The Limmat waterfront needs to be seen, and on the right bank on the Limmatquai are lovely medieval lodge homes for associations representing trade, merchants, spice traders and more.
On the side of the Altstadt, you’ll sense the colossal scale of the defensive works that took place throughout the 17th century, once ramparts and theSchanzengraben moat were built.
#4 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Lindenhof
Over the left bank of the Limmat within the centre of town is a hill once crested by a Roman fortress.
This elevated spot, shaded by lime trees affords an unbroken read of Zürich’s oldest quarters on the right bank, permitting you to select out landmarks on the skyline like hall, the Grossmünster Church, the university and the waterfront on the Limmat.
The Lindenhof may be a serene place currently, however, has had a busy history: Long once the days of the Roman fort, Charlemagne’s grandchild Louis the German-built his palace here in the ninth century.
And much later, in 1798 the Zürich’s citizens swore the oath to Helvetic Constitution at this very place.
#5 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Zürich-West
The old city is the honeypot for tourists, however, if you’d wish to tap into Zürich’s inventive and classy aspect this former industrial zone is the go-to.
District five to the northwest of the Hauptbahnhof was a hub for significant manufacturing till the end of the twentieth century.
Little quite a decade agone this was an unpleasant place to be, however, its rebirth has been quick.
The showpiece in Zürich-West is the Viadukt, virtually a repurposed railway via duct wherever the brick arches are crammed with trendy bars, restaurants, and shops.
Elsewhere, factories are pulled down and parks and leisure amenities like cinemas have taken their place.
Climbing over Bahnhof Hardbrücke is another symbol of Zürich-West’s renaissance, the Prime Tower, Switzerland’s second tallest skyscraper.
#6 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Swiss National Museum
Switzerland’s biggest collection of historical artifacts awaits at this museum that explores Swiss culture and guides you on a visit through the country’s past.
You’ll begin with prehistoric weapons tools and pottery and move through the ages to the twentieth century.
Certain eras are significantly well diagrammatical, just like the medieval period and its masterful Gothic art.
Extending into the Renaissance is thein depth collection of wood pictures, engraved altars, and triptychs from chapels and churches around the country.
You can additionally witness Swiss art movements in the gallery and browse the contents of Zürich’s former armory.
All of this can be housed in a luxurious Renaissance Revival palace dating to 1898.
#7 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Grossmünster
The two towers of this Romanesque church may rather be Zürich’s most distinguished landmark.
The Grossmünster, originally a monastic church. It was begun at the start of the twelfth century and was finished simply over a century later.
Anyone keen on medieval design is going to be taken with the main portal and its carved capitals bearing grotesques.
The crypt, the oldest part of the church, is also original and has light frescoes by Hans Leu the Elder from the 1400s.
In the sixteenth century, Grossmünster was ground zero for the Reformation in Switzerland. Initiated by Huldrych Zwingli. And, therefore, the church stone-broke from the papacy in 1523. There’s a museum concerning these events at the church.
The glass windows are trendy, and within the choir, these composed by Alberto Giacometti, whereas there’s conjointly a collection by German trendy artist Sigmar Polke.
#8 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Zürich Zoo
If you’re the sort of one who demands that animal attractions should be ethical, Zürich zoo meets the highest standards.
Close attention has been paid to the design of the habitats, synthesizing whole ecosystems and permitting animals as much area to tramp as potential.
This is most spectacular at the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park, wherever a part of the habitat for Indian elephants is in modern biome; there are even underwater viewing areas thus you’ll be able to watch them take a dip.
In all the zoo has 4,000 animals representing 340 species, from emperor penguins that you simply will follow as they rehearse the park, to domestic animals at the petting zoo.
#9 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Uetliberg
Since 1875 it’s been attainable to catch the train from the centre of town to the summit of this mountain to the southwest.
Taking the S10 on the SZU from Hauptbahnhof you’ll be close to the top in just twenty-five minutes.
From the station on Uetlibertg, you’ll simply have a brief walk to the peak.
And up there the scenery is out of this world, as you gaze over Zürich, its rivers, the lake and the thesnow-capped Alps in the background.
There’s an eating place and hotel at the crest, whereas most day-trippers return to hike in the woodland.
At the beginning of winter, the peak is above the layer of fog that cloaks the city pierced by solely the tallest buildings.
If you’re still fresh you may hike back down the slope to town, however, there’s conjointly a cable-car between Felsenegg and Adliswil.
#10 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Niederdorf
Under the towers of the Grossmünster is the young and exciting Niederdorf neighborhood.
Zürich’s locals usually call it Dörfli. And you’ll recognize why after you sample the atmosphere during this tight lattice of car-free cobblestone. Alleys on the right bank of the Limmat.
During the day it’s somewhere to poke around design shops and trendy boutiques, and at night you can paint the city red.
Food-wise, you’ve got to return for zürcher geschnetzeltes, which is meat in wine and white sauce.
There are some spots that warrant special attention. Just like the Conditorei Péclard, a conventional restaurant with century-old interior decoration, and Cabaret Voltaire, one of the birthplaces of the Dada movement.
#11 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Limmat Cruise
For a voyage down the city’s mainstream, you visit the quay ahead of the Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum). There are cruises from April to Oct, with boats outgoing each half an hour.
And within the months of July and August, you’ll be able to make the trip any time between 09:05 and 21:05. It’s a journey well value doing as you’ll be granted a beautiful perspective of Zürich’s old city. That sprawls across both banks of the stream.
The boats are designed to pass below all seven of the city’s bridges on the Limmat and can show you sights like Grossmünster and Fraumünster in a completely different light.
#12 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Rietberg Museum
In a group of palatial villas and a modern annex in the Rieterpark. The Rietberg museum exhibits art and archeology from round the world.
This could be religious rite objects from the South Seas, Ancient Egyptian statues, Buddhist art from East Asia, African sculptures, however conjointly fine designed masks close to home in Switzerland.
The archives are large, and there’s countless material for temporary shows on specific areas of the world or themes.
The museum restaurant offers out picnic baskets in summer. If you’d wish to take lunch in the Rieterpark.
#13 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Bahnhofstrasse
Zürich’s prime shopping street is one amongst the priciest within the world per square meter.
And it’s fitting that most of the sleek shop-fronts should bear the logos of international luxury brands.
Think Prada, Chanel, Burberry, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Zürich wealth is nevermore ostentatious than on Bahnhofstrasse, and also the street is all the richer in Deconce the Christmas decorations are out.
There’s no traffic, however, the road is used by the tram network and this can catch you all of sudden.
The plushest shops tend to be towards the south near Paradeplatz.
On this square, you’ll be able to pop into fabled Sprüngli confectionery shop and restaurant, wherever Zürich’s socio-economic class has been coming back for coffee and pastries since the nineteenth century.
#14 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Beyer Clock and Watch Museum
Under the Beyer jeweler and watch shop on Bahnhofstrasse is a gripping museum revealing the history of timekeeping and also the art of watch-making.
From the road, you wouldn’t understand the museum was here, however, don’t worry about the lack of fanfare.
As you enter you’ll be handed an iPad, that has in-depth data regarding every timekeeper, the oldest going back 3,400 years.
Packed into this area are navigation instruments, pendulum clocks, intricate automata from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, finely crafted pocket watches and a preliminary version of the first-ever quartz wristwatch from the 1960s.
#15 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Fraumünster
This church was founded by Charlemagne’s grandchildLouis the German in the ninth century, though most of the design is from between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries.
Since 2016 it’s been possible to look stonework from the 800s within the crypt when it had been sealed for quite 100 years.
As with the Grossmünster, Giacometti conjointly contributed a glass window for this church, that you’ll be able to track down the north transept.
Then in 1970 marc, Chagall was commissioned to form5 windows within the choir, and these are titled Prophets, Jacob, Christ, Zion, and Law.
#16 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit FIFA World Football Museum
FIFA’s long-mooted museum is in the Enge quarter and opened in 2016. It occupies 3 floors of mixed-use development and has a swish layout.
Whatever your opinion on the sport’s governing body, the museum is obligatory for lovers of the beautiful game: The exhibition takes you back to football’s earliest days and documents each world cup since the first in 1930. There are exciting artifacts from all, as the original world cup trophy.
Given its state-of-the-art style, there’s a lot of opportunity for interaction.
Multimedia takes centre stage, and there areover500 videos to look at, whereas children will play a host of football-themed games.
#17 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit St Peter
Like the different churches in the Altstadt, St Peter is extremely old, going back to the eighth century.
A lot of what you see now’s from between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries. However, parts of the ninth century foundations are created visible under the sanctuary.
One of the peculiar things concerning the church is that the tower is owned by the city. Whereas the nave belongs to the Canton of Zürich church body.
Part of the reason for that is that the tower was used for most of its past as a watch post to identify fires early.
Near or distant you won’t help however notice the size of the tower’s clock. Which with a diameter of 86.64 meters is the largest in Europe.
On the outside wall of the tower look for the 14th-century tomb of Rudolf Brun. Zürich’s first independent mayor.
#18 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Pavillon Le Corbusier
Towards the end of his life, Le Corbusier, a dominant figure in 20th-century architecture. Designed a museum for his life’s work on the east shore of Lake Zürich at Seefeld.
The Pavillon is seen as a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, in that it’s a work of art in its totality. Just like the Dali Theatre and museum in Spain.
The Pavillon would be his last major project, completed in 1967 two years once he died.
The design of the museum was a break from his ancient vogue. Along with his hallmark concrete substituted for steel and brightly-colored enamel panels.
Inside are paintings by le Corbusier, sketches of trailblazing projects. Drawings, sculptures, written exhibits and lots of examples of his game-changing furniture.
#19 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Zürich Opera House
The resplendent neoclassical opera house at Sechseläutenplatz dates to the Eighteen Nineties and was planned by the prolific Viennese architects Fellner & Helmer.
On the square, you’ll pass a minute or 2 pinpointing the busts of famous cultural figures on the facade. Wherever Mozart, Wagner, Schiller, Goethe, William Shakespeare. And Weber all have pride of place.
The theatre continues to garner acclaim, and in 2014 picked up the prize for Best opera company at the International Opera Awards.
There are german-speaking tours of the interior and its majestic Rococo Revival hall.
But the only way to taste its magic is at one of the 250 performances every year. By international opera stars and conductors.
#20 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit University of Zürich Botanical Garden
Zürich is a notoriously pricey town, therefore you might be glad to learn that these gardens in Seefeld are totally free.
They contain more than8,000 plant species at indoor and outdoor displays.
The garden’s main symbol is the cluster of 3 dome-shaped greenhouses from the 1970s.
Each of those has completely different climatic conditions: the largest contains tropical species. Whereas the smaller 2 house subtropical and savannah plants.
Outside is a botanical garden. Mediterranean garden and traditionally themed gardens growing plants for dyeing and medicine.
The university’s college canteen is open to the public if you’d like to cap your trip with a meal or coffee.
#21 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Enjoy Outdoor Swimming
In the city’s rivers and Lake Zürich, the water quality is impeccable, and there’s a catalog of places to take a dip in the open air.
One, the Frauenbad am Stadthausquai is for ladies solely, whereas the male counterpart is the one at Schanzengraben.
The two are centrally located and are ideal if you wish to squeeze some exercise into your day.
Both of those spots additionally open as stylish bars on summer evenings. In a nightlife ritual that you simply can’t find in different cities.
People holidaying with little ones ought to look to the Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen. Which is sort of a small resort on the side of the town or Strandbad Mythenquai on the opposite shore.
#22 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Schanzengraben
On the west side of the old city is the city’s old moat, started throughout the Thirty Years’ War in 1642 and not completed till 1678. Now there aren’t many signs of Zürich’s old defenses. However, you’ll be left in little doubt regarding the enormity of the project as you navigate this long. Zigzagging waterway as it passes the former bastions that reshaped the city.
In the Eighteen Eighties the Schanzengraben was redesigned for leisure as a part of the system of promenades.: Take a stairway right down to the side of the moat. Two meters below the rest of town. For a peaceful walk down to the lake.
Where the Katz bastion used to be there’s a small branch of the botanical garden. With two hectares of flowerbeds and labeled trees.
#23 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Zoological Museum
Also, a welcome free attraction operated by the university, the Zoological Museum is simply a short walk from the town centre.
Combining exhibits from the university’s paleontology museum. This attraction has skeletons and taxidermies for thousands of animal species, each alive and extinct.
Recently the museum has been made a lot of family-friendly and immersive. You’ll hear the songs of 280 birds and peer into microscopes to envision insects’ most eccentric body components.
Some specimens can also be touched, thusyou’ll learn what boar or deer fur appears like and there are quizzes to stay kids on the ball.
#24 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Dolderbahn
At Römerhof, just east of the city centre you’ll catch a strange single coach train up to a recreation area and hotel.
They are on the lower reaches of Adlisberg, one amongst the best peaks around Zürich.
The line has been here since 1895 and started out as a funicular. Before switching to a railway line within the seventies.
A ride on the Dolder is one amongst those individual things to do in Zürich and might be a bitbloodcurdlingfrom time to time because the most incline is almost200th. The trip is roofed by a ZürichCARD and at the upper terminus. You’ll be treated to a glorious panorama of the city framed by its lake.
#25 out of 25 Things to Do in Zürich-Visit Street Parade
If you’re young and into electronic music. There’s no better place to be within the whole world than Zürich on the second Saturday of August.
This is when one of the world’s biggest electronic parties hits the streets.
Street Parade has been going since 1992 and was inspired by the now-defunct Love Parade in Berlin.
This event grows by the year, and currently, more than 1,000,000 folks surface for a street party. That runs around the shore of Lake Zürich, east to west from Hutoquai to Hafen Enge.
In the parade are some thirty “Love Mobiles” with heavy-duty sound systems and many DJs play sets at seven different points around the shore.
Whether you’re into house, trap music, drum ‘n’ bass, trance or any other sub-genre you’ll find a party up your street.
Set aboard a shimmering lake and framed by alpine mountains, urban center seamlessly blends the indoor and outdoor. Take a stroll around the old city, check hip attractions just like the Viadukt then take a dip in a ‘bad’ – outdoor swimming pools beloved by locals. Zurich also loves to party, with an exciting network of bars and clubs open into the small hours and beyond.
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