This majestic city stands proudly on the lower end of Lake Zurich, decorative spires piercing the clear sky. The ornate buildings of the old town line the banks of the Limmat, telling the story of the city’s past and adding to its allure, while Lindenhof, the historic heart of the city, sits perched atop a small hill on the west bank of the river.
Zurich’s skyline is dominated by its churches, the iconic twin towers of Grossmünster and the clock tower of St. Peter soaring up out of the maze of roofs. Stroll along old cobbled streets exploring the interesting shops and boutiques, and be sure to take a moment to drink in the atmosphere at one of numerous cafés as you sip on fresh coffee and a savour the fine chocolate Switzerland is known for.
The city might be filled with quaint colourful buildings, but it is also one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan with a thriving cultural scene. As well as an exceptional opera house and world-class museums and theatres, Zurich has a wonderfully forward thinking and contemporary arts scene with many factory buildings being turned into galleries and exhibition spaces.
For unrivalled views of the city, hop on a train and head up to the top of the Üetliberg hill. And if ancient history fascinates you, visit the prehistoric settlements at Enge Alpenquai and Grosser Hafner and Kleiner Hafner.
Zurich is blessed with plenty of parks and green space, and escaping the hustle and bustle is easy with the forests of Adlisberg, Zürichberg, Käferberg, Hönggerberg and Üetliberg in easy reach.
When to go
Zurich has plenty of museums and galleries, making it a year-round destination. In the warmer summer months you can enjoy Lake Zurich and in December there are excellent Christmas markets.
What to do
- Watersports and boat rides on Lake Zürich
- Catch a performance at the wonderful opera house
- Discover the city's flourishing cultural scene
- Hike in the nearby forests