The cosmopolitan city of Zurich is well-known for its importance as a finance centre but it has plenty to offer the visitor, too. Situated on Lake Zurich, the city is home to a well-preserved Old Town full of cobbled streets and squares, a number of elegant buildings and an attractive lakeside quay.
Arriving in Zurich
By air: Zurich is home to one of Switzerland’s two major international airport. There are a number of options to transfer from the airport to the city centre. Visitors arriving late into Zurich may prefer to stay overnight at one of the many Zurich Airport hotels.
By train: Zurich’s main train station, Zurich Hauptbahnhof (Zurich Hbf), is one of the busiest stations in Europe. Regular trains arrive and depart Zurich from all over Europe. If you plan on using trains as your main mode of transport whilst in Switzerland, it’s worth considering a Swiss Rail Pass, an all-in-one transport pass.
By car: Zurich can be easily reached by car thanks to the extensive Swiss and European motorway network. If you are driving to Zurich, it’s wise to check in advance if your hotel can offer car parking. If not, there are numerous public car parks available throughout the city. You’ll find all our tips for driving in Switzerland in this article.
What to See in Zurich
Start your visit to Zurich by wandering the cobbled streets and alleys of the Old Town. Stop by the twin-towered Grossmunster where you can climb the towers for wonderful views. Next, head to Limmatquai, a pedestrian path alongside the River Limmat before visiting Lindenhof, a quiet park that overlooks the city.
Next, head to the lakeside promenade for a stroll beside Lake Zurich, or board a cruise boat to see the city and lake from the water.
Other attractions include the many artisan chocolatiers who sell their treats around the upmarket shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse, and Lindt Home of Chocolate (opening November 2020). Zurich Zoo, the FIFA World Football Museum and thermal baths are amongst the other things to do.
For a great selection of bars, museums and galleries, head to Zurich West where you can glimpse urban life Zurich-style.
Make sure you consider purchasing a Zurich Card – it’s an all-in-one city pass that include free use of public transport (trains, trams, buses and boats) as well as discounts on admission to museums and attractions.
Christmas in Zurich
Zurich hosts a range of activities at Christmas time. As well as numerous Christmas Markets, you can see a singing Christmas tree, enjoy ice skating and hop aboard the Fondue Tram.
Fun Fact – There are 1225 drinking fountains in Zurich and you can safely drink from all of them!
Where is Zurich?
Zurich is located in north-central Switzerland, just one hour from Basel, Bern and Lucerne.
Average temperatures: January – 4C / 39F; April – 15C / 59F; July – 25C / 77F; October – 15C / 59F
Christmas market dates: mid-November to 24 December (Learn more here.)
Read all our Zurich articles by clicking the links below
- How to spend 48 hours in Zurich
- How to get from Zurich Airport to the city
- Best Zurich Airport hotels
- The Zurich Card – Your city travel pass
- Top day trips from Zurich