It’s gloomy and rainy. It’s cold and grey. But between all this glumness, there is something that shines so brightly that you don’t realize how cold or wet it is. It’s the magical charm, which makes you forget how bad the weather is. Only a handful of cities in the world have this power to shine no matter what. And Zurich is definitely one of them.
Because it’s so close to Germany, Zurich has been on my bucket list for an eternity. But now I finally had the chance to meet Switzerland’s biggest city for two days (which is more than enough). It might not be the capital or as big as Amsterdam, Vienna and Lisbon with less than 500.000 inhabitants, but it surely is one of the most amazing cities I’ve seen so far.
It’s located by Lake Zurich and strikes with a well-preserved medieval old town, the beautiful rivers Limmat and Sihl, which give the city a fresh character, and close-by mountains with an amazing view over the city. Also the versatile cultural offer and the nightlife are reasons why so many people come to Zurich and get fascinated. And did you know that besides Geneva Zurich counts to the cities with the worldwide highest quality of life and likewise to the city with the highest living costs?
You see Zurich has so much to offer. You’ve already planned to go there or want to go by now, then learn here what this city makes so special, what you can see and do and what’s for free. Get inspired for your next trip!
You want to go on a shopping tour or just want to find something for lunch? Then the Europaallee is your address. It is a young and diverse urban quarter right next to the Central Station with lots of shops, restaurants and cafés.
If you’re looking for THE shopping mile of Zurich, then Bahnhofstrasse is a must. Besides the beautiful atmosphere, you get there everything your heart desires: fashion, art and culinary specialities.
Most natives spend their time here: The Schanzengraben is the idyllic promenade in the center of Zurich where you can also enjoy lunch. It is also the ideal place if you’re looking for the quiet of the city.
The Paradeplatz builds the heart of the city and is the junction of the shopping street Bahnhofstrasse, the Old Town and the Lake Zurich. You also find there the Confiserie Sprüngli, a store where you can buy the popular and delicious “Luxemburgerli”.
If you walk along the Lake Zurich, you will notice a sculpture called Ganymed. It is a prominent sculpture, where you also find the Bürkliterasse – the box seat at Lake Zurich with a wonderful view over the lake and the Alps.
Rindermarkt is the place, where you find the house of Gottfried Keller. The famous writer grew up right next to the legendary wine bar “Öpfelchammer”. At the Rindermarkt you can also discover the last lanterns in Zurich that are operated with gas.
If the view of Zurich from the Lindenhof is not enough and if you have some more time, go to Uetliberg. It is a mountain close to Zurich and offers a fantastic view from the top. You can go by train (just a short 20-minute ride) to the mountain and have a little hike to the peak.
The strolling promenade Limmatquai leads through the Old Town along the river Limmat and is the place where Zurich’s history meets fashion and cuisine. It also invites to walk around, go on a shopping tour and enjoy the beautiful old buildings.
St. Peter (free)
The St. Peter church doesn’t just shape the skyline of Zurich which is worth a visit alone, it is also the oldest parish church of the city and has the biggest clock face in Europe. The foundation walls date back to the 9th century and are still visible nowadays.
If you want to go out for some drinks or dancing, Langstrasse is the place to go. Once a red light district, the street now is the center of nightlife in Zurich and lures with a multicultural lifestyle.
Zurich Old Town (free)
A time journey to the Middle Ages: the Old Town is the historic heart of Zurich, that remains the most atmospheric part of the city. You find there striking 19th century buildings, modern cafés, several shops and galleries.
The Spiegelgasse is just 160 m (525 ft) long, but it is now the hatchery of revolutionary art, literature and politics. Around 1916 the artistic and political avant garde came together there.
One of the hotspots and favorite places for natives is Lindenhof. It is not just an oasis on a little hill from where you have a wonderful view over the city, you can also have a special look to the old town on the other side of the Limmat river.
A perfect and alternative way to explore Zurich is by boat. Sightseeing from the water is great during summer and gives you a new view of the city. For example, you can sail with the Limmatboat through the old town.
You would love to stay in a beautiful hotel while you stay in Zurich? Then use the search box above to find awesome hotel deals on booking.com.
Have you ever been to this beautiful city? If not, you should check this pearl out. If yes, let me know what you guys did and what you can recommend! I’m always happy to get new tips from other travelers for my next time.
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