Switzerland’s largest city is on the shore of its glistening eponymous lake. Zurich attracts travelers with activity day and night with its countless events, diverse museums, own food festival and Switzerland’s most vibrant nightlife.
Zurich is Switzerland’s center of economic life and education.
Let’s explore together the top 10 things to do in Zürich:
Photo credit: Roland / Wikipedia
Over 50 museums and 100 art galleries
More than 50 museums, among them the Museum Rietberg, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, the Helmhaus, and the Landesmuseum, attract many visitors with traditional and experimental exhibition formats accompanied by a cultural program that actively seeks to engage with the diverse cultural background of Zürich’s population as well as its visitors. Film and theatre are also important to Zürich’s cultural life.
Your kids won’t be bored in Zurich in any of the fourteen museums specifically designed for children.
The range of activities in, on or around Lake Zurich is varied and offers something for everyone to enjoy, whether water sports, swimming, relaxing on the verdant lakeshore, family activities or thrilling festivals complete with a lake view.
Lake Zurich can be explored in many different ways. You explore the lake yourself by renting a boat or joining one of the many organized boat tours.
You may also choose to rollerblade around, which is a very popular way to get around as are skateboards. You can enjoy swimming in some of the designated swimming pools built into the lake.
The lake curves past the wooded peaks of Pfannenstiel to the east and the Albis chain to the west. We recommend taking the scenic promenade, which starts at Bellevue and extends for three kilometers down to Tiefenbrunnen. Along the east shore in the Seefeld quarter, you can look over to Uetliberg and see the hundreds of yachts and other craft breezing across the lake in summer.
Photo credit: Wally Gobetz / Flickr
Altstadt (Old Town)
The charming, car-free Altstadt, or old town, is the city’s historic heart. Its quaint squares and medieval alleyways are home to cozy bars, traditional Swiss restaurants and small clothing shops. Cultural spots include the Opernhaus and Schauspielhaus for performing arts, while European artworks are on display at the Kunsthaus museum.
The medieval and early modern streets of the Altstadt are where much of the city’s culture, nightlife and shopping is concentrated.
There are medieval alleys and small squares as well as beautiful Renaissance buildings, to admire as you are walking through the old town.
Photo credit: Johannes Dietschi / Flickr
The district in the west of Zurich is full of contrasts, boasting an unpolished charm.
If you’d like to tap into Zürich’s creative and stylish side this former industrial zone is the go-to. More than a decade ago this was an unpleasant place to be. Today The showpiece in Zürich-West is the Viadukt, a repurposed railway viaduct where the brick arches have been filled with stylish bars, restaurants, and shops.
It 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.
Climbing over Bahnhof Hardbrücke is another symbol of Zürich-West’s renaissance, the Prime Tower, Switzerland’s second tallest skyscraper.
Photo credit: Small / Flickr
The two towers of this Romanesque church are one of Zürich’s prominent landmark. The Grossmünster is a Romanesque-style Protestant church in Zürich, Switzerland. It is one of the four major churches in the city. Its congregation forms part of the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich.
Legend has it that the church was built on the graves of the city’s patron saints, Felix and Regula.
In the first half of the 16th century, the Grossmünster church was the starting point of the Swiss-German Reformation led by Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger.
Photo credit: Albinfo / Wikipedia
It is considered as one of the best zoos in Europe. Opened in 1929, the zoo has 4,000 animals representing 340 species, from emperor penguins that you can follow as they walk through the park, to domestic animals.
One of its popular events is the penguin parade, which is performed daily after noon if the outside temperature is below ten degrees Celsius.
Photo credit: Roland zh / Wikipedia
University of Zürich Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich was opened in 1977 and is located at Zollikerstrasse in the Weinegg quarter of the city. It has more than 8,000 plant species at indoor and outdoor displays.
Photo credit: Murdockcrc / Wikipedia
The Uetliberg is a mountain in the Swiss plateau, part of the Albis chain, rising to 870 m. The mountain offers an impressive panoramic view of the city, the lake and the Alps.
In the winter, the hiking trails to the summit are converted into sledding runs.
There is a lookout tower on top bringing you to exactly 900 meters and offers a panoramic view of the entire city of Zürich and the Lake of Zurich and lies on the boundary between the city of Zürich and the municipalities of Stallikon and Uitikon. The mountain is a popular local recreation area all year round.
Photo credit: myswitzerland
FIFA World Football Museum
There are more than 500 videos to watch, while kids can play a host of football-themed games.
The FIFA World Football Museum was created in honor of the most popular team sport in the world. The museum presents the fascinating history and development of international football.
The museum opened in 2016 and takes you back to football’s earliest days and documents every World Cup since the first in 1930.
Photo credit: Torbjorn Toby Jorgensen / wikipedia
Zürich Opera House
Zürich Opera House is an opera house located at the Sechseläutenplatz, it has been the home of the Zürich Opera since 1891 and was conceived by the prolific Viennese architects Fellner & Helmer, and also houses the Bernhard-Theater Zürich.
In 2014 picked up the prize for Best Opera Company at the International Opera Awards. It offers over 250 performances each year.
Switzerland is an amazing country, and here are our suggestions on the top places to visit in Switzerland.