Largest City of Switzerland
Zurich Airport ZRH
Zurich Switzerland is a great city located on Lake Zurich and around the River Limmat. It is Switzerland’s largest city and hosts the main Airport in the country. Zurich’s proximity to the Alps and other Swiss cities make it is an excellent hub to enjoy leisure activities and from where to start exploring Switzerland.
Zurich is considered Switzerland's most important financial, industrial and commercial center. It is also known to be the intellectual capital of the nation and particularly receptive to contemporary trends associated with younger generations. Nestling beside Lake Zurich and along River Limmat, Zurich offers splendid views of the Swiss Alps and is an absolutely charming, interesting, and beautiful place to visit. Its wealth of history, architecture and culture leaves you longing for another vacation! The pedestrian streets of the old town contain most of the major sights, including winding alleyways, 16th- and 17th-century houses, guildhalls and courtyards, and rather a lot of fountains (1030 if you're taking notes).
Regular scheduled flights from every continent and most countries and major cities of the world land at ZRH - Zurich's international airport. Zurich Airport has its own train station which is underground the main building. It is your gateways to Switzerland from where you have access to every Swiss and foreign destination.
Attractions and Activities
Zurich is among Europe's coolest cities to visit and it offers eating and drinking establishments for all tastes and preferences. The night life is equally exciting and among the best of Switzerland. Zurich and the surrounding region are home to the biggest number of museums and exhibitions on Switzerland. The Opera House and the Tonhalle concert hall attract stars of world stature on the classical music scene. The main shopping zone is concentrated in the city center, which makes it ideal for pedestrians. The Old Town of Zurich is home to historic buildings that host numerous boutiques and antique shops.
Excursions in Zurich
The short railway journey is mainly through woods. From the arrival station, where you will already get a fine view of the snowy summits of the Alps, you can walk up a steep path to the nearby terrace of the hotel-restaurant. You can go on to the top of the Belvedere Tower from where you will have a sweeping panorama of the whole Zurich district, the Limmat Valley, Lake Zurich and the Alpine range – from Säntis in the east to the Jungfrau and the Les Diablerets in the southwest – whereas the ridges of the Jura and the Vosges are faintly visible to the west and northwest on the horizon.
Rapperswil – City of Roses
Rapperswil is a small town at the opposite end of Lake Zurich. It offers unique attractions for visitors – the Rose Gardens, the Castle, the deer park on the Lindenhof and the picturesque Old Town. You can take a train in the morning along Lake Zurich to get to Rapperswil. Have lunch in one of the restaurants on the quay and in the afternoon take a lake steamer back to Zurich. (Lake steamers do not operate during winter from November to March).
Excursions from Zurich to other Cities in Switzerland
Beautiful Bern, the Swiss Capital is only an hour away from Zurich. This is a city of medieval magic, listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. Attractions include the famous clock tower, the new bear park which is home to Berne's heraldic animals – and excellent shopping arcades.
One of Switzerland's most popular excursion destinations, lovely Lucerne is only 60 minutes' travelling time from Zurich. The city is renowned for its attractive townscape, historic Chapel Bridge and excellent shopping facilities.
Summer Sports in Zurich
Swimming in Zurich
There are designated areas for outdoor swimming and sunbathing are open May to September. Well-known spots are Utoquai on the east shore of the lake and Mythenquai on the west shore. There are also various free swimming spots, such as the one just north of the confluence of the Sihl and Limmat Rivers.
Winter Sports in Zurich
Zurich is very close to Graubunden which boasts of such renown resorts Arosa, Davos and St. Moritz to name only a few. You will have the opportunity for all sorts of winter activities including: skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, curling, ice climbing, sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoe trekking, snow tubing and zorbing. Indoor sports facilities are readily available in Zurich including swimming, tennis, squash, bowling, fitness and more.
Entertainment in Zurich
The Zurich Opera House is without doubt one of the best known in Switzerland and indeed Europe. A varied program of productions has helped director Alexander Pereira to turn this late-baroque style building into the city's most-frequented cultural institution. Its reputation has grown steadily throughout the world ever since it opened in 1891.
The Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, named for its concert hall, the Tonhalle, which was inaugurated by Brahms in 1895, enjoys international acclaim and attracts stars of world stature on the classical music scene. There are also solo recitals and chamber programs. The season runs from September through July; tickets sell out quickly, so book directly through the Tonhalle.
In 1927 the old armory (Zeughaus) on the Paradeplatz was converted into a restaurant. Today it is a typical restaurant, centrally located of Bahnhofstrasse, and sure to please its visitors with a traditional atmosphere and excellent Swiss food.
Shopping in Zurich
The main shopping zone is concentrated in the city center, which makes it ideal for pedestrians. The famous Bahnhofstrasse – one of the most beautiful shopping areas in Europe – is a must. Elegant fashion stores, department stores, boutiques with top quality products (shoes, furs, accessories, porcelain, jewelry and watches), banks and pastry shops.
During the day this is a pedestrian zone and a shopper's paradise with lots of boutiques hidden away in a patchwork of alleys. At night the many bars, restaurants and street artists turn the Niederdorf into an exciting center of entertainment for a colorful public.
Museums in Zurich
This Art Museum surprises visitors with attractive exhibits and a high-carat permanent collection. The Kunsthaus was completely renovated between 2001 and 2005 to improve exhibition room security and conditions for the artworks. The museum houses selected sculptures and panels from the middle Ages, exquisite paintings of the Dutch and Italian Baroque period as well as highlights of 19th and 20th century Swiss painters. This includes the most famous group of works by Johann Heinrich Füssli and Ferdinand Hodler. Among the museum's international focal points are the largest Munch collection outside of Norway, important works by Picasso and the expressionists Kokoschka, Beckmann and Corinth, a significant group of works by Claude Monet, among them two water lily paintings, and the Chagall hall. Younger tendencies are represented by Rothko, Merz, Twombly, Beuys, Bacon and Baselitz.
Marc Chagall Windows – Fraumünster
Located between River Limmat and Bahnhofstrasse, the Münsterhof is dominated by the graceful, slender-spired Fraumünster, a beautiful church that boasts a breathtaking series of stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall and Augusto Giacometti that should not be missed. In 1967, Marc Chagall – then 80 – accepted the commission to make new stained glass for the five 10m-high choir windows. The stunning artistry of the windows he produced makes them one of the highlights of Zürich.
Recommended Zurich Hotels
Hotel Eden Au Lac
Location and Map
Zurich is located in Central Switzerland, 277 km (172 miles) from Geneva and 76 km (48 miles) from Basel, the other 2 main airports in Switzerland. Travel time to Geneva is 3 hours; Basel is 1 hour by train or by car.