Switzerland’s largest city is a fascinating combination of old world-charm surrounded by the bustling energy of a vibrant metropolis. The country’s economic powerhouse is also its cultural soul. Zurich is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a holiday that offers the whole bouquet of experiences. The city has more than its share of world-class art galleries, interesting museums, high-fashion brands and Michelin-star restaurants. But Zurich also has the charming Old Town that still preserves the essence of the old city’s spirit.
Considered to be one of the world’s most live-able places, Zurich is probably the hippest city of Switzerland. A city that treasures its traditions and knows how to take care of its visitors. Come summer and Lake Zurich is transformed into a lively waterfront with a whole range of exciting outdoor activities. In winter, the slopes in and around Zurich echo with the thrill and adventure of skiing and snowboarding. But there are plenty of urban activities that can be enjoyed all around the year.
Zurich continues to be a flourishing centre of European art. From Old Master to Impressionists, everybody has a place in Zurich museums and art galleries. The Kunsthaus Museum of Fine Arts is a veritable treasure trove of art displaying the world of Charles Munch, Van Gogh and Chagall long others. The Swiss National Museum chronicles the country’s history and cultural evolution. The Zurich Zoo, one of the finest in Europe, provides hours of fun and entertainment for the young and old alike.
Zurich’s collection of Michelin-star restaurants has turned gastronomy into an art form. But you will also find century-old taverns that will invite you in for honest traditional fare with a warm welcome and a smile. In Zurich’s Old Town you will also find Zeughauskeller, an old armory that now serves beer. Zurich is full of such gems that may not figure on the regular tourist beat. Let’s explore Zurich tourism to unearth some more.
|Zurich Tourism : A Quick Overview|
|Official Language||Alemannic Swiss German|
|Dial Code||41-43-contact number|
|Area||87.88 sq. km.|
Tourism in Zurich is a veritable smorgasbord of culture, art, history and culinary indulgences. The Zurich Altstadt (Old Town) is an experience. The streets of Old Town are chock-a-block with history. Visit house no. 17 at Spiegelgasse to see where Lenin had once stayed. Just down the street is Cabaret Voltaire where the Dada Art Movement was started.
The Hans zum Rech, dating from the Middle Ages, showcases the changes in decorative styles over centuries. The interiors have meticulously preserved the 17th century painted walls and ceilings while the courtyard features a model of Zurich from the 1800s.
If you want to follow Zurich’s history in detail, there’s no better place than the Swiss National Museum. Housed in a fairytale castle, it holds the largest collection of Swiss artefacts and documents in Switzerland. It has permanent displays of Swiss history, ancient arts, crafts, weaponry and even old furniture. Download the free audio guide from your smartphone’s app store for a guided tour in multiple languages including English.
The Fraümunster (Women’s Church) is a beautiful 13th century building that is known for a set of five stained-glass windows created by Marc Chagall in 1970. The original abbey was built in the year 853 and additions were made in 13th and 15th centuries.
Zurich is full of fun and unique experiences that make for a memorable holiday. It certainly lives up to its reputation as a vibrant holiday destination but goes beyond that and opens its treasure chest of delights for intrepid travellers.
Zurich is graced with an abundance of natural beauty; a beauty that has a rugged side to it, thanks to the Swiss Alps. You can start your Zurich adventure with a trek up the densely wooded Pfannenstiel mountain which has a network of well-maintained trails and numerous fire-pits along the way. You’ll find a couple of restaurants at the top along with some fantastic views of the city.
One of the best ways to explore Zurich is on a bicycle. You will find many cycle tours that take you around Zurich and offer a different perspective of the city. Roughly taking around 2 to 4 hours, these tours will take you around the countryside or the city. A highly recommended activity, this. Then there’s paragliding which is done mostly in the mountains around the city. Go canyoning at the Chli Schiere canyon, just around an hour away from Zurich.
Enjoy the thrill of rock climbing at Oberland. Appreciate the intricacies of this extreme sport set against some breath-taking backdrops. Winter has its own set of outdoor activities which are just as thrilling. Go to Engelberg to enjoy skiing with a twist. Here you can ski down exciting slopes at night under a star-lit sky. The celestial twinkling of the stars is suitably complemented by the twirling lights of the surrounding villages and resorts.
While you’re in Engelberg, try your hand at ice-climbing. The frozen waterfalls present a thrilling challenge and reward you with a sense of accomplishment at the end.
Zurich just keeps the adventure going all year round. It is up to you to grab the bull by the horns and enjoy Zurich with a healthy day of adventure.
Bahnhofstrasse, with its luxury shopping locales and high-end fashion brands, firmly puts Zurich on the world’s shopping map. It is one of the world’s most exclusive and expensive shopping destinations in the world. This is where Switzerland’s rich and famous come for their shopping. You can spend a fun evening here doing window shopping. For a more familiar shopping experience head to Niederdorf in the Old Town. Shop for clothes and souvenirs on cobblestone pavements surrounded by ancient buildings and antique fountains.
Keep a lookout for weekly markets where you can buy everything from homemade chocolates to various fashion trinkets. For a quirkier shopping experience, visit Freitag to shop for handmade and recycled accessories. The shop itself is made up of stacked shipping containers. Though shopping is expensive here, it is worth a visit for its architecture. Einzelstück is a cozy little shop offering an eclectic selection of glassware, large furniture pieces, figurines and scented candles.
Now that you know where to shop, let us now look at what to shop for. One of the first things to look for is a Swiss Army Knife. Though they’re available all over the world, here in Zurich they come in every size imaginable. Other favourites include Swiss watches, cuckoo clocks and Swiss cowbells. While the expensive watches may be out of reach, you will find plenty of reasonably-priced ones that fit your budget.
Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolates are the best-known Swiss foods around the world. But there’s more. Zurich will introduce you to the rich and flavourful world of Swiss cuisine. You will find the familiar cheese fondue along with local favourites like the Rösti (flat round patties of coarsely grated potatoes), Racalete (platter of meats, vegetables and breads smothered in freshly melted cheese), Bündnernusstorte (caramelised nut-filled pastry) and Zurchergeschneteltes (meat cooked with mushrooms, cream and wine).
Zurich has an amazing selection of places to eat. The Brassiere Lipp is an Art-Deco-style cafe with a view. Serving French cuisine with fish specialties, it boasts of an extensive wine list. It even has an observatory over its rooftop bar for stargazing. For an avant-garde dining experience, the Michelin-starred Ecco Zurich fits the bill perfectly. At Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, you can enjoy your meal surrounded by the works of masters such as Chagall, Picasso and Miró. For a completely out-of-the-world dining experience, visit Blindekuh. You eat your meal here, prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients, in complete darkness. This gives a different spin to familiar dishes.
One more place you should visit in Zurich is the completely vegetarian Haus Hiltl. Started in 1898, it is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s first vegetarian restaurant. Apart from these recommendations, you should also try the local cafes for an authentic taste of the local culinary culture.
Zurich is located in north-central Switzerland, at the north-western tip of Lake Zurich. Flanked on the east and west sides by wooded hills, the city sits 30 km north of the Alps. While the Old Town straddles both the banks of the river Limmat, the newer parts extend to the northeast in the Glatt Valley.
With pleasant Alpine weather, summer is the peak season in Zurich. The city is in full bloom and all attractions, indoor and outdoor, are open. This is the best time to get the full Zurich experience, but it will be crowded. The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn offer nearly the same experience sans the crowds. While all indoor attractions will be open, some outdoor activities may be closed. Despite the cold weather, Zurich does not shut down completely in winter as skiing becomes the main outdoor activity.
Flying is the best way to reach Zurich from India. Many operators such as Air India, Oman Air, Swiss Air, Qatar Airways and Lufthansa have direct and connecting flights to Zurich. You can easily get one from one of the major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Zurich Airport is located just 10 km from the city centre. Once you land at Zurich, it is easy to get into the city by train, shuttle bus, streetcar and taxis. The train is the fastest and the pocket friendliest way into the city. A taxi takes around same time, 15 minutes, but is the costliest mode of transport. The streetcar (line 10) takes a leisurely 30 minutes while a shuttle bus takes slightly longer at 40 minutes.
Zurich is the perfect holiday destination for any season. Though your activities will differ according to the season, your experience will be memorable as ever. Thomas Cook has a large selection of Swiss holidays ready for you. Book yours online or visit the nearest Thomas Cook branch.
Travel to the largest city in Switzerland on Zurich holidays. The city is located on Lake Zurich, giving those taking the tours in the cosmopolitan city an experience that’s uniquely Swiss. Zurich travel packages are great for touring the city that has been consistently ranked as one with the highest living standard in the world. It’s clean and its public transport system is extremely efficient. The nightlife and the high number of restaurants have become the mainstays of Zurich over the past few years.
The thriving culture of the city is what tourists taking Zurich holiday packages like to enjoy. A popular way for tourists to travel is by plane to the city airport, a major hub in the continent that is linked to cities in different parts of the world. Trains bring travelers from other Swiss and European cities for their Zurich tour.
While most vacationers prefer to use the public transport system during their trip to Zurich, you may want to see the older parts of the city on foot.Among the places to visit to make Zurich vacation packages memorable are the Grossmunster, an impressive church, and Museum Buehrle, a private collection that cannot be missed.