Zurich Tourism Information
Zurich is the world's banking capital, but besides its relation to money and foreign accounts, Zurich is a great start to marble at the magnificent views of the snow capped Alps on the horizon, Zurich offers a unique mixture of attractions, over 50 museums and more than 100 art galleries, international fashion labels and Zurich designs, and a lively nightlife where to relax and socialise. If you like culture and city walks but also want to combine it with nature and eco-tourism, Zurich has all that you're looking for! Don't miss out on a spectacular hike on the Uetliberg mountain!
Visitors can spend days exploring Zurich's cobbled streets, wandering through its museums, exploring its flea markets or walking away with free gifts from its chocolate factories. The quays, with their promenades, are made for walking, especially along the shores of the lake. Zurich also lays claim to an active restaurant and café culture that's ideal for people-watching, and a lively, multi-ethnic population to rival any other major European city.
The climate of Zurich is continental, and temperatures are modified by winds off the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are cold, while summers tend to be hot and sunny. In January, generally the coldest month, temperatures range between -10°C and 5°C, and in July, mid-summer, temperatures range between 15°C and 30°C. The wettest time of year is the summer, between June and August.
So the best time to come to visit Zurich, is Spring for scenery and outdoor activities or December to February for Winter activities and snow scenery.
When arriving into Zurich Airport, the easiest way (and cheapest) to get into the city centre is by taking tram number 10. Alternatively you can get regional trains S2/S16 which take you to Zurich HBF (Centre) or fast intercity trains which can connect to major cities, even outside the Swiss borders. You will find transport information at the SBB travel centre, located below the Airport Center in the Check-in 3 area. The ticket counters are open from 06:15 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Although as a general rule, everything seems to be expensive in Switzerland, the only thing which is very reasonable in fact is public transport. Moving around the city and the outskirts isn't costly and is also a good idea so to enjoy the views outside whilst relaxing inside a train. There are daily passes for visitors to use the transport or you can also purchase the Zurich Card which gives you unlimited transportation plus entry into museums and attractions, 25 USD for 24h or 50USD for 72h. For more information on the local transportation in Zurich, check ticket prices and more visit zvv.ch/zvv/en/home
Below you can access the transport maps for the city of Zurich:
The city of Zurich might be easy to walk around it in a few hours and see the best highlights, however there are many jewels hidden away and waiting to be explored. You can keep yourself entertained by visiting interesting galleries and museums around the city.
See the city from a boat tour, walk and hike up the Uetliberg mountain or have a more hands on experience trying to make and learn how to make chocolate! Zurich is full of culture and adventure to keep every traveller busy and make for a very sweet and enjoyable stay!
Some of the highlights of any visit to Zurich are:
- Join a Chocolate Workshop, ideal for chocolate lovers! Try your hand at emulating the “Grand Master of the art of chocolate confectionery” in a relaxed ambience and make your own chocolate creations in the course of a workshop.The workshops include a welcome drink, refreshments, chocolate tasting, tools and guide. The lessons are daily and last about 2 to 3 hours depending on the number of participants and venue. Prices vary but a minimum of 4 people is required and will cost around €60 per person (can do down if more people join the group).
- Uetliberg Mountain, is Zurich's very own "mountain", from where you have beautiful views of the city and lake and perhaps even a glimpse of the Alps.There is also a metallic tower possible to access for free to view the scene even from a higher perspective!The Uetliberg is particularly popular in November, as its summit is often above the blanket of fog that can cover the city at this time of year. In the winter, the hiking trails to the summit are converted into sledding runs. To get there take regional train S10 from the Zurich HBF station to Uetliberg (trip takes around 22 minutes).
- Take a boat tour: The flat boats of the Limmat Schifffahrt offer a different view of the city. There are various tours, the popular one is the city tour, with boats built to pass below the seven bridges over the Limmat, they offer space for up to 51 passengers. It can get crowded at the Landesmuseum station, where the boat begins its one-hour round trip, so check the website in advance for departure times and arrive early. More information at Zurich Limmat Boats Company.
- Walk in the Aldstadt, (old town) Stroll through the narrow cobbled streets, observe the 19th century buildings or walk uphill to Lindenhof park to get a glimpse of the city. The streets are filled with history as well as modern shops and cafes. The old town stretches between Central and Bellevue and is often referred to as the 'Dörfli' by locals. It actually consists of two parts, Niederdorf and Oberdorf. You will find typical fondue restaurants and souvenir shops. The old buildings and narrow streets are very charming, and the area has generous offerings of quirky shops and cosy bars. For impressive views of the city, climb up one of the towers of Grossmünster.
- Museums, many people are not aware of the fact that numerous Zurich museums have free admission. Out of them you can visit the Money Museum, the Zoological Museum. And the Langenberg Wildlife Park. Other museums are the Paläontologisches Museum, the Kunsthaus (art museum) or the Tram Museum. (entrance fee applies).
- Visit the Dolder Grand, located a short railway ride away from central Zurich, the Dolder Grand is a unique 5 Star Hotel offering stunning landscape views linked by some of Switzerland’s most beautiful roads. The building itself resembles an fairy tale castle, preserved extremely well. If you can afford the prices, stay inside the beautiful historic but up to date rooms or have dinner or lunch overlooking the lake below and the Alps in the distance. To get there take the DolderBahn from Römerhof Tram station (tram 3,8,9 or 17) Tickets are not part of the ZVV network so separate tickets must be bought. The ride takes 15 minutes to reach the last station (the Hotel Dolder Grand).
Not the conservative city it once was, the nightlife and entertainment scene in Zurich has come along way and now is much more opened minded and tolerant.
However, most clubs are closing relatively early, it's best to get a head start with a few early evening cocktails at a bar or by buying drinks from the local supermarket if you want to avoid the high prices of alcohol!
A good place to start is at one of the open-air bars for a relaxing drink before heading out to the trendy Zurich-West area, home to some of the city's hottest underground bars and nightclubs. The Old Town is also worth checking out, where Paradeplatz features a range of upmarket lounge and hotel bars.
The former red-light district of Langstrasse is the place to go for an edgier night of biker bars alongside strip clubs (just about anything goes in the area).
Being more culturally oriented, concerts, theatre, ballet and opera dominate the scene in Zurich.
While traditional Swiss products may be watches, army knives, cuckoo-clocks and chocolate, there are also many upmarket boutiques and speciality stores. The main shopping street is Bahnhofstrasse, home to department stores Globus and Jelmoli, and jewellery shops like Bucherer and Beyer, as well as fashion shops such as H&M.
Fine Swiss chocolates (including Frey and Lindt)A, Swiss Army knives, embroidery, linen, Swiss watches, and handmade clocks are available from shops like Schweizer Heimatwerk and Confiserie Sprüngli. At Zurich Hauptbahnhof, Shopville is a subway shopping centre offering Swiss souvenirs and fine wines. Also close by, there's a flea market at Helvetiaplatz on Saturday mornings.
The Niederdorf district has trendy boutiques, 'modern' antiques and a few bookshops. Nearby, Schipfe is a street where artisans and craftsman offer quality and custom-made products.
Because of the importance of Zurich and being the financial capital of Switzerland, it's to no surprise that the cost of staying overnight is significantly higher than other cities. Hotels are very well located around the city or close to the financial district, however these are often very expensive. prices are in the region of €100 per night even for budget Hotels not under €80! Hotel quality is very good in Switzerland and this makes the average price go up. Other hotels and hostels which are not directly in the city, but are accessible by a trip by tram or bus are also in the same price frame.
Alternatively, private accommodation, (Airbnb) and hostels are widely available.
For a short stay in Zurich, it's enough to see the city and its surroundings during a long weekend or 3 nights. However there is much more than meets the eye and if you decide to travel out of the city then 5 days would be more appropriate. Bear in mind that the capital is rather expensive for eating and going out so adjust your budget as well in function of how long you will stay in the city.
Zurich Photo Slide 📷