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Blick auf das historische Zentrum von Zürich, Bild: canadastock / shutterstock

City trip to Zurich

The Swiss city of Zurich combines modern city life with close proximity to nature. Countless events, a popular cultural landscape and a vibrant nightlife characterize the city on the lake. If you are planning a short trip, Zurich is the right place for you.

Zurich a city of diversity

Lake Zurich
View of the shore of Lake Zurich, Image: Alexandru Staiu / shutterstock

If you look at the total area, Zurich is rather small. On the other hand, if you look at the economic figures, it comes first. Zurich was already an important trading metropolis in the early Middle Ages. Today, Zurich is the financial centre of Switzerland. The Swiss National Bank is located in the middle of the city centre, not far from the magnificent Bahnhofstrasse.

Here, the most expensive stores of large, international brands are lined up next to each other and customers from all over the world enjoy shopping here. In addition, the city is valued for its innovative strength and the many excellent educational institutions such as the Technical University or the Zurich University of the Arts. Company bosses of giants such as Google and Disney Research also became aware of Zurich early on and founded European branches in Zurich.

The city’s creativity, on the other hand, is evident in the large cultural scene: institutions such as the Haus Konstruktiv, the Museum für Gestaltung or the Kunsthaus stand for themselves. But the many culinary highlights are also known far beyond the country’s borders. Just think of the Zürcher Geschnetzelte with fresh rösti or the beloved Bircher muesli in the morning! The city’s star chefs are true cosmopolitans and not only create the traditional dishes of Switzerland.

Zurich Sunset
Beautiful view of the historic city center of Zurich at sunset in Switzerland, Image: f11photo/shutterstock

International food trends are quickly introduced in the city and are accepted with great interest by the people of Zurich. The food scene is large, which is perhaps why Zurich has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in all of Europe. In addition, the city has long since made a name for itself in the international street food scene. Every year, the great Food Zurich Festival takes place and young pop-up restaurants and a high density of clubs round off the city’s gastronomic offerings. What else can you list – Zurich is a real cosmopolitan cosmopolitan city with a heart.

Old town and lake basin

Nice little square with fountain in the old town of Zurich in Switzerland
Beautiful little square with fountain in the old town of Zurich in Switzerland, Image: RossHelen / shutterstock

Zurich’s Old Town is a cultural melting pot with an extremely interesting past. On site, you can stroll through winding alleys, pass medieval buildings and old guild and town halls. All the houses in the old town have certainly experienced turbulent times and if they could speak, the best stories would come to light. As long as this remains impossible, city guides tell vivid stories about the people, their lives and work as well as the many landmarks of the city.

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First and foremost, these include the twin towers of the Grossmünster. The cathedral was once commissioned by Charlemagne. Other well-known sights of the city are: the Frauenmünster with its impressive glass front and St. Peter’s Church, whose tower clock bears the largest dial in Europe. Not far from the old town, you can reach the shores of Lake Zurich. The lake is a popular meeting place for connoisseurs, explorers and water sports enthusiasts in summer and winter. Here you can go windsurfing, water skiing or swimming.

Excursion tip: A picnic on the island of Lützelau with freshly prepared fish crisps.

Uetliberg – the history of a local mountain

Image: Rudy Balasko / shutterstock

Towering above the city is the Uetliberg – Zurich’s endearing local mountain with its 871 m high peak “Uto Kulm”. The view of the city, the lake and the often snow-capped mountain peaks of the Alps is fantastic and should be at the top of every excursion list. The mountain is a popular hiking area, and there are also many well-known routes for mountain bikers. The mountain is particularly popular with children in the winter months, as the hiking trails are converted into toboggan trails as soon as the first snow has fallen. Excursion tip: Hike along the Planet Trail and get an exciting insight into our solar system.

Rapperswil – Zurich’s Rivera

Rapperswil, Image: LouieLea / shutterstock

Rapperswil is also known as the “City of Roses” or the “Zurich Rivera”. The nearby small town is located on the upper Lake Zurich and is the most popular destination for the people of Zurich. Nature puts visitors in a Mediterranean holiday mood and beautiful flower and rose species bloom in the three rose gardens. You can easily reach Rapperswil from Zurich by public transport. There are plenty of parking spaces available on site for those arriving by car. The most famous landmark of the city, along with the rose gardens, is the castle of Rapperswil. It towers high above the city on the castle hill and gives visitors a fantastic panoramic view of the Glarus Alps and the Zurich Oberland.

Numerous chapels and monasteries complete the overall picture. The medieval town centre of Rapperswil invites guests to take a leisurely stroll through the town, and there are lovely restaurants and cafés on the nearby waterfront. From here you can also reach the opposite side of the lake. The longest wooden bridge in Switzerland brings guests across the lake and back again with dry feet.

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Excursion tip: Explore Lake Zurich on a paddle steamer from Rapperswil. Other leisure activities for every taste around Lake Zurich in the canton of Zurich are: the city of Pfäffikon with its large outdoor adventure pool and numerous water slides, Knies Children’s Zoo, ski slopes and summer toboggan run on the Atzmännig as well as the pilgrimage site of Einsiedeln with its world-famous monastery complex.

Final tips for a short trip to Zurich

View from Uetliberg, Image: Oscity / shutterstock

Enjoy the advantages of the Zurich Card and save time and money. The Zürich Card is valid for one or up to three days and allows free travel on trams, buses, trains and cable cars in the city of Zurich and the surrounding area. In addition, users receive free admission or discounts to 41 museums in the city. Would you like to take part in a guided tour of the city and learn more about the sights? Great, with the Zurich Card you save a whole 50% on a tour of Zurich’s Old Town. Find out about other advantages of the tourism card on site and discover the beauty of the city.

Facts about Zurich

  1. Population: Zurich has a population of more than 400,000 people, making it the most populous city in Switzerland.
  2. Economy: Zurich is the economic center of Switzerland and a major international financial center. The city is home to many banks, insurance companies, and multinational corporations.
  3. Education: Zurich is also an important educational location with prestigious universities such as the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), which is among the best technical universities in the world.
  4. Culture: The city has a rich cultural scene with numerous museums, galleries and theatres. The Kunsthaus Zürich is one of the city’s best-known art museums.
  5. Language: The official language in Zurich is German, but due to the international population, many other languages are also represented in the city, including English, French, and Italian.
  6. Transport: Zurich has a well-developed public transport system that includes trams, buses and trains. Zurich Airport is the largest international airport in Switzerland and an important hub for air traffic.
  7. Places to visit: Popular places to visit in Zurich include Lake Zurich (a large lake near the city), the Old Town (Zurich’s Old Town with its narrow streets and historic buildings), and Zurich Zoo.
  8. Events: Zurich is also known for its cultural events and festivals, including the Zurich Film Festival, the Zurich Opera House, and the Street Parade Festival.
  9. Quality of life: The city of Zurich is often praised for its high quality of life and safety. It is regularly listed among the best cities in the world in quality of life studies.
  10. Currency: The official currency in Zurich and Switzerland is the Swiss franc (CHF).