What to do in Zürich

Activities, attractions and tours
Lindenhof showing a city, a river or creek and a house

Zürich Attractions

The largest city in Switzerland and a hub for transport, finance, culture and learning, Zurich is a dynamic and vibrant destination. Sandwiched between the Swiss Alps and Lake Zurich, the city is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In the summer, visitors can have a go at a variety of watersports, while the nearby countryside boasts an extensive network of walking and hiking routes. In the winter months, visitors can have a go at a number of winter sports in the local area, while the city itself offers lively nightlife, great museums and fantastic shopping throughout the year.

Areas & Neighbourhoods in Zurich

Old Town – The historic centre of Zurich remains the most characterful and atmospheric part of the city. Home to lots of historic structures, as well as several university buildings and the city’s town hall, visitors can spend hours exploring the pretty streets, boutiques and traditional restaurants that dot the area.

Züri-West – Once a gritty and industrial part of Zurich, Züri-West, also known as District 5, has undergone a transformation in recent years and is now one of the city’s creative hotspots. A great variety of markets, boutiques, bars and restaurants make the area an excellent destination for an alternative day out.

City – The area west of Bahnhofstrasse, in the centre of Zurich, is known as the City. Home to Zurich’s main train station as well as a number of historic buildings and squares, the area has plenty to explore during an afternoon of sightseeing.

Lake Zurich – A trip to Lake Zurich is a must for anyone visiting the city in the summer months. Energetic visitors can have a go at one of the many watersports on offer, while others can enjoy a relaxing stroll along the lake’s shore or cool off with a dip at one of the many swimming spots.

Things to See in Zurich

Many of Zurich’s most famous sights can be found in the old town, close to the lake and riverfront. The Romanesque Grossmünster and the Gothic Fraumünster are two of the best known churches in Zurich, and the old town is also home to the Landesmuseum, the Kunsthaus, the Lindenhof and the Niederhof. For great views of Zurich, stroll along the lakeside promenade or head up to the top of the Grossmünster and enjoy panoramic vistas.

Things to Do in Zurich

Thanks to its vibrant cultural scene and varied landscape, Zurich offers a fantastic variety of things to do. The city’s museums, galleries, churches and shops will take days to explore, while Zurich’s lively nightlife will keep holidaymakers busy into the wee hours. Visitors who want to explore the local landscape can hike up to the top of nearby Üetliberg, from where they can enjoy 360˚ views of the city, take the train to nearby ski resorts in the winter months or make the most of the summer by getting out onto the lake and having a go at water skiing, kayaking, windsurfing or wakeboarding.

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Top places to visit

1. Zoo Zurich

Zoo Zurich is a superbly maintained wildlife attraction with areas that mimic several of the world’s landscapes and ecosystems. This zoological park shelters over 360 animal species, some native and others endangered. At Zoo Zurich spot bears, butterflies, elephants, giant tortoises, lions and pandas. Discover a cloud forest, desert, prairie and tropical rainforest, among other habitats.
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Zoo Zurich

2. Bahnhofstrasse

Designer clothes, jewelry, watches, perfume and shoes: Shopaholics will be in their element on Bahnhofstrasse. Zurich’s major thoroughfare runs 1,530 yards (1.4 kilometers) through the center of the city. The stretch from Zurich Hauptbahnhof, the main train terminal to the north, down to Lake Zurich is pedestrianized, except for trams. Allow yourself two or three hours to walk the length of Bahnhofstrasse.
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Bahnhofstrasse featuring street scenes, a city and modern architecture

3. Swiss National Museum

See a slice of Switzerland’s age-old history at the Swiss National Museum (Landsmuseum Zürich). Learn about prehistoric lifestyles, national arts and crafts, present-day history and up-to-date social issues. The Swiss National Museum has a collection of more than 840,000 original artifacts as well as interactive and audiovisual displays. The exhibits are spread throughout the halls of a fairy-tale chateau built in 1898 by the revered architect Gustav Gull.
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Swiss National Museum

4. Lindenhof

The Lindenhof quarter is one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in Zürich. Walk up Lindenhof Hill with a picnic, relax under a tree, admire the sweeping views of the city and enjoy the rich history the area has to offer.
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Lindenhof showing heritage architecture, street scenes and a city

5. Zurich Town Hall

The Renaissance-style building of Zurich Town Hall looks solid enough to withstand the fate of its earlier incarnations. The structure has been standing quite securely since its incarnation in the late 17th century. The earlier two buildings, one a courthouse from the 13th century, were made of wood, which probably explains their demise.
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Always receiving attention because it seems to float on a major river, this structure had two predecessors that succumbed to time and climate.

6. Kunsthaus Zurich

With a catalog that spans from the Middle Ages until the present day, the Kunsthaus Zürich is a leading Swiss art gallery. Admire works by Old Masters, revered national painters and up-and-coming artists. Discover an extensive collection of drawings, prints, photography and audiovisual installations. The Kunsthaus Zürich was established in 1910 by the Kunstgesellschaft, an art group that has been collecting art pieces since 1787.
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Kunsthalle Zurich

7. Paradeplatz

Paradeplatz it is a bustling city square and tram junction in the Bahnhofstrasse, the shopping district in Zurich. In the 1700s the square was a cattle market and later a parade ground. Today, it is home to some of Switzerland’s leading financial and insurance houses, high-end fashion boutiques, world-famous confectioners, restaurants and historic buildings.
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Paradeplatz showing cycling and street scenes as well as a large group of people

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