The 30 best sights of Zurich – descriptions and photos

The 30 best sights of Zurich – descriptions and photos

One of the best zoos in Europe is located in Zurich, along with beautiful cathedrals and interesting museums. Not to visit it simply impossible! Just imagine: the whole territory of the complex is divided into continents, in each of which the conditions have been created close to the natural environment of animals.

Kunsthaus Museum

There are three dozen museums in Zurich, but if you have to choose which one to visit, don’t hesitate to go to the Kunsthaus. Behind this somewhat familiar, and for some, perhaps repulsive name (the museum is in tune with the Kunstkammer in St. Petersburg) hides the largest museum of fine arts in Switzerland.

Observatory Urania

Few people know that besides reliable banks, the boulevard Bahnhofstrasse with fashionable boutiques and famous sights like Grossmünster and Kunsthaus in Zurich there is another very unusual place. The Urania Observatory is situated almost in the center of the city.

Rhine Falls

Not far from the Swiss resort of Neuhausen am Rheinfall in the canton of Schaffhausen lies a natural wonder. Located on the border between Germany and Switzerland, the Rhine Falls are among the largest in Europe.

Grossmünster Cathedral

When choosing which religious sights in Zurich to visit, the Grossmünster Cathedral would be at the top of the list. The austere and majestic cloister with its two twin towers is located in the heart of Zurich and is considered to be the city’s calling card.

Swiss National Museum

Another of Zurich’s must-see sights is the Swiss National Museum. It is located in the center of the city and occupies two floors of a huge castle. A visit to the museum offers a detailed insight into the history of Switzerland from ancient times to the present day.

FIFA World Football Museum

Zurich is not only a key financial center, but also the soccer capital of the world: the headquarters of the International Football Federation (FIFA) is based here. The World Cup is held under the auspices of this authoritative organization. The history of the game in general and of the World Cups.

Dinosaur Museum in Zurich

The Dinosaur Museum is the largest institution of its kind in Switzerland. Its founder, the famous paleontologist Hans-Jacob Sieber, took a scientific approach to the exposition, so that not only tourists but also scientists are among the visitors.

Toy Museum in Zurich

Relive your childhood for a while in a lovely old house on a quiet street with a catchy name like Fortunagasse. Fortune really does smile on those who are still children at heart: The private Toy Museum.

St. Gallen

The city of St. Gallen is situated on the banks of the Steinach, which flows into Lake Constance 60 km from Zurich. This is the famous location of the Monastery of St. Gallen, respectable for its size and importance in the history not only of Switzerland, but also of Europe.

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The Emile Buerle Foundation Collection

A small museum with a unique collection of masterpieces of the world – above all paintings. The variety of works in this private collection rivals that of the greatest museums in the world.

Zurich Old Town

The historic center of Zurich, or Altstadt, covers less than two square kilometers. But in this tiny area, even by the standards of a compact Alpine city, a lot of interesting things could be found. Its narrow streets are lined with austere medieval buildings, and today most of them are home to trendy nightclubs.

Fraumuenster

On a par with the main cathedral Grossmünster and St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Fraumuenster is one of Zurich’s three most celebrated churches. For a long time it competed with Grossmünster for the title of the city’s most important cathedral.

Cableway Poliban

The main and oldest funicular in Zurich was first called the Zürichbergbahn, then it was renamed the SBG Polybahn. To this day, this rail streetcar is not only a pleasant tourist attraction, but also quite a working means of transport.

St. Peter’s Church in Zurich

Do you want to visit the oldest church in Zurich? Welcome to St. Peter’s Church. Information about it in historical documents dates back – for a minute – to the middle of the 9th century. In such a long time, St. Peter’s Church has been rebuilt several times.

Zurich Opera House

Zurich Opera House, located on Falkenstrasse, is not only worth seeing from the outside and catching it on a soapbox, but also attending one of the performances. Although, we must admit, the theater building itself looks like a real work of art.

To visit the homeland of Swiss watches and banks – Zurich is a dream of many Russian tourists. This beautiful European city with a rich (no, not bank accounts) history and traditions hospitably welcomes all travelers and, perhaps, stays in their hearts forever. While packing for a trip to Zurich, don’t forget (apart from the francs) to make a list of desired sights, because there are so many of them, as they say, that one can’t help but wonder.

From the cultural attractions of Zurich worth a visit, of course, the Kunsthaus and the Swiss National Museum.

And don’t forget to include the Grossmünster Cathedral and St. Peter’s Church in your must-see list. They are symbols of Zurich and apart from their historical value they offer tourists an unforgettable bird’s eye view of Zurich. All you have to do is pull yourself together and climb the observation decks of the temple towers.

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Of the cultural attractions of Zurich worth a visit, of course, Kunsthaus and the Swiss National Museum. In the former you can see works by Picasso, Rubens and Dali one-on-one, while in the latter you can see the cups and armor of medieval knights. Zurich is also famous for its zoo. Yes, by the way, it is one of the best in Europe! Here live and, we should say, feel perfectly well animals from almost all over the world.

Become closer to the stars in the literal sense, you can visit such a landmark of Zurich as the Observatory Urania. Celestial “inhabitants” here as well as at arm’s length!

Describe the sights of the Swiss city could be a long time, it is better to decide and come to Zurich yourself!

Zurich

Zurich (Switzerland) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Zurich with descriptions, travel guides and maps.

The city of Zurich (Switzerland).

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the German-speaking canton of the same name. It is located in the northeastern part of the country in a picturesque area on the shores of Lake Zurich. Zurich is the economic and cultural center of Switzerland, as well as one of the largest financial centers in Europe. But it is not a boring city of banks and headquarters. Zurich is a fascinating place with interesting sights, a well-preserved old town with medieval and Renaissance buildings, many museums and galleries.

Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but at the same time one of the best quality of life. The city is known for its cleanliness, neatness and liberal atmosphere, which, in its time, attracted such historical figures as Lenin, Büchner, Jung, Mann. Zurich is a perfect place for travelers of all types: history buffs can stroll through the old town and explore the old sites, art lovers can visit the many museums and art galleries, party lovers can stroll through the clubs, bars and restaurants.

Zurich

Zurich

What to do (Zurich):

Walking in the center of Zurich

€180 for a guided tour

Walking in the center of Zurich

Explore the city and learn about its past and present on a sightseeing tour

To the fairytale city of Lucerne

€300 for the tour

To the fairytale city of Lucerne

Travel from Zurich to the open air museum city and admire the beauty of the lake.

Geography and climate

Zurich is located in the northern part of Lake Zurich at the source of the Limmat River, which crosses the historic center. The city is situated in a valley between the Uttliberg and Zurichberg mountains, 30 km north of the Alps. That is why Zurich is sometimes called the “gateway to the Alps”.

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Autumn in Zurich

Autumn in Zurich

The climate is temperate continental with warm but rainy summers. Winters are cool with light frost and unstable snow cover.

Information for tourists

  1. Population – more than 400 thousand people. The agglomeration is more than 1 million.
  2. Area – 87.93 km 2 .
  3. Language is German. The most widespread is the dialect Züridütsch. English and French are also widely spoken.
  4. The currency is the Swiss franc.
  5. Time is UTC +1, in summer +2.
  6. Visas are Schengen.
  7. The most popular shopping areas: Bahnhofstrasse – one of the most exclusive and expensive shopping streets in the world, which runs from the main station to the lake, Niederdorf – clothing and shoe stores, Löwenstrasse – supermarket chains and inexpensive stores.
  8. Do not buy Swiss watches in supermarkets or other similar stores. A real Swiss watch can’t cost 8-10 francs. It is better to make such purchases in name-brand stores. The best inexpensive brands: Swatch, Mondaine. Of the more expensive ones, it is worth paying attention to Tissot.
  9. Frey and Lindt are leaders in the Swiss chocolate market and offer high quality at a bargain price.
  10. Traditional Swiss products are recommended to buy in Schweizer Heimatwerk.
  11. Popular traditional foods: fondue (fondue), raclette (similar to fondue, only cheese is served with potatoes and pickles), chnöpfli (soft egg noodles with meat), würste (grilled sausages), rösti with meat (grated potatoes that taste like potato fritters), zürigeschnätzlets (veal in a wine sauce).
  12. Of the traditional products the most popular are: cheese, chocolate and candies, ham and sausage.

History

In ancient times there was a Celtic settlement on the site of Zurich, which in the 1st century BC was conquered by the Roman Empire. The Romans built here a customs post between Rhaetia and Belgica, and named it Turicum. The first mention of the city dates back to 929.

Zurich old town

The old town

In the 13th-17th centuries Zurich was an imperial city within the Holy Roman Empire. In 1351 it became a member of the Swiss Union. In the 16th century Zurich became one of the centers of the Reformation, which was led by Ulrich Zwingli.

Zurich in winter

Zurich in winter

From the 16th to the 18th century Zurich reached its highest point of prosperity. In 1648 it changed its status from an imperial city to a republic. In 1847, the first Swiss railroad linked Zurich with Basel. In March 1945 it was mistakenly bombed by the Americans.

How to get there

Zurich is the largest and most important transportation hub in Switzerland. The city has the largest and busiest airport in the country. From the airport to the center of Zurich there are regular trains. The main railway station (Hauptbahnhof) in general is the largest in the world. The station takes almost 3,000 trains a day and has a passenger flow of 350,000 to 500,000 people daily. No wonder that it is easy to get to Zurich from almost every major city in Europe by plane, train, bus or car.

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Zurich

Zurich

Attractions

Zurich’s Old Town is the medieval charm of its old streets, ancient buildings and churches, and the splendor of its monumental 19th and 20th century architecture. The Zurich Altstadt is located on the eastern bank of the Limmat River and has a variety of architecture, from medieval Gothic to modern architectural trends.

Zurich old town

Old Town

In the Middle Ages Zurich was surrounded by a city wall. To this day, the old city walls have not survived. The old town contains all the most famous historical landmarks of Zurich and therefore is the center of attraction for all guests of this wonderful city.

Bahnhofstrasse

Bahnhofstrasse

Bahnhofstrasse is the main street of Zurich. It is a lively pedestrian thoroughfare that runs from the main train station to the Bürkliplatz on the shores of Lake Zurich. Bahnhofstrasse is considered one of the most attractive shopping streets in Europe with many expensive stores and 19th-20th century architecture.

Fraumuenster

Fraumuenster

The Fraumünster is one of the oldest churches in Zurich, located on the Limmat Embankment in the old city. The church was founded in 853 by Emperor Ludwig. The modern building is a beautiful three-tiered columned basilica from the 13th to 15th century with a Gothic nave, a Romanesque altar and an Early Gothic transept. You can also see fragments of the crypt from the time of the ancient 9th century abbey. Interesting features of the Fraumuenster are the beautiful stained glass windows and the altar.

St Peter's Church

St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church is the oldest parish church in Zurich, founded in the 9th century. The original structure of the ancient building is still visible under the altar. The current building is Gothic, has an early 13th-century Romanesque choir and a Baroque nave with three aisles and galleries. The most interesting feature of St. Peter’s Church is the giant clock on the tower, which is the largest in Europe (dial diameter 8.7 m).

Grossmünster

Grossmünster

Grossmünster is the largest religious building in Zurich, an imposing Romanesque basilica built between the 11th and 13th centuries. In the 16th century, the church became one of the centers of the Reformation. The most interesting feature of its architecture are the twin towers. The upper levels of the towers were completed at the end of the 15th century.

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Town Hall

Old houses along the Limmat River

Along the waterfront of the Limmat River there are several elegant old guild houses with luxurious interiors, reflecting the wealth of the guilds that ruled Zurich before 1789. There is also the town hall, which overhangs the river and is supported by the arches of a bridge. It was built between 1694 and 1698 in the late Renaissance style.

Lindenhof

Lindenhof

Lindenhof is the oldest part of Zurich, located between the Bahnhofstrasse and the left bank of the River Limmat. It was here that the Romans built their fortified settlement. Charlemagne later built his royal residence here. These ancient buildings have not survived to our time. Now there is a park with stunning views of the old city.

Limmat River

Limmat River

Other sights and interesting places in Zurich

Niederdorf

Niederdorf

Niederdorf is an area of the old city that is a pedestrian zone. Part of this area is the Neumarkt (New Market), founded in the 12th century as a suburb of medieval Zurich.

St. Augustine Church

St. Augustin Church

The Church of St. Augustine is a 12th-century medieval church built on the west side of the old city. After the Reformation, the church was converted into a coinage workshop. In 1841 the building regained its status as a religious building.

Augustine Street Augustinergasse

Augustinian Street

Augustinergasse is one of the most beautiful historical streets in Zurich.

Water Church

Water Church

The Water Church (Wasserkirche) is a late Gothic church completed in the 15th century. According to legend, it was built at the place where the Christian martyrs Felix and Regula were executed by the Romans.

Liebfraukirchen

Liebfraukirchen

Liebfraukirchen was built in 1893 in the style of an early Christian basilica. The tower resembles a Romanesque bell tower.

Schanzengraben

Schanzengraben

Schanzengraben is an idyllic promenade in the center of Zurich. You can enjoy a quiet walk here.

Things to do in Zurich:

  • Take a boat cruise on the Limmat River through the old city.
  • Climb Uttliberg (871 m) and enjoy spectacular views of Zurich and the lake.
  • Cruise on the picturesque Lake Zurich. Departure of the steamboats takes place from Bürkliplatz.
  • Visit the Museum of Fine Arts – important collections of Flemish paintings, Italian Baroque and Venetian Settecento.
  • View the collections of the Swiss National Museum – over 800,000 historical and cultural items from antiquity to the 20th century.
  • Visit the Zurich Zoo – over 360 animal species.

Interesting tours

Lucky day in Zurich

€180 for a guided tour

Happy day in Zurich

A friendly stroll through the city’s iconic and atmospheric sites with a light immersion in history

Zurich - A Journey Through Time

€120 per tour

Zurich – time travel

Zurich’s main sights and secret corners of the city on a sightseeing tour

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