On a journey of discovery in Zurich
In Switzerland’s largest city water is never far away. Here, a jump into Lake Zurich or into the Limmat is just as much a part of daily life as relaxing evenings in the countless bars directly on the water, which are lovingly called Badi-Bars by Zurichers. The cosmopolitan city offers visitors a lot – day and night. Countless events, numerous museums, its own food festival and the country's most exciting nightlife await visitors here. Although Zurich is Switzerland's economic and educational centre, it has not lost its natural, carefree character and offers its inhabitants a high quality of life. The medieval old town tells the more than 3500-year-old history of today's metropolis, while the small red polybahn drives slowly and with Swiss cosiness through the streets.
Must-sees in Switzerland's largest city
Thanks to the breath-taking location directly on the lake, the city attracts numerous visitors year after year, summer and winter, with a magnificent variety. In summer, Lake Zurich invites you to linger and the mountains are only an hour away. This is the perfect balance between exciting city life and relaxed nature. Of the city's many highlights, five are particularly worth a visit.
Grossmünster and Fraumünster
According to a legend, the city's landmark the Grossmünster is located on the former burial site of the two city saints Felix and Regula. In the 16th century, the Grossmünster was the starting point of the German-Swiss Reformation and the theological school attached to the monastery at that time became the origin of Zurich University. Besides the Grossmünster, the Fraumünster also is a famous sight in Zurich. In 853, the church was donated by King Ludwig the German and only came into the possession of the city after the Reformation, including the nunnery. The beautiful colour windows, made by artists such as Augusto Giacometti and Marc Chagalls, are the church's flagship. Church music concerts still take place regularly in both attractions today.
As the local mountain of the city, the Uetliberg offers a fantastic view of Zurich, Lake Zurich and even the Alps. This popular excursion destination is located 871 metres above sea level. The summit of the mountain is located above the high fog, which is why in winter the hiking trails are converted into toboggan runs. In summer, hiking trails invite you to go hiking and mountain biking. Particularly popular: The Planet Trail takes about two hours to reach the Felsenegg Railway in Adliswil and offers visitors exciting insights into the solar system.
Especially in summer, the location of the city on the beautiful Lake Zurich is priceless. It is one of the largest lakes in the country and a popular destination for swimming, sailing and picnics on the shore. Forested ranges of hills frame Lake Zurich with a beautiful panorama. The ferry takes visitors from one shore to the other, enjoying the pleasant sea air. In summer, the lake crossing is a real highlight: around 10,000 sports enthusiasts swim here from Wollishofen to Tiefenbrunnen. There are four islands in the lake itself. Of these, Staffa Island, in particular, is a popular destination, as it can be easily reached via a landing stage. For swimming and sunbathing, the numerous seaside resorts around the lake invite guests in summer.
The popular fairground Sechseläutenplatz is also located on the idyllic Lake Zurich. The "Sechseläuten" takes place here in spring, where the "Böögg", a snowman's doll, is traditionally burnt at the stake. The ceremony says goodbye to winter and welcomes summer. The square also hosts the annual performances of the National Circus Knie and the Zurich Christmas Market. The square houses the Opera House and the Bellevue, the city's most important tram stop.
The Lindenhof is considered an oasis of the city and offers visitors a fantastic view of the Grossmünster, the town hall and the entire old town. The Lindenhof is also the scene of many historical events. In the 9th century the grandson of Charlemagne built his royal residence here. And in 1798 the oath of allegiance to the Helvetian constitution was sworn on the Lindenhof. Today the Lindenhof is an oasis of peace in the heart of the city and particularly passionate chess players have found their meeting place here.
Cultural tip: The festival takes place in Zurich every two years and is the highlight of the summer. In addition to classical opera, drama and concerts, the programme also includes dance and readings to ensure variety. A common theme leads through the festival. At the Zurich Festival, all disciplines are combined, and visitors are invited on a special tour of the city.
The Romantik Seehotel Sonne invites you to an elegant stay directly on Lake Zurich. More than 80 works of art by world-famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Julian Schnabel can be found in the hotel, inspiring guests interested in art. In winter, the romantic ice rink directly in front of the house on Lake Zurich is a real highlight.
The Romantik Hotel Europe is located in the heart of the city and within walking distance of Lake Zurich. The historic hotel building welcomes guests in individually furnished rooms. The Quaglinos Restaurant spoils guests with culinary specialities from the south of France.