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Zurich attractions
 
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Discover Zurich


Switzerland's biggest city is an historic gem, one with ancient Roman ruins and a past that stretches back almost seven thousand years. The city is also a modern financial hub - one of Europe's richest - with a brilliant quality of life, beautiful architecture and clean mountain air. The old town (Altstadt) is stunning, bursting with quaint Swiss houses, old churches and fabulous shops. Yes, a trip to Zurich will be sure to keep your Swiss dream alive. It really is that special.

The city dates back to the Roman settlement of Turicum, and a population has remained there ever since. Nowadays, Zurich is famous not only for its banks but its museums, architecture and shopping - the renowned Bahnhofstrasse is rumoured to be the most expensive street on the planet and is filled with up market shops. Couple this with the fabulous backdrop that is the Bernese Oberland, and you've got the perfect alternative city break.

Around Zurich
Around Zurich
Zurich map

Despite the city's reputation as a financial centre there are few tall buildings, so the skyline is punctured only by the beautiful church towers. The Altstadt is the place to head if you love old buildings, quaint Swiss charm and plenty of photo opportunities. Think cobbled streets, coloured houses and church spires which dot the medieval section of the town and offer beautiful sights. Lindenhof Hill boasts the old Roman castle and plenty of other remains, whilst the streets of the old town boast quaint, leaning old buildings.

For those of you who love old churches, Zurich will not disappoint. Some gems include the Grossmuenster which is a beautiful Romanesque church that provides great city views, and the gothic era Fraumuenster with its fabulous stained glass windows. Museum buffs too will enjoy Zurich's interesting mix of museums and galleries - the Landesmuseum is a must see with its local exhibitions, and the Rietberg Museum houses art from the Far East. There is also the Kunsthaus for you art fiends - it houses a great mix of local and international art.

Taking a stroll in the fresh air around Zurich will also yield plenty of interesting places and sights. Follow the Schanzengraben canal (the former boundary of the old town) to the lake to get your bearings of the old town's layout, or wander around the gorgeous Chinese Gardens. The more adventurous amongst you may want to head to Zurich's very own red light district which, although slightly seedy in the eyes of the locals is usually very well maintained and completely safe to wander around. Finally, a stroll along the lake will enable you to take in the sights and walk alongside locals.

If you're in Zurich on a shopping trip (you must have plenty of cash!) then the Bahnofstrasse is the place to be. World famous for its great selection of shops, it's here that you'll pick up all things Swiss, including the finest watches, yummy Swiss chocolate and designer clothing.

If you don't have millions to spend never fear - Zurich also has its fair share of mid range shopping locales, including the Niederhof area in the old town. The Niederhof is popular amongst students and tourists alike, and is fast becoming the place to be in the evenings, thanks to its cool selection of bars and clubs. Wandering down a cobbled alleyway will likely lead you to a pub teeming with locals and tourists, so pop on in for some great atmosphere.

You'll begin to understand pretty quickly that Zurich has a lot more to it than just banks and watches. There's a lot to do in this city, and it's made very easy by the excellent transport system for which the Swiss are famous. Take your pick from clean and safe trams, local and international trains, and even a well organised cable car service up to the higher points of the city. Yes, taking public transport in Zurich is a very pleasant affair, and part of the local culture.

After a hard day's sightseeing and shopping you'll want to head out for some food. The city boasts a wide range of restaurants serving national dishes, as well as an ever growing international fare. If you're interested in sampling something Swiss, try some schnitzel or sausage, as well as the excellent local breads. You can of course also have some fondue, either with potatoes or bread, to warm yourself up on a cold day.

It's also no surprise that the desserts are simply delicious in Zurich, and that anything made from chocolate is sure to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. If you have the time, nosy around the local supermarket or deli and sample some cheese, chocolate and pastries typical to the region. You'll have plenty of time to walk it off later...don't forget to stop off in a café for a hot chocolate when you're doing so...

After your meal, it's off to one of the many bars and clubs scattered throughout the city. Apart from the aforementioned old town area of the Niederhof, you can also try the newer area of Zurich West which boasts its fair share of fancy clubs and bars. There's nightlife for everyone in Zurich, from jazz clubs to DJs, theatre and traditional music. In the summer you can also sun yourself in one of the many beer gardens in Zurich with a pint.

Next time you're considering a city break, you may want to consider avoiding the old clichés of Paris and Barcelona and try something a little different. Zurich is a great place to head for old town charm with a modern infrastructure, where you can spend your day checking out Roman ruins and old churches and your nights clubbing to some of the best European DJs around. With all this set amongst fabulous mountain scenery you're sure to have a brilliant time in Zurich.


 

Zurich Tours

Zurich Tours

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Zurich Car Hire

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Zurich Accommodation
 
 
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