Zürich, Switzerland's financial centre in the north of the country is a vibrant blend of old and new. From the Medieval churches and winding lanes of the Old Town to the super trendy Züri-West district, this city is a beautiful location for a mini break.
Here are our top 10 things to do in Zürich:
The Grossmünster: The pepper pot shaped twin towers of Zürich's cathedral across the Limmat river are instantly recognisable. There has been a church on this site since Charlemagne's in the 9th century, and you can climb the south tower for views over the city.
Paradeplatz: home to the headquarters of UBS and Credit Suisse and some of the most expensive real estate in Switzerland, this downtown square is a good jumping off point for exploring the trendy high end shops on Bahnhofstasse. Don't forget to treat yourself with a sweet treat from Confiserie Sprüngli, they've been on Paradeplatz since 1859!
Lindt: House of Chocolate: Just 15 minutes out of Zürich in Kilchberg is the world’s largest chocolate museum, dedicated to all things Lindt! Take an audio guide and learn about the history of chocolate production, why Switzerland is such a chocolate global capital, and try lots and LOTS of free chocolate! Don't miss the enormous chocolate fountain in the lobby and the equally huge shop on the way out.
Thermalbad & Spa: Pamper yourself in the luxurious steam rooms and heated pools of the Roman Irish spa. Soak your stress away in thermal waters as the lights gently ripple on ceiling of the 100 year old old stone vaults (the spa is set within an old brewery), before relaxing on a bubble lounger on the rooftop pool with views of the city, and on a clear day, mountains. A real treat after a day of pavement pounding sight seeing!
Lindenhofplatz view point: For another beautiful view, climb up to Lindenhofplatz, a tree lined park overlooking the river, the Old Town and the Grossmünster.
Rhine Falls: Europe's biggest waterfall is a 40 minute drive out of central Zürich, and the volume of turbulent white water is just astonishing! Park on the south side and pay 5 CHF to access the different viewing platforms that allow you to get up close and personal with the falls. There are also a couple of boat companies that you can pay to go on to get really close to the falls and to access the large rock stranded in the middle of the river.
How to get to the Rhine Falls on public transport: No car? Train S9 from Zürich's main station to Neuhausen Rheinfall will also get you to the Rhine Falls in about an hour.
Old town: Exploring Zürich's Alt Stadt is like travelling back in time. Wander through the pedestrianised Niederdorf district and enjoy the colourful historic buildings, shops and cafes. At night time, the area has a lively nightlife! Look out for Cabaret Voltaire where the Dada movement was born in 1916. Be sure to also check out Augustinergasse, a pretty, narrow cobblestone street famous for it's colourful houses with bay windows overhanging the pedestrians below.
Limmatquai: Strolling along this promenade is a lovely way to see some of Zürich's most attractive architecture. Limmatquai follows the eastern bank of the Limmat River, past several bridges and colourful guild houses, the 17th century Rathaus, shops and cafes tucked into arcades, and the magnificent Grossmünster. Across the river on the opposite bank you'll see the spires of St Peter's Church and the Fraumünster and the Stadthaus. On summer days there are often musicians and other street performers busking, as people spill out onto street cafe tables to people watch.
St Peter's Church: A beautiful Baroque church, the oldest in the city (a parish church has stood in that spot for over 1000 years!) . It is famous for having largest clock face in Europe, measuring 8.7 metres across.
Kunsthaus: Zürich's Kunsthaus is home to an impressive collection of art dating from the 13th century to the present day, including works by Van Gogh, Warhol, Mondrian, Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso and the largest collection of Munch paintings outside Norway! From the Old Masters to Impressionism, Classical Modernism to contemporary art dating from 1945 onwards, there is something for everyone at this museum. Don't miss the large collection of works by the famous Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
Related content: While you're in Zurich, why not tick off a 2nd country with a trip to Liechtenstein? It's only 70 miles away!
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