Just a stone’s throw away from the Alps, Zürich is the ideal starting point for all kinds of excursions, whether it’s the beginning or end point of your journey throughout Switzerland.
Known as the economic and educational city of Switzerland, you can also enjoy such highlights like the Lake and Old Town which make up the heart of Zürich giving you the opportunity to stroll, enjoy and marvel. Or why not make a visit to Rapperswil, also known as ‘The Town of Roses’, which is the Riviera on Upper Lake Zürich and awaits visitors with its Mediterranean charm and more than 16,000 roses. Or if it’s just rest and relaxation you’re after, you can be in the Swiss mountains in less than an hour where nature lovers can look down onto the bustling city.
Zürich received a modern extension with the impressive new building of the Swiss National Museum. Behind its over 100-year-old walls, history comes to life as visitors gain an insight into how previous generations lived, thought and felt.
Oberhofen Castle with its medieval keep and lake tower is located on the shore of Lake Thun. The castle, which dates back to the early 13th century, houses a living museum.
Zürich’s medieval houses, contorted narrow lanes and guild and town halls from the Renaissance period offer an attractive backdrop for world-class entertainment. A tour of the Old Town lets visitors experience Zürich’s multifaceted past. Explore the Zoo on the Zürichberg, home to more than 340 animal species in near-natural habitats. About 4,000 animals serve as ambassadors for their fellows in the wild. A nature conservation centre involved in international breeding programs and resettlement projects.
Uetliberg is Zürich’s very own mountain. The best way to take in a city is from above. The Uetliberg lookout is just a short train ride and a 10-minute walk away, and the view over the city, lake and Alps is spectacular.
Take the Polybahn cable car up to the ETH Zürich, the Polyterrasse patio offers an amazing view over the Old Town, the lake and city center. Those who haven’t seen Lake Zürich, weren’t in Zürich. When standing next to the famous Ganymede statue on the Bürkliterrasse, you can see as far as the Swiss Alps.
When to visit
The best time to visit Zurich in general is in summer, which is July – September. However, it is very busy during these times. So, shoulder seasons are a good alternative, especially October – November, because the snow hasn't come yet and the weather is usually quite sunny.
November to December - Christmas Markets are a Swiss tradition for the festive season. As Christmas approaches, decorated and illuminated chalets appear in Switzerland’s main cites and the nights are filled with twinkling lights and a cheerful buzz as shoppers explore the stalls and enjoy classic entertainment, drinking in the festive atmosphere. Market stalls showcase local handy crafts, regional food specialties and much more. Some of the best Christmas markets can be found in Montreux, Zürich, Basel, Bern, Wengen, Einsiedeln and Lucerne to name a few, each with its own unique Winter Christmas experiences.