The most populous city in Switzerland and the economic axis of the country is the capital of the Canton of Zurich. It is located at one end of Lake Zurich, where it joins the Limmmat River that divides the city center in two. An extremely picturesque and beautiful place, in addition to safe, tidy and very well planned, not for nothing has been chosen a couple of times as the city with the best quality of life in the world: you breathe purity and tranquility.
Walking through its streets is easy and it is recommended to get lost among them and see every corner they hide, you can do it on your own or hire a guided walking tour. Below the most important sites and that you cannot miss:
Old Town (Rathaus Neighborhood)
It has buildings built before 1890 and receives its name since it was the City Hall (Rathaus), a building that remains as the original. It is a must-see area in the city, full of art galleries, antique shops, bookstores and cafes, alive both day and night and ideal for a leisurely stroll among its alleys, where you will surely want to stop at every step.
In the old town, one of the most important churches in the City stands out on the horizon for its two twin towers. Around it, it climbs the steep hill on which it sits, with beautiful houses of medieval origin, formerly inhabited by the canons of the collegiate church. The views from the Cathedral terrace are simply beautiful and evocative, a good viewpoint in Zurich. You can have another perspective of the roofs of the historic center, the lake and even the Alps if you climb 187 steps from one of the church nave in one of the towers that will take you to the panoramic platform.
In the lower part of the Church, in one of the extremes, there is an esplanade between arches that stands out for having a very good acoustics, so concerts are organized there throughout the year.
Located in one of the corners of the Lake is this large esplanade where locals or tourists enjoy at any age and at any time of the year, since there you can rest, walk or have fun. At one end is the Opera and you can find restaurants and bars to have a drink. Very close to there I especially recommend you to line up to enter Sternen Grill, a restaurant with local food that you have to know. Here tourists, locals, students, retirees, celebrities, businessmen and anyone who likes a good sausage, enjoy this Swiss classic accompanied by a spicy mustard and a crusty bread until late at night.
Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus)
It was opened in 1891 to replace the Old Theater. In the beginning, spoken and sung plays were performed, but later it was limited to the performance of opera, operettas and ballet. One hundred years after its inauguration, it was renovated and expanded; today the highlight is its neo-baroque auditorium and its location next to the lake, which give the an atmosphere of tranquility, the magic of opera, ballet and concerts will have a good effect on anyone.
Fraumünster Abbey Church
This church that began to be built from the middle of the ninth century is one of the important monuments of Zurich. It is currently known for its large green tower and surprises inside, with its stained glass windows and the largest organ in the canton of Zurich with 5,793 tubes.
St. Peter’s Church
This church is, together with the previous two mentioned, of the most important in the city. It dates from the year 900, thus being the oldest parish church in Zurich and unique in the city with baroque style. The clock in the tower is the largest in Europe of its kind, with a diameter of 8.7 meters.
Walking among the alleys that lead to the churches, I recommend that you take a break to eat in a place with a lot of tradition in Zurich, this is Zunfthaus Zur Waag, located in a beautiful historical square and jewel of the center, in a house that dates from 1315. A great place to drink wine, eat and celebrate in an elegant atmosphere. In front of this beautiful building there is a fountain from which drinking water comes out, but when there is an important celebration in the restaurant, such as a wedding, wine comes from here, a great surprise for the guests.
It is the most important street in the center, where several monuments and the largest and most exclusive shops in Switzerland and the world are concentrated, is classified as the most expensive street in Europe for shops and the third most expensive in the world. It is worth a walk, it has a good pedestrian zone and is an important link for the tram network. It starts at Bahnhofplatz, in front of the Zurich Central Station, and ends 1.4 km further on at Bürkliplatz next to Lake Zurich. When you want to cross this or any other street in Zurich, you have to be very careful as the trams pass through both sides.
It is worth climbing the steep hill to enjoy the park. This is a large space with trees and fountains, where you can walk, rest on a bench or even play a giant chess game that is located at one end. What is most worth of this park is the viewpoint, the panoramic view that you can have from each of the symbols of the city is spectacular, and you can have a good time sitting on the shore having a different perspective of the city, don´t stop doing it.
Like everything in Switzerland, the lake is impeccable, it is a pleasure to spend some time in its surroundings. When the weather permits, this place transforms into activities and people all day, especially on weekends, in the cold season it contains a special mysticism, but never loses its charm. It is part of the natural beauty of the city, you cannot stop walking along the shore, enjoy it and breathe its purity and tranquility. There are tours that are done by boat on the lake, it is worth doing and have another view of the city. In both summer and winter, the lake shipping company offers daily different itineraries in all parts of the lake as well as in the Limmat River. The well preserved wheel steamer and motor boats, invite you to relax and contemplate the landscape.
House of the history of world football, it is worth visiting. In addition to many historical data and any number of accessories of this sport that unites the world, children and adults can have fun while they learn. Most of the activities are aimed at the youngest of the family, but parents are encouraged to also participate, interact and experience the vast world of football next to their children. It also has the Sportsbar, equipped with unique LED screens that allow you to live closely all sports with an incomparable visual enjoyment.
And to stay in this beautiful city nothing better than the Baur au Lac Hotel, which enjoys a unique location overlooking the lake and the Alps, a few minutes’ walk from the financial district of Paradeplatz, the historic center and Bahnhofstrasse. It is distinguished by pampering the most demanding tastes of its guests with great hospitality.