Zurich is an exuberant and culturally active city. As an ideal tourist destination, sightseeing in Zurich is sure to provide you with an interesting experience of the ancient and contemporary charm of the city. Zurich provides a great vacation atmosphere with nightlife, cultural centers, ancient winding roads, old steeple churches and some beautiful breathtaking scenery along trails for leisure walks and exploration. But you need to know where to stay in Zurich and the interesting things to do in Zurich that will make your holiday a worthwhile memory.
Famous sights to see in Zurich
Grossmunster is the landmark of Zurich, built by Emperor Charlemagne to commemorate the martyrdom of St. Felix and St. Regula both patron saints of Zurich. The Grossmunster has twelve beautiful windows studded with semi precious stones. The towers offer splendid views of the city.
Built in the 13th century, The Fraumunster is a stunning gothic styled Benedictine Abbey. Its remarkable stained windows were designed by none other than Marc Chagall, the famous Russian –Jewish artist.
Also called the water church, The Wasserkirche stands on the banks of the river limmat. The 10th century church completed in the 15thcentury features the typical gothic styled designs iconic of Switzerland’s monuments. It’s interesting to visit the place especially because of the musicians and booksellers lining the stone arches outside the church.
This is Zurich’s main shopping boulevard. You can get everything here from fashion to art and local souvenirs too. There are a number of boutiques and shops selling famous Swiss make time pieces. The Bahnhofstrasse is an ideal location for a leisurely stroll along the lake where one can even enjoy a cool wine or coffee and hot chocolate at the many cafes lining the boulevard.
The old Town area with its old world cobble stone streets is an ideal setting for a day’s visit when in Zurich. The Fraumunster and the Bahnhofstrasse are not far from here. If you love visiting museums, then you’ll find two famous ones in the old town. The Kunsthaus Zurich and Swiss national museum. There are some great Italian restaurants in the old town worth paying a visit for a bite.
Where to stay in Zurich
Zurich may be considered an expensive city, but where accommodation is concerned there are a number of budget-friendly hotels in the main city areas. You could even opt for bunking it out dorm style in a hostel such as the H.I. Hostel where you can even rent a private room. Some good budget hotels are Hotel Biber, Hotel Otto and ‘The City backpacker’. You could also try a few of the Lake side Inns some of which offer affordable rates. Budget hotels are also located in the Alstadt or old town area.
If you really want a Swiss ambience then you should consider spending a few days in one of the Swiss alpine hamlets in the Lower Engadine area. Ftan is an ideal place where you can get the world’s best cheese and breathtaking views of the Alps.
Where to eat in Zurich
Zurich has always been a centre for fine dining and has several restaurants scattered all around the city. However you need to research well enough to get budgeted meals as dining out can be quite expensive. For those who prefer an exquisite experience of fine gourmet dining, there are a number of high end restaurants along the lakeside such as ‘Wirtschaft Wurzburg’ which dates back to 1676 and the Michelin star “Restaurant Spice” that features an interesting global fusion menu.
However if you’re looking for pocket-friendly stuff, then there are a number of roadside cafes that serve up some really good authentic Swiss food. There are a number of quality restaurants in the old town area as well as nightclubs in the western area of the city.
For that perfect Fondue, you could check out the cozy Café Chasalp situated on Zurichberg, a hill overlooking Lake Zurich. You can indulge in some pretty tantalizing stuff with flavored fondues that come in mushroom, chili, or peppercorn.
Best day tours from Zurich
Jungfraujoch: One of the most spectacular of sights, The Jungfraujoch region will simply sweep you off your feet with its panoramic view of alpine mountains. Jungfraujoch is also the highest railways station in Europe at 11,333 feet high.
Mount Pilatus: Ideal in summer, a round trip to Mount Pilatus will be top spot for the family. Situated in the area of Lucerne, one can also go on a cruise or a Gondola on Lake Lucerne. The aerial car ride is a breathtaking journey over some amazing hilltop scenery. Lucerne is a quaint old Town for a nice relaxing walk.
Lichtenstein: One of the best day tours from Zurich, A day tour to Lichtenstein takes you through Rappersweil or the city of roses and the Ricken pass with fantastic views of the majestic Alps. Lichenstein is a picture perfect region where a visit to Maienfeld is a must. Maienfield is significant as the setting for the much loved Heidi story where you can see her village and Heidi’s home. Perhaps one of the most nostalgic of Swiss tours, Lichtenstein is a dream tour for all.