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Lawrence Fraser, Reservations Manager

"Zurich lays claim to over 100 art galleries and a number of revered museums, but there is plenty to see and do beyond its cultural sights. Spend a day at the Lake Promenade, a picturesque collection of gardens and walkways along Lake Zurich or go shopping along the popular Bahnhofstrasse, the city’s equivalent to New York City’s Fifth Avenue, where a lavish collection of high end, brand name shops line the city’s business centre."

Zurich at a glance

The largest Swiss city and the country’s financial and cultural centre, Zurich lies on the banks of the River Limmat, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and facing beautiful Lake Zurich. One of Europe’s scenic treasures, Zurich offers excellent restaurants, luxury shopping and a number of historic sights to explore. 

With a history dating back 2,000 years, Zurich has stood witness to many significant events throughout history. A primary centre for the Protestant Reformation, Zurich grew to be the financial home for banking giants and financial institutions. 

Today, Zurich is not only the financial centre of Switzerland, but also maintains a significant art and science scene. Numerous museums, art galleries, concert halls and theatres give the city a cultural significance. Combined with the city’s booming economic importance, Zurich has long been ranked as having one of the best living standards in the world. 

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Art and culture
  • Picturesque setting
  • A bustling city break

Getting around

Zurich has three main forms of public transportation – the S-Bahn (local trains), trams and buses in addition to public boat services that operate on the river and lake. 

Travel on public transport is based on zones. Ticket prices vary according to the number of zones you wish to travel through and tickets can be used across all forms of transport. 

Dining in Zurich

The traditional ‘nach Zürcher Art’ (cooked in the Zurich style) cuisine is rich in flavour and ingredients. Meat, mushrooms, potatoes and cheese make up many of the city’s popular dishes.  

Chocolate shops and cafes abound in Zurich, and there is a growing international food scene with Asian, Italian and Turkish restaurants among the city’s favourites.  

Must-try local dishes

  • Zürigeschnätzlets – chopped veal served in a mushroom cream and wine sauce
  • Raclette – melted cheese served with potatoes and pickles
  • Tirggel – a hard, sweet pastry consisting of flour and honey

Shopping in Zurich

Zurich is a good city for shopping, the Bahnofstrasse is popular and is labelled as one of the most exclusive and expensive luxury shopping avenues on the globe. The highly recommended Seefeld is a favourite spot for picking up more personalised goods. There is also the Old Town which is blessed with character and cobblestone paths, this area is perfect for souvenir shopping and visitors will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food and drink. For a fashion fix, head over to the Kreis District 4&5 for designer labels set in urban, hipster surroundings.

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Zurich designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Zurich  hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 379,915
Languages German, French, Italian, English
Currency Swiss Franc
Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Explore Zurich by bike. Rent one free from the main train station (all year) and other locations around the city (May-October).

Distance from airports
Zurich 13 km
Railway stations
Zurich Hauptbahnhof

Things to do in Zurich

  • Kunsthaus: World class art gallery, which includes a vast array of works by Alberto Giacometti.
  • Grossmünster: This 12th century cathedral is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.
  • Zoological Gardens: This modern zoo is home to exotic animal species from all over the world.
  • Bahnhofstrasse: Famous pedestrian street offering the best in world-class shopping.
  • Botanical Gardens: These large gardens feature a huge variety of plants from around the world.

Tours and Excursions

Zurich Highlights and Felsenegg Cable Car

See the best that Zurich has to offer with this highlights tour by coach, ferry and cable car. Learn about the city’s history and landmarks such as the Swiss National Museum and Zurich Opera House, take a stroll around the Alstadt and cruise across Lake Zurich to Horgen. From here you will travel to Adliswil and take the cable car up 800m to Felsenegg for stunning views of the Alps. 

Lucerne Day Trip

During the hour-long journey to Lucerne you will pass through beautiful countryside, including the Albis Pass mountain range and Lake of the Four Cantons. On arrival in Lucerne you will be taken on an introductory tour of the city by coach before having the best part of a day to explore at your own pace. A Lake Lucerne cruise is included with your ticket and can be taken at a time that suits you.

Rhine Falls Tour

From Zurich you will travel to Northern Switzerland, close to the German border, to see the majestic Rhine Falls. Located in the picturesque wine-growing region you will pass through scenic countryside, vineyards and quaint villages, stopping for a photo at the medieval Laufen Castle. On arrival at the falls you will have an hour’s free time and the option to take a boat tour (at an additional cost) during the summer months.

We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.