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Lawrence Fraser, Senior City Break Specialist

"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

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 EU 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.