Awash with culture and spectacular surroundings, Zurich may not be top of everyone’s bucket list but is a fantastic option for your next city getaway. Once known as a thriving financial centre, Switzerland’s largest city has since become a favourite with tourists for its contemporary feel alongside a wealth of attractions.
Despite its modern ambiance, Zurich has managed to hold onto its old-world charm thanks to its winding streets and tall church steeples. While you’re never too far away from shops, restaurants and bars, there’s a chocolate-box feel to this Swiss city that you’ll find hard to resist.
Whether looking for a scenic city to enjoy on a romantic break, or you crave great food and excellent nightlife, you won’t be short of things to do on a Zurich holiday.
Known primarily as a residential area, Niederdorf is characterised by its medieval alleys and small squares. Part of the old town alongside the river, you’ll find a number of bars and restaurants to dip into, while riverside cafés provide a nice place to linger with a coffee on a sunny day.
Popular with tourists, this section of the city is a prime location for those looking to make the most of Zurich’s lake. There’s a charming promenade to explore, complete with boat rentals, a couple of swimming spots and some outdoor restaurants.
Those set to don their dancing shoes should head straight for Langstrasse, Zurich’s most cosmopolitan hotspot. Urban bars make up most of the area, alongside quirky restaurants and nightclubs offering just about any music genre imaginable.
Take a train to Uetliberg
Take the opportunity to enjoy Switzerland’s scenic views with a trip up Zurich’s backyard mountain. The train departs from the main station, taking you on a journey to the top where you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the city from the observation tower. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are designated trails to get to the bottom – just remember to pack your hiking boots as the descent is not for the faint-hearted!
Blitz the shopping
If you’re after a dose of retail therapy, you’ve come to the right place. Zurich West is the ideal setting for a shopping trip, with a good mix of high-street stores and quirky boutiques to please the most discerning shopper. The Viadukt is the city’s edgiest place to hang out, with shops, bars and restaurants hidden away in an old railway viaduct. Keep your eyes peeled for the fondue tent in winter – the perfect way to warm up.
Visit the city’s many museums
Zurich has plenty of museums to discover – more than 50, in fact. There are also over 100 art galleries to browse. Visit the Kunsthaus to marvel at paintings by Chagall, Monet and Van Gogh, or take a trip to Kunsthalle for its eclectic mix of modern artists.
Sightseeing in Zurich
You’ll find most of Zurich’s most fascinating sights in the old town surrounding the river and lakefront. While the city is crammed full with ancient architecture and classic churches, a visit to the Grossmunster is a good place to begin. Created in Romanesque style, the church tower offers glorious views of the city below, if you can manage to climb its steep steps. The Beyer Watch Museum makes for a fascinating visit too, enabling visitors to learn about the traditional craft of watch-making in Switzerland.
A visit to Zurich is incomplete without enjoying the atmosphere of the Lake Promenade. While the lakeside is an excellent place to spend an afternoon or evening, it becomes particularly busy during the summertime. Head halfway from Bellevue and you’ll discover a meadow where hundreds of people can be found lapping up the sunshine.
Cuisine in Zurich
It’s no surprise that visitors flock to Zurich for its excellent cuisine – after all, Switzerland is known for its passion for both chocolate and cheese. You’ll find restaurants and cafés everywhere you look in the city, from the cosy hideaways selling hot chocolate along the river to the more glamourous eateries in the centre of town.
Don’t leave Zurich without trying fondue. While it might seem cliché, this combination of rustic crusty bread and molten cheese is a favourite of many. Pair it with a local wine or some strong schnapps for an authentic experience. If your love of cheese knows no bounds, sample a hearty tartiflette, a dish of potatoes, bacon and cheese, or make like the locals and devour a traditional raclette meal.
Those with a sweet tooth needn’t feel left out either. Bakeries and patisseries are particularly popular in Zurich, offering delicious chocolate pretzels and nut cakes as well as an endless supply of pastries.
Restaurants in Zurich
There are bountiful restaurants in Zurich, with many serving up traditional Swiss cuisine. While local dishes are popular, there are also a number of international restaurants throughout the city, offering everything from hearty Italian food to Pan Asian cuisine.
There are plenty of budget eateries situated near the lakeside, giving tourists a chance to sample authentic meals at a decent price. Head to the stylish shopping districts, however, and you’ll find Michelin-starred restaurants providing great atmosphere and the ideal setting for a drink or two.
From its alluring architecture to its delectable cuisine, you’re sure to enjoy your city break to Zurich. Make the most of its excellent shops and restaurants, immerse yourself in its art scene or embrace its thriving nightlife. There’s more than enough to keep you occupied on a trip to this Swiss city.
Booking your holiday to Zurich with easyJet holidays is the perfect way to enjoy your next city break without the hassle. What’s more, you’ll save on your getaway when you book your flight and hotel together.
Not got your heart set on Zurich? Have a read of our other city break destination guides, such as Berlin, Reykjavik, Barcelona or Paris, for further inspiration and you could be jetting off somewhere special.