Founded on the banks of the Limmat River, Zurich represents the largest city of Switzerland , the country’s economic and transportation hub, and one of the world’s banking centers. Zurich is a pretty interesting city, and it can boast a lot of things. This town is the cradle of Dadaism, so it has all the rights to boast with more than a hundred art galleries and several museums, as well as world-renowned architecture, both modern and somewhat more traditional. But for those who are not art lovers, Zurich also offers a host of other activities such as swimming in the Zurich Lake, sightseeing the mountain landscapes near the city, walking the streets of the old part of the city or visiting the Zurich zoo. In any case, there will be something for everyone in Zurich. We have highlighted some of the interesting places we recommend to visit if you find yourself in Zurich.
Lake Zurich, or as the locals call it – Zürisee, is a lake located on the southeast side of the city of Zurich, within the canton of the same name. Sometimes this name implies only part of the lake, while the name Obersee (upper lake) is used to designate the eastern part of Lake Zurich. The shores of this lake have many beauties, and therefore a number of interesting places that we would gladly recommend you to visit if you already have the opportunity to admire the beauty of this area. Just on the east side of the lake, Rapperswil is located, or as it is otherwise called – the city of roses. The public gardens of this township are home to over 15,000 shrubs of about six hundred different types of flowering roses. The port of the eastern end of the lake also hides the Old Town with a medieval castle that gives the stamp of authenticity to the centuries-old preserved part of the city. Attractions that most appeal to visitors on the east side of the lake are the many beaches, the islands of Ufenau and Lützelau near Rappersvil, then the largest water park in Europe – Alpamare in Pfaeffikon, the Zurich Zoo, the lovely pedestrian wooden bridge that connects Rapperswil and Hurden, the baroque churches in Lachen and many other attractions.
Museum of Art in Zurich
The Museum of Art in Zurich (Kunsthaus Zürich) is located in the heart of the city and is home to the most outstanding works of art preserved in Switzerland. This museum preserves works from different artistic epochs and thus boasts collections dating from the Middle Ages, but also those that represent the fruits of contemporary Swiss art. The collections of this museum include works by Monet, Edward Munk, Picasso, Van Gogh, Manet, Matisse, and Giacometti, as well as many prominent Swiss such as Füssli, Hodler, and Rist. When we talk about this home of artistic legacy, we cannot but mention the architectural aspect of the museum building itself. This building was designed by Karl Moser and Robert Curjel, prominent names of 19th-century Swiss architecture, worthy of the many magnificent buildings whose beauty you can admire when visiting this city. The original section of the museum still recognizes Moser’s personal stamp when it comes to interior design, as well as the low relief that adorns the facade, and is the result of Moser’s many years of collaboration with Oskar Kiefer. The museum opened in 1910, and in 2016 had a record visitation of 320,000 visitors.
A historically significant part of the city, well preserved to this day, decorated with narrow streets paved with stone, medieval appearance and buildings that are masterpieces of artists whose names are well remembered. The old town has some of the most visited places in Zurich, such as the Grand Minster, the Swiss National Museum, the Museum of Art and the Lindenhof – the site of the former Roman castle, now a favorite place for a break from the bustle of the city. The streets of the old town will amaze you with their beauty and charm, full of small restaurants and bars, enjoyed by both locals and foreigners; they give the impression of peace of mind and satisfaction of the life of the local population. During the day, this is a quiet part of town, whose peace complements the murmur of the river Limmat, while at night it becomes a real center of city events since this is the part of the city with the most places for night out.
Just outside the city, the Uetliberg rises which provides probably the best view of Zurich and the Alps that surround it. For all lovers of natural beauty, healthy living and recreation, a visit to Uetliberg is probably one of the options they would choose if they found themselves in Zurich. Walking, biking, or a more extreme approach like paragliding – these are all ways to take advantage of the natural beauty of the hilly terrain that surrounds this city. For all lovers of hiking in the mountainous terrain, Uetliberg offers many different trails that provide an enchanting view of the beauties this area boasts. Among many, tourists like the so-called Planet Trail, whose stages represent the distance between planets in the solar system. This trail extends from Uetliberg to Felsenegg, and it takes about two hours of walking to its final destination.
Formerly the site of a 4th-century Roman fort today is a beautiful holiday park that offers rest after visiting the old city. This resting place for body and soul is located on a hill of the same name that rises above the old part of the city and will require a short climb to the very top. Lindenhof offers a unique view of the old city, the great minster and the Limmat River, offering spacious green spaces, benches and giant chess sets. Visitors to the park often enjoy a picnic, feasting on the shade of linden trees that adorn this city oasis, by which it is named. Since the Lindenhof offers fantastic views of the river and the old town, photography lovers often see the beauty of Zurich through their lenses.
The place where the Protestant Reformation of the Swiss Church began, located in the first district, in the heart of the old town, magnificently painted with stained glass windows stands the Great Minster. It was from the pulpits of this religious edifice, at the time of the birth of Swiss patriotism, that Ulrich Zwingli, as a prominent figure of humanism, preached the reformation of the church. Of course, the history of this church dates back to the time before the Reformation, and there is even a legend that Charlemagne, the first emperor of the Frankish Empire, erected this magnificent church on the site of the tombs of St. Felix and Regula, patron saints of this city. If you’re visiting Bern Minster, be sure to climb to the top for a unique view of the city.
Zoo in Zurich
The Seventh District of Zurich is home to nearly 400 different species of animals from around the world. Zurich Zoo is certainly an attraction that no animal lover visiting Zurich will miss. The complex consists of several sections, including a miniature rainforest, an elephant park, a pet garden, and other sections. The park is very well decorated and marked with signposts and maps so that visitors can easily get around and do not miss to visit every corner of the complex. True animal lovers appreciate the commitment of the organization of this garden to protect endangered species of animals around the world. Although the ticket price to this zoo is not so favorable, many find it quite justifiable in keeping with the content this complex has to offer to its visitors.