The Best Things To Do in Zurich Switzerland

Zurich city view

Table of Contents

What is Zurich most famous for?

Zurich is one of the most Bohemian cities in Europe where beautiful picturesque landscapes contrasting with the modern stylish atmosphere. The city was founded by the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, and its rich history is preserved by many architectural artifacts. If you’re craving an authentic European experience, I’ll tell you which are the best things to do in Zurich.

What should you see in Zurich?

There’s no better view of Zurich than from the top of the nearby peak which is 2800 ft tall. Visitors can ride a train from the center of the city to the top, or they can choose a more adventurous alternative and hike up the multiple trails. For a fee, you can even go up the viewing tower which gives an even better panorama. 

View from Uetliberg mountain Zurich

The area has a hotel and a very popular restaurant where you might want to make a reservation, or once you get there you won’t find a free spot.

Relax at Lake Zurich

On hot summer days, one of the best things you can do is drink an ice tea at one of the many cafés around Lake Zurich. What’s even better, is that you can sunbathe on one of the two beaches at the lake, or swim in the clear waters. It’s very accessible and versatile, with one of the best views. There are swans, sailboats, the view of the mountains, the buzz of the city, all in one place.

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Lake Zurich Switzerland

If you feel like getting away for an hour or two, you can board a mini-cruise on the lake and visit the nearby villages as well. 

Learn some history

The best place to start is the Zurich Tourist Information Office in the Main Station, or hire a local guide. The city is full of historical landmarks and museums, but while strolling on the streets it would be easier to have the past explained to you than just admiring the architecture. One of the most popular guided tours offered by the city is around Old Town.

Some landmarks you must visit here are the medieval houses The Grossmünster church, Peter’s Church, the stained-glass murals at Fraumünster, and the Voltaire Cabaret.

Zurich has very interesting and well-maintained museums that you shouldn’t miss on your visit. The National Museum, The Rietberg Museum of Art, The Tram Museum, The Zoological Museum are just a few of the most popular ones.

Aside from petty crimes Zurich has one of the highest levels of safety in Europe, making it a great spot for a vacation with small children. Many museums offer plenty of educational and fun events and activities for children. They need to move around and discover and there’s no better place to do it than at the Zurich Zoo, one of the most fun zoos in Europe.

Flamingo birds in Zurich Zoo in Switzerland

The city is bike-friendly, so taking your children on a bike tour would definitely use their energy. If you have a more nature-oriented family there are hiking trails, nearby nature reserves, and adventure parks for the little ones. The beaches and the lakes have child-friendly areas where they can be safe.

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Where to shop in Zurich

Zurich is best known for being the financial capital of Switzerland and one of the most luxurious cities to live in. So it should come as no surprise that high-end shopping is a common means of entertainment. Bahnhofstrasse street is the place to be if you don’t care about the price tag, where you can find every big designer and brand. If you want to keep a child busy, take them to Franz Carl Weber, the paradise of toys.

Treasure hunters will enjoy Flohmarkt Bürkliplatz, the flea market held between May and October on Saturdays. Not only you can score real antiques, souvenirs, and vintage clothes, but you will get to interact with the very friendly locals. Niederdorf in Old Town is another spot to find authentic souvenirs and handmade items. 

Zurich nightlife

Safe and luxurious are the best words to describe the city at night. It doesn’t quiet down once the sun sets, but it becomes more lively and bright. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Zurich has more bars than any other capital in Europe. Pubs, bars, and nightclubs are not the only ways someone can unwind, but there are artistic performances, open-air lounges, and everything else you can think of. 

Even though most establishments are upscale and with quite hefty prices, you can find budget-friendly alternatives as well. 

Is Zurich safe for tourists?

Even though Zurich is in the top 20 Safest Cities in the world it has its flaws. The trams are not required to stop for pedestrians, so pay attention to them especially if you’re visiting the city with small children.

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District 4 is the place where low-level crime happens, even though it’s popular for clubbing. Don’t flaunt your possession at night if you’re in the area. 

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