Everything that comes to your mind when you think of Switzerland, you can find it in Zurich! Zurich is a city of chocolate, cheese, watches and banks. It may not be the capital, but Zurich is the largest and most dynamic city in Switzerland. Switzerland is an organized country where everything functions like a clock – it is known for its long tradition of military and political neutrality, the most developed railway in Europe and of cours the Alps. All of that while you can buy chocolate with 24 carat gold on every corner – does it get any better? It’s not bad being a Swiss! But if you’re just visiting Switzerland and its most breathtaking city Zurich, there are no reasons for you not to enjoy all of Swiss benefits. Let check out the list of top best places to visit in Zurich.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Zurich Switzerland
1. Lake Zurich
The first and unavoidable attraction of this city is Lake Zurich. It’s one of the main associations to Zurich and you will agree that it gives a special fairytale feeling to this city. Zurich is located on the banks of the rivers Limat, Schill and Lake Zurich. In the last 100 years, it has transformed from a small town near Alps into a metropolis and an important tourist destination. The city is divided into two parts by the river Limat, while the Alps are 30 km away from the city. Here you can enjoy all the charms that one lake can provide – boat rides at sunrise or sunset, drinking coffee in the many gardens with a view, wonderful food along with the peace that water provides.
On the north side of the lake is the so-called “Golden coast”, with a large number of magnificent and expensive villas, and on the eastern part of the lake is all about roses. Here you can find 600 different varieties of roses in public gardens. Popular places to visit, especially when it is warm, are public beaches, as well as a large indoor aqua park. For true nature lovers, next to Lake Zurich is the “Enea Tree Museum”. It was opened in 2010. and has 2,000 species of trees, some of which are 100 years old. Orchids are especially breathtaking and there are more than 300 varieties.
2. The Grossmünster Church
The old town of Zurich is where you can see numerous old churches, palaces, squares, fountains and monuments. The oldest part of the city is called Lindenhof. Whether you want to see old or the new part of the city, it’s known that you can’t get lost In Zurich, thanks to the main city landmark – the Grossmünster Church. It is a Romanesque church located on the banks of the river Limat.
According to a famous legend, this is the place where the horse of Charlemagne crashed in front of the graves of Saints Felix and Regula. True or not, this Church is a place where you can feel marks of history. The construction of the church began in 1100., and it was prepared to visit around 1220. The latest archeological research shows that there used to be a Roman cemetery on the place where the church now stands. From the top of the church you can see the whole Zurich Lake and all city parts. To reach that view, there are a total of 187 stairs.
3. St. Peter’s Church
Another one of the best places to visit in Zurich is St. Peter’s Church, it is known for one interesting fact – it has the largest clock in Europe, 8.64 meters in diameter. It is the first Protestant church after the Reformation. The tower of this church is so high that until 1911 it was used as a fire station. Along the largest clock, it’s also interesting that in that place there used to be a temple of the god Jupiter. It’s also the place where the first mayor of Zurich was buried.
4. Swiss National Museum
Zurich is a city where one of the most important historical museums in Europe is located. The Swiss National Museum was built in 1898 by architect Gustav Gula in the spirit of the French Renaissance. Because of the towers, this museum looks like a castle from a fairy tale or some Disney movie. In its complex there is also a nicely decorated park and also a house where you can get additional information about porcelain and ceramics. The museum follows the historical development of Switzerland and Zurich and it is divided by thematic sections – from prehistoric times to the present day. When you visit this museum, you can reconstruct life in Switzerland by epochs, through prehistory and the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
Also Read: Things To Do In Switzerland
5. House of Culture (Kunsthaus)
Considering that Zurich is a city of art and culture, House of Culture is a one of the best places to visit in Zurich, if you want to see this city and its spirit. Kunsthaus was opened in 1910. and it contains valuable art collections from the Middle Ages to modern times, with an emphasis on Swiss art. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs are just some forms of art you can see there. The House of Culture is the largest Swiss museum dedicated to art – here you can come across art pieces by Edward Munch, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and even Vincent Van Gogh. Within the museum, there is a library in which you can find every book that you can imagine on the topic of forms and expressions of art.
6. Zurich Toy Museum
If you have children and you have already thought “okay, but where would I bring my child in this city?!“ – don’t you worry! Zurich is a place where people of all ages can have fun and enjoy themselves. For our young family members but also for all the grown-ups who had enough of old museums and churches – we present a Zurich Toy Museum. If you’ve ever wondered what our ancestors’ toys looked like, the answer to the question can be found in this museum. Toy Museum is located in the Old Town and it was initially created thanks to the private collection of the merchant Franz Carl Weber. The toy collection in the museum is impressive, you can see all kinds of toys, from tiny railways to dolls for boys and girls.
Toy collections cover the period from the 18th century to the present day. By following the museum setting, you are actually following the development of the toy industry, but society as well. Thanks to dolls, you can follow the fashion that has changed through time, and dollhouses are tiny copies of how households looked in different times. Visitors are also given an insight into technological progress, because a few years earlier there were no robots and battery-powered toys.
7. Chocolate Shops in Zurich
One of the activities that kids love the most – eating chocolate! Zurich is a city where Willie Wonka would own a shop if he could choose. The Swiss eat more chocolate a year than any other nation, and they are also the largest exporters of chocolate. If gold flows below Zurich, the streets are paved with chocolate, that’s for sure! A chocolate shop Sprüngli was opened in 1836 and it has been working since then. They are known for making works of art from chocolate. It is also known for the best-preserved macarons they call luxemburgerli. This shop is always full of customers, even though only 100 grams of the cheapest chocolate costs 10 francs. Nestle, Toblerone and Lind stores are also located in the center of Zurich. You can also visit Nestle factory – they have their own train, called Swiss chocolate train, which takes you to the chocolate factory. That would be a true Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory experience for your children!
8. The Zurich Zoo
Keeping up with activities especially interesting for children – you must visit a Zurich Zoo. This Zoo is home to 340 animal species. Every species is in its natural habitat, because the Zoo is made so that it is as painless as possible for all the animals. There are about 4,000 wild animals in the Zoo, and they are telling the story of their species and its way of life. Animal behavior is studied daily by experts, in order to bring the animal world as close as possible to Zoo visitors.
It is one of the best zoos in Europe. Within it, there is also a part with domestic animals, primarily intended for children. There, they can be in touch with their furry friends and learn that animals also have a soul. In the Zurich zoo you will find a piece of the Himalayas, Madagascar, Thailand, the North Pole. The elephant family is especially interesting and attracts the attention of tourists.
9. The Zoological Museum
If your family loves animals, thay you also have to visit the Zoological Museum in Zurich. It has an incredible collection of skeletons of extinct animals in their assumed natural size. The history of the museum begins in the 17th century and it contains about a million animals and 1500 animal species. The paleontological part of the museum is made up of specimens of dinosaurs and mammoths from the time when the territory of Switzerland was covered with water. In addition to the exhibits, in the museum you can see real dinosaur bones! The settings are fully interactive so you can see, touch or listen to everything in there – you can observe invisible organisms through a microscope or listen to the call of whales.
This is especially educational and interesting for children. The museum is located within the Institute of Biology and Ecology, which is connected to the Faculty of Science. That means that in Zurich, students of biology and ecology have a secured job after graduation.
10. Rietberg Museum in Zurich
We recommend this museum with an international setting. This is the only museum of art in Switzerland where you can see non-European exhibits. The museum was opened in 1952 and offers visitors art pieces from Asia, Africa, Oceania and America. The museum is divided into 3 buildings, and it seems that tourists are especially interested in art from Chinese, India and Africa. The museum building itself is located in the park of the same name.
Enjoy the magical city of Zurich where you can experience large cultural and natural wealth all in one place. This city is one to remember and to come back several times in life!