Zurich Tourist attractions
Take a trip to Zurich and beneath the respectable banking veneer you’ll uncover a quirky and unexpected side to the city’s personality. This is particularly well captured in the extraordinary Schiffbau theatre – once a huge factory producing lake steamers and turbine engine parts, it is now the cultural epicentre of the city.
To discover the birthplace of the Dadaism art movement, head to Cabaret Voltaire, which still has the power to shock the normally staid art world with its striking displays of contemporary art.
Switzerland is renowned not only as the world’s bankers, but also the home of fine watchmaking. To discover more during your trip to Zurich head for the Beyer Watch Museum to discover an exquisite collection of one-of-a-kind watches. And if you need a little tranquillity, the Chinese Garden is a small, peaceful oasis in the middle of a very busy city.
Travel to Zurich and you’re in the heart of skiing country. The drama of the Alps surrounds the city, making it the perfect location for planning and booking trips into the surrounding countryside. The Swiss Alpine area is simply stunning at any time of the year, from hikes through flower-filled spring meadows through to the challenging skiing in internationally renowned resorts. Back in the city, you can spend days wandering around a wealth of museums housing everything from ancient wonders from around the world, to the world of coffee at the unusual Johann Jacobs Museum!
The city is full of parks and open spaces, and there is nothing the locals and visitors love more than to take an early evening promenade along the Lake. This 3km-long boardwalk starts at Bellevue and heads towards Tiefenbrunnen – the perfect spot to unwind after a busy day.
Eating in Zurich
Swiss food is simple but very tasty, and if you travel to Zurich during certain times of the year you’ll find plenty of food festivals and events that celebrate Swiss cuisine. Cheese is also a quintessentially Swiss favourite, and in Zurich you’ll find plenty of cheese shops selling locally produced varieties.
The Swiss are quite particular about their food, so you’ll find that the majority of it is organically produced and of exceptional quality. For a real taste of Switzerland, look out for family-run restaurants that combine superb quality food with that Zurich quirkiness – there is even one very exclusive restaurant that has a ‘No Polka Dancing’ signs on the wall! Try Pizokel, also known as Bizochel, which is a kind of savoury Spätzli from Graubünden. Another favourite dish is fresh perch filets.
Shopping in Zurich
From Swiss chocolate to watches, designer brands to contemporary art, if you travel to Zurich for the retail opportunities you won’t be disappointed. Reasonably priced souvenirs can be picked up at Heimatwerk or the Flohmarkt Kanzlei, while for designer goods head to Bahnhofstrasse, which runs from the Zurich Train Main station right down to the lake. Here you’ll find designer flagstores and high-end shopping to rival Paris, Madrid and Rome.
Many people who travel to Zurich expect to find the Swiss people to be rather aloof. However, the opposite is true in this culturally diverse city, and you’ll find that the residents are very friendly, open and fun loving.
There are no major cultural considerations to take into account, but if you are talking to older residents you may find that they are a little more formal. The common greeting in Switzerland is a handshake.