Ask most people to tell you what they know about Zurich and they would probably be aware of the city’s importance in the world of finance – Zurich is among the world’s leading financial centres, being home to a number of financial institutions and banking giants. However, Switzerland’s largest city has a lot more to offer and is well worth exploring for a day or two.
Anyone looking for something to do in Zurich should prioritise a visit to the Swiss National Museum, or Landesmuseum, which takes a look at Swiss art, history and culture from as far back as 4th century B.C. Inside you’ll find displays on everything from medieval to religious frescoes, weapons and Swiss clockmaking. There are also ornate historic rooms to wander through, as well as a Zwingli/Swiss Reformation room and a noted prehistotic section.
For art lovers Zürich has a lot to offer. The city alone is home to over 50 museums, some 14 of which are devoted to art. The museum of fine arts, the Kunsthaus Zürich, boasts a significant collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos. In addition, it has an extensive collection of works by Alberto Giacometti. Another highlight is the Rietberg Museum, one of the leading centres of non-European art in the world.
Zürich has the most flamboyant and lively nightlife and boasts the highest density of clubs in Switzerland. From a house music party in the legendary Kaufleuten to greatest hits from the Eighties at the oldest club in the city, the Mascotte, to a gay event at the Labour Bar – parties really get going after 11.00 pm and continue into the small hours.
In fine weather visitors can make the most of Zurich’s lovely setting on Lake Zurich and stroll along the LakePromenade with its walkways, parks and gardens which make for a picturesque place to spend an afternoon. In warm weather, the lake is peppered with boats, and the banks are filled with picnickers and sun-bathers.
One of Zürich’s must-dos is a stroll along the sleek storefronts of the Bahnhofstrasse. Along the way, from Zürich Hauptbahnhof to LakeZürich, you’ll find all kinds of high-end shops where you can indulge in a bit of window shopping: Tiffany & Co, Prada, Cartier, as well as numerous Switzerland-specific shops, including the Confiserie Sprüngli chocolate shop and the Gübelin AG jewellery and watch shop.
For a panoramic view of the city the Uetliberg is unbeatable. At 869m above sea level, the mountain affords an impressive view of the city, the lake and the Alps. Europe’s steepest normal-gauge adhesion railway runs from Zürich Hauptbahnhof to Uetliberg Station, a ten-minute walk from the summit.
In Zurich there’s certainly plenty of scope for lovers of fun, fashion, art or for those just wanting a few relaxing days in this delightful city.