Zurich might not be the capital of Switzerland, but it is the largest city. Although still a small city when compared to others in Europe, there’s a lot to see and do. With beautifully preserved older buildings blending in with the new, it’s a charming place to explore. Many people imagine it as an expensive city, and it can be pricier than other places, but there are opportunities to save money and enjoy an affordable trip. Before you leave for Zurich, you can plan your trip to find the best locations and take in what the city has to offer.
Getting Around Zurich
Zurich is a fairly walkable city, but when you’re not walking, public transport is excellent too. There are both trams and buses, as well as trains, which you can expect to be always on time. It’s very easy to take a day trip to elsewhere in Switzerland or even to another country on the train. You can also rent a bike or take a boat along the river, and you can get around by car or taxi if you want to – but be prepared to watch out for trams if you decide to drive.
Where to Stay
Zurich has some excellent choices for places to stay, including boutique hotels, luxury hotels, serviced apartments and also hostels. You can choose from a variety of neighbourhoods and accommodation options to find the perfect place for you. Bahnhofstrasse is the main street in the city centre, and the area is a great place to be if you want to be in the middle of everything. Across the river, Zurich Town Hall offers a smaller neighbourhood. The District 2 area is a quieter place to stay that’s still close to the centre, while District 4 is residential and still has plenty of options for nightlife.
Food and Drink
When you think of Swiss food, cheese and chocolate are probably what will come to mind. But Switzerland actually has plenty to explore beyond the stereotypical image, although there’s lots of great cheese and chocolate too. Naturally, there is influence from Italy, France and Germany, as well as Swiss specialities, and Zurich is also becoming more diverse, with other cuisines to try too. If you’re looking for tradition, head to Zeughauskeller, where you can eat meat off a sword in a 15th-century beer hall. Try Ristorante Italia for Italian fair or Ikoo if you’re looking for Japanese food.
Things to Do
Shopping enthusiasts will love Zurich for its variety of places to shop. You’ll find the big names on Bahnhofstrasse or plenty of boutique shops in places like Niederdorf – a pedestrian zone in the old town where you can also find cafes and bars. You can explore museums and galleries like the Kunsthaus and the Tram Museum, take a dip in an open-air swimming pool or even take the SZU train up the Uetliberg mountain from the main station.
Zurich offers a range of fantastic things to do for the intrepid explorer. It’s the perfect place for a city break.