Zurich, Switzerland’s financial capital and its largest city is also one of the top tourist destinations of the country. Home to some of Switzerland’s most iconic landmarks, art galleries, museums, and historical sites, Zurich offers something to everyone. People from around the world travel to this city to experience its many charms and none returns disappointed. Planning a holiday in Zurich isn’t tricky if you know all the best places you to visit in Zurich.
Here’s a list of all top places to visit in Zurich and classified them into major categories like Museums in Zurich, Nature and parks in Zurich, Shopping malls in Zurich and so on to help you plan a seamless holiday in Switzerland. Before you go through the list of places let’s find out what is the best time to visit Zurich.
Did you know: With a reputation of being an efficient and clean city, Zurich boasts the highest quality of life in the world!
Best time to visit Zurich
Zurich experiences a mild climate throughout the year. March marks the Spring season in Zurich. Spring season (March to May) is considered to be the off-season to visit Zurich, causing a drop in hotel and flight prices. Spring season is, therefore the best time to visit Zurich for those looking for a budget holiday in Zurich. The average temp. during this time is between 10-11 degree Celsius.
Summer season in Zurich begins in the month of June and goes on till August. This is the peak time to visit Zurich, as tourists from all over the world flock to this Swiss City. The climate during this time of the year is clear and bright with an average temperature of 21-degree Celsius.
September to November is the Autumn season in Zurich. This season too experiences lower hotel and flight prices as the summer crowd leaves Zurich. The temperatures around this time of the year range between 4 to 10 degree Celsius
Winter season in Zurich beings in the month of November and continues till February. This season is the best time to visit Zurich for those looking to try out winter sports in Zurich. The temperature ranges from -6 degrees Celcius to -1 degree Celsius.
Suggested Read: Top Indian Restaurants in Zurich
Distance and Flight Duration from major Indian cities:
- New Delhi to Zurich: 8h 50m
- Mumbai to Zurich: 9h 20m
- Bangalore to Zurich: 13h 15m
- Chennai to Zurich: 13h 40m
Top landmarks/sightseeing to visit in Zurich
Zurich’s landscape is dotted with iconic landmarks and amazing sightseeing places that make people fall in love with this city. Zurich is one of those rare places where one can see perfectly preserved medieval buildings as well as stunning futuristic architecture. The city’s design is such that tourists enjoy going on going on walking tours, where they can explore the best of Zurich attractions.
Depending on the length of your stay in Zurich you can shortlist the tourist attractions that you don’t want to miss. You could also take help from travel companies to help you plan your Zurich city tour.
Bahnhofstrasse is a world-renowned shopping street in Zurich. Famous for being one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world, Bahnhofstrasse wasn’t always so glamorous. Initially, this location was called the “Fröschengraben” which meant ‘Ditch of the frogs”, until the city fortifications were demolished and the ditch was filled up. Today, Bahnhofstrasse boasts it’s status as one of the most exclusive places to shop in Zurich.
While such glamorous shopping may not be everyone’s style, a visit to Bahnhofstrasse should definitely be a part of your list of “must visit places in Zurich”. Now, Bahnhofstrasse isn’t just a shopping street popular among the locals and tourists, it’s also one of the significant landmarks in Zurich.
This 1.4 Km long street connects Zurich railway station to yet another popular tourist destination, Lake Zurich. Apart from stores of major fashion brands, Bahnhofstrasse is also home to some of the most important banks in the world.
2. Old Town (Altstadt)
Whether or not you are a history buff, a visit to Zurich’s old town is a must! Step into this area and you will be transported to the medieval ages. The well-preserved buildings and the old world charm of the Altstadt is one of the most unique experiences in Zurich. The Altstadt is also home of a few of Zurich’s other landmarks.
Fun Fact: Don’t mistake The old town as a place just for the history lovers. The old town has the highest concentration of nightclubs in Zurich, making Altstadt one of the coolest neighbourhood in Zurich.
Walk through the charming cobblestoned pathways and make sure you don’t miss these prominent sightseeing places in the Old town:
- St Peter’s Church
- Rathaus quarter
- Swiss National Museum
- Muhlesteg Footbridge
Did you know: ‘Altstadt’ is a German word that can be translated to ‘Old town’.
3. Bellevue Square
Bellevueplatz or Bellevue Square is the yet another of Zurich’s top sightseeing places. This bustling square is the home of elegant restaurants, a plethora of shopping spots, opera house and so much more. Built in 1856, this historical town square serves as one of the significant intersection points in Zurich. Bellevue lets you witness some of the most beautiful waterfronts in Zurich.
While on your quest to visit the top tourist attractions in Zurich, you can also visit another square that’s situated close to Bellevue Square. Sechseläutenplatz is the largest square in Zurich and is situated next to Bellevue. A melting pot of the city, you’ll find people swimming, shopping or simply relaxing at the waterfront.
The waterfront street, Limmatquai is situated by the right bank of the Limmat River. This spectacular place lures in the tourists with its attractive views and numerous entertaining activities. The River runs for about 1 kilometre and takes you through the city’s iconic landmarks like Grossmünster Church, the Rathaus (Zurich city hall). What more? Apart from plenty of exciting tourist attractions and serene ambience, when you visit Limmatquai you can indulge in gastronomic pleasure at one of the many restaurants and bars.
Nature & parks in Zurich
1. Lake Zurich
Situated amidst scenic promenade and surrounded by lush green parks, Lake Zurich is by far one of the most popular places to visit in Zurich. Also known as Zurichsee, this glaciated lake was formed by the Alps and offers one of the most spectacular sights in all of Zurich. If you happen to visit Lake Zurich during summers, you will find a large number of tourists and locals gather here to take up recreational activities like swimming, sunbathing, jogging, going on picnics and so on.
A popular thing to do in Lake Zurich is to take up boating. There are many Zurich lake tours to choose from. Choose one that suits you best and enjoy the best views of Zurich City as well as the Alps.
Fun Fact: The water of Lake Zurich is considered to be so clean that one can drink it out of the fountains in the city.
2. Uetliberg Mountain
The Uetliberg Mountain sits at an impressive altitude of 2,850 feet above sea level and offers a stunning view of Zurich city, the lake, and the majestic Alps. One of the must-visit places in Zurich, Uetliberg Mountain is popular among tourist spot among nature & adventure lovers.
While in summers you’ll see a clear birdseye view of the city and the surroundings, winters add another layer of magic to this beautiful place. With the onset of winter in November, you’ll see a silvery layer of fog that covers the city that absolutely stunning.
Adventure enthusiasts will especially enjoy a visit to this mountain as there are plenty of thrilling activities one can take up here. One can take up hiking, paragliding, sledging and so much more, making Uetliberg Mountain the most happening place in Zurich.
- How to reach Uetilberg Mountain: There are multiple ways of reaching Uetliberg. You can hike the trail from Albisguetli, Triemli or Albisrieden, or get here by rail from Zurich.
3. Zurich Zoo
When looking for recreational activities to do in Zurich, you must definitely consider Zurich Zoo. Considered to be one of the finest zoos in Europe, Zurich Zoo houses about 380 species of animals. A must visit place in Zurich for families, the Zoo offers an incredible experience through its attractions like the Masoala rainforest and other animal enclosures. Nature lovers will especially enjoy visiting Zurich Zoo as they get a chance to see animals living in an environment as close to their natural habitat as possible.
- Entrance fee: 26 Swiss francs (Adults); 21 francs for students ages 16 to 20; 13 francs for children between 6 and 15.
- Timing: 9 am to 6 pm
4. Botanical Gardens, Grueningen
Step into a completely different world that tantalizes all your senses. The smell of the Mediterranean, the colours of the tropics and sound of nature, the Botanical gardens is yet another amazing place to visit in Zurich. Home to over a rich diversity of plant species, the garden will in enjoyed especially by the nature lovers. This greenhouse garden also boasts an interesting architecture making it a popular tourist attraction in Zurich.
- Timings: April – October; 10 am – 5 pm
- Location: Botanischer Garten Grüningen, Im Eichholz 1, 8627 Grüningen
Some of the other places nature lovers can visit in Zurich are Flussbad Oberer Letten Parkanlage Zuerihorn, Lindenhofplatz.
Museums in Zurich
1. Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zurich)
If you are blessed with an artistic soul, then Zurich’s Museum of Art is your heaven. Museum of Art boasts a grand collection of art from some of the most renowned artists like Miro, Dali, Monet and Picasso. Most of the art in this Museum belongs to Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and contemporary schools.
Did you know: Dada art movement began right here in Zurich
- Entrance Fee: 23 Swiss francs for Adults (Above 16 years)
- Timings: Tues, Fri-Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Wed-Thurs 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
- Location: Heimplatz 1, Zürich
2. Museum Rietberg
Situated amidst a sprawling garden, Rietberg Museum is one of a kind museum in Switzerland that displays American, African, Asian and Oceanic art and design. Museum Rietberg is the third largest museum in Zurich and is the only museum in Switzerland that encourages and promote curiosity towards foreign art and culture.
- Where: Museum Rietberg, Gubelstrasse 15, 8002 Zürich
- Timings: Tuesday; Thursday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm; Wednesday: 10 am – 8 pm
- Entrance fee: Collection: CHF 14 (Regular); CHF 12 (concession);Temporary Exhibits: CHF 18 (Regular); CHF 14 (concession)
- Official site: www.rietberg.ch
3. Swiss National Museum
By the looks of the building, one might fail to guess it as a museum. The Swiss National Museum resides in a magnificent castle. The museum captures every aspect of Switzerland’s culture right from the Stone Age to the present day. If history excites you, the Swiss National Museum should be on top of your ‘places to visit in Zurich’ list. The museum houses a number of unique pieces like an armoury tower, panel paintings, altars, religious wooden carvings and so on. It also boasts a sizable collection of Swiss coins that are as old as the middle ages. To top it all off, the Swiss National Museum also has numerous gothic art collection.
- Entrance Fee: 10 Swiss francs for Adults (Above 16 years)
- Timings: Tues-Sun: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Location: Museumstrasse 2, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Churches in Zurich
Dominating the city skyline with its twin towers, the church of Great Minister is regarded as one of the top places to visit in Zurich. Built between 11th and 13th century the Grossmunster is one of the four principal churches built by Charlemagne in Zurich. The church’s attractions include the Romanesque crypt, bronze doors, gothic wall paintings, choir windows and the vibrantly stained glass windows. The church also houses the crypts of Zurich’s patron saints Felix and Regula. One of the latest additions to the church of Great Minister is the honorary statue of Charlemagne.
- Location: Grossmünster, Grossmünsterplatz, 8001 Zürich
- Timings: 10 am – 5 pm (1st November – 31st February); 10 am – 6 pm (1st March – 31st October)
- Entrance Fees: Free
2. Church of Our Lady (Fraumunster)
Fraumunster or the Minister of our Lady is an iconic landmark that stands out in Zurich’s skyline. Built in the 9th century, Fraumunster is another of the four principal churches in Zurich. For over seven hundred years the Church was a convent, inhabited by aristocrat women from all over Europe. This Gothic church’s main attraction is in the interiors. It’s stained glass windows, some up to 9 meters high, as well as frescoes by the artist Paul Bodmer are worth a visit to this Church.
Did you know: The dominating spire of the church was added much later after its construction. The iconic spire was added in 1732.
- Location: Stadthausquai 19, 8001 Zürich
- Timing: 10 am – 4 pm (1st November – 31st March); 10 am – 6 pm (1st April – 31st October)
- Entrance Fee: free
Further Read: 12 Things to do in Grindelwald: Switzerland’s Hidden Gem
3. St. Peter Church
St.Peter Church is 3rd of Zurich’s four Principal churches along with Fraumunster, Grossmunster and Predigerkirche. The oldest parish church in Zurich, St. Peters is apart of almost every Zurich city tour itinerary as it’s one of the significant historical sites in the city. During your visit to St. Peter Church make sure you see the five bells that were built in 1880, the largest of which weighs 6 tons. You can also see it’s 9th-century foundation walls beneath the chancel.
Did you know: St Peter’s Church is home to the largest clock face in Europe with a diameter of 8.5 m.
- Where: Kirche St Peter, St-Peter-Hofstatt, 8001 Zürich
- Timings: 10 am – 4 pm (1st November – 31st March); 10 am – 6 pm (1st April – 31st October)
- Entrance Fee: Free
Zurich is full of amazing sightseeing places and tourist attractions that can be enjoyed by everyone. Though the city is a global financial hub, the city is not even slightly boring as one might presume. Zurich’s home to Switzerland’s busiest Airport and railway station making it an important stop in every Switzerland holiday tour. When you do plan a holiday in the European city make sure you visit these fabulous places in Zurich.