This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander.
Zürich is one of those flawless cities. Located in the northern part of Switzerland, this beauty is blessed with a beautiful old town and the shimmering water of Lake Zürich. I consider this city to be the best place I have ever lived, I praise its neat city planning, the reliable transportation and the peaceful neighbourhoods. Let’s just for a second ignore the fact that Zürich is listed as one of the most expensive cities in the world, and focus on the reasons why this place should be on your next must-see list.
Zürich is your dream destination if you:
- love promenades by the riverside/lakeside, having occasional dips when the weather permits
- think hot chocolate is the best comfort drink to warm the winters
- adore strolling around a picturesque old town
- love the city life as well as the quiet and tranquil nature
- are a chocoholic and/or a shopaholic
EXPLORE: Interesting places to see
There is no short of places to see in Zurich. From shopping to casual hikes, the city has plenty of activities for you. Yes, it can be a little expensive, but I assure you there are ways to making it cheaper. I was very lucky to have called this place home, though for only six months. Zurich definitely made a long lasting impression for me.
Here are some of my favourite places to explore in Zurich:
You cannot miss this church even if you want to. Located at Zwingliplatz, this Romanesque style church was initially a monastery church. Now it is a Protestant church and the famous reformer, Huldrych Zwingli, initiated the Swiss-German Reformation when he was stationed at this church. Though the building itself from outside is quite outstanding, don’t forget to go inside to see the amazing stained-glass windows or even go up to the tower. Also don’t miss out on exploring the church itself, including the cloister where you can see some incredible paintings on the walls.
This old Gothic church is located near Grossmünster. It was once a church for aristocratic women way back in 853. Inside, you can see the famous stained-glass windows which was designed by artist Marc Chagall in 1970. There are five windows in total, each of a story from the Bible.
The beautiful Lake Zürich cannot be missed during your visit. This was my favourite place in the city and it is also the perfect place to do people watching. In the winter you can just stroll along the lake, there is even a boardwalk available called the Lake Promenade, enjoy the park along the lake or take a trip to the Chinese Garden. In the summer, there are several spots that you can swim in, perfect for those hot summer days.
If you are a fan of shopping, you simply must visit this street. Bahnhof means “train station”, the street is literally in front of Zürich’s main train station (which is very convenient isn’t it?). There are many things you can find here, but one of my favourite places to stop by is the Confiserie Sprüngli, famous for its delicious sweet treats including their mouth watering macarons which they call “Luxemburgerli”. My favourite flavour? Champagne.
One of the best views of Zürich can be seen from this terrace, which happens to be in front of the main building of ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) campus. To get here you can even ride up with a funicular called Polybahn (or you can walk though it’s quite a steep one).
Other places that you may want to see in Zürich: Kunsthaus, Predigerkirche, St. Peter Church
WANDER: Where to get lost
Zürich is definitely a very “walkable” city. You can walk anywhere and it is such a joy to walk in Zürich as you will never know what beauty lurks behind the next corner. Here are some places that I love to get lost in Zürich:
Old Town Zürich
The old town of Zürich (where the churches mentioned above are located) is the absolute perfect way to get lost. Wander around and you’ll soon see artistic water fountains, buildings with brightly-coloured windows and also picturesque alleys that will make you wish you’d never have to leave. When you get a little tired and need a bit of a rest, don’t forget to stop by Cafe Henrici or the majestic Cafe Felix for their hot chocolate. Also make sure you check before you travel for festivals happening in the city, most of them are held in the old town so be sure to join in the fun.
Üetliberg is a hill in Zürich which you can visit when you want to get away from the city life for a while. To get to this place you can either take a train or hike the hill. I prefer the latter as the nature is absolutely beautiful and a bit of Swiss fresh air (and exercise!) definitely won’t hurt you.
Lindenhof is actually part of the old town, it is a hill in the centre of the city. It was once a Roman fort and the location is absolutely perfect, perched by the side of the Limmat River. You can walk here and enjoy a panoramic view of Zürich as well. Lindenhof is one of my go-to those places in Zürich whenever I needed a cheering up. Seeing old town Zürich from here makes my heart fall in love with the city all over again.