Destination Switzerland: Why Not Choose… Zurich?
If Zurich is the only city you visit in Switzerland, you won't be disappointed: It offers a wide spectrum of activities and a plethora of metropolitan treasures. Art, culture, shopping, restaurants, night-life, gastronomy and nature… get ready for a sneak preview of a cosmopolitan city that has the art of living down to perfection!
The Kingdom of Contemporary Art
Fancy being submerged in culture? Zurich is the place for you! Museums, galleries, concert halls... Art blossoms here in all its most wonderful forms, delighting visitors. If you know your artistic movements, head for the Kunsthaus Zurich, where diversity is key: Impressionism, Expressionism and Surrealism are sure to satisfy your appetite for art, with works by famous painters: Monet, Munch, Giacometti…
Next, make your way towards the Zurich Opera house, a neo-baroque building decked out in red velvet, where you can marvel at a ballet or at sopranos in concert.
Fancy a trip back in time? Then Cabaret Voltaire is the place for you: this is the birthplace of Dada: a revolutionary artistic and political movement which began right here in 1916. There are exhibitions, events, a shop and a bar.
If you want to see the remarkable work of famous painter Marc Chagall, pay a visit to Fraumünster Church right in the heart of the city, to admire its magnificent stained glass windows.
Nature on the Doorstep
Want to get some fresh air? Zurich also offers plenty of green spaces! Enjoy long walks around the lake and relax in the Arboretum, a large public garden which is famous for its tropical trees and cactuses.
Fancy a romantic outing? Bürkliplatz pier is the perfect place for a boat trip. The big advantage? You can take a dip in Lake Zurich. Are you looking for that feeling of freedom? Stroll along the banks of the Limmat, where you can see "Badis"… Remember this word, because in summer, the people of Zurich talk of nothing but these outdoor public baths and pools, perfect for a lazy afternoon or to chill out by the water after work, with electro music in the background.
A shout to all those who love hiking and breathtaking views: take a train to Üetliberg, the mountain overlooking the city. This (short) trip won't leave you disappointed!
Shopping and Night-Life
Shopaholics should head for Banhofstrasse to discover a whole host of luxury boutiques. Or if you love a good deal, make a beeline for West Zurich! Discover the Aussersihl neighbourhood, which is overflowing with young creators' shops. Leave time to shop at Freitag on Geroldstrasse, where you can buy famous bags made from recycled materials, which are extremely fashionable in Zurich. The shop is well worth a visit for the sight alone, because it is built out of 17 rusty shipping containers, piled into a 25 m tower. Finally, if you're a boho soul, go shopping under the arches of the Im Viaduckt railway viaduct. Here you will find restaurants, bars, indoor markets, shops and galleries! Ready to party? Zurich is the European capital of electro music, particularly thanks to its Street Parade, a massive rave which invades the city in August. At any other time of year, you can dance to some crazy beats in the Niederdorfstrasse neighbourhood.
Top 10 Must-Sees
Lake Zurich: enjoy a splendid view of the lake and the neighbouring mountains. There's no better way to relax and take in the scenery after a full day's sightseeing! Around the lake, there is a wide range of activities on offer: water-sports, festivals, ice-skating in winter, restaurants…
Altstadt - The Old Town: get lost in these pretty, picturesque little streets, dotted with small squares, bridges, fountains and restaurants. A beautiful place for an afternoon's wandering.
Grossmünster Church: the most important church in Zurich, located in the city centre, boasts magnificent Roman architecture and a superb organ.
The Kunsthaus: right in the heart of the city, the Zurich fine arts Museum is reputed for its originality and its large collection of modern art. A must-see for art lovers!
Cabaret Voltaire: step inside the Dadaist haunt! It was in this small tavern that the avant-garde Dada movement was born in 1916, founded by Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Hans Arp, Marcel Janco and Richard Huelsenbeck.
Bahnhofstrasse: the city's shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most expensive streets in Europe, with its many luxury boutiques, shops and famous Swiss watchmakers.
Zurich West: this area of contrasts is the city's trendy, industrial neighbourhood. It is filled with colourful little terraces and walls tagged by artists who have made it their HQ.This is the place to be if you love art, design, shopping and architecture!
Lindenhof:a beautiful esplanade lined with lime trees, with a view of Zurich hill. The perfect place for a picnic under a tree, while you admire the stunning view of Grossmünster , the City Hall, the River Limmat and the old town.
Fraumünster Church: located on the west bank of the Limmat, Fraumünster is a magnificent church, famous for its stained glass windows by the painter Chaghall, which attract visitors from all around the world!
Paradeplatz: the central point of Bahnhofstrasse, Paradeplatz, is the city's famous financial hub. This lively square is the perfect place to enjoy Switzerland's chocolate specialities, when you take a break from shopping.
Although Zurich is the kingdom of art, it is also filled with culinary pleasures: from flavoursome Swiss fondue combining gruyère and vacherin, to the tirggel, a delicious, elaborately decorated biscuit flavoured with honey and spices. And let's not forget Swiss chocolate, which has that special something that is envied the world over. Give in to temptation and taste some traditional Turicum Gin, a drink full of local flavours such as spices, linden flower, and Zurich pine needles.
April: Sechseläuten : Soak up the atmosphere of Sechseläuten, a famous traditional festival to see out the winter, when a snowman is burned on a huge bonfire in Sechseläutenplatz.
June: Pride Week : Celebrate LGBT rights with the annual Zurich Pride Week. On the programme: cultural shows, discussions and film screenings.
August: Zurich Street Parade : In the mood to party? Don't miss Zurich Street Parade, the biggest techno party in the world. A reason to visit in itself!
September: Zurich Film Festival : This is the high point of the year for film-lovers. For 10 days, enjoy a selection of previews, competitions, and gatherings.
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