When it comes to quality of life, Zurich holds the crown for being one of the world’s best cities. From the luxurious lakeside homes that line the banks of Lake Geneva, to the lively restaurants and upmarket shops, it’s easy to see why Zurich attracts so many visitors. Boasting some of the world’s greatest museums, galleries and theatres, like the Swiss National Museum, the Zurich Opera House and the Zurich Playhouse, this is a city of fine arts, culture and elegance. By mixing the picturesque backdrop of snow-capped Alps with a vibrant nightclub scene and a shopping avenue of exclusive boutiques, Zurich really does have something for everyone.
There are many tourist attractions to explore in Zurich. Historic sights, architectural highlights, ancient churches, charming streets, and much more - Zurich has it all. It would be best if you started your city walk in Augustinergasse, one of Zurich's oldest and narrowest streets. Here, you will see buildings that were constructed between the 14th to 18th centuries. There are also exciting shops found along this street. Augustinergasse Street connects to the busy Bahnhofstrasse and St. Peterhofstatt. Bahnhofstrasse is considered to be the main shopping street. Lined with boutiques, jewelry stores, and department stores, this area is sure to keep any avid shopper busy. If the Bahnhofstrasse does not satisfy your desires, take a stroll in the area of Niederdorf. This is Zurich's pedestrian zone with little pathways that hide small but excellent boutiques. After that, get a taste of Switzerland's Protestant culture in the Fraumunster Church. This used to be one of the only churches in Europe to allow women in their congregation. The decorations of the church, which include amazing stained glass windows, are unique and were created by the famous artists Augusto Giacometti and Mark Chagall.
Swiss cuisine is perhaps most famous for cheese and chocolate, and while Zurich is one of the best places to sample these delicacies, it also offers a wealth of other culinary options. Eating out is a big part of Zurich culture and restaurants are often booked out on the weekends. In the winter months, join the Swiss in eating cheese fondue - usually a mix of melted Gruyere and Emmentaler cheeses, in which you dip bread and meat. Another cheesy standard is Raclette, which is melted Raclette cheese over boiled potatoes, with pickles and pickled onions. If cheese, meat and potatoes are not so much your thing, then there's plenty of other options. Hiltl is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world (established in 1898) and has a few locations around the city. There's also great Italian and French food, and great international cuisines, such as Lebanese, Sri Lankan, and Japanese, and more. Don't forget breakfast either. Try Birchermüsli, which is a mixture of oats with yogurt, apple or orange juice, and fresh fruit, or go to your local bakery and grab a gipfeli -- the Swiss croissant, which is more flaky and less buttery. Delicious!
The public transport system in Zurich is highly efficient and is the easiest way to get around the city center as parking is very limited in the city. To access public transport in Zurich, visitors will need to buy a ticket for the VBZ and choose zone 110, which includes the whole of the city center. All public transport options are covered by the same ticket but visitors should note that the airport and the popular lookout of Uetliberg are both outside the city center zone and that they will need an additional ticket. Children up to the age of five travel for free in Zurich and those under 16 will pay a half-price fee. Tickets can be bought at vending machines at all bus and train stations. Visitors can buy a one hour or day pass for the public transport system. The buses and trains run from 5:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. each day, and there are night buses available that will take visitors back to the hotel that charge a small additional fee. There are bus and tram stops throughout the city, and the entire system is very easy to navigate with maps at every station.
The best time to visit the city of Zurich is in the warm summer months between June and August. During the day, temperatures can reach the low 70s, and it is possible to swim in the city's beautiful lake. The summer months are the perfect time to get outside and explore the city of Zurich, as well as the surrounding countryside. Rain showers are common in the summer, so make sure to keep an umbrella handy while out exploring. There are a number of festivals that take place in the summer, such as the Zurich Pride Festival and the Zurich Street Parade. Foodies will enjoy Food Zurich, which takes place between May and June each year, and brings together the best chefs in Switzerland as they show off their cooking skills. For those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding, winter may be the perfect time to head to Zurich. There are a number of fantastic ski resorts close to the city, such as Hoch Ybrig and Flumserberg. In December, visitors flock to the Christkindlimarkt to browse all the stalls at this famous Christmas market. The temperatures in winter hover around the low 20s, so make sure to pack plenty of warm clothes.