Often listed as a city with the highest standard of living in the world, Zurich is not only the largest and most populous city in Switzerland, but also the favorite tourist destination in the country. Located on the northern banks of Lake Zurich, this scenic city attracts millions of visitors for its proximity to the Alps, beautiful historic old town, and dozens of museums, restaurants, and art galleries. No wonder the city is often referred to as ‘Downtown Switzerland’.
- Zoo Zurich
With over 360 species of animals from across the globe, the Zurich Zoo is a delight for the old and the young alike, attracting a staggering 1.8 million visitors annually. The zoo was opened in 1929. Divided into various continental regions to better depict the distinct habitat of wildlife, the Zurich Zoo is akin to a globetrotting animal safari. Interested patrons can also “adopt” animals in the zoo. Designed to entertain children and families, the zoo area includes 3 picnic spots and play sites. It is open on all days of the year. Guided tours, with meals included, can also be arranged on request.
- Swiss National Museum
Built in 1898 to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1st federal constitution, the Swiss National Museum today has the largest collection of cultural and historical objects related to Swiss history. Located next to the main train station, the museum attracts nearly 250,000 visitors annually. It encompasses 3 separate museums, namely the Castle Prangins, the National Museum Zurich, and the Forum of Swiss History Schwyz. The museum is housed in a building reminiscent of a fairy-tale castle, which is an attraction in itself. This French Renaissance-styled chateau with towers, parks, and courts were built by architect Gustav Gull.
- Flumserberg Ski Resort
A visit to the Flumserberg Ski Resort is ideal for those who have time for a day trip from Zurich. Located about 90 km from Zurich, the resort has nearly 65 km of skiing tracks at various levels. The peak altitude in this resort is just over 2200 meters. Thanks to its popularity in recent years, it has direct national and international rail connections, some from as far off as Amsterdam, Brussels, Hamburg, and Paris! One of the attractions in Flumserberg Ski Resort is night skiing with the resort staying illuminated until 11 pm if the weather is good.
- Rietberg Museum of Art
Opened in 1952, the Rietberg Museum boasts of a rich collection on non-European cultures, making it one of the most important museums in Europe. The museum was created in 1949 after the citizens of Zurich voted to refurbish the Villa Wesendonck to an art museum. Originally it housed the private collections of Baron Eduard von der Heydt, which he donated to the city of Zurich. Major extensions in 2002 modernized the museum. In 2007, the stunning green glass pavilion – Emerald – was added which not only extended the display space, but also the beauty of the museum.
- Rheinfall Waterfall
Located about 48 km north of Zurich is the Rheinfall – the largest-volume waterfall in Europe. This waterfall, which dates back to the Ice Age, has been an attraction in Switzerland for over a century. In summer months, almost 6,000,00 liters of water flow through this 150 m wide waterfall every second! The volume is reduced to nearly half in the winter months. For the more adventurous, the falls area has a number of adventure sports for adults and children. The ones who are looking for a more relaxed time can head to the Park am Rheinfall with its beautiful garden, river front restaurant, snack bar, and souvenir shop.
- Uetliberg Summit
Located just a 20 minute train ride from the city center is the Albis chain of mountains, including the Uetliberg Mountain. The Uetliberg rises about 871 meters above sea level and provides a stunning panoramic view of Zurich from its viewing tower. On a clear day one can view not only the city of Zurich and Lake Zurich, but also Limmat Valley right up to the Alps! Hiking and mountain biking are popular activities at Uetliberg. One can also climb to the top of the Uetliberg Mountain in a 1-hr hike.
Located on the upper-end of Lake Zurich is the town of Rapperswil, or the Town of Roses. Rapperswil offers the perfect mix of medieval Old Town charm along with a modern well-built infrastructure to attract tourists. One of the highlights of Rapperswil is its rose gardens. There are 4 rose gardens with over 1500 plants and many varieties. So dedicated is the town of Rapperswil to live up to its name as the Town of Roses that there are special rose gardens with strongly fragrant varieties for the visually impaired! The town is also dotted with several beautiful medieval monuments.
- Kunsthaus Zurich Museum and Gallery of Modern Art
Opened in 1910, the Kunsthaus Zurich is one of Europe’s most important galleries and museum of modern art. The museum attracts over a quarter million visitors every year. The Kunsthaus has a permanent display of some major artworks along with a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. The permanent displays include paintings and artworks of masters like Edvard Munch, Rembrandt, Rubens, and van Dyck. It also has a library with over 244000 volumes and 320 journals.
Regarded as one of the most exclusive shopping streets in the world, Bahnhofstrasse – or Station Street – is a prime attraction in the city of Zurich. Located next to the main train station – Hauptbahnhof – the 1.2 km long Bahnhofstrasse stretches from the station to Burkliplatz. The street was built in 1864 after removing the city fortifications and filling the moat in front of the city walls. Today it is the most expensive street for retail property in the whole of Europe. The street also has a number of restaurants, fast food eateries, and hotels. Bahnhofstrasse is also a popular venue for many events and festivals.
Like many of the historic cities in Europe, Zurich also has a picturesque Old Town – Altstadt – dating back to the medieval period. The Old Town is right at the center of Zurich, to the north of Lake Zurich. It stretches to both the east and west banks of the River Limmat. The Old Town spans less than 2 sq km and is best seen by foot. There are a number of attractions in the Old Town ranging from medieval streets and churches to modern day museums and restaurants. It is one of the first attractions that tourists visit when visiting Zurich.
Originally posted 2017-05-22 08:11:27.