Zurich is both, a cosmopolitan city and a tranquil town, and offers one of the highest standards of living worldwide. What makes this city so special is the variety of the 12 districts. Thanks to Lake Zurich, the alpine panorama and the wide range of cultural activities, Switzerland’s largest city is both popular tourist destination and a financial hub. It is also the hometown of VISIONAPARTMENTS. To make the most of your visit to this city, it’s always very helpful to receive some insider tips from locals. This time our Group Head of Marketing & Communications, Alain Gozzer divulges some exclusive personal tips for enjoying Zurich to the fullest.
A Day in Zurich
If you want to experience Zurich to the fullest but only have limited time, you can take an intensive one day excursion trough the city. Start with a stroll from the main train station down the famous Bahnhofstrasse. You will be amazed by the variety of shops and stores as well as the historical buildings. At the end of the street cross the bridge to reach the Bellevue square, the name of which means “a beautiful view’ in French – and deservedly so. There’s no better place to take pictures of the Limmat River and the old town than on this bridge! Don’t miss the city’s largest square, Sechseläutenplatz in front of the opera house. From there, you can walk through the old town of Zurich along the river. Everything is concentrated in this area so you can easily combine shopping, coffee breaks, dining, and sightseeing. Don’t miss the churches and museums in the heart of Zurich either. If the weather allows it, rent a free bike and drive around the hip and urban districts 3 and 4 with lots of coffee shops, little stores, parks and ancient architecture. Zurich’s local mountain, Uetliberg can be easily reached from there by a hiking tour or by train. Apart from the splendid view, you will find a restaurant and a hotel on top to reward you for your effort of going up there. It’s definitely worth it!
Zurich is full of good restaurants – traditional, haute cuisine, street food, urban kitchen. Not many other cities can boast such concentration of restaurants. For traditional Swiss Food, go to the Restaurant zum Kropf in the heart of the city. It offers an interesting blend of traditional Zurich cuisine in a cozy and cheerful atmosphere. We recommend the “Züri Gschnätzlets” or the boiled beef. For Italian cuisine you might want to check out Brasserie Seefeld. This little Italian oasis in the chic Seefeld district offers excellent dishes, charming atmosphere and good service. Another option for high quality Italian food enthusiasts is Ristorante Toscano – located in the old town as well as in the trendy industry district. The choice of Italian restaurants in Zurich is generally huge, we would also like to recommend Ristorante Da Angela (try Cappeletti there) and La Baracca to enjoy a bit of crazy Italianità close to the Langstrasse area. Talking about Italy, best coffee in town by the way is served at La Stanza close to Paradeplatz. A must for your visit to Zurich is the famous Sternen Grill. Order the original sausage (Bratwurst) – it’s served with spicy mustard and bread called “Bürli”. Take it with you and stroll by the beautiful Bellevue square or down the lake. You can also enjoy your sausage at the restaurant on the second floor and watch the hustle and bustle of the city passing by. If you want to have a breathtaking view over the city while dining, go to the panorama restaurant Clouds, located on the 35th floor of the Prime Tower – Switzerland’s second highest building. On a sunny day walk up Zürichberg and enjoy a nice lunch or coffee and cake at the terrace of Restaurant Sonnenberg. You will never forget the splendid view over the lake and the mountains! To be even closer to the water you can dine at Restaurant Seerosee , located slightly outside of the city in Wollishofen. The restaurant is situated directly at the lake with its own harbor and docking area for private boats. Here one can enjoy terrific views of the Swiss Alps, Zurich’s gold coast and the city skyline.
Zurich’s nightlife offers classy clubs, casual and alternative bars, as well as live-music venues. On the weekend people from almost half of Switzerland come to the city to have a good time. The main nightlife areas are Niederdorf in the old town, the streets around Langstrasse and Zurich West. The city offers a lively club scene – but with dozens of bars around, bar-hopping can be an attractive alternative. To dance the night away, Aura and Icon Club, Club Hiltl, Club Bellevue or Mascotte are good addresses. For lovers of electronical music Hive Club is a must. For more urban clubbing visit Zukunft or Gonzo at famous Langstrasse district – the area offers many nice pregame bars such as Dante, Casablanca, Longstreet or Bagatelle. If you are looking for a classy cocktail bar you might like Widder Bar, Old Fashion Bar or Raygrodski. In the summer you should definitely visit one of the hip outdoor bars like Rimini or Frau Gerolds Garten. And as an extra tip, there is nothing better after a night out than a sumptuous brunch the day after!
There are some places in Zurich you absolutely have to visit! One of these places is Confiserie Sprüngli, a legendary confectionery founded in 1836 and internationally known for its signature macarons called “Luxemburgerli”. You can either try them right away or bring some home with you, everybody will love them! An absolute must for everybody visiting Zurich is an extensive shopping tour. Besides famous Bahnhofstrasse, where everything is a bit more expensive than in other places, we recommend the city’s old town for a shopping trip. If you like it a little more unconventional and individual you should visit Viadukt. A nice shopping mall where you can find everything in one place, including restaurants, coffee shops and a cinema is Sihlcity. The Saturday highlights are flea markets on Helvetiaplatz and Bürkliplatz. Both places also offer great food and flower markets on Tuesdays and Fridays. The whole year around, Zurich offers a plethora of world-class events that you should not miss when visiting the city: Art on Ice in February, Sechseläuten in April, Weltklasse Zürich and Street Parade in August, Theather Spektakel and Zurich Openair in late August, Food Zurich in September, Zurich Film Festival in October and many more. Most major concert tours include Zurich, as well. A visit at the Zurich Opera House or a classical concert at Tonhalle are also great ideas for spending an evening. Sport enthusiasts will enjoy visiting ice hockey games of ZSC Lions at Hallenstadion or Grasshopper-Club Zurich and FC Zurich playing football at Stadion Letzigrund.
If you want to get to know more about the history of Zurich and learn about the highlights of each district, we recommend the new book Zurich – Welcome Home . It’s an ultimate insider guide for Zurich, full of tips for leisure and pleasure as well as very useful vouchers.