There is no better time to book tickets and go to the place you’ve always dreamed of. If that place is Zurich for you, you’re reading the right article. Travel with us to the beautiful country of Switzerland and get advice from the experts on the matter. Below you can find all the must-see spots we have collected. From restaurants and cafes to attractions and activities, we can provide you with all of that. But don’t just sit and wait. Book your tickets while discovering what to do in Zurich and tips for first-time visitors. Ready? Let’s go!
1. Useful information before you learn about what to do in Zurich
Zurich is the biggest city in the country even though it is not its capital. It is the economical and cultural center of Switzerland. If you have done your research on the country, you will know that it is known for the Alps and of course cheese and chocolate. But it doesn’t end there. There are a lot of things you can discover about this place in general and Zurich in particular. The latter is full of buildings that belong to banks or finance companies. According to many surveys, it can provide its people with one of the best living conditions in Europe.
When you first arrive in Zurich and after you set your watch to the local time, you have to start moving like a local. What do we mean by that? We all know the joke about the swiss watch: its people like to be punctual. Try to adjust your trip schedule according to their rhythm and you’ll see how easier it is to do things. It is better to wake up and start your day early in the morning. In this way, you’ll have plenty of time to go sightseeing. But beware, there’s a specific time to have coffee or lunch and dinner time over there. Swiss people usually have their meal early during the day as well as their cup of coffee.
2. What about language and transport in Zurich?
As a first-time visitor, there are a couple more things you need to know. As far as communication goes, people in Zurich speak mostly German but also French and Italian. If you’re comfortable with speaking one of these languages you will have no problem communicating. If you don’t, it is still perfectly okay. Most Swiss people speak very good English and they are happy to help you out if you need it. There are signs in English everywhere in the streets, so there won’t be a problem if you can’t use your phone or Google maps on some occasions.
The transport system is excellent; planning what to do in Zurich won’t be hard
The means of transportation are very well organized all around the city. You will have no difficulty getting tickets or hopping on the correct line of the bus. In our opinion though, if you are staying close to the city center, you may want to go on foot. Not because the bus or metro takes more time, but because it is worth it. We can guarantee you will walk around in excitement of what you’ll see right down the street. Pack your backpack and don’t forget your water bottle. Needless to say, don’t throw your trash anywhere else than the bins. Zurich is known for being a very clean but also environmentally friendly city.
3. What to do in Zurich? Places you should visit
There are loads of places you can discover in Zurich. From museums and art galleries to parks and cafes, the choices are endless. In this list below we have gathered our absolute favorites and we insist that you visit them sooner or later.
The first must-see place in Zurich couldn’t be any other than Kunsthaus. Let us explain. Kunsthaus is the art gallery or art museum of the city. It was founded in 1787 and began collecting artworks from collectors or artists themselves in 1794. Since then, its collection has only grown and its importance is wildly recognized. When you visit it you will have the chance to admire the works of Swiss and foreign artists as well. Also, there is a new department in the museum that has recently become available to the public. It showcases unique works of French impressionist artists and has been recognized as the most important investment of Zurich in the last years. It is actually a great step towards artistic evolution.
More museums to choose from:
There are two more museums that grabbed our attention in Zurich. The first is the Museum of Design which is located on the campus of the University of Zurich. It is part of the Department of Cultural Analysis of the university and there are four extensive collections (Poster, Graphics, Design, and Applied Arts). These exhibitions include works from 1875 up to modern times.
The second one is the National Museum of Switzerland, also known as Landesmuseum. It is the biggest cultural and history museum in the country and it should definitely be on your list. It was founded in 1898 in Zurich but you can also find smaller departments of it in other cities throughout the country.
The must see attractions.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, grab your camera and prepare to be amazed. As mentioned before, we recommend walking around the city in order not to miss anything. Walk next to river Limmat until the lake of the city. Don’t miss your chance to see the Church of St. Peter which features the biggest clock in Europe. You’ll definitely fall in love with the architecture of the city and of Fraumünster. But wait, there’s more. We definitely recommend you visit the Stadelhofen Station and the Chinese Garden or Belvoir park. If you want to do some shopping Bahnhofstrasse is the place for you, and don’t forget to wander around the old city as well.
4. What to eat and drink in Zurich
For some travelers eating local food is as important as the trip itself. And of course, we couldn’t agree more. In Zurich, there are some things you must try once you’re there. One of them is the famous cheese fondue. Basically, you can choose between pieces of bread or potato and dip them in melted cheese. They will serve it in a caquelon, a traditional plate. Try the Walliser Keller restaurant for the most authentic experience. Another must-taste plate is Rösti, which is made out of potatoes sautéed or shallow-fried in a pan. The locals eat this alongside Zurcher Geschnetzeltes, sliced meat with mushrooms, cream, and white wine.
As far as desserts go, you can try every chocolate available in the city and every single one will be better than the one you tried before. Chocolate fondue is also an option as well as Zopf, a kind of sweet bread the Swiss people eat regularly. Also don’t forget to try the famous Peppermint tea or Glühwein, a warm red wine if you prefer alcoholic drinks.