Cover Image Credit: Pedro Szekely by flickr
Nestled between the wooded hills on the east & west sides, the Neolithic town of Zurich stands at the northwestern tip of silvery-watered Lake Zurich. With its medieval age architecture and some newly built tourist buildings, the largest city of Switzerland has a myriad of tourist attractions that one must visit.
15 Best Places To Visit In Zurich
Churches, museums, theaters, gardens, and more; the list of the city’s offerings are endless. But, to make things easy for you, here’s a hand-picked list of the 15 best places to visit in Zurich, Switzerland.
- Fraumünster Churche
- Grossmünster Churche
- St. Peter’s Church
- Schweizerisches Landesmuseum
- Rietberg Museum
- Pavillon Le Corbusier
- Zürich Opera House
- Theater am Neumarkt
- Zoological Garden
- Chinese Garden
- Lake Zürich
- Botanical Garden Grüningen
1. Fraumünster Churche
The Fraumunster Churche literally translates to Women’s Church and refers to the founding of an abbey at the location in 853 by the then Emperor Ludwig. As per historic references, the church, with its convent, was inhabited by the aristocratic women of Europe. The 3-aisled and pillared basilica with a Gothic nave is worth seeing in itself. But what makes it so popular among the places to visit in Zurich is the addition of stained glass windows in 1970 – windows in north transept by Augusto Giacometti and the 5 part-cycle in Chancel & Rosette in south transept by Marc Chagall.
2. Grossmünster Churche
Grossmunster Churche or the Church of Great Minister is another of the most amazing places to see in Zurich. According to the legend, the graves of the city’s patron saints Felix and Regula were discovered by Charlemagne, who built a church as a monastery on the spot. The Romanesque crypt, bronze doors designed by Otto Munch, choir windows designed by Augusto Giacometti, and the stained glass windows designed by Sigmar Polke add to the beauty of the church.
3. St. Peter’s Church
With the largest clock face in Europe, St Peter’s Church stands as a must-see tourist attraction in Zurich. The clock face measures a whopping 8.5 m in diameter. The church also houses five bells dating back to 1880, the largest of which weighs a little over 6 tons. It is also the oldest Parish church in Zurich, with its original 9th century foundation walls still visible beneath the chancel.
4. Schweizerisches Landesmuseum
Located in the heart of the city, Schweizerisches Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum) is one of the most amazing places to go in Zurich. Housing the largest collection of cultural-cum-historical objects in a fairytale castle, the museum takes you on a history tour. From handicrafts to the everyday objects and from prehistoric times to the present; the museum has it all.
Where: Landesmuseum Zürich, Museumstrasse 2, 8001 Zürich
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday – Wednesday; Friday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
- Thursday: 10 am – 7 pm
- Adults CHF 10*
- Concessions CHF 8*
- Children (under 16) Free
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5. Rietberg Museum
While on a Zurich sightseeing tour, you are sure to come across this chest of treasures nestled amidst a beautiful garden. The Rietberg Museum boasts of a unique collection of art & cult objects from across the globe – beautifully carved Swiss masks, cult objects from South America, Buddhist art from Asia, and enchanting sculptures from Africa. The greenish-blue glass entrance adds to the beauty of the museum.
Where: Museum Rietberg, Gablerstrasse 15, 8002 Zürich
- Monday: Off
- Tuesday; Thursday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
- Wednesday: 10am – 8 pm
- Collection: CHF 14 (Regular); CHF 12 (Concessions)
- Temporary Exhibits: CHF 18 (Regular); CHF 14 (Concessions)
6. Pavillon Le Corbusier
Pavillon Le Corbusier, the final construction piece by the world-famous architect, is one of the most stunning tourist attractions in Zurich for those who love art and design. An exhibition space by the Lake Zurich, the pavilion houses oil paintings, drawings, furniture, and sculptures. The building architecture in itself is stunning, with a floating roof and colored slabs that give the place a rhythmic character.
Where: Pavillon Le Corbusier, Höschgasse 8, 8008 Zürich
- Monday, Tuesday: Closed
- Wednesday – Sunday: 12 pm – 6 pm
Also Visit:Bellerive Museum that houses the most important collections of international applied art, Museum of Design , Haus Konstruktiv that promotes constructive & conceptual design, Tram Museum, Kunsthaus Zürich (Museum of Fine Arts),and Beyer Clock and Watch Museum
7. Zürich Opera House
Opernhaus Zurich or the Zurich Opera House is the Mecca of music in the quaint old town. Among the most popular places to visit in Zurich, the Opera House showcases performances featuring popular singers as well as premiers. At times, the house also showcases ballets. About 250 performances take place every year, featuring renowned international stars. At the International Opera Awards of 2014, it was also awarded as the Best Opera Company of the Year.
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8. Theater am Neumarkt
At the heart of the old town, the modern Theater Neumarkt presents contemporary plays. A new theme is addressed every four months and presented through various plays. This innovative program makes it a popular place to visit in Zurich. In addition to the contemporary plays, it also stages plays for children from time to time.
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The Tonhalle Zurich is one of the most popular tourist places in Zurich for those who love music. Built in 1895, the beautifully decorated concert hall has a capacity of 1,455 guests. Every season, over a 100 concerts are performed here by a team of 100 musicians and a conductor.
10. Zoological Garden
The Zurich Zoo and Masola Rainforest are amazing places to visit in Zurich for those who wish to see a variety of animal species in beautiful natural enclosures. One can see, inter alia, snow leopards, bears, tortoises, tigers, penguins, and gorillas. But the key attraction is the recently added Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park that allows visitors to see the resident elephant family.
Where: Zoo Zürich, Zürichbergstrasse 221, 8044 Zürich
Opening hours: 9 am – 5 pm (November – February); 9 am – 6 pm (March – October)
- Adults (from 25) CHF 26
- Disabled visitors CHF 13
- Youths (16 – 25) CHF 19
- Children (6 – 16) CHF 13
- Children (up to 6 years) Free
11. Chinese Garden
One of the highest-ranking temple gardens outside China, the Chinese Garden here is one of the most beautiful places to see in Zurich. A gift from the Chinese town of Kunming, the garden houses a pond, a small island, and a small palace on the banks.
Burkliplatz is among the must-see tourist attractions in Zurich. Though primarily a boat dock, it is also a marketplace, art area, and event site. The scenic views of the Alps across the Lake Zurich can be enjoyed from the dock. The lakeside promenade was created in 1880s with Quaibrücke (Lakeside Bridge), boulevards, meadows, and parks.
Do not miss: Sunday Flea Markets
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13. Lake Zürich
It is hard to find a photo album of Zurich that does not feature the Lake Zurich. What was once only a transportation route, has turned into a popular excursion point for swimming, picnics along the banks, or ferry rides for the splendid views of the city and the Alps.
14. Botanical Garden Grüningen
One of the places to see in Zurich for the nature lovers, the Botanical Garden at Gruningen houses a collection of plants from across the globe in 16 different sections. It is on the criteria of ecology, biodiversity, research, and protection of these species that the site is divided.
At a height of 2,850 feet above sea level, Uetliberg affords a splendid panoramic view of the city, the lake, and the majestic Alps. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Zurich for the nature & adventure lovers, the mountain is particularly popular in November. It is then that it is over the layer of fog that covers the city.
It is hard to cover all these tourist places in Zurich, unless you have a long vacation planned in the city itself. But, we hope, we might have helped you zero down to a few places that you must visit on your next trip to Zurich. Let us know your choices by way of comments.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Zurich
What is Zurich known for?
Apart from being known as the economic hub of Switzerland, Zurich is quite famous for its extravagant lifestyle, high-end shopping, fancy chocolates, and amazing natural settings.
Which is the most romantic place to visit in Zurich?
Some of the most romantic places in Zurich are:
1. Mühlesteg Bridge- Secure you love lock on this famous bridge.
2. Grossmunster Church- Enjoy surreal vistas of the Alpine peak
3. Lake Zurich- Take a romantic boat ride along with the swans
4. Altstadt- Enjoy a delicious brunch in the romantic setting this beautiful town.
5. Chinese Garden- Romance under the beautiful cherry blossoms
What is there to do in Zurich for 2 days?
Here is what you can do in 2 days in Zurich:
1. Absorb the mesmerizing beauty of Grossmünster church and its surroundings.
2. Explore the beautiful Alter Botanischer Garten
3. Enjoy scrumptious meals at Le Dézaley
4. Take a boat ride at Lake Zurich
5. Trek to the Uetliberg for some breathtaking views
What should I buy in Zurich?
Cuckoo Clock, Cheese Fondue Set, Swiss Chocolate, Swiss Watches, Victorinox Swiss Army Knife are some of the famous things to buy in Switzerland for shopping.
What is the best time to visit Zurich?
June and August is the best time to visit Zurich if you like to enjoy the cozy temperature of Zurich. If you love snow and December to February is the perfect time to visit as you will see fewer crowds and enjoy most of the tourist attractions in tranquility.
How far is Üetliberg from Zurich?
Üetliberg is 4.8 km away from Zurich city and can be reached by train in less than 30 minutes.
How do you get around Zurich?
Bus, car, trains, cable cars and boats are the options you can get to get around in Zurich.
Is Zurich safe for tourists?
Yes. Zurich is known as the safest place on earth and you can explore the city without a fleck of worry.
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