Zurich is one of my favorite cities in the world. Whenever I have the opportunity to visit, I never turn it down. Although it’s natural beauty is undeniable, Zurich’s perfectly run society is much more than just a pretty face.
10 Reasons to Visit Zurich
1: Old Town
Old Town, Zurich is a site to see in itself. You can get lost for hours wandering throughout the narrow cobblestone streets, admiring the beautifully preserved architecture and buildings that date back hundreds of years. Every corner has something surprising for you to see.
At sunset, the lighting behind the buildings is magnificent.
2: Lake Zurich
You can’t go to Zurich without seeing Lake Zurich. Meaning literally you actually can’t go there without seeing it, it’s huge. It’s crisp and refreshing natural spring water adds to the picturesque Swiss scenery with the always snow covered Alps in the backdrop. In the summer the whole city flocks to the lake.
Many people bring food and drinks here to picnic but there are also a few cafes and restaurants scattered along the lakeside walk. In the spring and summer it’s the ideal place to get a cold glass of wine or a cold beer, listen to some music in the park, and people watch. Whether it’s a picnic, a paddleboat ride or just going swimming, Lake Zurich is the place to be.
3: The Restaurants
Zeughauskellher is a bit touristy but it doesn’t faze me. I never even knew it was “touristy” until a friend pointed it out to me. The food is exceptional and the atmosphere is fun and festive, resembling 15th-century Switzerland. If you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, the “Captain’s Sword,” thinly cut steak broiled on an actual sword accompanied with the drink- flambé and firewater, are two of my go-to items. However, the Geschnetzeltes (veal & mushrooms in a creamy wine sauce) is one of their most traditional and well-known dishes. I would say it’s probably my favorite dish on the menu as well.
Bohemia has a more modern and artsy vibe. It’s my choice for brunch spots in Zurich. The Eggs Benedict never fails to impress.
Uetliberg is one of the best hikes not only in Zurich, but also in Europe. In the spring and summer the greenery and trickling streams will leave you in awe. If it’s a colder day, be lazy and take the train all the way to the top. It doesn’t matter how you get to the top, just as long as you get there. Once at the top you can see all of Zurich.
5: The Scenery
The natural landscape and scenery around Zurich is spectacular. You can enjoy Zurich by relaxing in one of its many well-manicured parks or take a ferry around to see the scenery by water. If the weather is good, I recommend taking the ferry to Rapperswil.
Rapperswil is a very old, medieval town about an hour and a half away from downtown Zurich by ferry and about an hour away by train. It’s filled with well-preserved structures and even has a castle to explore. As you make your way on the ferry, you will pass mega mansions and rolling green hills.
6: The Cafes
In traditional European fashion, enjoying a delicious cappuccino, espresso or dessert, is an essential must-do thing in Zurich. For the best desserts and most charming café in town, head to Café Shober in Zurich’s Old Town.
7: The Window-Shopping
Even if you don’t want to spend any money, the window-shopping in Zurich will be enough to get your adrenaline pumping. In Old Town they have diamond stores, high-end lingerie stores and upscale clothing stores that can seriously break the bank. Even if you don’t have the money to shop, it’s still fun to gawk from the other side of the glass.
“People who say that money can’t buy happiness do not know where to shop…”
8: The Natural Swimming Areas
The city has eleven “official” swimming houses on the lake and the river. Many of them charge a small fee, however, the ones on the river are usually free. The water in Zurich is known to be cleaner than in most other areas of Europe, which makes it ideal for swimming. One of the swimming houses I prefer is Oberer Letten. It’s located right on the Limmat, the river that runs through Zurich, and entrance is free!
It’s not only fun for a swim, but it’s also the perfect place to hang out and enjoy the outdoors. You can bring a book and relax riverside, or pack some of your own booze and enjoy the sunshine. If you don’t want to bring your own snacks or drinks there’s a few cafes along the water as well.
9: The Amazing Transportation Systems
Everything in Switzerland is executed perfectly. They believe in being organized, being on time, and having a harmonious and well-run society. Their transportation system is no exception to this mindset. The trains are not only always on time, but they are amongst the nicest in the world. They can get you almost anywhere you want to go, and comfortably! I love taking trips on the train to nearby cities like Schauffhausen and Lucerne.
10: The Day Trips Near Zurich
Zurich is a great point to travel from. By train there are many beautiful places to visit close by. Some include Schauffhausen, Lugano, Basel, Rapperswil, Appenzellerland, and Lucerne. These make for great hiking destinations where you get to experience more of Switzerland’s undeniable natural beauty.
There you have it, ten reasons to visit and love Zurich. Although I had to narrow it down to ten reasons, I truly could go on and on about why I love this city and country.