20 Places to visit in Zurich

Zurich seems to be made for superlatives: the largest, the best, the most expensive. We will tell you what attracts travelers to this capital of finance and culture.
08 september 2023
7 min

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1. Swiss National Museum

A must-visit for those who want to know everything about Switzerland and a little more. In the halls of the museum (which, by the way, is located in a real castle), you will learn about the history of the country, see rare artifacts from different eras, and even learn about the Swiss watchmaking tradition.

Address: Museumstrasse, 2

Hours: The museum is open daily (except Monday) from 10:00 to 17:00, on Thursday — from 10:00 to 19:00

Admission: The ticket costs 10 francs (adult), free for children and teenagers under 16.

Tickets can be purchased online on the website.

2. Kunsthaus

If you are choosing which museums to visit in Zurich, be sure to include Kunsthaus — the largest museum of fine arts in the country. It features works by renowned masters from the 15th century to the present day: Picasso, Monet, Rubens, Van Gogh, and many other painting luminaries.

Address: Hirschengraben, 2

Hours: Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday — from 10:00 to 18:00. Wednesday-Friday — from 10:00 to 20:00. Monday — closed.

The ticket costs 20 francs (free for children under 16), and for groups of 20 or more people — 15 francs per person.

You can book a hotel with a discount of up to 65% on the website.

Photo author - tripadvisor

3. Fraumünster Church

One of the most famous churches in Zurich. While unremarkable on the outside, the interior is astonishing: a huge organ (the largest in the canton!) with over five and a half thousand pipes, an inner gallery preserved since 1270, and the famous stained glass windows by Alberto Giacometti and Marc Chagall.

Hours: November-March — from 10:00 to 16:00, April-October — from 10:00 to 18:00.

Address: Fraumünsterstrasse, 25, Münsterhof

4. Lindenhof Square

Perhaps the best place to see Zurich from above: the square is located on a hill on the left bank of the Limmat River, offering a magnificent view. It's also a great place to relax after the hustle and bustle of the city.

Address: Fortunagasse, 16

5. Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich

The Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich is an oasis of living nature in the middle of the city. It's worth coming here to spend a couple of hours in seclusion, enjoying the play of colors and the aroma of flowers, of which there are many.

Hours: March-September — Monday to Friday from 07:00 to 19:00, weekends — from 08:00 to 18:00. October-February — Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 18:00, weekends — from 08:00 to 17:00.

Free entry.

Address: Universitat Zollikerstrasse, 107

6. St. Peter's Church

Be sure to take the time to visit this oldest church in the city, first mentioned as early as the 9th century!

Inside, the church is richly decorated with stucco and carvings, and its main treasure is the organ, which still hosts concerts for parishioners and visitors. The bell tower offers an impressive view of the city.

Address: St. Peterhofstatt 2.

Hours: St. Peter's Church is open Monday to Friday — from 8:00 to 18:00. On Saturday — from 10:00 to 16:00, on Sunday — from 11:00 to 17:00.

Note: access to the bell tower is by prior arrangement only.

7. Uhrenmuseum Beyer

Switzerland is renowned for its watches. Learn about the history of watchmaking at the Beyer Watch Museum on Bahnhofstrasse, 31.

The exhibition features a unique collection of antique watches — wristwatches and clocks — as well as various tools related to watchmaking. Here you will learn how and when the art of watchmaking originated and see its best creations.

Hours: Monday to Friday — from 14:00 to 18:00.

Admission: 5 francs, free for children.

8. Augustinergasse

Want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of old Zurich? Nothing is easier! Head to Augustinergasse — one of the city's historic streets. Everything here breathes antiquity: colorful houses with tiled roofs, lantern windows in carved frames, flags, and signs of shops and stores that seem to transport you to the Middle Ages.

Stroll through the narrow cobbled alleys, visit the many souvenir shops, and then be sure to sit in one of the cafes for a cup of coffee.

9. Dietikon

If you're looking for something exotic and new, head to the town of Dietikon to see the Bruno Weber Sculpture Park. It is located around the artist Bruno Weber's house and is filled with fantastical creations. Here you will find mythical creatures, dragons, and fairy-tale plants, and you can wander the park's winding paths for hours, examining its inhabitants.

The park is located in the town of Dietikon, not far from Zurich. Admission is 15 francs (adult), 5 francs (for children 6-16 years old).

10. Rietberg Museum

It is worth including in your itinerary because it is the only museum of non-European cultures in Switzerland. In its three villas, you will find works of art from China, India, Japan, Africa, and Southeast Asia, as well as a collection of Japanese prints, art objects from Oceania and the island of Java, a collection of masks, and Flemish tapestries.

Hours: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday — from 10:00 to 17:00. Wednesday and Thursday — from 10:00 to 20:00.

Admission: 18 francs (temporary exhibitions) and 14 francs (permanent). Free for children under 16.

Address: Gablerstrasse, 15

Photo author - weberpark

11. Bahnhofstrasse

This is the perfect place to start exploring Zurich if you arrive by train, as it begins right at the station. Bahnhofstrasse is especially delightful in the summer, when the blooming linden trees create a wonderful fragrance. In winter, you can enjoy a stroll admiring the colorful lights or sit in one of the cafes sipping mulled wine.

12. Altstadt (Old Town)

In Altstadt, or the Old Town, you will experience old Zurich. This is an entire district in the central part of the city, near the train station.

It is worth coming here to leisurely stroll through the narrow streets, admire the old painted houses (some buildings date back to the 11th century), and imagine what life was like here centuries ago. You can reach the Old Town via Bahnhofstrasse.

13. Irchelpark

A favorite place for locals and tourists alike. The park is located in the eastern part of the lakefront, where you can walk along shady paths, sunbathe in the summer, or go for a morning jog. In the western part, there is a beautiful promenade with many cafes and comfortable benches for relaxation.

14. Uetliberg Mountain

While in Zurich, if time allows, be sure to visit Uetliberg Mountain. The view from the top is worth the trip. Just imagine: the entire city and lake lie before you like in the palm of your hand, with a chain of mountains visible in the distance blending into the horizon.

15. Urania Sternwarte

Few people know that you can visit a real observatory in Zurich. Yes, you heard right — at the Urania Observatory on Uraniastrasse, 9, you can observe astronomical phenomena and celestial bodies. But visitors to the observatory can also enjoy a magnificent view of evening Zurich from its tower.

The observatory is open from Thursday to Saturday. It's best to choose a clear evening for stargazing.

Admission is 15 francs, 10 francs for children aged 12-16.

Photo author - aboutch.ch

16. Zurich Toy Museum

You can experience a fairy tale and feel like a child again at the Zurich Toy Museum. In this doll kingdom, you will find friendly teddy bears, dolls in elegant outfits, brave tin soldiers, and many other childhood friends. The private collection, started by Franz Weber in the 19th century, has grown into the Toy Museum and now acquaints visitors with the history of the toy world from the 19th to the late 20th century.

Hours: Monday to Friday — from 14:00 to 17:00, Saturday — from 13:00 to 16:00. Closed on Sundays and holidays.

Admission: 7 francs.

17. Grossmünster (Zurich Cathedral)

This is Zurich's landmark, easily recognizable by its twin towers. But it's worth visiting not only for the building itself, erected in the 12th century. From the observation deck of the cathedral, there is a breathtaking view of the lake and the Old Town.

However, to see all this beauty, you have to climb on foot — there is no elevator in the cathedral. And don’t forget the cathedral organ: organ music concerts are held here every Wednesday.

The cathedral is open daily, except Tuesday, from 10:00 to 18:00, and in winter from 10:00 to 17:00.

18. Polybahn Funicular

Get a taste of living history in Zurich with the Polybahn Funicular. It was launched in 1889, and since then, this vintage red tramcar with fifty seats has been reliably transporting passengers.

The funicular route consists of only two stations: the lower (Limmatquai) and the upper (University of Zurich). The lower station is at the foot of the hill in an old residential building, and the upper one is in a wooden house in a village style. The ride from one station to the other takes just over a minute, but for those exploring the city on foot, the funicular is a great help as the incline is quite steep.

A one-way trip costs 1.20 francs.

19. Chinese Garden

While walking by Lake Zurich, be sure to visit the Chinese Garden. Here, it feels like stepping into another world: intricate pavilions and arched bridges, lush greenery, streams, and ponds reflecting cherry blossoms and bamboo. Everything in this garden breathes tranquility and harmony.

Hours: The garden is open from 11:00 to 19:00.

Admission: 4 francs.

Address: Bellerivestrasse, 138

20. Zurich West

If you want to see Zurich from an unusual perspective — this is the place for you. Zurich West is known for its many abandoned factories and plants left after the industrial revolution. But! Creative Swiss minds have turned this area into a hub of art, design, shopping, and entertainment, using those very abandoned buildings as the foundation.

So, if you enjoy urban landscapes — welcome to Giessereistrasse, 18!

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