Looking for the best things to do in Zurich, Switzerland? Then keep reading for a complete list of the best things to do while exploring one of the most luxurious and affluent cities in the world.
I have traveled extensively around Switzerland and Zurich remains a top city I have visited. My partner is from Switzerland and about two times a year I spend 2 weeks – 1 month exploring the country. It seems there is always more to see and do but from what I’ve seen so far all I can say is Switzerland is every bit as beautiful (and expensive) as you image!
Zurich is one of the most popular places to visit in Switzerland. It is the global center of finance and banking and the whole city has a very affluent feel to it. The streets are impossibly clean, there are rows and rows of luxury shops, and the prices for everything are out of this world.
Seriously, it’s super expensive. Zurich is a city like no other with more to it than just money and power. You will also find historic streets, old churches, and a stunning waterfront. Keep reading to discover the 10 best things to do in Switzerland and enjoy your stay in the city like no other.
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10+ Best Things to Do in Zurich
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Walk the Stunning Augustinergasse
Augustinergasse is one of the most beautiful and historic streets in Switzerland. Upon first glance, you will be drawn in by the various Swiss flags hanging from every building and the colorful buildings.
It feels like you are walking in some sort of medieval fairytale with all the unique detailing of the street. As you walk and admire this street you will see why Zurich is considered one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland.
Augustinergasse is the perfect place to head to if you are looking to explore, shop, or eat. There are local boutiques all around with unique items, perfect for gifts or souvenirs.
There are also some cafes and restaurants that are great for sitting in for a bite to eat so you can relax while you gawk at the surroundings. You will likely find Augustinergasse one of the most beautiful streets in the city.
Discover The Church of St. Peter
The Church of St. Peter is one of four churches in Zurich with the oldest church clock face in Europe. It is the only baroque-style church in Zurich and is a must-see while wandering the old town.
You won’t be able to miss this church’s huge clockface – which is the largest in Europe – and capturing a photo or two is a must. The best part? Admission inside is FREE, which is pretty rare in Switzerland so take advantage of this!
Zurich Opera House
The Neoclassical Opera House in Zurich dates back to the 1890s and was constructed by Viennese architects Fellner & Helmer. Going to an opera here is one of the best things to do in Zurich if you are an opera fan or want to experience a more cultural side of the city.
The Zurich Opera House sits 1,100 people and is one of the best in the world. In fact, in 2014 it was awarded best opera house of the year!
Grossmünster is an iconic Romanesque church sitting along the Limmat River. This is one of the most famous landmarks in Zurich and a must-see for medieval architecture lovers!
The two towers stand well above all other buildings surrounding them and the beautifully ornate architecture is something to admire.
This church dates back to the 12th century and played a part in creating the Switzerland we know today! If you want to do more than just look at this church you can also climb the tall towers and get one of the best views of Zurich from above.
Explore the Old Town (Altstadt)
Exploring the Old Town, also called Altstadt, is one of the best things to do in Zurich. The old town is divided into two parts – separated by the Limmat River – and each side is full of charm, history and of course beauty!
You will immediately fall in love with the Old Town in Zurich which is beautifully preserved and full of secret cobblestone streets, picturesque buildings, and more. This is my favorite part of Zurich which is often pretty quite. I find most tourists stick on the other side of the river and miss out on this area. Which is a win for us!
Admire Fraumünster Church
Fraumünster Church is located in Zurich’s old town and is a stunning historic church to see and admire. You will quickly notice this church’s stunning exterior with its unique square blue roof. While on the inside you will find the famous Chagall windows!
The five stunning stained glass windows were created by Marc Chagall, a Russian-French artist, and from the inside, these windows illuminate the church with rainbow lights.
Go shopping in Niederdorf
Niederdorf is a lively neighborhood in Zurich’s old town full of stunning medieval streets, old buildings, plus various charming shops and cafes. This is the perfect neighborhood to explore if you want to see one of the most beautiful areas of the old town and find plenty of exciting things along the way.
Niederdorf is home to many upscale boutiques that are great for shopping lovers, as well as some fine-dining restaurants, cocktail bars and even some nightclubs!
Walk Along Lake Zurich
On a warm day, lake Zurich is packed with people on boats, eating along the waterfront, walking the shoreline, or having picnics in the park.
It is the perfect place to escape to for anyone looking to get away from the busy city center and enjoy a more local side to the city. This is one of the best things to do in Zurich which is super relaxing and low-key!
Pro Tip: Get a to-go pizza from Santa Lucia and eat it along the waterfront.
Drink with a View
There is no better way to people-watch and enjoy a new city than by having a rooftop drink overlooking all the action. In Zurich, you will notice there are plenty of patios for you to sit on and enjoy, but few are as special as OOO rooftop located right above the famous Bahnhofstrasse.
This rooftop patio is magical with amazing views and a luxurious atmosphere. There are many cocktails to choose from and food as well but beware. The prices are reflected in the luxe nature of this restaurant, expect to pay around 18 Swiss francs for a cocktail (and increasing year by year).
Walk the Bahnhofstrasse
Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most expensive and exclusive streets in the world. It makes its way through the center of Zurich and is the main downtown street in the city. This street is packed with shops of all kinds and from the train station onwards the shops get more and more expensive.
Starting with names like Zara and H&M and moving to Prada, Louis Vuitton among others. It is a fun street to walk and window shop, discover some amazing finds!
Bonus: Things to do in Zurich in Winter
Winter in Switzerland is nothing short of AMAZING! It is so romantic and one of the best times to venture here. If you find yourself in Zurich in winter here are some of the things you cannot miss.
❄️ Christmas Markets: Zurich’s Christmas markets are a must-visit, with the most famous ones at Bellevue and the Old Town.
❄️ Skiing and Snowboarding: Take advantage of Zurich’s proximity to the Alps and enjoy skiing or snowboarding. Make a day trip to nearby resorts like Flumserberg or Hoch-Ybrig.
❄️ Ice Skating: The city has several outdoor ice rinks, such as the one at Dolder Sports or Live on Ice in Küsnacht, where you can skate while enjoying beautiful winter scenery.
❄️ Thermal Baths & Spa: Visit the Thermalbad & Spa Zurich for a relaxing experience. Housed in a former brewery, its rooftop pool offers stunning views of the city.
❄️ Museums and Galleries: Winter is a great time to explore Zurich’s cultural offerings, including the Kunsthaus Zurich, the Swiss National Museum, and the Rietberg Museum.
❄️ Fondue and Hot Chocolate: Indulge in Swiss culinary delights like fondue and hot chocolate at local restaurants and cafes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions when looking for things to do in Zurich. Let me help with these!
What is Zurich Switzerland best known for?
Zurich is a global financial center, hosting numerous banks and financial institutions renowned for their stability. The city is distinguished by its exceptionally high quality of life, and by its clean, safe streets, efficient public transport, and abundant green spaces. One of the most famous attractions is the Bahnhofstrasse, which offers a plethora of luxury shopping.
Can you do Zurich in 2 days?
Yes, you can definitely experience a good portion of Zurich in 2 days! With good planning, you can explore the key highlights of the city, including its historic center, renowned museums, Lake Zurich, and enjoy the local culinary scene. While a longer stay would allow for a more in-depth exploration, two days are enough to get a feel for the city’s unique blend of cultural richness and natural beauty.
What to do in Zurich for 4 hours?
With just four hours in Zurich, you can still catch a glimpse of the city’s charm. Here’s a concise itinerary:
- Walk Around the Old Town (Altstadt): Start with a walk through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town. Visit landmarks like Grossmünster Church, Fraumünster Church with its Chagall windows, and Lindenhof square.
- Bahnhofstrasse: Walk down this famous shopping street. Even if you’re not shopping, it’s worth experiencing.
- Lake Zurich: Head to the lakefront for a quick view of Lake Zurich.
- Quick Bite: Grab a snack or coffee at one of the many cafes or try some local Swiss chocolates.
Where to Stay in ZurichBooking.com
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There are so many amazing things to do in Zurich and this list is only the beginning. By walking around and exploring you will likely stumble upon many more exciting things to do. And if you have time you can venture outside the city center and enjoying more of Switzerland.
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