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Things to do in Zurich

Things to do in  Zurich

Welcome to Zurich

On the tip of Lake Zurich in the foothills of the Bernese Oberland lies Zurich. With its historic churches and cobbled alleyways, Switzerland’s largest city is straight out of a fairy tale. But look closer and you’ll see a vibrant, modern city whose districts are abuzz with creativity. Visiting Zurich Old Town and taking a Lake Zurich cruise are among the top things to do in town. For travelers less pressed for time, the city’s contemporary art galleries, Bahnhofstrasse boutiques, and Dolderbahn mountain railway aren’t to be missed. And of course no trip to Zurich is complete without a visit to the Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Shop, located just outside of city limits. For the adventurous set, Alpine activities range from Mt. Titlis and Mt. Pilatus cable car rides to Jungfraujoch and Grindelwald day trips.

Top 10 attractions in Zurich

Rhine Falls (Rheinfall)

Rhine Falls (Rheinfall)

At Rhine Falls (Rheinfall), sheets of white water tumble from a height of 75 feet (23 meters) across a 492-foot-wide (150-meter-wide) rock ledge. Created by the movement of the Earth’s crust about 15,000 years ago, this natural wonder is among Europe’s biggest waterfalls. The riverbanks near it are laced with walking and biking trails.More
Mt. Titlis

Mt. Titlis

Reaching 10,626 feet (3,239 meters) above sea level, Mt. Titlis is Central Switzerland’s highest peak and probably its finest vantage point. The mountain has a cutting-edge transportation system—including, most famously a revolving cable car that turns 360 degrees during the ride to the top station at 9,908 feet (3,020 meters). Those lucky enough to be inside the car are graced with stunning panoramic views of Alpine peaks, sheer rock faces, and an icy crevasse-cracked glacier.More
Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Shop

Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Shop

Switzerland is famous for many things, including mountains, clocks, and, of course, chocolate. Legendary Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli has been churning out smooth and delicious confections since 1845. Today, visiting the Lindt & Sprungli Chocolate Shop, just outside of Zurich, is a must for any chocolate lover.More
Lake Zurich (Zürichsee)

Lake Zurich (Zürichsee)

Fed by clear glacial waters that flow down the Swiss Alps, the crescent-shaped Lake Zurich (Zurichsee) forms the scenic backdrop to Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, which spreads along the western tip of the lake. Measuring 25 miles (40 kilometers) in length and 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) in width, this alpine lake offers an easily accessible escape to nature for those based in the city, with plenty of swimming spots, hiking routes, tranquil islands, and picturesque mountain scenery.More
Mount Rigi

Mount Rigi

Nicknamed the “Queen of the Mountains,” Mount Rigi has long captured the hearts of writers like Mark Twain and painters like JMW Turner. Encircled by a trio of lakes—Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug, and Lake Lauerz—and adjacent to the neighboring peaks of Mount Pilatus and Brunnistock, Mount Rigi is the enduring postcard star of Central Switzerland.More
Zurich Old Town (Altstadt)

Zurich Old Town (Altstadt)

With its striking 19th-century buildings and winding cobblestone lanes stretching along both sides of River Limmat, Zurich’s Old Town (Altstadt) is the most atmospheric part of the city and home to many principal tourist attractions.More
Fraumünster Church

Fraumünster Church

One of Zurich’s most distinctive and popular sights, Fraumünster Church is the green copper-spired building that is easily visible in Zurich’s skyline. The church itself dates back to the 9th century, but the building’s famous stained-glass windows are 20th-century additions.More


Bahnhofstrasse isthe shopping street in Zurich. Running from Bahnhofplatz outside the main train station all the way to the lake, it's full of luxury shops selling designer fashion, furs, porcelain, and, of course, chocolates, clocks and watches. Halfway along is Zurich's first, biggest and best department store Jelmoli. The basement food-hall is a must. Or if you want the best in Swiss chocolate, take a break at Cafe Sprungli, the epicenter of sweet Switzerland since 1836.Bahnhofstrasse follows the line of the moat of medieval Zurich and is mainly pedestrianized, although watch out for the trams running along it. It runs parallel to the river Limmat and it's easy to punctuate your shopping with visits to churches and other important sites of Zurich dotted in the narrow streets between. Culture and consumerism: Zurich has them both.More


Just an hour north of Zurich, the lively medieval town of Schaffhausen is best known as the gateway to one of Switzerland’s most famous tourist attractions: Rhine Falls. The mighty waterfall is Europe’s largest, stretching 450 feet (137 meters) across the Rhine River and cascading from heights of up to 75 feet (23 meters).More
Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein is a small city set into the beautiful countryside alongside the Rhine River. Its main attraction is the well-preserved old town, which is characterized by the many distinctive medieval buildings, such as the church, the former monastery of St. Georgen, the town houses, the gates and towers as well as the town hall and armory. Most of these half-timbered frame houses surrounding the Rathausplatz are made of stone with delicate wooden window frames and bays jutting out. All of these buildings stun visitors with their exceptional frescoes, painted on every available surface. The most prominent of these houses is the White Eagle, an old inn, on which a mural originating in the early renaissance depicts the contrast between true and false love, justice and injustice and finally, the triumph of wisdom over evil.To delve some more into the history of this fascinating town, head to the Lindwurm Museum, and get a glimpse into the life of the 19th century as well as bourgeois agriculture and home décor. Follow the wooden footbridge to the island Werd in the middle of the river, a popular green spot and attraction where Franciscan monks have set up their residence. Watching over the picturesque town and landscape is Hohenklingen Castle. Sitting high on a hill above Stein am Rhein, this fortress, which was built in 1225, is still the most prominent landmark of the city.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Zurich

Recent reviews from experiences in Zurich

Loved it!
Elizabeth_M, Nov 2021
Heidiland and Liechtenstein Tour from Zurich: Two Countries in One Day
I loved being able to see the highlights of Zurich, Rapperswil, Werdenberg, and Vaduz.
Really informative walk...
Kathy_H, Nov 2021
Zürich Historic District Tour
Timing perfect to see all the streets lit up for Christmas.
Amazing Tour
Melissa_S, Nov 2021
Heidiland and Liechtenstein Tour from Zurich: Two Countries in One Day
It was a small group and she got to know us individually and finished the day by helping us plan out our next activities in the city.
Our tour guide Anije was...
Ashleigh_G, Oct 2021
Mount Titlis and Lucerne Day Tour from Zurich
The trip was well organised and we really enjoyed the stop in Lucerne as a chance to see another Swiss town besides Zurich.
Great way to see Zurich
Deborah_S, Sep 2021
3 in 1: Zurich Walking Tour - Cruise on the Lake - Cable Car Ride to Felsenegg
This tour was a lot of walking but we got to see all parts of Zurich.
Enjoyable experience!
Tala_B, Sep 2021
Zurich Tour: 6 hours on shore, on water, in the air!
The experience itself allowed you to see much of Zurich from a local perspective and much more than we would have been able to do on our own.
Highly recommended
saulat_n, Mar 2020
Mount Titlis and Lucerne Day Tour from Zurich
We saw most of the attractions of Zurich on the way, visited Lucrene and went to mount Titlis.
Very informative and fun!
Madeline_D, Feb 2020
Zurich City Tour Experience
Great if you’re only in Zurich for a couple of days and want to see everything, quickly.
Good bus based Zurich area tour.
linhlanak, Oct 2019
Zurich City Highlights Tour with Felsenegg Cable Car and Ferry Ride
This tour was mainly a bus ride through various areas of Zurich and a good way to see the general area without too much walking.
Wonderful Way to Start Zurich Visit
Phil_H, Oct 2019
Chocolate hunting in Zurich: Follow the taste!
Not only did she take use to four amazing chocolate shops she gave us a lot of suggestions of other things to see and do in Zurich, especially places to eat.
Fun day trip
Ryan_W, Aug 2019
Black Forest and Rhine Falls Day Trip from Zurich
The time at the falls also is a little short but the trip itself it worthwhile
Omer Ahmed Hussain
Omer_A, Aug 2019
Zurich City Highlights Tour with Felsenegg Cable Car and Ferry Ride
Good one for the people staying short and want to see the most attractions possible.
City tour of Zurich, Rhine Falls and Stein on Rhine
DeepaM232, Jun 2019
Supersaver: Zurich Highlights Tour, Rhine Falls and Stein am Rhein from Zurich
The Falls were all spectacular.
Fantastic Tour
Jeff_L, May 2019
Supersaver: Zurich Highlights Tour, Rhine Falls and Stein am Rhein from Zurich
We had a great time on the Rhine Falls and Stein am Rhein tour.
Private tour of Zurich
ilene_g, Jul 2018
Private Tour: Zurich City Highlights
We were able to see a lot of Zurich and the beautiful surrounding area and really enjoyed the tour.
Book this tour!
Caleb_B, Aug 2021
Heidiland and Liechtenstein Tour from Zurich: Two Countries in One Day
I mainly joined this tour to visit Liechtenstein and saw several comments about how there was not much time there.
Rhine Falls private tour
Salem_A, Aug 2018
Private Tour: Rhine Falls Tour from Zurich
Visiting Rhine Falls when you are in Zurich is a must.
We had the most amazing tour of Zurich...
Kristi O, Aug 2018
Zurich Tour: 6 hours on shore, on water, in the air!
An absolute must tour to see this amazing city!
The guide was very knowledgeable and...
Karen M, Oct 2017
Zurich Old Town Walking Tour
Two hours well spent getting to see the highlights of Zurich.
Great tour - gorgeous views from the...
Nick J, Sep 2017
Jungfraujoch: Top of Europe Day Trip from Zurich
We lucked out with a very clear day, so the trip was a spectacular way to see a lot in a compressed amount of time.

A local’s pocket guide to Zurich

Sílvia Ferreira Santos

Born and raised in Zurich, Sílvia has lived in Lisbon for over a decade now. The only way to get back in her good graces if you’re running late is by bringing along a piece of cheese.

The first thing you should do in Zurich is...

learn how to say grüezi (hi). Swiss people appreciate punctuality but also politeness.

A perfect Saturday in Zurich...

starts with a walk by Augustinergrasse and includes stops at Lindenhof Square and Fraumünster Church. Then, cross the river and head to the lake. From Bellevue to the Chinese Garden, you’ll feel like you’re in another world.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Swiss chocolate, what else? Zurich is a paradise for chocoholics.

To discover the "real" Zurich...

get to grips with the two sides to the city. Discover traditional Zurich in Niederdorf—locals call it “Dörfli,” or “little village”—and modern, cosmopolitan Zurich on Viadukt shopping street.

For the best view of the city...

head to Üetliberg. Take the train or hike up to enjoy the view of the city and—of course—the lake. If the weather plays nice, you might even catch a glimpse of the Alps.

One thing people get wrong...

Zurich is not Switzerland’s capital. It is the country’s biggest city but the capital is actually Bern.

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