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10 Interesting Things to Do in Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland is best known for its luxury lifestyle, tasty chocolates, and high-end shopping. But that’s not all you can look forward to on your visit.

Whether you’re up for a romantic getaway or a family trip, there are plenty of activities for everyone in Switzerland’s largest city. All-day outings, dining in at the restaurants, visiting the museums, seeing fabulous views, going on boat rides… the list goes on. 

If you’re wondering how you can make the most out of your trip, here are the top 10 things to do in Zurich when you’re there.

1. Explore the Old Town (Altstadt)

There’s just so much to explore in the Altstadt, Zurich’s historic city center. 

Strolling down Old Town streets will make you feel like walking around a real-life 16th-century neighborhood. But don’t be fooled, as the area also has the country’s highest concentration of bars and nightclubs. 

Sipping a glass of wine against a medieval background has never been more accessible.

You can’t do justice to any Zurich vacation without visiting the renowned Medieval houses and narrow lanes. And while you’re there, hop over to the GrossMünster double towers, the landmark of Zurich. Legend has it that Charlemagne built them where the graves of the city saints, Felix and Regula, were found. 

2. Go on a Boat Ride

Zurich deserves to be explored from a 360-degree view. And a boat ride is an excellent way to explore its splendid architecture from the bottom up. 

The famous Limmat-Schifffahrt boats pass below all seven bridges across the Limmat River, throughout which you will find old buildings lining the riverbanks. 

Keep in mind that the Landesmuseum boat station can get a bit crowded in the summer. So, it’s best to check the schedule in advance and get there at least half an hour before departure. 

3. Take Picturesque Photos in Lindenhof

Want to experience an oasis of tranquility in the heart of the city?

Get to the top of the hill of Lindenhof for stunning views of the cathedral, the Limmat, and the Old Town. Don’t be surprised to stumble upon passionate chess players, as this is their favorite meeting point. 

The charming locale is also where numerous historical events took place. There used to be a Roman fort on top of the hill in the 4th century before Charlemagne built his residential palace. More importantly, this is where the oath on the Helvetic Constitution was sworn in 1798. 

4. Take in the Sights of Lake Zurich

The world-famous lake was mainly used as a transport route back in medieval times. Today, locals and tourists can enjoy this natural beauty in numerous ways – jump in for a swim, enjoy a boat ride, stroll or bike around the lake, or have a picnic on its banks. 

Rings of forested hills surround the country’s fifth-largest lake and visitors can travel from one side to another by ferry or through the Rapperswil dam. The ZSG (Lake Zurich Navigation Company) offers endless possibilities for exploring the lake, including on a steamboat, a canoe, or another vessel. 

5. Enjoy the Sight of the Chagall Windows

As you explore the Old Town, make sure to pay a visit to the Fraumünster Church and admire the magnificent stained-glass artwork. It bathes the chapel in an awe-inspiring rainbow of lights that depict various biblical stories

The windows are the chef-d’oeuvre of famous Russian artist Marc Chagall. Ever since 1970, the art piece has been impressing visitors from around the globe. 

You can visit the church any day of the week and all year round at a price of 5 Swiss francs. 

6. Visit the Botanical Garden

Looking for family things to do in Zurich?

Taking a stroll down the Botanischer Garten is an excellent way to spend a sunny morning or afternoon with everyone. 

But if the city noises and touristy places become too much for you, you can try a peaceful walk around the garden instead. The three unmistakable glass domes are home to some of the world’s most fascinating plants. 

And if you are heading from the city center to the central train station on a hot summer day, the botanical garden may just be the perfect stopover for the children to grab a drink or ice cream. 

Best of all, the entrance is free!

7. Savor the Fondue

A visit to Switzerland isn’t complete without proper fondue tasting. The country’s national dish is widely available even on the most sweltering summer days at a slew of outdoor restaurants. 

The fondue is a melting pot of various aromas, with fire-melted cheese as the main ingredient. And it’s best taken with stale bread or potatoes. 

Here’s the good news for everyone visiting Zurich – the world’s best fondue (according to Taste Atlas and more than 20 food critics) is at Swiss Chuchi, Rosengasse 10. 

8. Take a Thermal Bath with a View

Looking to recharge your batteries in a hot spa session amidst stunning architecture? 

You can take a bath in the renowned mineral waters of the Aqui source for a taste of the ancient Roman-Irish bathing culture. 

And while you’re at it, enjoy panoramic views of Zurich from the rooftop. But why stop there? You can also choose between a range of massages and treatments, as well as local snacks and drinks.

9. Have a Drink at the Jules Verne Panorama Bar

For those looking for romantic things to do in Zurich, Jules Verne Panorama Bar is as close to perfection as it gets. 

An almost aerial view of the city and Lake Zurich, traditional wine of the local variety, and good company. What more could you ask for?

This dreamy bar can get crowded in peak season, but it’s well worth the wait to get your window seating. It’s also within walking distance of the Bahnhofstrasse, a great place to take a break from your shopping adventure.

10. Roam Around Zurich on Two Wheels

Cycle around Lake Zurich on dedicated bike lanes or take a ride on the banks of the Limmat River. You can zip through the city’s narrow main streets or dive deeper to explore the suburban area. 

Those into bikes will love the idea of renting them for free and going on scenic rides all day long. All you have to do is pick up a bike, present an ID, and pay a deposit of 20 CHF. The primary location for this is the Bike Station Main train station of Europaplatz and it operates all year round. 

Enjoy the Multifaceted Zurich

Zurich is a city where the Medieval meets the modern for a perfect combination of both worlds. Visitors stand to experience all of that while being surrounded by some of the most scenic natural landscapes.

And when you get there, you’ll soon find out that one trip isn’t enough for everything it has to offer.

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