The Bahnofstrasse, a boulevard with famous Swiss and International brands, starts at the Railway Station for sightseeing. On the north side, winding streets lead to Old Town along the banks of the river. Before crossing, enter the Fraumünster to view the Chagall stained glass windows. Grossmünster Cathedral is across the nearby bridge. Visit the Zürich Kunsthaus Fine Arts Museum that has such an enormous collection that another building will be opened in 2017.
Although most of Zurich is flat, there are hills on the Grossmünster side of the Limmat that could be challenging.
Monuments can be seen aboard a river cruise. Lake cruises are also available.
Zürich offers historical palace hotels which mix harmoniously with the contemporary accommodations, most of which are in the city center near the Limmat River or the shores of Lake Zürich. The elegant Hotel Schweizerhof is right across from the Hauptbahnoff (Main Rail Station). Similar “Grand Dame” styles include the Bellerive au Lac and the Eden au Lac. Boutique hotel lovers will be fascinated with the Hotel Widder, a medieval butcher’s guild.
The Hauptbahnoff block is being renovated which could be noisy.
Zürich West, a former industrial zone, is becoming a very trendy neighborhood with new hotels, one being The 25 Hours Hotel.
Zürich has a plethora of restaurants in the city center and along the banks of the Limmat River. Charming cafés are tucked away off ancient streets in Neumarkt. Swiss cuisine is assured at Veltliner Keller, a restaurant since 1551. Try superb and trendy restaurants west of the center on Langstrasse. La Salle, a fusion restaurant, was created aesthetically within a shipbuilding factory in the trendy industrial district.
Zürich restaurant prices are higher than in other Swiss cities.
Make reservations because Zürich residents love to go out and eat.
Be Sure to Sample:
Casa Aurelio's grilled and roasted meats or delicious rice dishes.
There is a lively nightlife in Zurich for all ages and tastes. Large venues like the historical Volkshaus and newer Hallenstadion offer famous international and Swiss entertainers. Nightclubs and theatre clubs are everywhere, some open until 4:00 AM. Formerly industrial, Zurich West attracts nightlife as does the Langstrasse area. Enjoy casual evenings at the beer halls along the Niederdorf. Stop for a drink at the Café Odeon, Limmatquai 2 which attracts an eclectic crowd. Former patrons include Einstein, Mussolini. James Joyce and William Somerset Maugham.
Ask for a drink list. Cocktails can be surprisingly expensive. Beer, wine or even coffee may become the preferred choice.
Bahnofstrasse is THE shopping street. Most visitors look for Swiss watches, the best local souvenir. A large collection is at Bucherer. There are also smaller boutiques on and off the Bahnhofstrasse. On the other side of the river, there is a diversity of shops especially in Neumarkt and Niederdorf with clothing, antiques, books and more.
As in all crowded places, be cautious about pickpockets.
Do not overlook the train station which has a large mall of shops below it as well as a farmers' market in the large hall on Wednesdays.