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Cityscape of downtown Zurich in Switzerland during sunset.

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

#1
Lake Zurich (Zürichsee)

Lake Zurich (Zürichsee)

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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
#2
Rhine Falls (Rheinfall)

Rhine Falls (Rheinfall)

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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
#3
Zurich Old Town (Altstadt)

Zurich Old Town (Altstadt)

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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
#4
Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus Zürich)

Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus Zürich)

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The Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus Zurich is one of the busiest classical music venues in the world and is a delight for both classical music lovers as well as architecture enthusiasts. Opened in 1891, the building was designed by Viennese architects and incorporates neoclassical and rococo styles.More
#5
Bahnhofstrasse

Bahnhofstrasse

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One of the most expensive strips of retail space in Europe, Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse is known for its many luxury shops that sell designer fashion, jewelry, perfume, chocolate, and, of course, watches. While many visitors only go to window shop, the street is one of the city’s main commercial areas, frequented by both locals and travelers.More
#6
Mount Rigi

Mount Rigi

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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
#7
Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Shop

Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Shop

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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
#8
Grossmünster Church

Grossmünster Church

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As the birthplace of the Swiss Reformation, this Romanesque church remains one of Zurich Old Town’s most iconic landmarks, thanks to its blend of medieval architecture and modern features. The south tower’s observation deck offers sweeping city vistas, while an 11th-century crypt and small museum reveal more about the site’s rich history.More
#9
Fraumünster Church

Fraumünster Church

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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
#10
Lindenhof

Lindenhof

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This Old Town district is thought to be where Zurich began as a Roman fort in the second century. For years, its hilltop location played an important role in defending and governing the city. Today, its main square is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike, known for its open-air chess boards, leafy avenues, and panoramic city views.More

Trip ideas

Swiss Alps Adventures from Zurich

Swiss Alps Adventures from Zurich

How to Spend 2 Days in Zurich

How to Spend 2 Days in Zurich

Top activities in Zurich

Swiss Alps Day Trip from Zurich: Jungfraujoch and Bernese Oberland
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Mount Titlis and Lucerne Day Tour from Zurich
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Mount Rigi and Lucerne Summer Day Trip from Zurich
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Fondue and Wine Tuk Tuk Tour in Zurich
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Jungfraujoch: Top of Europe Day Trip from Zurich
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Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich
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Heidiland and Liechtenstein Tour from Zurich: Two Countries in One Day
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Glacier Paradise Mount Titlis Guided Tour from Zurich Including Lucerne
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Zurich Tour: 6 hours on shore, on water, in the air!
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Black Forest and Rhine Falls Day Trip from Zurich
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Zurich City Tour Experience

Zurich City Tour Experience

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Things to do in Zurich this...

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Recent reviews from experiences in Zurich

star-5
Zurich Tour!
Natalia_F, Jun 2022
Zurich Tour Including Lake Cruise and Lindt Home of Chocolate
I recommend this tour for anyone wanting to see the city in one day.
star-5
A great tour
Midori_C, May 2022
Heidiland and Liechtenstein Tour from Zurich: Two Countries in One Day
We managed to see so much in one day.
star-4
Good sights and good guides but a bit too rushed
Chistine_M, May 2022
Supersaver: Zurich Highlights Tour, Rhine Falls and Stein am Rhein from Zurich
Rhine Falls a must see Stein am Rhein good Liked the University area in Zurich Good for first time visitors of Switzerland and Zurich
star-5
Walking tour of Zurich
Vicki_H, May 2022
Zurich Old Town Walking Tour
Eugenie was wonderful in handling the German speaking group and English.
star-5
Great tour - well...
Mark_G, May 2022
Zurich City Highlights Tour with Felsenegg Cable Car and Ferry Ride
Would recommend to anyone wanting to see the key sites of Zurich and the surrounding area.
star-4
Nice tour
Mahitha_R, May 2022
Zurich City Tour Experience
It was a vey nice way to see the whole of Zurich in a short time.
star-5
Wonderful trip!
Linda_S, May 2022
Rhine Falls and Stein am Rhein Half-Day Tour from Zurich
This was a great trip and a first time to Zurich and the Rhine Falls.
star-5
This tour was fun. Ana...
Aboubacar_D, Apr 2022
Heidiland and Liechtenstein Tour from Zurich: Two Countries in One Day
This would allow for adding more activities and sightseeing in Liechtenstein.
star-5
Great tour...Do it!
Elizabeth_F, Apr 2022
Zurich City Highlights Tour with Felsenegg Cable Car and Ferry Ride
Zurich is great So many places to visit.
star-5
Great thing to do for first timers in Zurich!
Kendra_H, Mar 2022
Zurich Old Town Walking Tour
I got to see places I probably wouldn’t have on my own and she gave us key insights.
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Beautiful Tour
Elizabeth_F, Feb 2022
Glacier Paradise Mount Titlis Guided Tour from Zurich Including Lucerne
It was a great day trip to take from Zurich too to be able to see the mountains that Switzerland is known for.
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Amazing Rhine Falls Tour from Zurich
Anushka_K, Jun 2022
Rhine Falls Tour from Zurich
Amazing Rhine Falls Tour from Zurich.
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Must do day-trip!
Kayla_H, Jun 2022
Mount Titlis and Lucerne Day Tour from Zurich
The drive was beautiful and we got to see a ton of storybook towns on the way to Lucerne.
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Good, a few suggestions
Colleen_E, May 2022
Mount Titlis and Lucerne Day Tour from Zurich
Once at Titlis, it is fabulous: great views, fun activities for everyone like snow tubing or sledding, a glacier cave and walk across an abyss.
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Phenomenal way to say some key Zurich attractions in a day!
Hannah_A, May 2022
Zurich Tour: 6 hours on shore, on water, in the air!
My sister and I booked this tour because we were only in Zurich for a few days but wanted to see all of the things this tour offered, and it didn’t disappoint!
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Great tour of Zurich
Mark_W, May 2022
Zurich Tour: 6 hours on shore, on water, in the air!
If you’ve only got one day then this is a superb way to see the highlights of Zurich.
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An Absolute Highlight
Cathy_S, Apr 2022
Private Day Tour to Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen Valley and Mürren from Zurich
Marc made it possible for us to see and experience parts of Switzerland we would not have been able to see on our own using the train system.
star-5
THE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER!
Patrick_A, Feb 2022
À Maurice Watch Workshop in Zurich
A five-star rating does not do this experience justice, the shop is lovely and eclectic in a very homey comfortable way, like when you go over to a friend’s house… comfortable, welcoming, unpretentious but classy, sophisticated, energetic… you must go to see and feel it.
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Really informative walk...
Kathy_H, Nov 2021
Zürich Historic District Tour
Timing perfect to see all the streets lit up for Christmas.
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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.
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All about Zurich

Time Zone
CEST (UTC +1)

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.

Frequently Asked Questions