Zurich (also spelt Zürich) is the largest and most popular city in Switzerland, but is also the capital of the canton (or federal state) of Zurich. It is based at in the very north of the country and is home to approximately 1.83 million people. It is always busy here, bustling with people throughout it’s airport and railway station. This however shouldn’t put you off visiting, as their population is actually rather small.
Surprisingly it was founded by the Romans in 15BC, but back then it went under the name “Turicum”. Zurich is also known worldwide for it’s lucrative financial centres, with extremely low tax rates. One of very many reasons why businesses and people alike relocate here. But for a quick visit, you only need to know about the culture and beauty of the country. There are many things to do in Zurich, but why visit?
The Great Outdoors
Although Zurich is known for a London style city centre, the size of the state actually means that you’re still left with an awful lot of beautiful scenery. The city centre is greatly condensed, so you can still go walking up and around staggeringly high mountains and take a trip to it’s peaceful lakes and rivers. The air is amazingly fresh here, with very little pollution. Perfect for relaxing.
The Museum of Art
Based in Kunsthaus, this exquisite museum is home to several unique and breathtaking pieces of art. You do have to pay a modest fee to enter (22 CHF), but it is worth it for the most amazing paintings and sculptures in the world. The museum was founded in 1787 and the premises was acquired in 1812, so they tirelessly fought for ownership of the building for 25 years.
This attraction costs nothing, but is also one of the most powerful on this list. Lake Zurich is a awe inspiring 25 miles long and 2 miles wide. It has a surface area of 34.23 square miles and is one of the most impressive sights in the whole of Switzerland. This is not exactly a lake for swimming, being 49 meters deep, but it is most certainly a postcard view from all angles. From the right angle you can see the lake with a backdrop of snow covered mountains (on a clear day).
The Zoological Museum
If you’re an animal lover then you’ll love this superb museum in Zurich. This marvellous building is home to thousands of various creature, both alive and extinct. It also has some impressively large creatures such as a mammoth skeleton and a stuffed giraffe. The displays are extremely tasteful, with none of the animals being purposefully killed for any of the exhibits. Not only is the inside of the building incredible but the outside is also something to talk about, a staggering piece of Swiss architecture.
The Great Music
Not overly famous for its live music, Zurich is actually home to some great music venues. For example, you have the Opera House where you can see various kinds of breathtaking musical and dramatic performances. But there is also various other smaller venues where you can find lots of unknown talent, in pubs and bars. Zurich is also known for having various music festivals (such as Zurich Open Air Festival), where you can see different genres of musician play. Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you’ll catch a few street performers in Bellevue Square!
The Botanical Garden
The beauty of this tourist destination is that it, like Lake Zurich, is free of charge and is quite vast. You could spend a good few hours here, looking at all the various fun and odd plants that grow here. Get lost in the peaceful surroundings and even have a small picnic if you want to, it’s totally open to anyone and everyone all all ages. The garden is protected by rather fetching glass domes, so the temperature is warm enough for the more exotic plants to live. Just remember to bring water.
If you’re a fan of chess then this is the place to go as there are always chess games going on here. The square is used mostly as a semi tram station/intersection, with plenty of traffic making its way through. Though ,besides the traffic, there are dozens of fantastic shops and stalls with super souvenirs and tasty treats to try. There is also a sizeable fountain or two which you can sit around and you can even get in a spot of sunbathing on a sunny day.
The Impressive Church Buildings
There are a big handful of quaint and grand churches in Zurich, they are not only rather impressive to look at but they are also extremely spiritual and full of culture. You can visit the Church of Our Lady , St Peter Church or even Water Church all in Old Town. You don’t have to be religious to admire the work put into the buildings or the sensational pieces of art within them.
Author bio: Jade Waddy is an experienced writer with an NOCN level 3 in journalism she writes on all manner of subjects but specialises in travel, working on behalf of @MyBreakTripUK