Explore the financial city of Zurich

William

Mar 8, 2019

During my trip across Switzerland in summer 2018, I visited many great places and beautiful cities and today I will take you with me to Zurich. Being the financial centre of the country, Zurich is also the largest city and the capital of German-speaking part of Switzerland. It has many great things to offer its visitors such as one of the most expensive shopping streets worldwide, picturesque narrow streets in the centre or nice walkways on shores of Lake Zurich (Zürichsee). So come along with me to find out what to see in Zurich.

The city is located in the north part of Switzerland in the canton of Zurich and is also home to multiple financial institutions or banks.

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Grossmünster

 

 

After the morning arrival in the centre and leaving a car I made my way to get some great views first. The Protestant church of ‘great minster’ is one of the major ones in the city and dates back to the 12th century. Honestly, I am not so keen on visiting churches at all but when there is a possibility of going up a tower to get stunning panoramas of the place, I will always be queuing to get up there. The weather was very nice so I could take the photos down below. All for 5 CHF.

These pictures cover the direction of more than 180 degrees and show the area where we are going to be walking shortly.

Walk the Altstadt

The Old town of Zurich is situated on the same side of the river as the church so we can just get lost in the narrow streets full of souvenir shops, restaurants and coffee shops. While walking, we are meeting and dicovering the colorful architecture, which is typical for this part of Zurich.

Perhaps it was just because of the time I was there, around 11 AM, but I find the centre to be one of the emptiest of all cities I visited in Switzerland. Most of the people were around the lake so it made the streets more convenient to walk through.

Once we’ve found ourselves at the embankment, which seems to be more lively than the old streets around the church, we’ll cross the Limmat River walking on a Rathausbrücke. As the name suggests, the building in the left part of the photo below is the Rathaus.

The historical and most beautiful part of Zurich is divided into two parts by the River right in the half. Finally, this riverside appears to be more crowded.

The streets are decorated with many Swiss flags as in most of the bigger cities in the country. However, Zurich would be the winner in my opinion.

Little shops sell local products, flowers and souvenirs of all kinds. If you want some from Zurich, this is one of the best opportunities to buy it.

St. Peter Church

Within a short walking distance from the Rathaus is St. Peter Church. What is interesting about this is that the clock is not only the largest of all in Switzerland but even in entire Europe! It has a diameter of 8.7 metres.

From here it’s only a stone’s throw away to Lindenhof, a small park offering nice views of the city. But we’ve already seen enough of that I suppose so let’s move on closer to the lake.

Münsterhof

This square is the largest of all in the historical centre of the city and is surrounded by medieval townhouses. The iconic sight raising its green roof above the buildings is the Fraumünster church built at the same spot where an abbey used to stand hundreds of years ago.

Bahnhofstrasse

Walking towards the shore, we are meeting Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most expensive and luxurious shopping streets in the world. It connects the railway station with the embankment of Lake Zurich and is full of the most prestigious brands so the labels of goods show really high numbers. An average tourist will probably only walk by.

Flower Clock

As we made our way to the lake, we will now go to find the Flower Clock as we could not say we have been to Zurich without seeing that. The design is changed every year and the flower usually undergo a special test to make sure they will look great throughout the whole season.

Honestly speaking, I’ve seen such a clock in Geneva in the French-speaking part of Switzerland (where I am going to take you later) and it was much more beautiful. But as I have mentioned, the appearance is a subject to change.

The wide walkways surrounding the lake are decorated with a couple of statues and many people sit along the handrail chatting with each other. So calm and relaxing atmosphere. You can also meet a couple of buskers as for example the guy down below playing the Alphorn. This typical Alpine musical instrument is usually made from wood and was widely used by mountain dwellers to communicate prior to becoming an instrument only.

Zurich Opera House

The Opera House is another beautiful landmark we can admire in the city, however, I have connected it to a surprising experience.

When I was about to cross the road to get in front of the magnificent building and was waiting at the traffic lights a Vietnamese guy emerged saying “Ahoj” (which in Czech means Hello). I was there with my family so I was thinking someone of them had just said it and I didn’t really care about that. However, a second after that another guy was standing in front of me saying “Ahoj, já jsem Karel” (Hello, my name is Karel). And that was the moment I realised this was real. We were talking a while and he told us he came from the Czech Republic and had been living in Zurich for 3 years now. Traffic lights in Zurich are really a great place to meet Czech people 🙂

Walk along Lake Zurich

And finally, after walking the whole centre of this Swiss metropolis, it is time to relax a bit. You can wander around the lake enjoying nice views, cycle or even rent a pedal boat and head on the tiny waves. It’s only up to you.

Uetliberg

Raising to 2,800 feet above sea level, the Uetliberg tower will get you above the city and is another great way to enjoy impressive panoramas.

Trip summary

Time (h)

Price (CHF)

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Willflies Rating

Aforementioned time and price are only approximate.

 

So we’ve come to the end of today’s trip. I hope this article made you think about visiting Zurich and will help you when planning the itinerary.

You can now continue your trip across Switzerland to another great city, Lucerne.

Have you been to Zurich yet? If so, what did you like the most? Let me know in the comment section down below.

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more photos.

 

Safe Travels

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