Zurich Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Zurich, Switzerland

While Zurich is the powerhouse for Switzerland’s economic and business agenda, there is still plenty to see and do in and around the city, from relaxing in quiet, peaceful parks to exploring quirky shopping areas in refurbished industrial sites. You can ride trains from the Hauptbahnhof and be on a peak breathing in sparkling air in a matter of minutes.

Explore the city’s rivers and the magnificent lake of supreme water quality for swimming. As the city buzzes with business activity, Zurich is one of the finest Swiss towns to visit for sightseeing on foot, marvel at the historic architecture, or just enjoy a cup of coffee while admiring the view.

Drink from a Water Fountain

A beautiful fountain in Zurich photo via Depositphotos
A beautiful fountain in Zurich photo via Depositphotos

To prepare yourself for the trip and be refreshed after arriving from an exhausting flight, there are more or less 1200 top quality fountains around the city of Zurich, most of which spew drinkable water 24 hours a day free of charge.

You don’t have to purchase bottled water, just stick your water bottle under one of the flowing spouts and drink from it.

Walk around the Old Town

Zurich old town at sunset photo via Depositphotos
Zurich old town at sunset photo via Depositphotos

Old Town holds a high concentration of clubs in the whole of Switzerland if you want to have fun, and one of the most famous shopping miles despite having a medieval background in history, seen from the contorted, narrow lands and guild halls from the Renaissance Period. Old Town is a cultural, social, and historical site for exploration.

The whole experience is like the people’s living history that existed and acted out their lives in architecture. Stroll through the narrow cobbled streets. It’s worth it to sightsee or walk uphill to Lindenhof park to get hold of the city’s vitality. You can enjoy the streets filled with history as well as modern shops and cafes.

Admire Kunsthaus Zurich

Kunsthaus Zurich by Roland zh via Wikipedia CC
Kunsthaus Zurich By Roland zh – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Kunsthaus Zürich traces its history back to a society of artists founded in 1787. It houses extensive works by several artists, including paintings created by Charles Munch, Van Gogh, Max Ernst, Magritte, and Marc Chagall. Witness artworks with the highest quality in a large quantity.

The Kunsthaus Zurich is home to Switzerland’s most important art collections, with more or less  4,000 paintings and sculptures and 95,000 prints and drawings made by the genius artists of the time.

Encase Yourself in the Glass Biodomes of the Botanical Gardens

Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich by Roland zh via Wikipedia CC
Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich By Roland zh – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Be sure to visit the architectural glass biodomes in Zurich’s Botanical Gardens. It’s interesting to learn more about various exotic tropical plants numbering 9,000 different species growing in the very well laid out garden that includes three Bio-Domes.

It’s best to visit during Spring as you’ll see the blooming and vitality of nature, although it’s still a sight to see during bad weather as the scenic atmosphere will still invigorate you.

Join the Street Parade

Street Parade in Zurich photo via Depositphotos
Street Parade in Zurich photo via Depositphotos

The annual Zurich street parade takes place every year in Zurich opposite lake Zurich. Connect with people at this electronic music festival in August, where you can see a long stretch of “Love Mobiles,” as they call it, and almost 100 DJs to spice up the mood. Be part of the dancing crowd of about a million people to dance the stress away when the pandemic ends.

It is the largest techno party in the world and an indisputable highlight of Zurich’s event calendar. Zurich comes to life during summer, which will make the city vibrate on the streets of Zurich.

Take a Look at Fraumünster Church’ Windows

Chagall Windows in Zurich by Jonathan Khoo via Flickr CC
Chagall Windows in Zurich by Jonathan Khoo via Flickr CC

Be amazed by this church’s history as it has been a spiritual site for Zurich residents for over a thousand years. The colorful sight of the Chagall Windows embedded in this church would surely amaze you with its beauty and history.

This world-famous masterpiece by Chagall impresses a lot of visitors, and it’s seen with his motto of “When I create something from my heart, almost everything goes well.”

Explore the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum

Swiss National museum (Landesmuseum) in Zurich, Switzerland photo via Depositphotos
Swiss National museum (Landesmuseum) in Zurich, Switzerland photo via Depositphotos

The Swiss National Museum is a neo-Gothic structure that houses the incredible cultural history of Switzerland. The museum is well known for its reconstructed rooms showcasing different periods in a furnished and decorative setting. The displays cover a wide range of art from prehistoric times until the 20th century and the archaeological collections discovered in Switzerland.

You will find a collection of paintings, and the other items have their expensive touch of gold in their costumes, metalwork, clocks, jewelry, crafts, instruments, and other antiquities.

Observe the Lovely Animals in Zurich Zoo

Kid observing gorillas at the Zoo Zurich in Switzerland photo via Depositphotos
Kid observing gorillas at the Zoo Zurich in Switzerland photo via Depositphotos

More or less 360 distinct animal species inhabit the Zurich Zoo, which is one of the best not just in Switzerland but also in Europe. Different animals live as close to their environments as possible, which makes the environment peaceful. You can see snow leopards relaxing on the rocky Himalayan landscape, penguins swimming and having fun in the cold icy water, and you can also see foxes from a canopy walk.

You can even watch an Asian elephant family play with their lovely adorable elephant while they swim. It’s going to be enjoyable, especially for kids who want to learn and for adults who want to see them firsthand.

Eat Your Heart Out at Confiserie Sprüngli

Confiserie Sprungli photo via Facebook Page
Confiserie Sprungli photo via Facebook Page

This confectioners café has been popular for visitors and locals alike since 1856. Passing by the shop would make you look at the temptation that you won’t be able to resist. Feast your eyes on the delicious and mouth-watering displayed truffles, bonbons, and cakes that are always freshly baked.

Be sure to purchase their signature macarons called “Luxemburgerli.” After you purchase and indulge in the flavors on the street floor, you can enjoy a drink and relax on the upstairs café-salon. They also serve breakfast, lunch, and afternoon desserts.

Get on Limmat Cruise

Limmat River Cruise by Hans Permana via Flickr CC
Limmat River Cruise by Hans Permana via Flickr CC

Down the main river of the city, just in front of the Swiss National Museum, you can get on a cruise from April to October to get a new view of Zurich’s Old Town. The boats are designed to travel under the city’s seven bridges on the Limmat. You will be able to see the Grossmünster and Fraumünster all at once from afar.

Don’t worry as it can accommodate up to 51 passengers, and a new one departs every half an hour, but it’s better to check their website and book in advance and not line up with the crowd that also wants to try the experience.

Have a Luxurious Shopping at Bahnhofstrasse

Zurich, Switzerland circa January, 2020/ Shop window display of a luxury boutique store on Bahnhofstrasse street in Zurich, Switzerland photo via Depositphotos
Zurich, Switzerland circa January, 2020/ Shop window display of a luxury boutique store on Bahnhofstrasse street in Zurich, Switzerland photo via Depositphotos

Bahnhofstrasse is the primary and premium shopping street as it marks the most expensive and priciest street, the world has every square meter.

Even sightseeing and window shopping would be a delight with the beautiful and elegant shop-fronts of the stores. Some of these luxury brands are Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry.

Beyer Clock and Watch Museum

Beyer Watch and Clock Museum by Horology via Wikipedia CC
Beyer Watch and Clock Museum By Horology at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, CC

If you’re fond of watches and their mechanisms, you can look at the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum. This museum conveys the history of timekeeping and the art of watch-making. When you enter to start your journey, they will hand you an iPad that provides in=depth information for each timepiece.

The most notable one goes back to about 3,400 years ago. Be delighted by displaying ancient navigation instruments, pendulum clocks, automata, and crafted pocket watches.

Zoological Museum

Zoological Museum in Zurich by Phil Shirley via Flickr CC
Zoological Museum in Zurich by Phil Shirley via Flickr CC

Enough with the expensive ones, we want something for free. Here at the Zoological Museum, you can enter without anything taken out from your pockets but gain invaluable knowledge about zoology. This attraction is operated by the university and is just a short walk from the city center. You’ll see a glorious display in the paleontology museum, where they showcase skeletons and taxidermies of thousands of animal species.

These species also included the extinct ones. They also play songs of 280 birds to immerse you with the beauty of nature, and you can look into microspores to see the insects up close. A bonus is touching a bear, and you can do that! They give you the experience of touching a bear’s fur and will be a safe experience.

Take a Thoughtful Walk on Zurich-West

Zurich - Im Viadukt by Fred Romero via Flickr CC
Zurich – Im Viadukt by Fred Romero via Flickr CC

If you want to rest from the bustling city, you can take a calm walk on Zurich-West’s streets that is just as stylish and creative as the Old Town.

Due to this generation’s advancement and modernity, the rebirth of beauty in this place has boomed. Make sure to pass by and see Viadukt, a railway viaduct where the brick arches have been filled with bars, restaurants, and shops.

Niederdorf

The medieval Grimmentum tower seen from the Neumarkt Square, located in the Rathaus historic quarter, Zurich, Switzerland. photo via Depositphotos
The medieval Grimmentum tower seen from the Neumarkt Square, located in the Rathaus historic quarter, Zurich, Switzerland. photo via Depositphotos

Another neighborhood you definitely should travel to is the Niederdorf, located under the towers of the Grossmünster. Enjoy the atmosphere of a car-free cobblestone alley of this place where you can think and stroll along without worries.

Be sure to also visit their Conditorei Péclard, a traditional cafe that would fascinate you with its century-old decorations.

Zurich Travel and Tour Packages

To help you plan out your vacation to Zurich, we listed places to visit and other amazing activities in Zurich, Switzerland. We also listed some of the best travel deals and tour packages and excellent flight deals and accommodation.

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Zurich hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Zurich, Switzerland? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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