Discover the Best of Zurich
Ten top picks for Switzerland's largest city.
The Wilderness Park Zürich offers the Sihlwald forest, a former timber forest now left to the wild, and Langenberg Park, a wilderness park filled with wild animals such as beavers, bears and lynx in their natural habitats. This vast nature experience park is fun for all ages and offers hiking, centuries-old trees, a museum, and wildlife encounters.
Enjoy lake Zürich. This incredible, clean, blue body of water lined with parks and promenades is a great way to slow down, relax and watch a beautiful sunrise or set. In summers, join the locals and go for a swim in the pristine water.
Head up towards Basel, and you will discover the extraordinarily well-preserved ancient Roman city of Augusta Raurica on the southern bank of the Rhine. Here you can see the best-preserved Roman theater north of the Alps, ancient Roman houses and baths, and the largest antique silver treasure in the world.
Best Day Trip
When the urge to yodel becomes too overpowering you may want to consider an all-day trip to the three famous peaks of the Jungfrau massif. Take the train to Interlaken and marvel at the scenery of snow-capped mountains, green pastures and alpine villages. From Grindelwald, you can take the cog railway that climbs the Jungfraujoch pass (which is a bonus UNESCO heritage site) to the highest railway station in Europe.
Off the Beaten Path
Hardly a place tourists usually want to end up, the police station in Zürich is actually one of its best-kept secrets. Step inside the police headquarters in Banhofquai, and you'll see why. The lobby of the building, Giacometti Hall, is covered in a colorful fresco of orange and yellow flowers, making it the most stunning police station in the world.
Most Iconic Attraction
Don't miss seeing Grossmünster, Zürich's most recognizable landmark. The great church has two towers, ornate bronze doors, and gorgeous stained glass windows. This church is said to be founded by Charlemagne himself and is an essential piece of the history of Protestantism.
Don't miss the historic Kyburg castle which sits high above the river Töss and offers some great views. The well-preserved castle was once eastern Switzerland's most important and now offers a great museum with lots of artifacts and tours.
Neighborhood to Explore
No trip to Zürich would be complete without exploring the city center, especially Paradeplatz which is filled with banks and high-end businesses. A brief hike up Lindenhof Hill takes you to Lindenhofplatz, once the site of a Roman fort, and now a pleasant place to relax, play a game of chess and take in the views of the city.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
There is no better place to people-watch than a shopping district, and the Bahnhofstrasse is no different. As one of the world's most exclusive and expensive shopping districts, you can catch locals and tourists alike popping in and out of the high-end shops for clothing, technology, watches and jewelry.
Sit Down and Have a Beer
Centrally located on Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich's oldest and most famous beer hall, Zeughauskeller, is one stop that likely every tourist will make. This lively lunch spot built in 1487 is the best place to try hearty, traditional Swiss food and beer.