Collected by Jessica Bourque
Rämistrasse 4, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Open since 1924, Zurich’s most esteemed classic restaurant exudes wealth—mahogany wood paneling, glittering chandeliers—and patrons would need a lot of it to dine here, too. (The veal steak with morel sauce and spätzli, a favorite, is an...
Bahnhofstrasse 28A, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Sure, the menu comes in a dozen languages, but Zeughauskeller is no mere tourist trap. Occupying a 15th century building on Paradeplatz, the setting—arched windows, wooden ceiling beams and stone columns—is transportive, while traditional dishes...
Sihlstrasse 28, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
With its sausage-centric food culture, Zurich may not be the most likely home for the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, but family-owned Hiltl has been serving up vegetarian fare for over four generations. This restaurant competes with the...
Münsterhof 8, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Zurich’s original 14 guilds were established in Medieval times to represent different crafts- and tradesmen, and their grand, stately buildings that still dot the city are a testament to their one-time power. Fortunately, most are well-preserved...
Limmatquai 40, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
At this 18th century guild house along the Limmatquai, tourists huddle under blankets around outdoor tables indulging on “fondue à discrétion” (all-you-can-eat fondue). Meanwhile, locals dine upstairs on traditional specialties like the meaty ...
Talstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Baur au Lac, the grande dame of Bahnhofstrasse hotels open since 1844, is home to the city's most beautiful restaurant, with a stunning glass gazebo with Lalique chandeliers overlooking the hotel’s private park. Chef Laurent Eperon’s dishes are...
Niederdorfstrasse 70, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
The right bank of the Limmat is home to the busy, cobblestoned Niederdorfstrasse, lined with bustling cafés, bars and restaurants, none more bustling than the sprawling over-a-century-old Johanniter, a can’t-miss-it spot with its giant Swiss and ...
Limmatquai 118, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This trendy apero spot with outdoor tables overlooking the Limmat River also doubles as a serious coffeehouse (inside, the gleaming La Marzocco provides a hint). Friendly baristas in bowties and newsboy caps pull what many consider to be Zurich’s...
Schiffbaustrasse 4, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
The Schiffbau, a renovated shipbuilding factory, is home to the glamorous restaurant LaSalle, the popular jazz club Moods, and this stunningly chic bar, which sits atop the 1892 brick structure in a striking glass cube. The modern-day clubhouse...
Höschgasse 8, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
The Swiss-born modernist giant was many things: architect, painter, sculptor, graphic artist, furniture designer, and writer. This museum, also known as the Centre Le Corbusier, is located in the Zürichhorn park, and offers a chance to view...
Heimplatz 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Rodin’s iconic “Gates of Hell,” an intricate sculptured bronze door marked by a central “Thinker,” stands at the entrance of the Kunsthaus, home of Zurich’s most important collection of modern art. Inside, there are works by Van Gogh, Munch and...
Schipfe, Schipfe, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Strolling down the Limmatquai is an obvious choice for most visitors to Zurich. But just across the Limmat, on its left bank, lies an even more charming path lined with cobblestones and a covered passageway with arches that overlook the river....
Neumarkt 5, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
The Niederdorf may be overrun with tourists, but it’s mostly locals who make their way down a quiet side street to this restaurant, which boasts excellent local wines, dishes driven by seasonal ingredients, and what might be the city’s loveliest...
Bahnhofstrasse 21, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
There are 14 outposts of the famed chocolate shop in and around town, but the one to go to is its flagship, which occupies a prime corner perch on Paradeplatz. There are gorgeous displays of Sprungli’s signature sweet, the Luxemburgerli,...
Rennweg 53, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This Zurich institution just off Bahnhofstrasse has been open for over a century, and is now run by Cristina de Perregaux, granddaughter of founder Fritz Honold. The confectioner and café offers terrific muesli and crisp Straumann Hüppen pastries,...
Napfgasse 4, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Über restaurateur Michel Péclard made waves in Zurich when he revamped Café Conditorei Schober, the historic 19th confectionary and coffee shop in the Altstadt. The result is a fairy-tale setting for terrific truffles, gorgeous cakes, and one of...
Grossmünsterplatz, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
According to legend, Zurich’s most iconic landmark was commissioned by Charlemagne. While Fraumünster, across the Limmat, draws onlookers with its stained-glass windows by Chagall, Grossmünster recently acquired destination-worthy...
Limmatquai 144, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
The terrace at ETH Zurich—where Einstein was an alum—lords high above the city for catch-your-breath views beyond to the lake and the Alps. A number of trams will take you to the terrace, but the most fun way to get there is on the fire-engine red...
Rindermarkt, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
There's no better place to get lost in Zurich than in the cobblestoned Niederdorf. Its real gems are its quaint side streets, like the Rindermarkt, home to the city’s last gas-powered street lamps and the Oepfelchammer, the city’s oldest preserved...
Münstergasse 17, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This Altstadt institution known for its specialty coffee beans, teas and spices also sells a small, but excellent selection of specialty Swiss chocolate bars, including Akesson’s and Idillio Origins, and delicious chocolate oddities like...
Weinpl. 3, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This wondrous four-floor toy shop in the Altstadt near the banks of the Limmat specializes in wooden toys, including all manner of wooden blocks, train sets and puzzles. It’s also the place to go for a giant selection of the iconic Trauffer cow,...
Lindenhof, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
It’s a bit of a climb up to this green oasis in the Altstadt, once home to a Roman fort and now a serene park, but the excellent views of the Limmat River and the city’s right bank—including a prime photo-op of Grossmünster Church—make it well...
Theaterstrasse 22, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Locals all agree this is the home of Zurich’s—perhaps Europe’s—best sausage. What they’re divided on is which is better, the St. Galler bratwurst or the Servelat—both superbly juicy, flavorful, and with excellent snap—and divine with a crusty...
Neugasse 33, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
Strictly locals convene at this shoebox-sized café with herringbone floors, a vintage sofa, and seven tiny tables steps from Josefstrasse’s funky boutiques. Coffee geeks will feel right at home—beans are roasted just two doors down, there’s a...
Niederdorfstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Overlooking a fountain in the busy, cobblestoned Niederdorf, Café Henrici could have coasted on its location alone. Yet, it stays true to its namesake—Christian Friedrich Henrici, the librettist behind Bach’s Coffee Cantata—and pays serious...
Denkmalstrasse 4, 6002 Luzern, Switzerland
I was forewarned that this monument to the slain Swiss soldiers killed in France was deeply moving, and that Mark Twain had called it "the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world." I still wasn't prepared for how heartwrenching it was....
Reusssteg 9, 6003 Luzern, Switzerland
Restaurant Nix's is located directly on the lakefront in Lucerne in a historic building that dates back to the 16th century. Featuring Continental cuisine with an Austrian influence, Nix's prides itself on fresh, local ingredients and seasonal...
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