The Most Iconic Views in Zurich

From one of Switzerland’s most iconic lakes to quaint cobblestone backstreets, there are certain unforgettable views in Zurich. Elegance and efficiency are entwined at Zurich’s Paradeplatz, home to many of the largest Swiss banks. Expense and affluence are flaunted on Bahnhofstrasse, lined with designer shops. Nostalgia fills the air around James Joyce’s grave at Friedhof Fluntern cemetery, and the view of the stained glass windows in Zurich’s Fraumünster church is sublime.

Bürkliplatz
The tree-lined Utoquai and Arboretum at Enge offer excellent views of Lake Zurich and the snow-capped Alps, but the iconic spot for lake-gazing is at the Bürkliterrasse, with its statue of Zeus and Ganymede and straight-shot view of the Alps. Photo © Bruno Macor /FB/Zürich Tourismus.
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 has sleek brown leather sofas, a circular wood-burning fireplace, and yes, phenomenal panoramic views of the city.
Maagpl. 5, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
Atop the Prime Tower, Switzerland’s tallest building, Clouds offers two dining experiences: an ambitious restaurant that serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as a Jerusalem artichoke velouté with smoked mackerel as well as a bistro with more casual dishes and a terrific weekend breakfast. Both offer phenomenal views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Photo © Clouds.
Geroldstrasse 17, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
It seems like every other person in Zurich—at least among the label-conscious, under 40-set—has a Freitag, the cult messenger bags made from old truck tarps, with no two alike. While brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag started their brand back in 1993, their flagship Zurich store only opened in 2006. The wait was worth it: the coolest shop in the city consists of 19 stacked shipping containers with a rooftop for a birds-eye view of the industrial neighborhood below.
Kurhausstrasse 65, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland
This landmark hotel, built in the Swiss rustic style popular at the turn of the 19th century, has hosted Winston Churchill, Arturo Toscanini, Albert Einstein, the Shah of Iran, Henry Kissinger, and the Rolling Stones, among others. Situated high above Zurich, with a sweeping forest and a golf course for company, it offers breathtaking views of the city, the lake, and even—on clear days—the Alps.

Renovated in 2008 by Lord Foster for a cool 385 million Swiss francs, it now features a bold, contemporary edifice that wraps around the turreted original, two entirely new wings (the Spa Wing and the Golf Wing), and a completely revamped interior. While the rooms in the Main Building (the historic structure) are appointed with traditional furniture and hand-painted wallpaper to give a regal, turn-of-the-century feel, the newer rooms are equipped with balconies and bathrooms of white marble or sand-colored Jura limestone. Imagined by London-based United Designers, they also come with flat-screen televisions with integrated Bang & Olufsen CD and DVD players.

The four signature suites sprawl over hundreds of square meters and feature steam showers, whirlpool baths, and even (in one case) a grand piano. The hotel also offers an expansive spa and wellness center.
Mythenquai 9, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
The most centrally-located mixed badi boasts a prime spot on Lake Zurich, though not too much swimming actually goes on here—it’s more about sunbathing, people-watching, and the occasional dip. There’s also a sauna, massage treatments and outdoor yoga sessions, all surrounded by a beautiful arboretum and fantastic views of the Alps. Photo © Martin Rütschi/Zürich Tourism.
Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
Paris has the Sacré-Coeur, on top of Montmartre, for catch-your-breath views of the city. Zurich’s answer: the terrace at ETH Zurich. Also known as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and where Einstein was an alum, it lords high above the city for prime views beyond to the lake, the Uetliberg, and the Alps. The bQm café and bar lets you pair that stellar view with a drink.
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