The Perfect Day in Zurich
Collected by Ratha Tep , AFAR Local Expert
Begin a perfect day in Zurich by taking in the grandeur of the city with catch-your-breath views from the terrace at ETH University. Head to Paradeplatz to feel the pulse of the city, afterward enjoy lunch at a traditional Swiss restaurant, then explore Zurich's most charming canal on foot. If by this point your legs are weary, head to the rooftop spa in Zurich’s Hürlimann area for late-afternoon pampering.
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...
Paradepl., 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This square on the left bank of the Limmat serves as the very crux of the city, a must-visit for understanding the Zurich way of life in all its elegance and efficiency. It’s home to the headquarters of its largest banks (Credit Suisse takes up...
Schanzengraben, Zürich, Switzerland
The Limmat River and Lake Zurich might be the showstoppers, but it would be a pity to overlook the charming Schanzengraben Canal. Built as a city fortification system in the 17th century, the canal is now lined with wooden boardwalks and sandstone...
Münsterhof 2, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This small, elegant church near Paradeplatz has been around since 853, but it wasn’t until 1970 when it received its crowning touch: five glorious stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall when he was in his 80s. Also not to be missed: Augusto...
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,...
Brandschenkestrasse 150, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
Over the past few years, Zurich’s Hürlimann area—the site of what once was Switzerland’s largest brewery—has transformed into the home of Google Zurich, a complex of shops, and this stunning spa built into the former brewery’s hundred-year-old...
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 ...
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...
Built on the site of Roman and Celtic ruins, the unassuming 5-star Widder Hotel comprises nine medieval townhouses that were painstakingly renovated over a 10-year period by Swiss architect Tilla Theus. The results are jaw-dropping, from the...
Seehofstrasse 11, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
Located just behind the Zurich Opera House, and oozing a warm, friendly ambience, it has a modern, minimal interior with 20 guestrooms (including a junior suite) that are crisp and clean, with white walls and contemporary furnishings.
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