It may not be Switzerland’s capital, but Zurich is the country’s largest city. With its plethora of shops, fine architecture, excellent transportation network and surrounding natural beauty, Zurich has much to offer. A trip to Zurich is rarely cheap; a healthy bank balance will help you explore its full potential. Still, the locals are friendly and multilingual, and your stay should be relatively hassle-free.
Zurich’s inhabitants relish spending cash, and luxury shops are all over the city center. Bahnhofstrasse is the major shopping thoroughfare; take a walk down its length to see high-end clothes and accessories flaunted in the windows. Make sure you sample the delights of Bahnhofstrasse’s chocolatiers too.
The city skyline is punctuated with the towers of ancient churches, most conspicuously those of the Grossmuenster. This is more than just an inspiring building, it’s the birthplace of Switzerland’s religious revolution. Whatever architecture you fall in love with, Lake Zurich is bound to steal your heart. It is striking both in its size and its postcard prettiness.
During the winter, Zurich makes an ideal cultural stop-off for passing skiers. You can just as easily enjoy a long weekend in the summer on the lake’s boats and beaches. This is a city that is consistently stunning, whether dusted in snow or backed by brilliant blue sky. See Zurich in all its splendor by climbing the observation tower at Mt. Uetliberg.
Getting to Zurich is straightforward. Its main train station, Zurich Hauptbahnhof, is a hub of international interchange. Zurich’s airport is 7.4 miles (12 kilometers) from the city center; fast trains run from there to downtown every few minutes. A comprehensive tram network covers the center of the city and will also take you to the fringes of nature quickly.
June to August is the height of summer in Zurich, with temperatures reaching 86 F (30 C). For a winter break with a probable chance of snow, come between December and February.