Tourist’s guide to Zurich – attractions to see in one day

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland, with a history of about 11 centuries. It is located in a picturesque landscape on the shores of Lake Zurich, surrounded by forested Alpine mountains. Tourists who come to Zurich will be able to see the sights in just one day – although there are many tourist sites here, they are located not far from each other. In this article, we have reviewed the most interesting sights of Zurich.

Zurich, Switzerland

Hauptbahnhof Central Station

Hauptbahnhof Central Station

The first attraction that guests of Zurich usually get to know is the Hauptbahnhof Central Station. Not only long-distance trains arrive here, but also a train from the airport. You can get there in 10 minutes by paying 7 francs for a ticket.

Monument to Alfred Escher - the founder of the railways
Monument to Alfred Escher

The Hauptbahnhof train station is striking in its scale – it is one of the largest in Europe. The two-story building of the station is decorated with columns and sculptures, in front of the entrance stands a monument to Alfred Escher – the founder of the railways and the Credit Bank of Switzerland. Directly from this monument begins the famous Bahnhofstrasse street leading to Lake Zurich.

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If you are interested in what to see in Zurich in 1 day, you can start exploring the city directly from the train station and nearby streets, where many of the attractions are located: the Swiss National Museum, Pestalozzi Park, St. Peter’s Church with the famous nine-meter clock on the tower, Paradeplatz square .

St. Peter's Church, Zurich
St. Peter’s Church

From the station, all these facilities are within walking distance. And if you want to use public transport, the ticket from the airport is valid for 1 hour from the date of purchase, and you can use it to travel around the city. It is most convenient to get acquainted with the city, having a map of Zurich with attractions in Russian, which is presented on our website.

On Sundays and in the evening, shops and pharmacies in Switzerland are closed, which is why the station supermarket is very handy, which is open every day until 22.00.

Bahnhofstrasse

Bahnhofstrasse

The Bahnhofstrasse street leading from the central station to Lake Zurich is the main tourist route of Zurich, however, this attraction in the photo, as a rule, is not very impressive. After all, the main thing in it is not the beauty of architecture, but the invisible spirit of wealth and luxury that reigns here. To appreciate the charm of this street, you need to visit it.

Shops on Bahnhofstrasse

Bahnhofstrasse is one of the richest streets in the world, here are the largest banks in Switzerland, jewelry stores, five-star hotels and boutiques of the world’s most expensive brands of clothing, shoes, accessories. Shopping here is not budgetary, but no one is forbidden to go to stores just to look at the assortment and ask the price.

Globus Shopping Center
TC Globus

Not far from the Hauptbahnhof station near Bahnhofstrasse is the large Globus shopping center, which occupies 6 floors of a huge complex. It works 9.00-20.00, every day, except Sunday. Prices in it are higher than in other stores, but in the season of sales, purchases can be profitable.

At the end of the Bahnhofstrasse, tourists will have a pleasant opportunity to look at the beautiful view of Lake Zurich.

See also: Basel is a large industrial and cultural city in Switzerland .

Niederdorf District

Niederdorf district

Niederdorf Street also starts from Hauptbahnhof Central Station, leading to the historic district, which attracts tourists with the unique color of the old town. If you are in Zurich in transit and do not know what to see in one day, then go to Niederdorf and you will not be mistaken. Narrow streets with ancient architecture, small squares with fountains, antique and souvenir shops, bookstores envelop you in the atmosphere of medieval Europe. This is one of the main attractions of Zurich, the same must have, without which acquaintance with Switzerland would be incomplete.

Many cafes in the Niederdorf area

There are many cafes and restaurants with different cuisines in Niederdorf; tourist life here does not stop even in the evening. Most cafes are open until 23.00, some establishments are open until midnight.

The mass of hotels of various price categories allow tourists to get a comfortable night in the heart of the old city.

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Zurich Quay Limmatquai

The Limmat River flows through the historic city center, originating in Lake Zurich. On both its banks is the pedestrian promenade Limmatquai – one of the main tourist arteries of Zurich. It starts near the train station and leads to the promenade of Lake Zurich.

Zurich Quay Limmatquai
Gallery Helmhaus, Zurich
Gallery Helmhaus

Walking along the Limmatquai, you can see many sights: the majestic old Grossssmüsser Cathedral, the hallmark of which are two tall towers, the Water Church, the Helmhaus Gallery. On the right bank rises the 17th-century Town Hall, built in the Baroque style. Historic mansions, pavements, cathedrals, immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the old city. On pedestrian bridges you can cross from one shore to another, going into numerous shops and relaxing on the benches of cozy squares. To cover all the sights of Zurich, it is advisable to have a photo with a description.

Cafe Odeon, Zurich
Cafe Odeon

On the waterfront there are many colorful cafes and bars, the most famous of which is the Odeon cafe, located near the lake. The centennial history of this legendary institution is associated with many great artists, scientists and politicians, here there were Erich Maria Remarque, Stefan Zweig, Arturo Toscanini, Einstein, Ulyanov-Lenin and others.

Grossmunster Cathedral (Grossmunster)

Walking along the Limmat River embankment, you can visit one of the main attractions of Switzerland – the Grossmunster Cathedral. Two of its magnificent towers rise on the city and give everyone the opportunity to look at its surroundings from a bird’s eye view.

City view from the tower of the Grossmunster Cathedral
Grossmunster Cathedral

The construction of Grossmunster began more than 900 years ago. According to legend, its founder was Charlemagne, who indicated the place of construction of the future shrine where his horse fell to his knees before the graves of the patron saints of Zurich. At first, the cathedral belonged to a man’s monastery for a long time, and from the 16th century it became the citadel of the Protestant Reformation.

In the Grossmunster Cathedral

Now Grossmunster is an active Protestant church, the Reformation Museum operates under it.

  • Open for visits on weekdays from 10.00 to 17.00 in the period November-February, and from 10.00 to 18.00 – March-October.
  • The duration of the tour is 1 hour, its program includes the ascent to the 50-meter tower, inspection of the Roman crypt and capital, church choirs, bronze doors.
  • The cost of the tour for a group of 20-25 people is 200 francs.
  • Ascent to the tower – 5 CHF.

Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus Zurich)

On the embankment of the lake, the building of the Zurich Opera attracts attention. This opera house was built in the early twentieth century, and by the 70s came into disrepair. At first they wanted to demolish the old theater and build a new building, but then it was decided to restore it. After restoration in the 80s, the building of the opera house appeared as we see it now – made in the neoclassical style, in light stone lining, with columns and busts of great poets and composers.

Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus Zurich)

There are many benches in the square in front of the Opernhaus Zurich, where the townspeople and guests of the city like to relax, enjoying the views of the lake and beautiful architecture.

The rich interior of the Zurich opera is not inferior in beauty to the best theaters in Europe. The rococo-style hall has a capacity of 1200 seats.

In the hall of the Zurich Opera

On the stage of Opernhaus Zurich you can watch the performances of many famous opera and ballet artists of Switzerland and other countries. The schedule of performances and the price of tickets can be found at the box office, as well as at www.opernhaus.ch.

Note! 50 km north of Zurich is the town of Schaffhausen and the richest Rhine Falls in the country. Find out how to get to it and visit features on this page .

Uetliberg Mountain

If you look at Zurich and its attractions on the map, you can see that this city is located between two mountains – Zurichberg in the east and Uetliberg in the west. On one of these mountains, Whitliberg, there is an observation tower, thanks to which this place has become one of Zurich’s most popular attractions. The opportunity to look at the city, lake and snow-capped peaks of the Alps from above attracts many tourists.

Observation deck on Mount Whitliberg
Train to Mount Whitliberg

Going to Uetliberg Mountain, it should be borne in mind that at the top of the mountain it is always colder than in the city, strong winds are possible. This will help to take a break from the summer heat, but in cooler weather when climbing to Uetliberg Mountain, warming may be required. Therefore, it is recommended to stock up on warm

    clothes, take a hat.

  • You can get to Uetliberg Mountain from the Hauptbahnhof central station by train S10 in a third of an hour, trains run daily at intervals of 30 minutes, a 2-way ticket will cost CHF16.8. From the final stop of the train to the top, you will have to overcome a 10-minute climb up the hill or take a taxi.
  • Opening hours of the central station: Mon-Sat 8: 00-20: 30, Sun 8: 30-18: 30.

At sunset on Mount Whitliberg

In addition to exploring the panorama on Mount Whitliberg, you can walk along a 6-kilometer walking route, ride a steam glider, and have a picnic with a barbecue in a specially equipped place. There is also a hotel and a restaurant with an outdoor area, open from 8.00 to 24.00.

Experienced tourists are advised not to climb Uetliberg Mountain in the early sunny morning, because at this time when trying to take pictures of the city, the sun will shine in the lens. It is better to postpone a visit to this attraction in the middle and afternoon.

Did you know? Mount Pilatus is one of the Most visited in Switzerland, and you will definitely not be bored here. What you can see and what to do with the sights see on this page .

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Lindenhof Lookout

Lindenhof Lookout

If you need to see Zurich and its attractions in one day, then you may not have enough time to visit Mount Whitliberg. But there are other ways to see and photograph beautiful panoramas of Zurich, for example – to visit the observation deck Lindenhof (Lindenhof).

The observation deck is located in a green recreation area on a hilltop in the center of Zurich. Translated from German by Lindenhof means “Linden Yard”, this name appeared due to the abundance of lindens in this park. On fine days, it is always crowded, numerous benches are constantly occupied by vacationing locals and visitors.

Fountain with a statue of the warrior virgin

Attention of tourists is attracted by an old fountain with a statue of a warrior maiden, a Masonic lodge building and a platform with a beautiful view of the old city and the Limmat river embankment. The fountain was erected in honor of the brave women of Zurich, who at the beginning of the XIV century changed into men’s clothes and joined the army of defenders of the city. The sight of such a large army frightened off the invaders, and they retreated.

You can get to Lindenhof from St. Peter’s Basilica along the Shüssel Alley, which passes into the Pfalz Alley. Entrance to the observation deck is free.

You might be interested in: Interesting facts about Lucerne and the sights of the city .

Zurich Zoo (Zoo Zurich)

Among what you can see in Zurich, a special place is occupied by the Zurich Zoo (Zoo Zurich). It will take more time to examine it than to get acquainted with other attractions. In order to go around the whole territory and observe all the representatives of the fauna, of which more than 375 species are collected here, you need to allocate at least 3-4 hours to visit the zoo, and preferably all day.

At the zoo Zoo Zurich
Penguins at Zoo Zurich

Zoo Zurich is one of the largest zoos in Europe, it occupies 15 hectares, animals live here in conditions close to natural. Visitors in their reviews note spacious clean enclosures, as well as the well-fed and well-groomed appearance of their inhabitants. Here you can see tigers, lions, elephants, snow leopards, penguins, Galapagos turtles and many other species.

In the tropical pavilion "Masoala"

Of particular interest to visitors is the tropical Mazoala Pavilion, where the ecosystem of the Madagascar tropics is artificially recreated. On an area of ​​about 1 hectare, the temperature and humidity characteristic of tropical rainforests are maintained, plants are planted and more than 40 species of inhabitants of the humid tropics are planted – various species of reptiles, amphibians, exotic birds, monkeys. The freedom of these animals is limited only by the walls of the pavilion. Excursionists have a unique opportunity to look at the life of representatives of the fauna of the rainforest in their natural environment.

Inhabitant of the Wet Tropics

Zoo opening hours:

  • 9-18 from March to November,
  • 9-17 from November to February.

The Mazoala Pavilion opens an hour later.

  • Ticket price: adults over 21 years old CHF 26, youth 16-20 years old – CHF 21, children 6-15 years old – CHF 12, children under 6 years old admission is free.
  • Address: Zürichbergstrasse 221.8044 Zurich, Switzerland. Directions from the central station by tram number 6 to the final.

Swiss National Museum

In Zurich is the national museum of Switzerland, this attraction is located near the Central Station. The building of the Swiss National Museum was built at the end of the nineteenth century, but resembles a medieval fortress with numerous turrets and green courtyards. An extensive exhibition covers 4 floors – from the prehistoric finds of archaeologists to the exhibits of the chivalrous period of Swiss history.

Swiss National Museum
At the Swiss National Museum

The visitors are greatly interested in the collections of Swiss furniture, clothes, porcelain, wooden sculptures, knightly armor, emblems, and coins. All exhibits are labeled with explanatory texts in several languages. A separate exposition is dedicated to the history of banking in Switzerland. When visiting a museum, it is recommended to look at its plan in order to better navigate the location of museum halls.

The Swiss National Museum is located near the train station.

  • Opening hours: 10-17, on Thursday – 10-19, Monday – day off.
  • Ticket price – CHF 10, children under 16 years old admission is free.
  • Address: Museumstrasse 2, Zurich 8001, Switzerland.

On a note! Half an hour from Zurich is the richest city in Switzerland – Zug. Why it is worth a visit, read this article .

Zurich Museum of Fine Arts (Kunsthaus) Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zurich)
Zurich Museum of Fine Arts

Kunsthaus is one of the most important sights of Zurich, there is something to see for those who are interested in fine art. Kunsthaus Zurich is located near the Grossmunster Cathedral in a building specially built for it in the early twentieth century.

Visit to the Zurich Museum of Fine Arts

The museum’s collection includes works of Swiss art from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. A significant part of the collection is made up of paintings and drawings by Swiss artists, but there are also works by European artists such as Edward Munch, Van Gogh, Eduard Manet, Henri Russo, Marc Chagall. Kunsthaus Zurich regularly hosts exhibitions of paintings by internationally renowned artists and photographers.

  • Kunsthaus is open: on Wednesdays and Thursdays 10-20, Monday is a day off, other days of the week – 10-18.
  • Ticket price: for adults CHF 23, children under 16 – free of charge, audio guide CHF 3.
  • Address: Winkelwiese 4, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland. You can get on the bus number 31, trams number 3, number 5, number 8, number 9.
FIFA Museum (FIFA World Football Museum)

In Switzerland, in Zurich is the headquarters of FIFA, so it is not surprising that the museum of world football was opened here in 2016. A visit to it will be interesting mainly to football fans. Documents and football trophies reflect the history of football, exhibits related to significant football events and victories – signed balls and T-shirts, photos from the FIFA archives and other memorabilia are displayed.

At the FIFA Museum (FIFA World Football Museum)

For children there is an interesting interactive part with watching videos, games on simulators, dancing and master classes. The museum building has a cafe, sports bar, bistro, gift shop.

  • Opening hours: Tue-Thu 10-19, Fri-Sun 10-18. Monday is a day off.
  • Ticket price adult – 24 francs, children 7-15 years old – 14, up to 6 years old – free of charge.
  • Address: Seestrasse 27, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland.

If you have to visit Zurich, the attractions described in this article will make your stay rich and interesting.

Schedule and prices on the page are for October 2018.

Map of Zurich with landmarks in Russian.

If the photo of Zurich did not impress you, watch the video with views of the night city – the quality of shooting and editing is on the level!



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