What To See in Zurich, Switzerland: Zürich City Guide

what to do in zurich switzerland

The city of Zürich, mostly known as a luxury banking and finance center with a high quality of life is a picturesque city in northern Switzerland. The city is often mistaken to be the capital of Switzerland. It is not, the capital is in fact Bern. Zürich lies on two parts of the river Limmat, flowing into Lake Zürich, which makes the city fun for sightseeing and all water-related activities.

Have you been planning to visit Zürich recently? Here is your ultimate city guide to Zürich, Switzerland. All about what to see in Zurich, including a map of attractions and a hidden spot in the city!

Note: this post includes affiliate links. I gain a small commission from the provider each time you click the link and book a service through it. That comes at no extra cost to you. Every little commission helps me run this blog and provide better content for you.


  • The official currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF); most places accept Euros, but that can cost you a lot in exchange rates; check point 2 ⬇️
  • To avoid the pain of losing money over exchange rates, create a Revolut bank account. I always use it and it saved me from many headaches!
  • There are 4 official languages in Switzerland: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Zürich speaks a Swiss dialect of German.
  • Switzerland is not part of the EU, therefore do not forget to close your EU roaming mobile data. Simply opening the data in Switzerland can cost you up to 60eur. You can always take a prepaid SIM card.
  • Yes, Switzerland is expensive, so prepare to budget more funds for simple things like dining out or buying groceries


🏡 Personal Best Hotel on Budget: Ibis Zürich Messe Airport

🍫 An experience not to miss: Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum

📷 Most Instagrammable spots: Augustinergasse & Lindenhof

⛴️ A must do in Zürich: Go on a lake Zürich boat tour! 


From experience, I recommend you book your hotel in Zurich Messe. It’s slightly outside of the city, between Zürich and Zürich Airport, making the location convenient to travel both ways. The area is super safe since it’s part of the business area full of conference centers.

I have stayed at Ibis Zürich Messe Airport and loved the experience. The hotel was clean with friendly staff, well-equipped rooms, and a great breakfast! And the tram is within a 10min walk away.

Similar hotels in Zürich Messe:



Getting into the city center of Zürich is super convenient with public transport. If you’re staying in Zurich Messe, hop on to either tram 11 or 14, within 20min you will be in the city center. You can find all the info for the public transport tickets here.

Once you’re in the city center of Zürich, you will not need public transport. The city is completely walkable! To be honest, I also walked back to my hotel and it took me only about 40 minutes.

Typical tram in zürich switzerland

Typical tram in Zürich


Two or three days in Zürich are enough to experience the city to the fullest. If you’re traveling across Switzerland, you can also just stop for a day. Zürich is slightly hilly so make sure to bring good shoes.

Here is the best of what to see in Zürich, Switzerland:


Spend your first day discovering the old and new streets of Zürich and visiting the main attractions.

1. Grossmünster and Fraumünster Churches

The two churches of Zürich – one Protestant (Grossmünster) and one Catholic (Fraumünster).

Grossmünster church in zürich switzerland
view on fraumünster church in zürich switzerland

Grossmünster church (left) and Fraumünster church (right)

2. Lindenhof

Climb on top of Lindenhof, one of the most scenic places in Zürich and a perfect spot for photos. Lindenhof used to be a Roman fort and is today turned into a popular gathering spot. The park above the river Limmat has some of the most amazing views of the old town. It can get crowded during the day so I recommend visiting Lindenhof as early as you can.

Lindenhof Zurich Switzerland
Lindenhof Zurich Switzerland

Lindenhof views

3. Hidden Gem: Augustinergasse

Right below Lindenhof lies a hidden gem, often not mentioned as one of the tourist attractions of Zürich – Augustinergasse. But what is it? Augustinergasse is one of the most beautiful historic pedestrian streets of Zürich. It’s a street full of colorful houses, boutique stores, and Swiss flags that set the vibe.

Augustinergasse zürich switzerland


4. Explore Bahnhofstrasse (or go shopping)

The Bahnhofstrasse is Zürich’s main street. Not only that, Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most exclusive and expensive shopping avenues in the world. The street is mainly pedestrian, but there are several trams passing which you should always look out for.

Walking down the street you will reach Paradeplatz, a beautiful square by the lake with headquarters of several Swiss banks.

Bahnhofstrasse (credit: Wikipedia)

5. Visit the Zürich Opera House

From Paradeplatz, you can easily cross the bridge (Quaibrücke) and head towards the Zürich Opera House. Spend some time in the area, relax on the artsy Sechseläutenplatz, or head to the quay to enjoy the moments by the lake.

Sechseläutenplatz square (in my opinion) resembles one of Ljubljana’s main squares. Read my blog post about what to see in Ljubljana, Slovenia to discover which one!

Zürich opera house

Zürich Opera House and Square

6. Afternoon: Visit Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum

For the afternoon, I recommend to join in on an experience Zürich offers. The famous experience is Lindt Home of Chocolate – Switzerland’s chocolate museum.

Tickets for the museum are sold out way in advance and you must be lucky to find them. I recommend you book those before you arrive in Switzerland. Entry to the museum costs 15eur. In case you can’t join, you can cancel the tickets for free up to 24h before the booked time (but only If you book through getyourguide.com – I will leave you the link below).


Spend the second day in Zürich on the lakeside, enjoy a boat tour, or visit a museum of choice.

1. Lake Zürich

Take the morning slow and go for a walk on the western side of the lake, you will be surprised by the amount of beautiful parks, gardens and architecture you will discover. These should be your pit stops along the way:

  • Arboretum park
  • Voliere zoo
  • Botanical Garden Sukkulenten-Sammlung Zürich
  • Rieterpark with Museum Rietberg
  • Kirche Enge
  • Old Botanical Garden

After seeing everything, head back to the pier for a boat tour on the Zürich Lake. A boat tour is perfect to discover Zürich from a different perspective!

There are so many boat tours to choose from:

  • Round tours of 1.5h, 2.5h or 4h
  • Unique cruises – cheese fondue boat, brunch boat, beer & dine boat
  • Evening party cruises

I took the round tour of 1.5h and it was perfect! You can find the timetables on this website.

lake zurich boat tour
lake zurich boat tour

Postcards from Lake Zürich 1.5h boat tour

2. Museum of choice

Zürich is rich in museums, and there are some pretty cool ones! Browse through the list below and visit the one you like the most:

FIFA World museum zurich
Swiss national museum - what to see in zurich

FIFA World Museum (left) and Swiss National Museum (right)

what to see in zurich in two days

Hi, it's Neja

I am an expat from Slovenia,
 living in Milan since 2021 and writing a travel blog for all of you who are curious about life in Italy or traveling in Europe.

Follow me on my journey and learn everything about Italy and the European destinations.

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