The city of Zurich in the north of Switzerland offers numerous banks as well as attractive buildings from the 12th and 13th centuries, an extensive cultural scene and a boisterous nightlife.
Zurich is located in the north of Switzerland and is the financial centre and largest city in the country. Where you would stereotypically expect to find mainly banks, you will also find a beautiful old town with a wide variety of attractions. It is not for nothing that the centre of Zurich is one of our top 10 sights in Switzerland. The best way to explore the old town is on foot.
Places of interest in the old town of Zurich
Zurich's old town is excellently preserved and compactly offers the most beautiful sights of Zurich. On the one hand, beautiful medieval houses and council houses from the Renaissance, but on the other hand also modern shopping miles, a comprehensive cultural offer and a boisterous nightlife.
Bellevue Platz is an ideal starting point for a city walk through Zurich. It stretches from the railway station to the Zurich Opera House and is the most important traffic junction in the old town.
Zurich City Hall and Hauptwache
Zurich's rather inconspicuous town hall was built in the 17th century and completed in 1698. The city council still meets in the town hall. The Hauptwache, immediately recognisable by its striking Greek gable roof and six columns, used to hold the keys to the city gates.
St Peter's Church
One of the oldest, if not the oldest, churches in Zurich is easily recognisable by its characteristic peaked gable tower roof. Once your gaze is directed upwards, the largest clock face in Europe immediately catches your eye.
Zurich Opera House
Today's opera house was opened in 1891 with a performance of Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin. Today it offers a wide artistic spectrum of ballet, opera and operetta. Every Saturday there are 1 ½ hour public tours of the impressive Zurich Opera building.
Lenin lived in this house during his stay in Zurich in 1916 and 1917. Today, a memorial plaque commemorates the presence of the Russian revolutionary leader. The philosopher and writer Johann Caspar Lavater, as well as the man of letters and natural scientist Georg Büchner, also spent a few months or years of their lives in Spiegelgasse. The latter was born at number 11 and visited by Goethe in 1775.
Here you will find concentrated bars, restaurants, cinemas and various clubs. A must for night owls. Don't miss a visit to a "Back- und Brau" inn, where the beer is still brewed on the premises, and raclette or cheese fondue is the perfect accompaniment to hunger pangs.
The Augustinian canons' monastery, a magnificent church with two imposing towers, dates from the 12th/13th century. The almost thousand-year-old cloister in the inner courtyard is particularly worth seeing.
The former women's monastery, immediately recognisable by its turquoise-green, extremely pointed steeple, was founded in the 9th century as a royal monastery. The church dates largely from the 13th and 14th centuries and is known above all for its magnificent stained glass windows.