Zurich Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing
There are many great ways for tourists to properly explore attractions and sightsee in Zurich. Walking tours around the historic Old Town area (Altstadtbummel) within the Kreis 1 district are the perfect way to learn more about some of the best tourist attractions. Guided walking tours in Zurich are available in English and operate throughout the summer months, departing from the outside of the tourist office at the train station (Hauptbahnhof), alongside the Bahnhofstrasse.
Also popular is the Circle Tour, where tourists are transported around the city in a traditional trolley bus, passing many attractions and enjoying spectacular views across the surrounding towns, mountains and Lake Zurich. Or why not consider taking one of the frequent boat trips along the Limmat River, a meandering waterway spanned by a series of bridges, before ultimately reaching the lake itself.
Limmat River / Cruising and Boat Trips
Many exceptional waterfront attractions line the banks of the Limmat River, as it gently meanders its way through the city itself. Zurich's sightseeing cruises along the river operate from early spring until late autumn and most boats feature a glass roof, allowing exceptional views of the scenery as it passes by. Cocktail cruises are especially popular and last approximately 90 minutes.
Open hours: April to October, daily - 10:00 to 17:00, most cruises operate every 30 minutes, next to the National Museum
Address: Thermengasse, Zurich, CH-8001, Switzerland, CH
For a taste of Swiss history, be prepared to step back in time when you visit Zurich's ancient Roman Baths, which are known to originate almost 2,000 years ago. However, despite their considerable age, they were only discovered relatively recently, in the 1980s. The site can only be viewed from a distance, although visitors will immediately be able to appreciate the full scale and beauty of these remains.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Schokoladefabrik Lindt and Sprüngli (Sprüngli Chocolate Factory)
Address: Seestrasse 204, Zurich, CH-8802, Switzerland, CH
Tel: +41 01 716 2233
Throughout the world, Switzerland has become famous for its delicious chocolate and tourists visiting the factory of local chocolatier Sprüngli, in the suburb of Kilchberg, will not only be able to learn a little more about the origins of this chocolate, but be able to sample it as well. A chocolate shop is available for those wishing to purchase a sweet souvenir as a memory of the visit, that is, until is gets eaten soon after!
Open hours: Monday to Thursday - 09:30 to 12:00 and 13:30 to 16:00
Sihltal Zürich Uetliberg Bahn (Railway Trips)
Address: Manessestrasse 152, Zurich, CH-8045, Switzerland, CH
Tel: +41 044 206 4511
Various railway trips into the surrounding countryside are available from the Sihltal Zürich Uetliberg Bahn, allowing tourists to easily take short day trips outside of the city environs. Trains regularly run to and from the station in the Wiedikon (Kreis 3), to Sihltalbahn, close to the Sihlwald forest, or between Selnau to Uetliberg, where cable car rides along the nearby Albis ridge are available.
Open hours: daily, seasonal variations
Admission: charge, discounts available
City Beach Resorts (Strandbad Mythenquai / Seebad Enge)
Address: Mythenquai, Zurich, CH-8002, Switzerland, CH
Tel: +41 01 201 0000 / +41 044 201 3889
Located alongside Lake Zurich itself, the Strandbad Mythenquai resort comprises a long stretch of sandy beach, which is always popular during the sunny, summer months, when crowds come here to worship the Swiss sunshine. Complete with a diving platform, children's playground and a spectacular backdrop of the Alps, the Strandbad Mythenquai also boasts a good waterfront restaurant and various events. Close by, Seebad Enge is another popular lakeside resort, featuring floating rafts, designated women-only areas, massage, Yoga classes and saunas.
Open hours: daily, June to October - 09:00 to 20:00; November to May - 09:00 to 19:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children under 16 years of age
Address: Uraniastrasse 9, Zurich, CH-8001, Switzerland, CH
Tel: +41 01 211 6523
Switzerland's most historic of all its public observatories and close to the Bahnhofstrasse, the Urania Observatory is just over 100 years old and remains in excellent working order. Stargazers will appreciate the simply enormous telescope, which is used to study planets in the solar system, and the many star constellations in the night sky. The observatory's multi-language shows are usually well attended, while many visitors simply just enjoy the views across the lake and mountains.
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday, April to September - 12:00 to 16:00 and 19:00 to 23:00; October to March - 12:00 to 16:00 and 18:00 to 21:00
Zürich Zoologischer Garten (Zurich Zoo / Zoological Gardens)
Address: Zurichbergstrasse 221, Zurich, CH-8044, Switzerland, CH
Tel: +41 0848 966 983
Founded as far back as 1929, the city's zoo is amongst the best of all the family attractions in Zurich and boasts more than 2,000 animal specimens, covering some 300 different species, including a number of rare and endangered creatures. The zoological gardens are divided into various zones, such as the Masoala Rainforest, the Exotarium, the Africa House, the new lion enclosure and the Elephant House. Children will also enjoy the hands-on activities at the Zoolino Nature Workshop, as well as the penguin parades and the three different gift shops.
Open hours: daily, March to October - 09:00 to 18:00; November to February - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children and families, children six years old and under are free