Zurich Neighbourhoods, Locations and Districts
As the Swiss capital, it will be no surprise that Zurich is filled with a successful blend of the past and present, with both historical districts and gleaming modern architecture, particularly around its many financial neighbourhoods. Below we concentrate on the 12 main districts (kreis) in Zurich and their many treasures.
For entertainment whatever the time of day, or night, take a stroll to the Niederdorfstrasse, where you will find shopping, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. The district surrounding the Paradeplatz and the Bahnhofstrasse forms Switzerland's financial heart and contains Zurich's largest banks. Known as an artisan quarter and located next to the Limmat River, the Schipfe is where you should head if you need to takes things a little slower.
Kreis 1 District / Niederdorf
Boasting a strong medieval character and bounded to one side by the Limmat River, the Kreis 1 comprises the municipalities of the Niederdorf, the Oberdorf and also the Altstadt. A particularly historic district, Kreis 1 forms the very heart of Zurich and contains a range of accommodation, restaurants and museums, and is also home to the iconic twin-spired Grossmünster Cathedral and the nearby Fraumünster Church. The Zürich Tourismus provides regular guided tours of the Old Town neighbourhood, in both English and German.
Kreis 2 District (Wollishofen)
Kreis 2 can be found directly west of Lake Zurich and contains a number of significant neighbourhoods, such as those of Enge and Leimbach. Many of the main attractions here are gathered around the lakefront itself and around the Hafendamm Enge, where the biggest party in the whole of Switzerland (Zurich Street Parade) takes place in the middle of August. Tourists regularly come here to catch ferries or simply to enjoy the infectious nightlife.
Kreis 3 District (Wiedikon)
Often known as simply the Wiedikon neighbourhood, Kreis 3 has evolved into a major commercial district and today contains many notable companies. Regular services are available here on the Sihltal Zürich Uetliberg Railway, which transports passengers through the scenic Sihlwald Forest and close to the Albis ridge.
Kreis 4 District (Aussersihl)
Offering visitors a truly diverse set of attractions, the district of Kreis 4 is located next to the Sihl River and is also close to the railway line leading from Zurich's main train station. Look out for Bäcker Park, which is located along the Hohlstrasse and thought by many to be one of the city's most beautiful green spaces. Close by and along the Kanzleistrasse, the Kanzlei Flohmarkt (flea market) is also worth a look, along with the Red Light District itself.
Kreis 5 District (Industrie)
Home to the city's former industrial centre, Kreis 5 is situated on the north-westerly side of Zurich and is today known for its thriving arts scene and plentiful theatres. Many of the old factories and warehouses have been transformed into trendy spaces and even cinemas. Located along the Limmatstrasse, the Galerie Peter Kilchmann, the Galerie Hauser and Wirth, and the Kunsthalle Zürich are amongst the city's best art galleries and all extremely close to each other.
Kreis 6 District (Oberstrass / Unterstrass)
The city's district 6 stands next to the neighbourhoods of Adlisberg and Zürichberg, and offers good views across the eastern side of Zurich. Comprising both the Oberstrass and Unterstrass areas, Kreis 6 is where you will find Irchelpark (on the Irchelstrasse) and its popular duck pond, and the free Zoologisches Museum, which is located along the Karl Schmid Strasse and part of the Zurich University complex.
Kreis 7 District (Flutern / Hottingen / Hirslanden / Witikon)
Home to the neighbourhoods of Fluntern, Hottingen, Hirslanden and also Witikon, the Kreis 7 district is a fairly affluence part of the city. Located on the easterly side of Zurich, families flock here to visit the 2,000+ animals at Zurich Zoo, on the Zurichbergstrasse, or to enjoy multi-language guided tours of the area on board classical trolleys.
Kreis 8 District (Riesback / Seefeld)
Tourists visiting the Kreis 8 district will discover plenty of things to see and do, such as the Flohmarkt Bürkliplatz, the largest and most popular flea market in the whole of Zurich. For the best views of the city, take a trip on a Watertaxi, which operates here from May to September, or head to the aqua park and its 60-metre / 200-foot water slide at the Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen on the Bellerivestrasse.
Kreis 9 District (Albisrieden / Altstetten)
Easy to reach from the Zurcher Autobahn station, the Kreis 9 is to the north of Uetliberg and encompasses both the neighborhoods of Albisrieden and Altstetten. Many families find this to be an especially child-friendly area of Zurich and enjoy its selection of playgrounds and parks.
Kreis 10 District (Höngg / Wipkingen)
The north-westerly district of Kreis 10 stands on the right-hand side of the River Limmat and directly south of both the Käferberg and Hönggerberg. The Käferberg Mountain is located here and has become a popular destination for walking and picnicking, and those who reach the top will be treated to spectacular views of the Lake Zurich. During the summer months, the Flussbad Unterer Letten river bath complex within the Wipkingen neighbourhood is not to be missed.
Kreis 11 District (Affoltern / Oerlikon / Seebach / Schwamendingen)
Kreis 11 is the most northerly of all Zurich's 12 districts and is where many prominent events are hosted, such as the Zurich Open tennis championships (Hallenstadion) in October and the December Christmas Collectors Fair on the Wallisellenstrasse. This particular neighbourhood is sited next to Katzen Lake and is also in close proximity to the Glatt Valley.
Kreis 12 District (Schwamendingen)
Generally referred to as the Schwamendingen district, Kreis 12 is situated directly north of the Zürichberg and within the beautiful Glatt Valley. This is an especially historical part of Zurich and many important events that have shaped the Zurich of today have taken place here.