Zurich is one of the most beautiful cities of Europe. This travel guide mentions all the tourists sites of Zurich and will guide you step by step about each tourist attraction.
Cheap accommodation options in Zurich:
Zurich is the most expensive city of Europe and one of the most expensive cities in the world. Accommodation in this lovely city is quite expensive. If you want to explore Zurich with little money spent, you can book a hostel dormitory for around 35 to 40 Swiss Francs per night. If you’re a family of 4 or a group of friends, you can rent the entire dormitory for around 125 to 130 Swiss Francs a night. Some of the hostels’ fees also include free European style breakfast which mainly include cereal, cheese, fruits, bagels and hams and free coffee. If you are a honeymoon couple and want a hotel at the city centre, 3 star hotels cost around Fr.85 to 110 per night. A double accommodation and good airbnb apartment cost around Fr.60 to 85 per night.
Best budget friendly time to visit Zurich:
The best time to visit Switzerland is April or March because at this time there are less tourists and accommodation becomes cheap. The weather is also pleasant during these months. The peak season is in summers, that is June, July or August when the city becomes crowded with tourists. Months of September and October are also a good time for budget travellers because after that, it starts to snow and the weather becomes extremely cold.
In Zurich city you can get a free bicycle by depositing 10 Swiss Francs as security fees and some ID and this is the best way to explore the city if you are alone. If you’re with kids or family, you can use a public transport pass which is valid for 24 hours and it includes unlimited bus, boat and tram rides.
As I have mentioned in my previous travel blogs that one should always start to explore any European city from its centre or historic old town which in most cases is the City Hall or the Central Railway Station. For Zurich the city centre is its central railway station. When you come to Zurich railway station, you’ll first see the Guardian Angel which was gifted by an artist on the 150th anniversary of this station.
When you come out of the station, you’ll reach one of the most posh streets in the world, The Bahnhofstrasse. This street is home to some of the luxury designer brands’ stores. You can get a glimpse of the latest fashion trends by crossing this street. Switzerland is also know for its Swiss watches and this street is filled with stores of different watch brands including the world famous Swiss brands, Rolex, Tag Heuer and Omega. Shops on both sides of this street are the most expensive real estate properties in entire Europe. On both sides of The Bahnhofstrasse is the historic and beautiful Old Town of Zurich. In the Old Town’s historic and narrow pedestrian walkways, made out of cobblestone, you can find a lot of local galleries and restaurants.
The Bahnhofstrasse meets the Paradeplatz Square which is the most expensive and main square in Zurich. This square is a very busy intersection of the city. A lot of trams go zig zag over here and you need to be careful while taking selfies here because you can come under the running trams. This square also has two of the largest Swiss banks, Credit Suisse and UBS.
Zurich’s historic churches:
The main highlights of Zurich are its two main and historic churches, The Fraumünster Church(some parts of it date back to the middle ages) and The Grossmünster Church. Grossmünster was built in 1220 with twin towers. You can go up its tower to enjoy the best views of Zurich by paying a fees of 5 Francs and it’s quite a view from the top. From its rooftop, you get a full panoramic birds eye view of the historic old town.
Lindenhof Hill Park:
After enjoying the rooftop view of the city for a while, you can go to the next famous location, Lindenhof Hill Park which is a five minute walk from the church. Locals come to play chess and tourists come to enjoy the finest views of Zurich city. Other than enjoying chess with the locals, this place is known for the free views of the city.
University of Zurich:
The beautiful and historic University of Zurich is also a famous tourist attraction. You can get inside the campus by taking the PolyBahn which is included in the transport pass. This funicular takes you on a joy ride straight to the campus of University of Zurich. The university campus gives a free and beautiful city view which is simply stunning. The architecture of the campus building is amazing. You can see a lot of students going in and out of the building. You can also have a chat with some of the students if you want to know more about the university.
After exploring the university, you can get on the tram and visit some more beautiful architectural landmarks of Zurich including Zurich City Hall and Zurich Opera House.
A little ahead of Paradepkatz square is Lake Zurich. To explore this beautiful lake and its nearby areas, you at least need a complete day. Alongside lake Zurich, there are a lot of parks where you can go to relax after a long and tiring day. You can have a snack or enjoy a local drink after exploring the old town in this scenic, quite and natural environment. As lake Zurich is very huge, you can bike on the bike trails alongside the lake and enjoy the greenery, cleanliness and well kept natural beauty. In Zurich, you can also see lot of swans increasing the beauty of its lakes.
After exploring all the major tourists sites of Zurich, you can head towards Lake Zurich for a boat ride. The day pass ticket also includes boat rides and the boats here operate like buses which go up and down from a location and if your day pass ticket is valid, you can take free boat rides. In this bus like boat, if you want, you can take a round for 90 minutes for 5 stops. You can get off at any stop, hangout for a while and then return on the boat. One of the stops is Zurichhorn Park. It is a beautiful park which is also alongside Lake Zurich. In this park, you can see locals of all age groups. The special highlight here, is a Chinese Zen garden and if you are with kids, do consider this place.