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Zurich is often referred to as the financial center of Switzerland, and while that’s true, that’s not all it has in store for us. This Swiss city is a gem that can provide you with a vacation day on cloud nine if you know where to look.

Most of Zurich’s treasures are ‘hidden’ in its old town part, by corners and behind doors that don’t say anything on them. This isn’t to say that some of the most popular places here haven’t rightfully earned their name and fame, but secret locations always seem more intriguing.

To enjoy this city, you can even spend the day just looking at it, and it will feel like a completely new experience. From the scenic view that makes every head turn, to their tasty cuisine waiting for you in restaurants, Zurich is packed with adventure. And the fun isn’t exclusive to day-time alone — Swiss nights will take you on a tour of their own.

Relax Over Breakfast in Old Town, Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland.

Historic Zurich, Switzerland. Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash.

If you’ve only just woken up and are on the lookout for a nice, quiet place for your morning coffee and breakfast, Zurich has just the place for you. Head to the old town and find the Neumarkt Restaurant. There you’ll find the garden part of it, which is ideal for warm weather.

Whether you’re in for a taste of Swiss cuisine or you just need a wake-up coffee, you can enjoy it surrounded by nature. And most probably with locals, as this place is not a tourist hot-spot. When you’re done, seeing as you’re in the old town within walking distance of a lot of beautiful things, you can just take a stroll to see the medieval houses as well as the town halls from the Renaissance period.

Indulge in a Swiss Shopping Spree

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - A tram drives down the center of Bahnhofstrasse while people walk on the sidewalks in Zurich City, Switzerland.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – A tram drives down the center of Bahnhofstrasse while people walk on the sidewalks in Zurich City, Switzerland. — Photo by topntp

The Swiss may not be big on shopping, but the rest of the world continues to be. And Switzerland has an idea on it, hence the existence of Bahnhofstrasse — a luxury street dedicated to showcasing their fashion, art, jewelry, and the Swiss banking center. Indeed it was once named as the world’s richest street by the New York Times!

You can window shop, snack on delicious Swiss chocolate, or even grab a designer piece that may have caught your eye. And if walking down this beauty got you either tired or hungry, you can always stop at restaurants along the way to give you a hand with that.

A walk down this street doesn’t necessarily need to include the shopping part. Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, you can still get a fresh breeze of Swiss culture out of it. And, keep your camera with you, because no matter where you point it, chances are it’s worth the shot.

Bahnhofstrasse, which translates to Railway Station Street, started existing after the city fortifications were brought down in 1864. It’s also one of the most expensive shopping avenues in the world.

Explore the History of Zurich

Wasserkirche or Water Church in Zurich.

Wasserkirche or Water Church in Zurich, from around 1250, is situated between the two main churches of medieval Zürich, the Grossmünster and the Fraumünster, at the Limmatquai and the Münsterbrücke.

To dip into Switzerland’s history, Wasserkirche or Water Church will be of use to you. This church has a story of its own, and if you enjoy old tales, you’ll be happy to know all about its past. The building in which it takes place now was originally used for cult meetings, and the stone which they used as a center in these gatherings is still alive and well in the church’s crypt.

For another look into the Swiss past, you can pay a visit to the crypt of Grossmunster. The church itself is pretty famous and filled with tourists, but the crypt is another story. What you can expect to find is a statue and paintings dating back to 1500. You’ll be time-traveling without having to move an inch.

Now, if you’re done going through closed spaces and are in need of fresh air, you can head out to Zurich’s historical park — Lindenhof. Not only does this place have a tale to tell, but a mesmerizing sight of the city itself as well. After running around the city, this place is perfect for a rest with a view. Besides being home to a Roman Fort in the 4th century, the that sealed the Helvetic Constitution took place on Lindhof too.

Discover the Art

Zurich Opera House in Switzerland

Zurich Opera House in Switzerland. Image by Thomas Steiner from Pixabay

When it comes to art, Switzerland is rich in all the shapes and forms art comes in, and Zurich is no exception. One of Zurich’s many museums is a charming little museum that you won’t find advertised largely, and it’s located in the heart of the city’s old town.

Musee Visionnaire is dedicated to bringing the outsider art world to us. The artists that create the work that lives there create raw and passionate works that defy rules, making them as unconventional as can be. The pieces exhibited here are chosen by visitors and their opinions on them. This museum also hosts an art library.

Another side to the cultural coin of Zurich is the very popular Opera House. One of the best of its kind. Don’t turn your head away just yet. The days when opera was considered to be dedicated to a certain group age or class of people are over. While this isn’t a place to waltz in with your weekend sweatpants, it’s not reserved for the upper-class either.

Sure, opera isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this Opera House is not an experience you want to miss. With a style that encapsulates the modern along with modern remakes of the classics, this opera house is now equipped with an evolved style that might have something for everyone.

Enjoy Zurich by Night

Zurich, Switzerland, by night.

Zurich, Switzerland, by night. Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash.

To cap off a day spent sight-seeing and tasting delicious Swiss fondue, the Swiss night-life has an unexpected turn ready for you. The real past-time fun in Zurich is not broadcasted to the world, rather hidden in their pools.

What appear to be women-only or men-only pools by day — which on their own have a unique and artistic look — take a new name in the night, dive bars. These bars are centered around sparkling water with a hint of mystery and music to accompany. Since they are the go-to for locals of this city, there’s no reason not to make use of this hidden treasure on your visit to Zurich. If anything, you’ll own a collection of brand new memories.

Making use of everything Zurich carries in itself is not a one-day job, but it’s not impossible to make the most out of any given time you have in it. If you can’t see everything, you’d want to see the highlights, and the best things about a city are usually nowhere around the internet but inside locals’ minds. This is but one way to make great use of a town so full of the unknown.


About the Author

Arta Mekuli is a writer eager to write about what’s important, interesting, and all the things in between. With a hunger for knowledge and distributing it to others, she now writes for Studying in Switzerland, which is a blog dedicated to giving you all the information you’ll need for life in Switzerland.

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About the Photo

The photo in the header above is of Münster Bridge over the Limmat River, in Zurich, Switzerland. Münsterbrücke replaced earlier bridges, including one built in the Roman era, and a medieval wooden bridge. Between 1836 and 1836, the wooden bridge was replaced with the current stone bridge. It’s listed on the Swiss Register of cultural property of national and regional significance. Image by Jörg Vieli from Pixabay

About the Author

Arta Mekuli lives in Zurich and writes for the Studying in Switzerland blog.

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Plan a perfect day of things to do  in historic Zurich, Switzerland.

Plan a perfect day of things to do in historic Zurich, Switzerland.

Plan a perfect day of things to do in historic Zurich, Switzerland.

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