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Discovering Zürich: hotels and what to see


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Zürich is a modern , cosmopolitan city, the economic capital of Switzerland and the largest city in terms of population.

Seven times, it has won the title of the city with the best quality of life in the world!

The city centre stretches out on either side of the Limmat river, which flows into Lake Zurich, and is fairly compact, with the main attractions very close together.

The centre of Zurich can therefore be easily explored on foot.

During a stroll through small squares and flower-filled balconies, one encounters important museums, atmospheric churches, medieval buildings, but also many designer shops.

A beautiful destination at any time of year, Zürich is particularly lively during the Street Parade, one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world, and in winter with the Christmas markets.

Where to stay in Zürich

motel one zurich
Breakfast at Motel One Zürich

The centre of Zürich is spread around the Altstadt district, so this is the most convenient area of the city to sleep (and also the most expensive).

To save a little money, you can move to the Hauptbahnhof station or to the Lindenhof district.

Motel One Zürich is a design hotel located right in the city centre. It offers free cancellation and a good breakfast buffet (to be paid separately) – book here.

Hotels and what to see in Zürich: getting there

Zürich Airport

Zürich Airport is very well connected to the city centre. It is about ten minutes by train from Hauptbahnhof station.

The fare is approximately € 12.00 for first-class travel, and approximately € 7.00 for second-class travel.

With the Zürich Card, you are entitled to free travel on all public transport in the city (trams, buses, cable cars, boats, including train travel from the airport) and free or discounted visits to most museums. You can buy it HERE.

Milan-Zürich train

From Milan, you can take the direct train that arrives in the centre of Zurich, at the Hauptbahnhof station, in about 4 hours.

By booking a bit in advance, you can save a lot of money.

Depending on how far in advance you manage to book, fares range from 25.00€ to 80.00€ (one way).

▶ If you arrive by plane and need to rent a car, you can compare the offers proposed by rental agencies and save 70% by booking your car on the DiscoverCars portal.

I talk about it HERE.

Discovering Zürich: hotels and what to see

Walking through the streets of the Old Town, you will come across the most important sights such as the Grossmunster and Fraumunster churches, located opposite each other.

Sechselautenplatz is Zurich’s largest square, which hosts Christmas markets in winter.

If you are looking for craft shops, you have to go to Zürich West, while for trendy shops there is Bahnhofstrasse.

To admire Zurich’s rooftops from above, you have to go up to the Lindenhof district.

Let’s take a look at the main attractions in detail .

Altstadt, Zürich’s Old Town

The medieval Old Town stretches out on either side of the river Limmat and, as mentioned, has the main attractions next to each other.

You can stroll among the colourful buildings, craft shops, antique workshops and street performers in a truly atmospheric atmosphere.

And right here in the evening, you can dine in restaurants with outdoor tables, or party in discos and cocktail bars.

Hotels and what to see in Zürich: route

The walk can start at Bahnhofstrasse, continuing along Augustinergasse and the Schipfe, the oldest quarter of the city, where merchants with gold and silks used to dock in the past.

If Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world, here you can find the most exclusive shops for jewellery, clothes and technology, Augustinergasse is a medieval street full of historical buildings with colourful facades.

Notice the distinctive bow windows, or bay windows, which were used to let light into the house but also to control passage.

Augustinergasse is definitely one of the most beautiful streets in Zurich!

Along the way, you can take a look at St Peter ‘s Church, which is the oldest medieval parish church in Zürich. Impressive is theclock on the tower, with the largest clock face in Europe.

church Zürich

One crosses the Limmat river to Niederdorf , the picturesque pedestrian island with paved streets, known as Old Zurich.

Right here you will find the Zurich Central Library, a public library where the oldest document on Italian opera by Giacomino Pugliese, dating back to 1230, was found.

At this point, you can walk down to the Grossmünster Church, Zurich’s Old Cathedral.

Grossmünster Church


The Grossmünster Church is an imposing Gothic church, built in 1100.

It was the former cathedral of the city and today is one of the religious symbols of Zürich.

You can visit the interior, quite bare like almost all Protestant churches, the Romanesque crypt and the outer cloister with the Reformation Museum.

Discovering Zürich: hotels and what to see. Opening hours and ticket prices

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from March to October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November to February. On Sundays it opens after the 12:00 noon mass.
Ticket price: free of charge.

Hotels and what to see in Zürich: Fraumünster Church

hotels Zürich

The Fraumünster Church is a Gothic-Romanesque church, built in the year 853 on the bank of the river Limmat.

It was named after the women’s convent that stood in this area and housed the women of the German nobility.

Characterised by a bell tower with a green spire, the Fraumünster church is taken by storm by tourists who want to admire the beautiful stained glass windows that adorn the choir by Russian painter Marc Chagall.

Moreover, the church organ is the largest in the canton of Zurich, possessing no less than 5,793 pipes.

Discovering Zürich: hotels and what to see. Opening hours and ticket prices

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from March to October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November to February. On Sundays it opens after the 1200 mass.
Ticket price: Admission, including audioguide, costs €5.00. Free for 0-16 years and for students.



Sechselautenplatz, with its 16,000 square metres of quartzite, is the largest square not only in Zurich but in the whole of Switzerland.

For this reason, it hosts the city’s main events such as the Sechseläuten, the spring event in which a large artificial snowman is set on fire to say goodbye to winter, the Christmas markets (at least 100 shops and stalls) and the historic Knie circus.

On the square are some of the city’s most beautiful buildings, such as the Opera House, as well as fountains, water fountains, red oaks, benches and a museum housing artefacts from pile dwellings, discovered in 2009 during excavations to build a car park.

The Sechselautenplatz extends all the way to the shore of Lake Zurich.

Lake Zürich


Lake Zürich stretches 40 kilometres into the heart of Switzerland. Incredible but true, its shores are home to more than 30 bathing establishments! The oldest dates back to 1837.

You can hire pedal boats, in summer, or you can opt for a boat tour that lasts from about 1h30 to 4h👇

Discovering Zürich: hotels and what to see. Zürich-West

Zürich-West is a former industrial area of Zürich that is home to art galleries, designer shops, and an indoor market.

It can be reached from the city centre by bus or tram in about 10 to 15 minutes.

Of particular interest is the Prime Tower, a 36-storey skyscraper housing offices and a panoramic restaurant.

Its special feature is that each floor features two shimmering glass triangles , which seem to change colour depending on where you look.

With a height of 126 metres, the tower was until a few years ago the tallest skyscraper in Switzerland, now surpassed by the Roche Tower in Basel.

Landesmuseum, Swiss National Museum

The National Museum in Zürich is located near the main station and houses the richest collection of Swiss cultural history.

It traces history from prehistoric times to the present day with 860,000 exhibits, including tools, jewellery, historical vehicles and the largest coin section in Europe.

The building that houses this very interesting interactive museum was recently restored but dates back to 1892.

Discovering Zürich: hotels and what to see. Opening hours and ticket prices

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticket price: adults CHF 10, 0-16 years free.

Munsterhof Square

Munsterhof Zürich

Munsterhof Square is really pretty with its pastel-coloured facade buildings standing side by side.

Dating back to the 13th century, Munsterhof Square has undergone changes over the years, including the construction of the Zunfthaus zur Meisen guild house and the removal of the Fraumünster church cemetery , which was located right on the square.

Also here, you can admire the plaque on the ground celebrating Winston Churchill ‘s presence in 1946, when he called for Franco-German reconciliation in a speech in the auditorium of the University of Zürich.

Discovering Zürich: hotels and what to see. Munsterbrucke


The Munsterbrucke bridge is a river crossing reserved for pedestrians and trams only.

The Munsterbrucke bridge is considered a monument of national importance.

Its construction was started in 1835 and the structure is characterised by four flat arches with an inner diameter of 15 metres. In addition, there is a fifth arch of almost ten metres surmounting a small canal.

Zürich Christmas Markets

Zurich Christmas Markets

Zürich has several Christmas markets scattered around the city.

The oldest is located in the Niederdorf, the ‘Wienachtsdorf’ is on Sechseläutenplatz, and the ‘Christkindlimarkt’ is the market inside the Central Station.

There are plenty of decorated stalls where you can find gift ideas, handicrafts and typical street food with mulled wine!

Updated dates Christmas 2023

The current dates to see the Zürich Christmas markets in 2023 are 23 November – 23 December (until 24 December the market inside the station).

The opening times are:

Niederdorf: 11:00-21:00 Monday to Thursday, 11:00-22:00 Friday and Saturday, 11:00-20:00 Sunday.

Sechseläutenplatz: 11:00-22:00 Monday to Saturday, 11:00-20:00 Sunday.

Central Station: 11:00-21:00 Sunday to Wednesday, 11:00-22:00 Thursday to Saturday. On 24 December 11am-4pm.

▶ Do you need travel insurance? As a reader of BimbeinViaggio, you are entitled to a 5% discount.

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Continue reading:

1. Basel

2. Grazzano Visconti Christmas markets

3. Prague: markets and what to see

4. Bernina Red Train

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