ZürichZürich is distinguished by its unparalleled selection of stores lining the world-famous shopping mile, the Bahnhofstrasse, not to mention its broad choice of leisure activities. Numerous gastronomic establishments in the surrounding region pamper food lovers with all manner of culinary delights. Almost 500 bars and clubs provide a wide variety of entertainment. Zürich is also the ideal departure point for all kinds of excursions, such as to the Rhine Falls or the chocolate factory.
The CityThe River Limmat divides the city of Zürich into two distinct halves. It makes more sense to speak about the two banks rather than the new town/old town split. Niederdorf, on the east bank, is full of shops and cafés, but also home to the twin towers of the Grossmunster and the grandiose architecture of the university. The west bank is the old part of town, which is centred around the Lindenhof area where the streets are characterised by fashion outlets and offices. The beautiful spires of St. Peters Church and Fraumunster church, decorated by Marc Chagall, are nearby as well. The curving Bahnhofstrasse follows the course of the ancient city walls and is one of Europe’s most prestigious shopping streets. As Switzerland has cultivated stability and neutrality during both World Wars, the country has built up a reputation for its banking system, which for decades has been one of Zürich’s biggest industries. It is also for these reasons that today the stock market in Zürich is one of the biggest in the world.
Sustainable CityZürich is consistently named one of the world's most environmentally conscious cities in the world. The majority of the city's electrical power now comes from renewable energy sources and almost half of the waste gets recycled. Zürich is committed to a 2000-Watt Society plan for radically reducing both energy use and carbon emissions. The city has a complex approach when it comes to sustainability. Zürich constructions are encouraged to build up and conserve available natural spaces to promote walking and biking within the city. The use of concrete as a building material is reduced to lower carbon emissions. The city has the highest water quality standard in the world, both for drinking and bathing. The air quality is continuously improving — micro-particle emissions have been reduced by 50% in the past 25 years. Zürich greenbelt projects allow free movement of indigenous species throughout the region, maintaining biodiversity. As a tourist, you can contribute to the sustainability movement by staying in an officially eco-labelled hotel. Finding one is easy since 70% of the hotels are sustainable certified. During your trip, you have all the conditions for walking and biking instead of driving, eating organic food and exploring the natural beauty of the region.
Do & See
There is so much to see in Zürich. This charming city is largely an intact medieval town with a beautiful natural setting. Here you can find something amazing at every corner: architectural highlights, historic squares, streets and districts, churches, works of art and much more.
The traditional Zürich cuisine is very rich and usually includes plenty of meat. The city’s trademark dish is the Züri Gschnetzlets — diced veal in a creamy mushroom sauce served with Rösti. There are plenty of very good quality restaurants on every corner throughout the city. The area around Bahnhofstrasse generally provides the best atmosphere in the afternoon, while Niederdorf is the place to be for an evening meal.
Zürich has a lot of nice stylish cafes where you can enjoy all the chocolate specialities and homemade cakes that Switzerland has to offer. The cafes here do not only serve coffee and sweets, so do not be surprised if you find full meals and alcoholic beverages on the menu.
Bars & Nightlife
The best cafes and bars are located in the area of Niederdorf, especially along the riverside Limmatquai, which is a pleasant place to sit, people watch and enjoy a beverage of choice. Live rock and jazz are available in plenty of venues. The city has a burgeoning local scene that offers rich pickings for live music. There is also a dynamic club scene, which covers the gamut from techno to salsa.
The main shopping area in Zürich is concentrated around the city centre, which makes it ideal for pedestrians and tourists. The most famous and one of the prettiest of the shopping areas is the Bahnhoffstrasse where you will find big department stores, fashion shops, accessories, Swiss watches and everything else your heart desires. The Bahnhoffstrasse area is part of Zürich’s banking district, and that is clearly visible in the number of exclusive and upmarket shops available. The area around Langstrasse contains a very cosmopolitan selection of shops and people which makes it a special experience every time you shop or just go there. The pedestrian alleyways around Niederdorf are a shopper’s paradise as there are several boutiques hidden away in a patchwork of alleys. Alongside the River Lammat is the Old Town, which is also a very attractive shopping area. It has fashion shops, jewellery and plenty of other things to offer. It is also in that area of Old town that you will find the smaller and more untraditional shops. It is, for instance, a very good place to find anything antique. Schipfe is the place to find the craftspeople who sell their handmade products along the river.