Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Zürich is, put quite simply, a beautiful city. It felt slightly more modern and larger than Bern, and I think I actually preferred it to the capital.
The streets were busier here, and although there may have been less tourists due to Covid 19, there seemed to be plenty of locals going about their daily life as usual.
There are not a host of tourist attractions in the city, but there are a few things worth seeing. Zürich to me felt like more of a chilled out place to visit, where you can spend your time walking around admiring the sights without being in a rush to cram everything in.
I’m not sure what the city would be like in the winter months, but in the summer it’s particularly beautiful, especially when you see the bright blue river Limmat sparkling in the warm sunshine.
The twin towered cathedral of Bern can be seen from many points in the city. The towers themselves offer great views of Zürich if you don’t mind climbing up the 187 narrow stairs. What appealed to me here was the little statue of a king on the southwest side of the cathedral. It’s actually meant to represent the emperor Charlemagne, whom still has a cult devoted to him even to this day.
Opposite the river to Grossmünster you’ll find Fraumünster Church. What I loved about this church was the view from across the river and the bridge known as Münsterbrücke leading up to it.
What seems like quite a simple church is actually quite beautiful, especially the turquoise copper spire.
You’ll find a large square nearby with several restaurants. They can be quite pricey, but it’s a lovely area of Zurich to chill out when the sun is out.
Church of St. Peter
Another fairly simply church that I considered to be quite beautiful. The Church of St Peter features a huge clock face, which is the largest clock face in all of Europe.
What particularly interesting about this clock face is the Roman number for 4. It should be IV, but instead due to an error from the designer of the clock face, it’s IIII/ What’s even more interesting is that since this clock face was made, all Swiss clocks ad watches with Roman numerals display it as IIII. This means if you ever receive a Swiss watch with IV on it, it means it’ s a fake.
One of my favourite areas of Zürich was this little park and viewpoint. It offers some beautiful views of the city, and is just a nice place to sit and chill. There are some great views of the river Limmat from here, and the twin towers of Grossmünster popping up from behind the old town in the distance.
The old town of Zürich is where you’ll find many of the bars and restaurants. There are also various unique shops found here.
Although the old town is technically on both sides of the river, it’s the eastern side that’s often referred to as the old town.
This is where many of the locals will come for nightlife, but even in the daytime it’s fun to visit and explore the streets around this area.
Swiss National Museum
Located just north of the main train station, I didn’t actually visit this museum, but the building was quite impressive from the outside. As the name suggests, this museum is dedicated to Swiss culture and history, with many varied items on display. The exhibits range from prehistoric times to the 20th century.
There are 1,200 water fountains in Zürich, all of which are perfectly safe to drink from. You won’t have to walk far to find a fountain, they are all over the city with various different designs and styles.
There are what appear to be more modern ones amongst the much older historical fountains, but many are so unique that they are somewhat of a tourist attraction.
This little canal area is well worth a walk through. You can stroll along the boardwalk here, or take a break and dip your feet into the shallow water.
As I walked by I saw many locals relaxing in the shade, listening to music and dipping their feet in the water.
Sprüngli Chocolate Shop
If you want to try traditional Swiss chocolate then I suggest Sprüngli Chocolate. Although one of the most expensive confectionary shops in Switzerland, I can’t say I’ve seen their chocolate on sale in other countries. The company dates back to 1936 and are known for using local ingredients which gives the chocolate it’s delicious flavour.
I was quite let down by the Belgian chocolate I bought in Belgium, but was pleasantly surprised by this Swiss chocolate and would recommend it, even if it is slightly overpriced.