Zurich is a picturesque Swiss town, surrounded by towering mountains and crisp blue waters, located in northern Switzerland. It’s the largest town in the country and their official language is German. Zurich is known for its beautiful landscape, galleries, and for being a banking capital. My husband, Paul, and I spent a lovely fall day exploring Zurich’s old city highlights.
WALKING TOUR THROUGH ZURICH
Grab a map and take yourself on a walking-tour of Zurich’s Old City. A self-guided walking tour is perfect for hitting all the main hot-spots. You’ll be able to drift off and take your time exploring. I recommend starting out at the main Bahnhofplatz (train station) and heading down Bahnhofstrasse. Allow yourself the day (or at minimum a few hours) to see the main sites and have time to grab some food & beers – and maybe buy a few souvenirs!
ST. PETER’S CHURCH
Zurich’s old city is full of stunning churches. St. Peters Church, the only baroque church in Zurich, will immediately stand out. You’ll notice the large clock on the tower. The clock was acquired in 1538. To this day, it is still the largest clock in Europe, over 28 feet high! Fun fact: The church tower and the church nave are not owned by the same person!
FRAUMÜNSTER – CHURCH OF OUR LADY
Fraumünster, or Church of Our Lady, is another stunner. Built between the 13th-15th centuries, the church is on the site of an abbey originally from 853! It always blows my mind how old Europe really is! The interior of the Fraumünster is covered in frescos by Paul Bodmer, a 19th century painter. Visit the Crypt Museum to see the Reformation in Zurich exhibition.
GROSSMÜNSTER – GREAT MINISTER CHURCH
Another must-see church on your walking tour is the Grossmünster, or Great Minister. This church might just be the most well-known in Zurich. Grossmünster is distinguishable from the others because of her twin towers. Construction began in 1100 and it was inaugurated in the 13th century. Although this church is considered Romanesque in style, it has medieval-style portals. The interior of the church has beautiful stained glass windows and an impressive organ.
Of course, no visit to Zurich is complete without visiting Lake Zurich. The cool blue waters reflect the sun and snowy mountain tops. Catch the locals (swans) enjoying the lake. There are remarkable views of the old city, and it’s an easy spot to turn around on your tour. Walk up the other side of the Limmat by heading up Rämistrasse. The Opera House, Kunsthaus, and the University of Zurich, are all along the way. Cross the Limmat at the Bahhofbrücke to get back to the main train station.
Zurich is a wonderful city full of energy and vibrant culture. While there are many wonderful spots to visit in Switzerland, like Basel and Lucerne, make the trip to Zurich and cap off your Swiss adventure in style.
What’s your favorite Swiss city?