ZurichTravel Guide

Zurich – a river runs through it. Yes, Switzerland’s largest city has the beautiful River Limmat winding through its heart and the Swiss Alps all around it. Talk about picturesque! No wonder nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts flock here. Although famous among Swiss cities as a global financial centre, it has so much more to offer.  

With a history stretching back to Roman times, and the Altstadt (Old City) a charming World Heritage Site with cobblestone streets, Zurich offers a wealth of historical attractions.  

It’s culturally rich too, with museums and galleries and an exciting music scene. Then of course, there’s all that high-end shopping, Swiss cuisine and Swiss chocolate! 

Experience the best of Switzerland all in one city. Welcome to Zurich! 

Zurich quick facts


National language



Bottle of Coke/Pepsi (330ml)

AUD $8.05

Local time




Swiss franc

AUD $1.00 = CHF CHF0.58

Eating out

Restaurant meal (casual dining)

AUD $42.94


Plug type: C

2 or 3 pins • 230V

Explore Zurich

Where to stay in Zurich?

When it comes to hotels in Zurich, you’re spoilt for choice. There's something for everyone here, from boutique hotels to cosy apartments, budget hotels, and hostels. We’ve broken it down into districts for you. 

Downtown Zurich is a great area to stay if you want to be where all the action is. Home to several shops, restaurants, bars and hotels, the Hotel Schweizerhof Zurich is for you if you’ve got expensive taste. Established in 1876 and boasting five stars, this historical building offers top-notch luxury for travellers and a whole lot of extras. A 24-hour concierge service and butlers available when you need them, Hotel Schweizerhof Zurich ensures that your every need is met.   

A little less blow-the-budget is the Sorell Hotel St. Peter, a boutique hotel that describes itself as a design and lifestyle hotel. The décor is trendy and modern, the location central, there’s a fitness centre and a variety of beautiful rooms and apartments. 

This charming and inviting suburb is ideal if you’re looking for somewhere peaceful and quiet to lay your head to after a day of exploring Zurich. There are plenty of apartments and guesthouses here, Guesthouse Lochergut being one of them. It’s a 20-minute walk from the city centre and a fuss-free, pocket-friendly option with free Wi-Fi and an on-site coffee shop. 

This district, also known as Zurich West, attracts city slickers and party people from all over the world. It boasts a thriving nightlife scene with many popular clubs and bars, and if you’re travelling on a budget but still want quality, Inside Five Apartments will suit your needs perfectly. The cosy rooms come equipped with everything a traveller needs whether staying overnight or long-term, including a private bathroom with showers and kitchens with basic amenities. 

Believe us when we say, this is just the start. Book your accommodation today!

  • aerial view of city with river
    • tram on street in zurich
    • valley with mountains in switzerland
  • aerial view of city with river
    aerial view of city with river
    aerial view of city with river
  • tram on street in zurich
    tram on street in zurich
    tram on street in zurich
  • valley with mountains in switzerland
    valley with mountains in switzerland
    valley with mountains in switzerland

Things to do in Zurich

Zurich has something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, art, or you simply love the outdoors. Here are a few highlights: 

A quick train trip of about 15 minutes gets you to the village of Adliswil. From there, the Adliswil-Felsenegg cable car will transport you to the Felsenegg viewpoint at the top of the mountain, where you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Lake Zurich, the city and the surrounding countryside. The cable cars have been in operation since 1954 and are popular with day-trippers and hikers. 

The Fraumünster church on the west bank of the Limmat River is home to five, world-famous stained glass windows made by Russian-born artist Marc Chagall. They’ve captivated visitors since their installation in the 1970s, and the church is well worth a visit to witness the sunlight shining through and casting beautiful colours onto the walls. Fraumünster itself is unmissable with its green spire reaching skyward, and it also boasts an organ with 5,793 pipes. 

The Mayans called chocolate the food of the gods. And Swiss chocolate certainly lives up to it! Some of the best chocolatiers in the world can be found in Zurich, such as the famous Lindt Home of Chocolate. From a massive shop and a chocolate fountain to workshops with master chocolatiers and interactive tours, it’s a must-visit for any self-respecting chocoholic. 


On the outskirts of Zurich, we recommend the House of Läderach. Situated in Bilten, 45 minutes by train or 35 minutes by car, here you can go on a guided tour of the chocolate factory and museum or try your hand at chocolate decorating. 

Explore the Altstadt on foot along cobblestone streets, and discover cosy cafés, heritage houses, beautiful parks, quaint shops and churches. The “historic heart” of Zurich, with its charming village atmosphere, offers a welcome break from the bustle of the rest of the city. 
One of the city’s most important cultural institutions is the Museum Rietberg. The building comprises three villas set in a beautiful park, that are home to a large and varied collection of art, artefacts, and natural history from around the world. A permanent collection features traditional and contemporary works by African, Asian, American and Oceanic cultures. You can also participate in guided tours and workshops – great options for your cultural excursion. 

There are plenty of nature walks and hiking trails in the beautiful Swiss Alps. You could also go on a guided tour to one of Europe’s highest peaks, just 100km from Zurich. The world-famous Jungfraujoch – called the “Top of Europe” – boasts a staggering height of 3,454 metres. This adventure includes a cable car ride to the Eiger Glacier and from there, a cogwheel train ride to the peak of Jungfraujoch. 

If you visit Zurich in the winter, you’ll be able to enjoy all the snow sports. Many ski resorts are under 90 minutes away using public transport and even less if you’ve hired a car. Sattel-Hochstuckli is a family-friendly resort ideal for beginners and also has a toboggan run, while Mythenpark is a snowboarding hotspot. Why not take the hassle out of your ski trip? Book a ski transfer from your accommodation or the airport directly to a top ski resort. 

Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Flights to Zurich

Zurich food and drink

Whether you kick back in the Altstadt or prefer the trendy West Zurich area, there’s a world of delicious cuisine to sample your way through. 

For traditional Swiss dishes, head to Zunfthaus Zu Zimmerleuten (meaning The Guild of the Carpenters). Facing the Limmat River and housed in a large, historic, refurbished guild house, this uber-stylish restaurant offers a menu that’s the perfect introduction to local fare like cheese fondue. Enjoy dining on the terrace or inside. 

Luca² in the Römerhof area is owned by two Italians – Luca Todaro the sommelier, and Luca Ronzani the chef – who like to serve up flavourful Italian dishes. For a delicious meal in a warm atmosphere where patrons are treated like family, be sure to give it a try.  

How about some good sushi? Metropol on Fraumünster Street offers modern Japanese cuisine in an upscale setting and their sushi platter is a must-try. The Metropol building also houses a café/bar that’s famous for its croissants, and on warm days, there’s nothing better than dining al fresco beneath the arches of the terrace. 

More Eastern fare can be tucked into at Tenz Momo on Badenerstrasse. This authentic eatery specialises in Tibetan dumplings (momos).  

Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Zurich through your eyes

Where to shop in Zurich?

Looking for designer clothes, luxury watches, or the most exquisite chocolates on Earth? Check! Prefer to shop at upscale department stores? Boutiques? A market vibe? It’s all here!  

Bahnhofstrasse is a world-famous, pedestrian-only shopping street constructed around 150 years ago. This boulevard runs from the main train station, the Hauptbahnhof, towards Lake Zurich and is lined with close to 100 shops and department stores. Here you’ll find everything from designer fashion, leather goods and jewellery to Swiss-crafted watches. Luxury brands like Cartier, Chanel and Louis Vuitton are alongside shops selling artisanal goodies like chocolates and pastries.  

On a smaller scale is Niederdorf – or “Dörfli” as locals fondly call it – a quaint pedestrian street in the Altstadt. A variety of shops, many tucked into alleys, sell souvenirs, books and art, among other things. Dörfli really buzzes at night with people packing into the cafés, restaurants and bars. 

Situated in Zurich West, a former industrial area which is now a cultural hub, Markthalle Im Viadükt is a covered market-style row of shops, eateries, cafés and bars under the arches of a railway bridge. Ideal for a day of browsing, dining or enjoying time with your family, it’s also a wonderful place to find souvenirs like cuckoo clocks, trinkets or Swiss Army knives and there’s even an urban gym.  

Over in Kreis 5, Frau Gerolds Garten is a quirky urban garden where people gather to enjoy a drink or a meal and shop at the little shopping complex. A highlight is the African concept store selling African-fabric fashion, sandals, lamps and more. Saturday markets are an institution with various stalls and containers showcasing typical market items and street food.  

Looking for a safe and simple way to bring your money when you travel? Our Travel Money Card has you covered!

When is the best time to travel to Zurich?

A beautiful city year-round, the best time to visit Zurich will depend on your interests. The spring and summer months are ideal if you want to be outdoors and enjoy parks, lakes, cycling and pavement dining. Spring is from April to May and the weather is typically sunny. The average temperature is around 15°C (59°F). 

Tourist numbers peak in the summer months of June to August. In June, temperatures are at an average high of 23°C (76°F) and low of 12°C (55°F), while in July the averages are 1°C higher.   

December to January are Switzerland’s winter months, but it’s still a popular time of year to visit because of winter sports and Christmas markets. In December, the average low is 2°C (35°F) and the high is 4°C (39°F). 

Autumn falls between September and October with average temperatures between 10°C (50°F) and 20°C (68°F). It’s the shoulder season for tourism but it’s also festival season and a popular time for markets and wine tasting. 

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How to get around Zurich

Zurich is a large city, but getting around is easy thanks to an efficient public transportation system and an extensive network of buses, trams, boats and trains. Tickets can be bought at a ticket machine; most take credit cards. (Insider tip: you can change the display to reflect in English).  
You can also buy a Zürich Card at all train stations to get unlimited use of trains, buses and trams in the city, free entry into many museums and clubs, and a trip up the city’s Uetliberg mountain, to name a few perks. Alternatively, if you’re not staying long, opt for a day pass, which gives you unlimited travel on all public transport, with prices varying according to the zones you choose to travel in.  
Taxis, while more expensive than public transport, can be hailed on the street or booked in advance. If you take a taxi from the airport, be advised there’s a surcharge for this. 

Zurich also has an extensive network of bike paths if you prefer to use pedal power. Regular bicycles and e-bikes are available to rent from several providers. 

Let us help you organise your own wheels for exploring. Hire a car today.


Zurich Frequently asked questions

When packing for a trip to Zurich, don't forget the essentials like your visa, passport, chargers, camera, some Swiss franc and the correct power adaptor. Clothing wise, check out the seasonality guides and pack to suit the conditions - aka plenty of layers for winter and lighter options for summer. Other necessities include a walking shoes, hat, swimwear and sunglasses. Those planning on hiking and skiing are welcome to bring some gear, or save yourself the hassle of waiting for oversized bagged and just hire it at the slopes.

Beyond serving as a global centre for finance, Zurich also offers travellers a bounty of interesting experiences and beautiful accommodation options. Some of the most popular districts to stay in throughout the city include Zurich Old Town, Enge and Langstrasse.

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Switzerland’s peak season runs throughout summer from June to August, when travellers can enjoy warm weather and long days. If you’re keen to avoid the crowds, consider heading over between April and June or September and October. Alternatively, if the winter slopes are calling, head to Zurich between December and February.

One word: cheese. Zurich is the home of cheese fondue and raclette, so any respectable Zurich holiday itinerary must include lashings of lactose. Beyond the cheese tastings, travellers love exploring the city’s colourful Old Town and heading to Zurich west, a former industrial area that has been converted into a cultural hub. Zurich also serves as an ideal gateway to the Swiss Alps.

Flight Centre's travel experts have fallen in love with Zurich’s chocolate and cheese, and have used that love to fuel some of the best Zurich holiday packages on the market. Sign up to get the hottest deals sent straight to your phone & emails here. You can also check out our deals online, or speak to one of our Travel Experts.

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