Spotlight On: Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich Switzerland
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Zurich may not be the capital of Switzerland, but it is certainly the most renowned tourist destination for international visitors. The heart of the city is of course the Old Town, which continues to draw thousands of tourists each year – particularly at Christmas time for the famed Christmas markets. Swiss chocolate, glühwein and Christmas carols are all characteristic of this time of year and Zurich is certainly the place to be during the month of December. In a short one-day visit, I checked out the Old Town of Zurich to discover how one should spend just one day in the Old Town in Zurich, Switzerland. 


One day in Zurich, Switzerland

Coming from the airport: Catch the train from the airport to Zurich Hauptbahnhof in just 11 minutes. Once here, you will find yourself in the immediate centre of town on the Bahnhofstrasse – Zurich’s famous shopping street in the Old Town.


Almost certainly your first point of call will be Bahnhofstrasse, the street immediately outside of the Zurich main train station (Zurich Hauptbahnhof).
Bahnhofstrasse is home to 1.4km of local and international designers, and is also renowned for being the most expensive street in Switzerland, as well as one of the most expensive streets in the world. The entire street runs from the Zurich Hauptbahnhof to Lake Zurich, so it is a great walk for the adventurous or you can easily hop on a tram for the journey to the lake.
Near to the train station you will find all of the highstreet and international brands like H&M and Zara, whereas on the Lake end of the street you will be greeted with highend stores such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada… amongst others.


Lakeside Promenade

After walking the entire length of the Bahnhofstrasse, you will find yourself at the Lakeside Promenade. Here you can truly get a sense of how beautiful and charming Zurich is beyond the crowds found along Bahnhofstrasse. It is here where you can view the special children’s Christmas tram during the festive season (pictured above).


For the best view of the Old Town, head to Lindenhof where you can also see the Grossmunster Church, City Hall, the Limmat river, the university and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Zurich Switzerland

If you have more time…

Unfortunately my time in Zurich was limited to a few hours as I was just passing through en route to Arosa, a ski town a couple of hours away in the mountains. However if you have more time in Zurich and would like to discover the city further, I strongly recommend visiting the famous churches of Zurich, such as Fraumunster; Grossmunster; and the church windows of Sigmar Polke.


Whilst in the city, be sure to sample some local chocolate and cheese – Swiss specialties that will surely please even the fussiest palette.
For lunch and dinner recommendations, I would recommend checking the frequently updated tourism website at for gastronomic recommendations.

Thanks to Visit Zurich for welcoming WOW to your city! My opinion is as always, my own.

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    November 5, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Zürich is a city that was just meant to be a stop on my way to the Swiss Alps, but it only took me half a day of walking (in the rain mind you) to fall in love with this city, leaving me having to drag myself away kicking and screaming at the end of the three days. The Bahnhofstraße is overwhelming but stunning and all the churches are incredible. The view from the Großmünster tower is a must-do, very worth the 5(?? it’s been a year so don’t hold me to that) Francs. And the stained glass windows at the Fraumünster – just make sure you walk in, sit down and appreciate them. There’s a bar/open restaurant place near the Quaibrücke, on the Bahnhofstraße side which is very busy come 5pm, and just lovely all through the day. Live music in the evening which is mostly English songs. Very entertaining. Pretty good prices for a very expensive country and city too. Also, save money and eat Pretzels (Brezel) any time you can! There’s an amazing place on the Bellevue Platz with awesome sausages and beers (the Sternen Grill), then a pretzel place (Brezelkönig) down the road (head toward the Opernhaus) to fill you up for snacks. Save your francs for the Sprüngli Cafe around the corner at Stadelhof Bahnhof! Or do as the locals do when the bars are full in summer and drag some beers and takeaway from the many places near Lake Zurich and go sit by the water. In July/August the sun doesn’t seem to go down until well after 9 so you have plenty of time to enjoy the view and the inevitable street band that will pop up around dinner time. Also it’s one train from Zürich to the incredible Rhine Falls so that’s a MUST day trip. I recommend Zürich to everyone!

    March 3, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Among the Swiss cities I visited, I liked Bern the most! Apart for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is a beautiful river Aare which is great fun and refreshment in the summer months and a Bear Park on the shore of the river. Highly recommended! 🙂

    January 1, 2015 at 2:27 am

    zurich looks amazing. i’ve been looking for a nice town in switserland to visit coming summer during an interrailtrip, zurich is high up on my list!
    xo, cheyenne

    December 31, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Your photos are amazing!

    December 28, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Zurich city centre is really lovely, perfect on a Saturday afternoon. On Sunday with all the stores closed it’s a bit boring. On Sundays I used to walk along the lake

    December 25, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I went to Zurich a couple of weekends ago! It was so beautiful. So christmassy. As well as looking round the old town where we were actually staying (a lovely place found on airbnb) we climbed the little mountain uetilberg. The views from there are amazing you can see the alps and the whole of Zurich. Its definately worth doing 🙂

    December 25, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    I loved this cute town when we visited. Great guide.

    Jessica C. (A Wanderlust For Life)
    December 25, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Love this tips! Sometimes you only have a day or two while passing through, so I really appreciate this post! We did the same thing when we went to London for a day. And when you only have a day, it’s so important to do your research if you want to make the most of it. Of course, just roaming around can be fun too 🙂 Happy Christmas!! Thank you for your inspiration!

    One Day in London Post:

    Uros @ Fine Stay Slovenia
    December 25, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Zurich is such a fabulous city with lots of things to do and see. I loved that everything felt historical and, at the same time, very modern.

    December 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Zurich looks beautiful! Haven’t yet had the time to travel their myself but I’ve only heard good things from it. So it is definitely on my to-do-list!

    December 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    It looks like a fairytale 🙂

    Best holiday destinations
    December 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    looking so beautiful views. thanks for sharing nice views.

    December 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Wow it looks gorgeous. I’ll still never forget the white christmas i had years ago in Zurich – was the best! xx

    December 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Always enjoy your posts, Brooke! Glad you are having fun! Thanks for sharing!

    December 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Zurich is beautiful indeed! Love to wander on its streets, click pictures and just enjoy…

    December 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Zurich looks so beautiful! Look forward to more images from there.

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    December 24, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I’d love to visit Zurich one day! Unfortunately I skipped it when I was last in Switzerland, but I’m now realising that was a mistake!

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn

    December 24, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Glad to hear you enjoyed Zurich. You should come by again sometime, I’d love to show you some of the non-touristy but typical places of Zurich 🙂

    xx Cheyenne

    December 24, 2014 at 5:58 am

    very picturesque! a perfect feast for the eyes for any photographer!

    December 24, 2014 at 5:47 am

    I have visited Zurich multiple times and I love it so much! Thanks for refreshing my memories! I have only one remark – I recommend Üetliberg Hill for the best view 🙂
    Anyway, lovely post, as always!

    Wish you a merry Christmas, Nicole

    December 24, 2014 at 5:34 am

    This town looks so cute! Never been there before, but it’s not even that far away from where I live. I should definitely visit it one day 🙂

    x Val // Valerie Randomness

    December 24, 2014 at 5:16 am

    Beautiful…i should visit it soon!!

    December 24, 2014 at 5:13 am

    i, too, only spent 1 day in Zurich. I definitely recommend climbing the tower of the Grossmunster if you have time. There are a few images here, if you’d like to take a look:

    December 24, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Zurich looks so picturesque, especially at Christmastime!

    December 24, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Zurich looks beautiful! Unfortunately I’ve only ever been to their airport up until now. 🙂
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous