Zurich Airport Guide
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Zurich Tourist Activities

Zurich Airport is found just 12 km, or 7 miles from the city of Zurich, the capital of the most populated canton (state) in Switzerland. The airport handles over twenty million passengers per year, and is a very important gateway for business professionals and tourists alike. Although a city famous for being a major financial centre, and home to some of the world’s leading banking establishments, Zurich has also become known to offer many appealing attractions for local and international tourists. In recent years, Zurich has adopted a more colourful atmosphere than its older and more drab appearance associated with banking, and shopping opportunities and many trendy eateries in prime locations of the city have become an attraction all on their own.

Perhaps shopping is not always considered to be an attraction by all, but the shopping possibilities in Zurich at least need to be mentioned. Visitors will find every type of shop available, from traditional Swiss crafts and flea markets to some of the most modern and stylish shopping areas in the country. And when arriving at Zurich Airport, why not start a shopping spree directly at the airport, as its shopping complex is one of the largest in the region, with retail outlets selling everything from souvenirs to designer clothing. In the city, the Bahnhofstrasse is the most notable shopping street, and is close to the train station, while Globus is another wonderful option for treats of all kind. For a more scenic shopping journey, visitors can travel across the River Limmat, and enjoy the streets for pedestrians only in the Niederdorf district, which are lined with many interesting outlets. The flea markets in Zurich include the Flohmarkt Bürkliplatz and the Kanzlei Flohmarkt.

Visiting Switzerland and not testing the country’s famous chocolate would be like leaving Paris without a look at the Eifel Tower!  The chocolate of Lindt and Sprüngli are a popular attraction in Switzerland, and visitors can visit the factory of these famous chocolatiers. Some history is provided about the origins of this special chocolate, and little to taste is offered as well. A chocolate shop is also available for those who would enjoy more than just a sample.

The city of Zurich is located around the Lake of Zurich, as well as the Limmat River, and both areas provide a fantastic place to enjoy some water fun. There are beach resorts found alongside the lake, such as the Strandbad Mythenquai, with a nice stretch of sandy beach. This beach resort also offers a diving platform, children’s playground and a lovely waterfront restaurant. Another very popular lakeside resort is the Seebad Enge, well known for its massage parlours and saunas, and women’s only areas. Pedalos are a common form of boating fun on the lake, while organized cruises along the River Limmat or on the lake is a favourite activity in Zurich. Cruises with spectacular sights of the city are available from early spring to late autumn, and are often taken in a glass-roofed boat, so that the full scenery of towns and mountains can be enjoyed.

Another way to explore Zurich, or rather its surrounding countryside areas, is by train. From the Sihltal Zürich Uetliberg Bahn, in the city, frequent day trips on the trains can be taken to various nearby locations. For sights within the city, traditional trolley buses take visitors on the Circle Tour, and pass by many of Zurich’s most popular attractions. The historic Old Town area of the city, or known by locals as the Altstradtbummel, hides some wonderful Zurich attractions in the more ancient form, and guided walking tours (in English) of the area can be arranged. One of Zurich’s best loved historical attractions is the Roman Baths, said to have originated some 2,000 years ago. Although the site can only be viewed from a distance, visitors will get the general magnificence of the remains.

A famous stop in Zurich is the Urania Observatory, an observatory which has been standing for over 100 years. It features a huge telescope used to study the planets and stars in the sky, and regular multi-language presentations. Lovely views across the lake and mountain are also enjoyed. One of the best family orientated attractions in Zurich is the Zurich Zoo, or Zoological Gardens, also known locally as the Zürich Zoologischer Garten. The city’s zoo dates back to 1929, and today is home to more than 2,000 animals. Some of the creatures are also rare and considered to be endangered species. The main features and attractions of the zoo include the penguin parades, the new lion enclosure, the Masoala Rainforest and the Zoolino Nature Workshop, with hands-on activities for children. There are also gift shops at the park.

Zurich is home to a number of landmarks and monuments, as well as some interesting museums. Some of the religious buildings of note include the Fraumünster Cathedral and the Grossmünster Cathedral, while the Kyburg Castle is found as an important landmark nearby the city centre. Two museums of particular interest in Zurich are the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum) and the Spielzeugmuseum, or the Zurich Toy Museum. The National Museum displays some spectacular exhibits of ancient weaponry, cultural treasures and other historic artefacts, and explains the history of the country of Switzerland. It is also located in a magnificent Neo-classical castle, surrounded by beautiful gardens. The second museum mentioned is a must for adults and children, as it boasts over 1,000 antique toys. Nearby is also the rather unique Rabbit Museum, or Hasenmuseum, with rabbit toys and other objects relating to this little animal.    

Not to be missed nearby the city of Zurich, is Berne, approximately 125 km from Zurich, with one of the best historical town centres in the region, Lucerne, along the coast of Lake Lucerne, and Basel, with a some wonderful museums to enjoy. Uetliberg is also nearby, and features a usually lengthy Planetary Path, which edges around the mountain ridge. From here, lovely views of Lake Zurich can be seen. Another popular day outing is to Winterthur, about 26 km north of Zurich. Further information regarding tourist attractions in Zurich is available at the Zurich Airport, or from the main train station in the city centre.