Flights to Zürich (ZRH)

Flights to Zurich are a top choice for art, music and opera fans.

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Flights to Zürich

With the age-old joke about the name translating as too rich (zu reich), Switzerland’s biggest city has long been stereotyped as a banking capital, and little else.

And while there is no disputing the wealth of many of its inhabitants – one third of which are expats who have taken one-way flights to Zürich– the diversity throughout is a joy to behold.

The city is home to many of Switzerland’s music, arts and cultural highlights, including Schauspielhaus, one of the most revered theatres in the German-speaking world. There’s also the Opernhaus on Falkenstrasse 1, which regularly stages world-class operatic productions.

But the city doesn’t limit itself to highbrow theatre and opera. There is a wealth of outdoor pursuits and al fresco events for much of the year. Visitors and locals alike can often be found on the enormous Lake Zürich or at one of the many Badi Bars (lidos) dotted along the River Limmat.

It is also a pedestrian-friendly city that’s popular with runners. Its proximity to the Alps means it’s easy to pop out for a day’s skiing in the winter, or perhaps a spot of cycling or hiking in the summer.

Zürich also has a sparkling restaurant scene – in 2014, nine of its restaurants were Michelin-starred, with chefs such as Laurent Eperon and Antonio Colaianni driving this culinary revolution.

In turn, a thriving nightlife scene is boosted every summer by open-air music festivals, the largest of which is the Street Parade, a dance music event that attracts a million people.

Considering its abundant cultural, gastronomic and recreational options, Zürich is ‘too rich’ in more ways than one.

Take an Alpine train tour

The Alps are just a short train ride from Zürich. Generally, tours involve train journeys into the mountain range, though hiking is a wonderful option if the weather is right and you’re feeling adventurous. Pick of the bunch is an organised trip to the ‘Top of Europe’, or Bernese Oberland.

Switzerland Tours
Pick up: Zürich Sihlquai
Off Limmatstrasse
+41 44 710 5050

Visit the Swiss National Museum

This eclectic museum tells you everything you need to know (and more) about Swiss history – including an introduction to the Swiss financial system. There are also a number of impressive archaeological artefacts, such as golden amulets pressed into rock that date back thousands of years.

Museumstrasse 2
+41 44 218 6511

Visit the Schiffbau

What was once a huge factory for ship engines has now been converted into the seat of the Schauspielhaus – a huge theatre, with three separate stages – Box, Matchbox and Schiffbauhalle. It is also home to LaSalle restaurant, the Nietturm lounge and jazz venue Moods.

Schiffbaustrasse 6
+41 44 265 58 58

Take a walking tour

Zürich is a city that’s great to explore by foot, which makes its free walking tours all the more enticing. There are a number of trips on offer – from the Downtown Zürich Tour to the Zürich West Tour, the Architecture Tour or the Gourmet Tour. See Free Walk Zürich, a company that arranges free walks around the city of Zürich, for tour dates and details. The tour of downtown starts at Paradeplatz.

Paradeplatz (tour starting point)
+41 77 405 8966

See the Fraumünster Church

This Gothic church is a Zürich landmark, largely owing to the fact that its stunning stained glass windows to the north of the church were designed by Augusto Giacometti, while the rosette in the southern transept is the work of Marc Chagall. Meanwhile, Paul Bodmer designed a series of frescos in the cloister area.

Münsterhof 2
+41 44 211 4100 (German language website)

Scale Uetliberg Mountain

Towering over the city is the lush green mountain of Uetliberg. Simply driving and pitching up for a picnic while taking in the incredible views of the city is one way of doing it. The adventurous could take on The Planet Trail from Uetliberg to Felsenegg, a curious two-hour trek that shows the planets of our solar system at a scale of 1:1 billion.

+41 44 457 66 66

Confiserie Sprüngli (Confectionary)

This famous chocolatier is a Zürich institution. It serves and sells some of the best chocolates in Switzerland, if not the world. Tuck into incredible pralines and truffles, or sit down with a hot chocolate and tasty pastry. The orange cake comes highly recommended.

Bahnhofstrasse 21
+41 44 224 4646

Stefs Freieck (European)

This intimate, stylishly appointed restaurant is slightly off the beaten track, but it is worth the short tram journey out of the centre. It offers a smart yet laidback atmosphere and contemporary European food, and the chefs are known for keeping the menu fresh and exciting.

Wildbachstrasse 42
+41 44 380 4011 (German language website)

Spice – Restaurant Rigiblick (Vegetarian)

Its gorgeous location puts Spice on a plateau all of its own, and the playful cuisine hoists it even higher. Perched on the Zürichberg hillside, the terrace offers unspoiled views of the city and Lake Zürich. On the table, there’s a terrific vegetarian restaurant that even the most fervent of meat eaters would enjoy.

Germaniastrasse 99
+41 43 255 1570

Pavillon (International)

Head Chef Laurent Eperon is the man responsible for the creative combination of ingredients and flavours at this stunning waterfront restaurant. The food is fresh, colourful, modern and brilliantly inventive. The vast windows and surrounding greenery keep the atmosphere light.

Talstrasse 1
+41 44 220 5022

Mesa (European)

Antonio Colaianni heads this Michelin-starred restaurant. The interior is intimate and tastefully appointed: think pristine white tablecloths and white walls bearing black and white photographs. The food, meanwhile, takes the form of artfully presented contemporary European dishes.

Weinbergstrasse 75
+41 43 321 7575

Clouds (Mediterranean)

Taking prime position atop the tallest building in Switzerland, Clouds offers stunning views of the city and the distant Alps. The restaurant is a special-occasion kind of place, but the bistro and lounge area make it a great spot for a long lunch.

Prime Tower
Maagplatz 5
+41 44 404 3000 (German language website)

Hotel Seehof

This cosy hotel is located close to the Opernhaus, and other attractions such as Bellevue Square and mouth of the Limmat where it joins Lake Zurich. It’s all very cute here, nothing fancy, and guests will enjoy the peace and quiet. The hotel backs on to a lovely square.

Seehofstrasse 11
+41 44 254 5757

Widder Hotel

Nine townhouses were converted to make this boutique hotel, a fact that makes Widder a unique venue. Five painstaking years of restoration and then renovation have created a stay that is both original and hugely impressive, whether you’re staying in a single room or penthouse.

Rennweg 7
+41 44 224 2526

Central Plaza Hotel

Central Plaza is, true to its name, in the heart of the action, plonked on the banks of the Limmat. The main shopping street of Bahnhofstrasse is just a short hop across the water, while most main attractions can be reached via the nearby train station.

Central 1
+41 44 256 5656

The Dolder Grand

This gorgeous five-star hotel in the hills to the east of the city is quintessentially Swiss. A century-old building given a modern twist upon reopening in 2008, it offers ample opportunity to get the best out of both city life and the lush green fields of the Alpine countryside.

Kurhausstrasse 65
+41 44 456 6000

Savoy Baur en Ville

One of the grander hotels in the city, this elegant, near two-century old building is a terrific spot, and more than just a place to rest your head. The rooms are classically decorated, and the five-star service adds a little something special to your stay.

Poststrasse 12
+41 44 215 2525

Hotel Rössli

The winding, cobbled streets of Old Town are home to this friendly, stylish hotel. Walls are littered with modern art, the furnishings are bright and the atmosphere of the surrounding restaurants and nightlife venues is carried through and up on to the roof terrace. Making friends with your fellow guests is guaranteed.

Rössligasse 7
+41 44 256 7050

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