Zürich’s Altstadt – or old town – remains one of the most atmospheric parts of the city with its historical buildings and enchanting architecture. Regular and often free walking tours offer walks through the scenic quarter while providing further insight into the city centre’s history. Next to contorted, cobbled lanes and charming cafes, visitors can find the Grossmünster, the Peterskirche and the Fraumünster in this cultural epicentre. Additionally you can stroll to the quaint Niederdorf district filled with eclectic boutiques and coffee houses or proceed to the Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich’s most glamorous shopping street. As soon as the sun sets, the old town sets the scene for a bustling night-life scene with numerous bars and cosy restaurants.
The atmospheric Bürkliterrasse was named after the city’s former engineer Arnold Bürkli and was inaugurated in 1887 as the crowning finale of the bustling Bahnhofstrasse and the the park area surrounding the lake. The terrace offers panoramic views over Lake Zürich and as far as the Alps and is ideal for taking a seat under the trees while marvelling at the scenery. Additionally you can find a boat harbour here, where you can hop on one of the many lake cruises.
The magnificent Tonhalle is one of Europe’s most renowned concert halls and home to one of Switzerland’s leading orchestras. It was inaugurated in 1895 by Johannes Brahms and its eponymous concert hall offers incredible acoustics. The symphony orchestra features about 100 musicians from all over the world, who perform over 100 concerts per season. Lovers of classical music can enjoy some of the most dazzling shows in the country and marvel at the talented musicians and their skilful, instrumental play.
Address: Claridenstrasse 7, Zürich, Switzerland, +41 44 206 34 34
Why not take a trip with one of Zürich’s cruise ships and enjoy a leisurely tour of the Old Town. Between April and October visitors can jump aboard the boats at the National Museum which will take them all the way down to the lake, past the historic building, the Grossmünster and the Town Hall all the way down to Lake Zürich. A round trip takes about an hour and is worth it even in hazy weather. The boats have been fitted with glass roofs so that you can be sure to catch a good view of the atmospheric scenery from wherever you are sitting.
Address: Zürich Landesmuseum Schiffsteg, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland, +41 848 988 988
If you ever wanted to take a look at the universe, why not make your way up the 157-foot-high tower and take a peek through the main telescope which allows magnifications of up to 600 times. Urania was first inaugurated in 1907 and newly renovated in 2007 for its 100th anniversary. Experienced guides give tours throughout the week providing introductions to astronomy and support with the use of the observatory’s historic telescope, the Zeiss refractor. Particularly dazzling are views of the planets and the moon. And once you’re finished why not marvel at another panorama by visiting the scenic Jules Verne Bar in the same building with a 360 degree view over the city.
Address: Uraniastrasse 9, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland,+41 43 317 16 40