Zurich, Switzerland Travel - Guides
Switzerland Guide - View Guide here to help with your travel planning, find valuable details on the area including local activities & attractions, recommended restaurants, favorite shopping areas, walking tours, suggested itineraries and events.
Whether looking for a family vacation or an adventure tour, Switzerland has it. Throughout Switzerland there are so many choices for travel activities, tours, lodging (popular hotels, villa stays and vacation rentals), and big & small cruises that travel in Switzerland promises to be an unforgettable travel experience. You can build your personal trip planning itinerary online and choose to explore the area on your own or take our travel theme tours that make it easy to experience travel as you like it.
Switzerland's largest city is surely among the most beautiful in all of Europe, and even today, Zurich retains much of its 19th-century charm. Situated on the northern shore of Lake Zurich in the heart of the country, the city is both large enough to offer all amenities to its visitors and small enough for you to discover on your own.
Zurich is the capital of a canton of the same name that joined the Swiss Confederation in 1351. Most of the more than 375,000 residents speak a form of German called Schwyzerdütsch (Schweizerdeutsch, in standard German). A former seat of the Reformation, Zurich is a staunchly Protestant -- some say Puritan -- city.
Zurich is less industrialized today than in recent decades, its economy having shifted away from heavy industry and toward the service industries, high-tech computer development, banking, insurance, and diplomacy. The factories that remain within the city limits run on electricity, and as a result, the city's skies remain relatively unpolluted. Zurich is also a major center of international finance; the headquarters of at least five major banks are on Bahnhofstrasse, in the heart of the city. The bankers are sometimes referred to as gnomes because many of the banks store mountains of gold in underground vaults.
Zurich produces one-fifth of the nation's income, but it's far from being a dreary city of commerce. It's long been a great center of liberal thought, attracting such scholars as Lenin, Jung, Joyce, and Mann. The Dadaist school (an early 20th-century precursor of Surrealism) was founded here in 1916. And the increase of visitors in the last 2 decades has spurred the development of a livelier nightlife and entertainment scene.
Built between the wooded slopes of the Uetliberg and the Zürichberg, Zurich is split by the Limmat River. There is no finer pleasure to be had in Zurich than walking along its quays, which line the banks of the Limmat and Lake Zurich. Sailboats and motorboats take visitors across Lake Zurich. Zurich's Altstadt (Old Town) is one of the most prosperous and intriguing in Switzerland, with two giant cathedrals and dozens of streets ideal for exploring at leisure. It's also a city of parks and gardens, with a particularly outstanding botanical garden.
While based in Zurich you can also take easy side trips to some of the most panoramic views of Switzerland, including to the Uetliberg, the king of picnic spots and known as the "top of Zurich."
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