Zurich is the main hub for all commercial activities and cultural events. It is the largest city in Switzerland and is perceived as one of the global cities of the world. Zurich is the capital of the canton of Zurich.
Zurich is situated at the originating point of the Limmat River on the north-western side of Lake Zurich that is 30 km north of the Alps. The city is enclosed by hills with forests in the north and on the eastern side it is surrounded by the Gubrist, the Kaferberg, the Zurichberg, the Honggerberg, the Ottelisberg and the Adlisberg. The Uetliberg covers the western side.
The Limmat and Sihl rivers meet at the concluding point of Platzspitz that forms a boundary around the Swiss National Museum. The main historical center is the Lindenhof, a small hill situated on the left bank of the Limmat River that is 700 meters away north of the area where the river originates from Lake Zurich. The modern city also includes the neighboring territories towards the northeastern side of the river Glatt.
Zurich experiences spring from March to May. Summer lasts from June to August with fall from September to November and winters are from December to February. During summers Zurich is very hot and the temperature during the day can reach above 35 degrees Celsius though the maximum temperature is 22 degrees Celsius.
The humidity is tolerable. There is a stark contrast in winter with temperatures falling below 0 degrees when the city is dotted with snow. The temperature during winter can fluctuate between -2 and 3.5 degrees Celsius, Zurich experiences rainfall all the year round.
The official language is German but Zurichdeutsch is the vernacular that is widely spoken. About 77% speak German and 4% speak Italian. There are other languages spoken in minority such as French, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian.
You can visit St Peter Church which has the largest clock face in Europe, the Grossmunster and the Fraumunster. You can also visit the Museum Barengasse, the Kunsthaus Zurich, Museum Rietberg, the Migros Museum, the Johann Jacobs Museum, the Johanna Spyri Museum and the NONAM
The other splendid sites to visit are Lindenhof, Parade-Platz, the Zoological garden, Rapperswil, the Chocolate Factory, Uetliberg, Old Town, the Cabaret Voltaire, the Fluntem Cemetery, and the Bahnhofstrasse.
Three churches towers are very popular in the city: the Grossmünster, built by Kaiser Karl the Great, the St. Peter’s Church with the largest clock dials in Europe and the Fraumünster, much admired because of its famous stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall.
Zurich is quite famous for shopping, although I must admit, I did find most of the shops a bit expensive. There seems to be good night life – apparently 500+ nightclubs and bars considering it’s a small town.
Some places to see:
- Kunsthaus” – Art gallery contains - collection of European art
- Rietberg Museum – non-European art, particularly from India, China and Africa.
- Bahnhofstrasse – the mile-long street of banks featuring exclusive fashion boutiques, department stores and street cafes invites passers-by to linger.
- Zurich Zoo
- Old town – for art galleries, antique and book shops
The famous Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most delightful areas for shopping in Europe which is in the center of the city with department stores, boutiques specializing in jewelry, porcelain, fur, watches and accessories, fashion stores, pastry shops and banks. The next place you can go shopping is Niederdorf which is meant for pedestrians during daytime with numerous boutiques lining the alleys. At night this place becomes an entertainment area with restaurants, bars and street artists.
If you want some antiques pieces then you should go to the Flea Market Burkliplatz which is open from 6 in the morning to 3,30 in the afternoon every Saturday from May to October. The Fleemarket Kanzlei is a paradise for the artistic lot who are good bargainers. Here you will get second hand items with a wine bar and an outdoor café.