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Visiting Zurich for the First Time? Here's What to See and Do


Visiting Zurich for the First Time? Here's What to See and Do
Hi, I'm Claire!

Claire Bullen is an award-winning food, drinks, and travel writer and editor who has lived and worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, and London. She is the author of The Beer Lover's Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, and the editor at GoodBeerHunting.com. Her writing has also appeared in Time Out New York, The Daily Meal, Pellicle Magazine, and beyond.

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Hi, I'm Claire!

Claire Bullen is an award-winning food, drinks, and travel writer and editor who has lived and worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, and London. She is the author of The Beer Lover's Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, and the editor at GoodBeerHunting.com. Her writing has also appeared in Time Out New York, The Daily Meal, Pellicle Magazine, and beyond.

see more

Pretty as a film set and bursting with Alpine charm, Zurich is Switzerland's largest city. From cultural offerings and historical landmarks to natural attractions and culinary highlights, the city has something to please visitors of all stripes. Here are the essential experiences you should plan during a first-time visit to Zurich.

Cruise Lake Zurich

For fresh Alpine air.

Zurich is situated at the northern edge of Lake Zurich, and this clean, glittering body of water is one of the city’s loveliest attractions. Embark on a cruise of the lake for a relaxing way to sightsee and take in the fresh Alpine air.

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Explore the Old Town (Altstadt)

Travel back in time.

The most picturesque and historical area of Zurich, the Old Town (Altstadt) is also home to many of its top landmarks. Embark on a walking tour to soak up the area’s charming ambiance, and spot highlights such as the Lindenhof, the winding alleys of Niederdorf, Fraumünster and Grossmünster churches, and more.

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Take in views over Zurich's Old Town (Altstadt) on guided city walks and bike rides. Photo: Greg Kendall-Ball / Viator

Indulge in Swiss fondue

It's a culinary classic.

It isn’t a trip to Switzerland until you’ve indulged in a classic fondue dinner. Made with copious quantities of melted cheese, as well as a glug of white wine and kirsch cherry brandy, fondue is a particularly decadent option during the snowy winter months. Just don’t drop any bread into the fondue—if you do, according to legend, you either need to buy a round of drinks or kiss your dining companions.

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Escape into the mountains

Enjoy the Swiss alps.

Zurich is only a hop, skip, and a jump from the rugged mountains, and a day trip to the Alps’ peaks and valleys is one of the city’s most popular pursuits. For a gentle, 1-day introduction to the region’s scenery, venture to Mt. Titlis.

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Take a day trip to Mt. Titlis during your stay in Zurich and swap the city for scenery. Photo: Piotr Piwowarski / Viator

Learn how to make chocolate

When in Switzerland...

Alongside watches, knives, and cheese, chocolate is one of Switzerland’s best-known exports. During your time in Zurich, don’t just visit the city’s many master chocolatiers—sign up for a hands-on course and learn how to make your own sweet treats.

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Take a cable car to Felsenegg

Enjoy the sweeping views.

Felsenegg is one of the best lookout points in Zurich. To get there, hop the canton of Zurich’s only cable car to the summit and take in panoramic views of the city, Lake Zurich, and the snow-capped Alps in the distance.

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Enjoy views over Zurich on the cable car ride up to Felsenegg. Photo: Piotr Piwowarski / Viator

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See all Zurich tours
413 tours & tickets
Cityscape of downtown Zurich in Switzerland during sunset.
See all things to do in Zurich
Where to Find the Best Views in Zurich
Where to Find the Best Views in Zurich