Zurich's natural setting of a large lake, two rivers and tree-covered hills—plus its crisp, clean air—contribute to its excellent quality of life, for residents as well as visitors. Its Old Town is full of churches with tall steeples, medieval guildhalls, cobblestoned alleys and trickling fountains. No wonder the fabled "Gnomes of Zurich" like to do their financial business there.

This lovely Swiss city is more than a conservative banking town, though. It's also a center for contemporary art, alternative youth culture and an energetic party scene. A number of old buildings—including a dairy, brewery and shipbuilding factory—have been converted into more modern uses, such as museums, galleries, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Zurich is Switzerland's most cosmopolitan and multicultural city, as more than 30% of its residents are foreigners. It's also consistently named one of the best cities in the world in terms of quality of life—if not the best. Zurich certainly has something for everyone, from banking to the latest in hip-hop and jazz, as well as fine restaurants and haute fashion.

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