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Summer in Zurich – From the Swimming Pool to the Open-Air Bar

Life really gets going on the promenades along Lake Zurich and Zurich's rivers in the summer. Adults, families, tourists and even businessmen and women indulge themselves there and enjoy the sun. You can cool down after shopping or museum visits in more than 40 swimming pools, including 18 lake, river and outdoor pools. A few of the river swimming pools convert into "bathing bars" in the evening and hold parties or show open-air movies in addition to offering epicurean delights.

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A City of Diverse History

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Enjoy Zurich and all it has to offer

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Must-See in Zurich

The most important sights such as the Old Town, Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmünster church and Lake Zurich are all based in Zurich’s town center. They are all reached within a three-hour walk or can be accessed by public transport. Culture lovers will enjoy a visit to the museum, Opera House, Schauspielhaus (municipal theater) or Tonhalle (concert hall). Nature fans can take a trip to Zurich’s very own Uetliberg "mountain", visit the zoo or take a boat to Rapperswil.

In summer, the pools and open-air bars open their doors, while in winter you can purchase gifts in the Old Town and at the Christmas markets. Endless restaurants offer high quality meals and Swiss specialties such as “Zürcher Geschnetzeltes” (sliced veal Zurich style) or fondue – and there's no end of top events that take place in Zurich at any time of the year.

Winter
Experience winter magic in Zurich. In addition to epicurean delights, numerous shopping possibilities on the world-famous Bahnhofstrasse or urban Zurich labels await you. The pulsating Zurich nightlife sees you through winter as well, along with unforgettable events, winter sports opportunities and plenty of winter excursions. You can also discover contemporary and international art in any of the 50 museums and over 100 galleries and then relax in one of Zurich's many wellness oases.

Summer
Life really gets going on the promenades along Lake Zurich and Zurich's rivers in the summer. Adults, families, tourists and even businessmen and women indulge themselves there and enjoy the sun. You can cool down after shopping or museum visits in more than 40 swimming pools, including 18 lake, river and outdoor pools. A few of the river swimming pools convert into "bathing bars" in the evening and hold parties or show open-air movies in addition to offering epicurean delights.

Outdoor Pools in Zürich
Everyone finds a favorite place to swim in Zurich. Women meet at the ladies only Frauenbad am Stadthausquai, and men at the Freibad am Schanzengraben. And both these public pools open their doors as trendy outdoor bars under the stars in the evening. At the Seebad Enge a lake swim is combined with views of the snow-capped Alps, at the Strandbad Mythenquai there's a 250-meter-long beach and at the Oberer and Unterer Letten river baths you discover a popular place to swim, chiefly for young adults, whereas the Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen is a bathing paradise for kids.

Nightlife from Alternative to Chic
Nowhere else in Switzerland is there such a large and diverse nightlife as in Zurich. Particularly colorful places to go are the electro entertainment temples in the former industrial district or the converted strip joints or hip clubs on or around Langstrasse. On the other side of the River Limmat, the Niederdorf district between Central and Stadelhofen train station have plenty of bars to enjoy a prolonged drinking tour in picturesque surroundings. Those who want to spend the night dancing should make for the oldest nightclub in Zurich, the Mascotte, at the end of the Niederdorf, the Plaza Club, not far from Langstrasse, which opened in 2010, or the Aura, which opened in 2013 in the heart of the banking district by Paradeplatz and whose chic interior design perfectly matches the lifestyle of the surrounding area. Diverse special events bring added variety to Zurich’s party scene. Every year, the Street Parade draws hundreds of thousands of dance enthusiasts to the upper end of Lake Zurich, where they are rewarded with music presented by the electronic-music DJ elite. The Züri Fäscht, Seenachtsfest Rapperswil and Seenachtsfest Lachen are held alternately every three years and are real public festivals, also promising plenty of fun, music and the opportunity to make new acquaintances outside in the fresh air. Visitors looking for an adrenaline kick will find it at Switzerland's largest casino: at the Swiss Casinos Zürich, guests can try their luck at the gaming machines, tables or relax in the lounge to live music 365 days a year. There is also an exclusive high-limit area for discerning gaming enthusiasts who like to play for high stakes.

Spectacular Stage Performances – Opera, Ballet, Theater
Zürich offers a rich variety of cultural venues and events. The Opera House, one of the leading such establishments in Europe, enjoys international acclaim for both its opera and ballet productions. The Tonhalle concert hall boasts some of the best acoustics in the world. The Schauspielhaus, Switzerland's largest theater, stages performances of world-class caliber. In a sophisticated blend of old and new, the historical shipbuilding halls in the trendy Zürich-West district have given way to a cultural center complete with Schauspielhaus theater auditoriums, a restaurant, the Turm Bar and a jazz club. Numerous smaller theaters also enchant the public.

Arts

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Lively Art Scene

In Zurich, countless artists and cultural sites are concentrated within the smallest of areas. Around 14 of the city’s 50 museums and more than 100 of its galleries play an active role in Zurich’s lively art scene. Thanks to the Kunsthalle Zürich, the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art and the host of artists who create and present their works of art in the former brewery, the Löwenbräu Areal in ZurichWest has become a very special place of pilgrimage for art lovers. The Cabaret Voltaire – regarded as the birthplace of Dadaism – is still a competence center for the Dadaist movement to this day. The Cabaret Voltaire was founded in 1916 by Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings. The renowned Dada artist, sculptor, dancer and designer, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, is depicted on the front of the Swiss 50 franc banknote. The Kunsthaus Zurich, meanwhile, houses a vast collection of significant paintings, sculptures, and photographic and video material, as well as the most comprehensive collection of works by Alberto Giacometti. Giacometti is one of Switzerland's most important artists and his portrait currently adorns the 100 Swiss franc note. Further highlights include the Museum Rietberg, one of the world’s leading centers for non-European art, and the Haus Konstruktiv, which is devoted to constructive and conceptual art. The Kunst(Zeug)Haus in Rapperswil-Jona is a vibrant center for Swiss contemporary art, with a collection comprising some 5,000 works of art. The adjacent library houses over 4,000 books in all variations, as well as drawings, films and portfolios relating to the adventure story, Robinson Crusoe. The Alte Fabrik cultural center presents a highly varied portfolio of dance, theater, music, visual arts and literature, as well as activities that appeal to children. With the Vögele Kultur Zentrum, Rapperswil has a third fascinating cultural institution, which is devoted to interdisciplinary themed exhibitions addressing modern-day issues and conflicts. The exhibition building is characterized by its unusual architecture, which was designed in the 1970s by a New York firm of architects.

Treading the Boards in Zurich

The performing arts play a major role in Zurich. The Zurich Opera House enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide and year after year stages an ambitious program comprising operas, operettas, concerts and ballet performances. The fact that the people of Zurich are particularly keen theatergoers is reflected by the high number of theaters of varying sizes. Arguably the most famous of them all is the Schauspielhaus Zurich, which presents classical plays in modern stage settings and produces experimental interpretations in its Schiffbau theater. The modern performances at the Theater Gessnerallee are characterized by the fresh, new ideas of young theater students. Once a year, the Zürcher Theater Spektakel transforms the left bank of Lake Zurich into an exciting theater venue, when artists from the contemporary performing arts scene come together to present a first-class program and spontaneous open-air performances of theater and dance. Movie enthusiasts can choose from some 15 multiplexes, with over 50 movie theaters spread all over the city, including small ones specializing in independent films. In the fall, the Zurich Film Festival features world premieres, insider tips, movie screenings for children and the awarding of the coveted “Golden Eye” prize. Every June, Rapperswil is taken over by concert stages and food stands, when internationally renowned musicians and Swiss artists from the musical worlds of blues, jazz and pop convene here to take part in the blues’n’jazz Festival. The hand-picked line-up, coupled with the spectacular location on the shores of Lake Zurich, give rise to a relaxed ambiance with plenty of great music.

Beaches

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Zurich, city of water par excellence, where bathing is a cult. And a place to cool down with a summer swim in the river or lake. Everyone finds a favorite place to swim in Zurich.

Women meet at the ladies only Frauenbad am Stadthausquai, and men at the Freibad am Schanzengraben. And both these public pools open their doors as trendy outdoor bars under the stars in the evening.

At the Seebad Enge a lake swim is combined with views of the snow-capped Alps, at the Strandbad Mythenquai there's a 250-meter-long beach and at the Oberer and Unterer Letten river baths you discover a popular place to swim, chiefly for young adults, whereas the Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen is a bathing paradise for kids.

Culture

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Zurich is rich in cultural highlights. It is one of the leading art trading cities in the world with more than 50 museums and over 100 galleries. The Opera House, Tonhalle Orchestra (concert hall orchestra) as well as the Schauspielhaus Zurich (municipal theater) provide culture of the highest standards.

Events

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CHRISTMAS MAGIC IN ZURICH

Lucy in the Sky From
November 20, Zurich's most famous shopping street, the Bahnhofstrasse, will shine out more brightly than ever. For then, at 6.00pm precisely, “Lucy” – as the Christmas lights are called – will be switched on. These Christmas illuminations comprise almost 12’000 crystals containing luminescent white, red and blue LED lights, producing dots of color of varying intensity in the sky. What’s more, on the same evening visitors can enjoy late-night shopping in the inner city until 10.00pm, fortified by the culinary delicacies and mulled wine on sale at any of the numerous food stands.

Christmas Markets and Singing Trees
Zurich's traditional Christmas markets are a real treat for the eye – and much loved by tourists and locals alike. The city's oldest Christmas market, situated in the heart of the Niederdorf, guarantees a romantic ambience and shopping bags overflowing with Christmas gifts. The Hirschenplatz, Rosenhof und Niederdorfstrasse are enshrouded in a festive mood, with the delicate scent of cinnamon hanging in the air. The most resplendent showpiece of Europe's largest indoor Christmas market, Zurich Christkindli Market, is the 50ft-tall Christmas tree, adorned with over 7’000 sparkling Swarovski crystal ornaments. Just a stone's throw from the Main Station, visitors will be absolutely captivated by the “Singing Christmas Tree”. Here, children standing on a podium arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree as big as a house spread Christmas cheer with their repertoire of Christmas carols.

Christmas magic around Zurich
From Zurich, there are also convenient boat services to the medieval town of Rapperswil, at the other end of the lake. With over 200 market stalls, the Christmas market here is one of the largest in Switzerland. The market in Einsiedeln is particularly impressive, with the baroque Benedictine monastery offering an imposing backdrop as visitors stroll leisurely past the market stands. The Christmas market in Winterthur’s Old Town, meanwhile, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and atmospheric in Switzerland. Moreover, Zug and Baden – two picturesque towns within easy travelling distance from Zurich – provide a good excuse to combine a sightseeing trip with a Christmas shopping spree.

Magic and Breathtaking
Year after year, Zurich offers plenty of opportunities for Christmas entertainment. The Conelli Christmas Circus has been performing on the Bauschänzli for decades, and even today attracts circus lovers in their crowds. Nearby the Airport of Zurich, Salto Natale carries its visitors off to a magical world full of breathtaking acrobatics. And at the “Himmel auf Erden” show, spectators participate in the “Conference of Santa Clauses” while being treated to first-class cuisine.

Greeting the New Year
Zurich's magic experience does not come to an end at Christmas. Visitors who want to see in the New Year in style are well advised to extend their stay for a few days. On New Year's Eve, Zurich throws the biggest party in Switzerland, where guests and locals alike see in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display hosted by the Zurich Hoteliers’ Association.

GASTRONOMY EVENTS

FOOD ZURICH

Fine food, slow food, street food: for 11 days in September, everything in Zurich revolves around food. During the FOOD ZURICH festival, gourmets, foodies, picnic enthusiasts, hearty eaters, meat lovers, vegetarians, vegans, gluten intolerant people, and “sweet” and “savory” fans can sample countless culinary delicacies from all over the world.

Culinary Tour – Eat, Drink and Be Merry
On this guided walk, you can learn more about the history of Zurich’s gastronomy and about the variety of cuisine that the city has to offer today.

FESTIVALS
Celebrating Festivals – from Sechseläuten to the Street Parade
Horsemen clad in period costumes, a traditional parade and hopes for a fine summer characterize what is probably Zürich's most traditional festival – Sechseläuten, the spring festival of the guilds that is held every April. Here, the “Böögg“ snowman, an effigy stuffed with fireworks, is perched on top of a huge bonfire, and the quicker its head explodes, the longer and hotter the summer will be – or so tradition has it. A quite different kind of festival is the Street Parade, one of the largest house and techno parties in the world, where hundreds of thousands of colorful, energetic and tireless ravers dance to the beat of the music, generally in temperatures normally more associated with Mediterranean climates.If you leaf further through the festival calendar, you are guaranteed to find something to suit each and every taste. One of the absolute highlights is the Zürich Festival in June and July, a unique combination of opera performances, concerts, plays, dance and fringe theater. Moreover, the Theater Spektakel, one of the most important European festivals for contemporary forms of the performing arts, offers a high-caliber event in September to round off the open air season.

Street Parade – The World's Largest Techno Party in Zurich
What started with 1,000 people in 1992 fires the enthusiasm of hundreds of thousands of dance aficionados from throughout the world today. The Street Parade sparks an incredible party mood atmosphere with 30 love mobiles (abbreviated as LoMos), hundreds of DJs and seven stages around the Lake Zurich basin. Since its beginnings in the 90s, diverse electronic music styles, e.g., House, Drum'n'Bass and Dubstep, have also set foot on the scene in addition to Trance and Techno.

Zurich Festival – Theater, Art and Music all in one Festival
The Zurich Festival is organized each year together with Zurich’s cultural institutions such as the Zurich Opera House, Schauspielhaus (municipal theater), Tonhalle orchestra (concert hall) and Kunsthaus Zurich (art museum). The Museum Rietberg, Gessnerallee Zurich theater and Neumarkt and Rigiblick theaters are also regularly involved. Focusing on a joint theme, these venues present theater, opera, concerts, dance, exhibitions, readings and discussions over a period of four weeks. The public can experience the range of Zurich’s cultural life through encounters with art and the various host venues.

Explore The Outdoors

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Mt. Titlis – Glacier Paradise
Adventure excursion to the Titlis glacier paradise (9,900ft a.s.l.) combined with a visit to Lucerne. Guided trip in a comfortable deluxe motor coach, including a fascinating ride in a cable car up to the high-Alpine glacier region. Enjoy the gorgeous panorama view from the 360º rotating “ROTAIR” gondola, the world’s first rotating cable car that takes you up to Mt. Titlis – a glacial paradise at 9,900ft a.s.l. with snow and ice all year long. You will have two hours to experience the breathtaking panorama of the Alpine world or treat yourself to a delicious meal in one of the mountain restaurants. Further attractions included in the tour are (weather permitting) a visit to the glacier cave, a trip over glacier crevasses in the “Ice Flyer” glacier chairlift or sledding fun in the snow with the “Fun Lift” (available in summer as well). The return journey includes a stop in Lucerne (approx. 1 hour), where you can take a short tour of the city and cross the famous Chapel Bridge, Lucerne’s landmark.

Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe 
As the highlight of your Swiss trip, experience an exciting and unforgettable all-day excursion to the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe. Designated a world natural heritage site of the Swiss Alps by UNESCO, it is located more than 11,500 feet above sea level and features Europe’s highest train station and numerous other attractions. A journey through a fairy-tale landscape brings you to the Bernese Highlands. After a stop in Interlaken, idyllically situated between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, the spectacular ascent by cogwheel train starts in Grindelwald and takes you up Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch. The breathtaking view and world-famous panorama of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks are sure to thrill you. Once you arrive at the top, a fascinating world of ice, snow and rock lies before you. Take the “Alpine Sensation” adventure tour, inaugurated during the 100-year anniversary of the Jungfrau railway. Enjoy an unbelievable 360-degree view of the neighboring countries and the longest glacier in Europe, the amazing Aletsch Glacier, from the top of Europe – the Sphinx viewing platform. Don’t forget to visit the Ice Palace, a one-of-a-kind frozen world in the heart of the glacier and an experience you will not want to miss out on. During the ride back to Lauterbrunnen in the valley, you will arrive in the car-free, popular vacation spot of Wengen, where you will board the bus for the journey back to Zurich. Sturdy shoes and warm clothing recommended.

Rhine Falls – Europe's Biggest Waterfall
Europe's biggest waterfall is in Switzerland. Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen fascinates visitors with its great water volume. The Rhine Falls provides a magnificent spectacle. Across a width of 150 meters (492 feet) and a height of 23 meters (75.5 feet), 600 m³ (21,189 cubic feet) of water plunge over the falls in the summer. An adventure path with elevator goes from Laufen Castle to the outlook platforms and enables an unobstructed view of this spectacle of nature. A boat ride to the Rhine Falls basin, the rocks in the middle of the Rhine and downstream to the national border or farther to the Rheinau power plant is also worthwhile. The Adventure Park at Rhine Falls is on the north bank – one of Europe's most spectacular rope parks. All those lusting for adventure can glide from tree to tree on 11 different courses with a breathtaking view of Rhine Falls.

Other Lakes in the Region Around Lake Zurich
In addition to Lake Zurich, there are many other lakes in the region for swimming, fishing or surfing. The Walensee and Sihlsee lakes are ideal for windsurfing thanks to perfect wind conditions. At the northern coast of the Walensee lake, waterfalls cascade down the cliffs from a height of almost 2,000 feet. These falls are among the most impressive in all of Switzerland and are particularly beautiful in the spring. The Greifensee and Pfäffikersee lakes are situated in the Zürcher Oberland region. The latter freezes in the winter if it stays cold for a long time – and naturally turns into a great attraction for ice-skaters. The Wägitalersee lake is known to be a real gold mine for trout fishing. Fishers are required to purchase either a season or day permit. The fish catching limit of 5 trout per day is usually easily reached. Smaller lakes such as the Hüttnersee lake above Richterswil or the Lützelsee lake near Hombrechtikon invite visitors to take a cool, refreshing swim.

Flumserberg in Summer – a Hiking Paradise by the Walensee Lake
Flumserberg is located between Zurich and Chur and offers a wide range of mountain experiences in summer for hikers and mountain bikers. The Flumserberg region offers plenty of opportunities to explore the dreamy mountain world over 150 footpaths. The region is particularly appealing to tour bikers and downhill enthusiasts. Those wishing to avoid the strenuous ascent and skip straight to the downhill adrenaline rush can take their mountain bike on three of the Flumserberg gondolas. Another crowd puller is the “Climber” (a spectacular climbing tower) and the “Floomer” (a summer toboggan run that speeds down the mountain at up to 25 miles/h). Families with children will enjoy the mini-golf, barefoot trail and giant bouncy cushions.

Family

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Culture
Zurich has a large range of cultural events for families with children. Numerous museums organize special workshops, and there are performances for children in the Tanzhaus (dance theater) and Tonhalle Zurich (concert hall). A circus comes to Zurich every year – with its animals in the spring and clowns and acrobats at Christmas.

Animals
There's fantastic animal fun at the Zurich Zoo – with Masoala rain forest and elephant park – as well as at the Wildnispark Zurich or the kids' zoo in Rapperswil.

Nature
The parks and nature reserves in Zurich and the region provide lots of excursion options: on foot, by bike or by boat. Parks with barbecue spots and many playgrounds in the city entice you to linger. There are special offers for families in a few restaurants and hotels too.

Food

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Zurich's restaurant scene is just as diverse as the city itself. Its over 2,000 restaurants range from award-winning gourmet establishments to traditional guild houses with an eventful past, right through to out-of-the-ordinary venues in factory halls. In gastronomic Zurich, you can find every type of cuisine in the world. Particularly worth trying, however, are the local specialties, which taste particularly delicious here – no visit is complete without sampling «Zürcher Geschnetzeltes» and cheese fondue.

Creative gastro entrepreneurs have also established themselves in Zürich's former industrial districts. They use the space in empty factories to realize their innovative ideas. Cuisines from around the globe delight the palate here. The city's numerous outdoor restaurants represent an additional highlight of Zürich's gastronomy scene. On warm days, garden terraces with breathtaking views of the city and Lake Zürich as well as restaurants located directly by the water offer alfresco dining. In the Old Town you will find numerous restaurants in romantic courtyards. Haute cuisine is also represented in Zürich: more than 40 restaurants have been awarded Gault Millau points. For the top chefs in the city on the River Limmat, haute cuisine is an art form. Their restaurants are characterized by culinary luxury, magnificent dining rooms, obliging service, first-class wine menus, and experienced sommeliers. Zürich's fashionable cafés are the right venue for anyone who feels like enjoying a sweet treat. Enjoy homemade cakes and chocolate specialties. Let a Luxemburgerli macaroon melt on your tongue, or sample the inspired pastries.

Monuments

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Sightseeing in and around Zurich
There are numerous sights in the former Roman city of Zurich at which you can marvel. You find architecture highlights, historical squares, streets and districts, churches, artworks and lots more.

Ganymed – the Prominent Sculpture by Lake Zurich
The Ganymed sculpture has adorned the Bürkliterrasse since 1952. In mythology, the beautiful young boy of Zeus is abducted and taken to Mount Olympus. According to Greek mythology, Ganymede, the handsome king's son, was abducted by Zeus and taken up to the top of Mount Olympus. The statue completed by Hermann Hubacher in 1952 does not, however, depict this abduction instead symbolizes man's longing to ascend Mount Olympus. With an outstretched hand, Ganymede pleads with Zeus, the father of the gods (who appears as an eagle), to take him there. The work of art is inspired by ancient mythology but artist Hubacher emphasized that his sculpture was “not a Greek Ganymed but rather a Swiss one”.

Einsiedeln Abbey – One of the Most Important Pilgrimage Destinations in Switzerland
The monastery of Einsiedeln is a major station on the Way of St. James and the destination of many pilgrims. The magnificent Baroque construction of the monastery and the chapel (with Black Madonna) are the main attraction most visitors come to Einsiedeln to see. The Salve Regina, a choral song sung in several voices, is sung in the chapel daily at 4.30pm. The collegiate library with its century old book culture can be toured daily by the public. The monastery has bred its own horses since the Middle Ages. The "Cavalli della Madonna" stalls are sometimes open to the public.

Alfred Escher – the Designer of Modern Switzerland
The Swiss politician and entrepreneur Alfred Escher watches over Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse. Swiss sculptor Richard Kissling created this bronze statue in 1889 in honor of Alfred Escher, a renowned Zurich politician and entrepreneur. Escher founded one of Switzerland’s two large banks and three of its largest insurance companies to finance and insure the Gotthard railway line and tunnel, among other things. Because there were not enough engineers available for the construction, he also co-founded the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The sculpture is located at the heart of Escher’s achievements: between the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the Main Railway Station (as a link to the Gotthard railway line) and the Paradeplatz, a banking site.

Heinrich Bullinger – a Swiss Reformer and Link with Europe
The Swiss theologian Heinrich Bullinger reinforced the Reformation in Zurich and beyond. Heinrich Bullinger, one of the leading Protestant theologians of the 16th century, was responsible for reinforcing and sustaining the Reformation in Zurich. He succeeded Huldrych Zwingli at the Grossmünster church at the age of 27 and was definitely his equal in terms of passionate preaching. Bullinger was famous for his hospitality and exchanged correspondence across Europe – which led to him publishing a kind of newspaper about political events. His sculpture can be found on the southern outside wall of the Grossmünster church.

Museums

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Museums Abounding in Culture and Science
The Swiss National Museum – also known as the Landesmuseum – is situated just behind Zurich Main Station and houses the country’s largest cultural-historical collection within its castle-like walls. The interdisciplinary educational museum, Kulturama – the Museum of Mankind, gives visitors an insight into evolutionary history. The Aathal Dinosaur Museum goes back in time to the dinosaur era, while the Archaeological Collection of the University of Zurich bears witness to the life and art of ancient cultures. The Rapperswil-Jona Municipal Museum, opened in 2012, presents 800 years of history and culture relating to the “City of Roses” on Lake Zurich. Also located beside the water, Zurich’s Museum Bellerive is devoted to the applied arts. The Fotomuseum Winterthur is the Swiss mecca for photography and for over 20 years has focused on themes relating to artistic photography. Zurich’s Succulent Plant Collection houses one of the largest and most important special collections of its kind in the world. Around 6,500 different species – half of all the succulents in the world – can be found growing in the greenhouses, including agaves and cacti. Since 2010, plant lovers have been in for a treat in Rapperswil, too. The Enea Tree Museum, created by Enzo Enea, lies within 810,000 sq. ft (75,000 m2) of parkland and combines magnificent trees with impressive landscape architecture. Science enthusiasts will feel at home at the Swiss science center, the Technorama, in Winterthur or in Kindercity in Volketswil, which is specifically geared towards children. In both places, visitors can delve into natural and technological phenomena and discover some of their secrets. Meanwhile, all the exhibits at the Swiss Children's Museum in Baden and the Toy Museum in Zurich revolve around themes relating to childhood and children's games.

National Parks

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Sihlwald Wildlife Park Zurich – an Experience in Nature for all the Family
Forest Sihlwald Zurich is a natural park and offers plenty of room for sport and recreation in nature. The forest Sihlwald by Lake Zurich has been left to nature. The beech forest provided the city of Zurich with firewood for hundreds of years but no trees have been felled here since 2000. An original beech forest has therefore become re-established, like those which once covered the majority of Europe: with centuries-old giant trees, deadwood (a habitat for insects) and an impenetrable thicket of ferns and shrubs. Close to Sihlwald station is a visitor center, home to a museum play area, café and souvenir shop. There you can obtain useful information about the national park and the imaginative Sihlwald forest trail.

Places

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There are numerous sights in the former Roman city of Zurich at which you can marvel. You find architecture highlights, historical squares, streets and districts, churches, artworks and lots more.

Zurich-West – From Industrial Quarter to Trendy District
The district in the west of Zurich is full of contrasts, boasting an unpolished charm.

Where ships were once built and engines bolted together, art, design, food, culture shopping and architecture are now the center of attention. Factories have moved away, leaving their vast expanses of space that creative minds have taken advantage of.

Beneath the railway arches, design boutiques and market halls have moved in at what's know as "Im Viadukt" – and on the Gerolds-Areal you find Frau Gerolds Garten (Mrs. Gerold's Garden), a city garden and catering establishment. Besides the Freitag Flagship Store, diverse second hand furniture stores are also on the spot. On the other side of the Hardbrücke (bridge) the 126m Prime Tower reigns – boasting number-one place as Switzerland's highest building until the opening of the Roche Towers in Basel.

Restaurants

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Zurich provides international cuisine with a high quality standard. There are many restaurants rich in tradition on Bahnhofstrasse, but also fashionable ones in Zurich-West. There is a great variety to choose from in Niederdorf: from veal (schnitzel) to pasta, sushi, falafel and tapas all the way to fondue. "Zürcher Geschnetzeltes" (sliced veal Zurich style) with "Rösti" (shredded fried potatoes) is a classic. Most restaurants serve until 10pm.

Cheese Fondue Restaurants in Zurich
Regardless of whether in an open-air restaurant, on a boat, on a streetcar or traditionally in a chalet, Zurich's chefs are very creative when it is a matter of staging cheese fondue correctly. You only have to decide which variant you want, and the feast can begin.

Shopping

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Zürich offers shopping pleasures for every taste.
Shopping in Zürich inspires both lovers of exclusive items and the fashion conscious. You can stroll through pulsating Bahnhofstrasse with its international reputation for excellence, in a picturesque old town with over 2,000 years of history on the banks of the River Limmat, or among the trendy districts of Zürich-West and Aussersihl.

Bahnhofstrasse: luxury shops and international brands
The people of Zürich call shopping for pleasure “Lädelen” or “looking around the shops” – and there are almost no limits to this in Zürich. Every quarter of the town has it own individuality in shopping terms. The world famous Bahnhofstrasse in Zürich has made a major contribution to Zürich’s reputation as a shopping paradise. It is the first port of call for lovers of luxury: watches and jewellery glint not only in the windows of Beyer, Bucherer, or Türler; top class fashion and accessories may also be found at Bally, Bongénie Grieder, or Feldpausch; top international brands can be found everywhere, and even the department stores Jelmoli or Globus may surprise you.

Old town: where trends meet tradition
In Zürich’s Old Town on the banks of the Limmat, trend and tradition meet: The traditional Schipfe quarter has now become a crafts quarter. At Schwarzenbach Kolonialwaren, you can make the same purchases as over 100 years ago, while in the trendy shop Time-Tunnel you will find both second-hand designer pieces and a hairdressing salon. And the Zürich label Alprausch interprets traditional Swiss items in the trend-setting store Street & Snow-Ware in a new way.

Zürich-West and Aussersihl: urban Zürich labels which will impress you
For the fashion-conscious, a visit is recommended to the Zürich-West & Aussersihl former industrial quarters: here, designers like the cult label Freitag with its bags and accessories will surprise you daily with new creations that are an international sensation. Then there is also Fabric Frontline, which is continuing in Zürich’s silk tradition, and the famous Swiss designer Tran Hin Phu, who also knows how to surprise with his exclusive fashions.

Sports

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Enjoy the hiking and nature paradise in and around Zurich: in parks and gardens, on Zurich's very own Uetliberg "mountain", during a boat ride on Lake Zurich or a walk along the river. You'll find the perfect nature experience.

Top Sporting Events – at the Focus of the Action
Several times a year, the cameras of the sporting world focus on Zürich – for example, during the Mercedes CSI show-jumping tournament; the Art on Ice figure-skating gala; the World-Class Zürich track and field meeting and Europe's largest freestyle event, freestyle.ch. At the Zürich Marathon, Monday Night Skate, Ironman Switzerland or the Silvesterlauf race, participants can either go all out to win or simply take part for fun. Afterwards, there is ample opportunity to relax and recuperate, such as at a lakeside sauna or a hamam.

What kind of vacation would you like to take?