Zurich Travel Guide

Explore Zurich

Lauded as one of the world’s most liveable cities, Zurich may be the largest and most affluent metropolis in Switzerland but it’s as humble, quaint and calm as any other Swiss town. Dotted with winding lanes and medieval buildings, the city has a charming fairy-tale atmosphere that calls out to those romantic at heart.

Add to that, there’s no shortage of green spaces and waterfront boulevards (thanks to the city’s location at the confluence of river and lake), plus plenty of walking trails and scenic views right on the edge of the city.


Top Things to Do

Madni Masjid

Established in 1996, this mosque has been run by the Swiss Muslim Society and is opened for regular prayer times. Swiss Muslim Society is a non-profit organization and covers all the expenses through the donations from the local Muslim community.

Fraumünster

Topped with a sharp emerald steeple, this iconic landmark of Zurich has a stunning facade made distinctive by its stoned walls and stained-glass windows. The 13th-century cathedral was designed by the Russian-Jewish master Marc Chagall (1887–1985) and continues to be an architectural masterpiece even today.

Grossmünster

Since its inauguration around the year 1220, this Romanesque-style Protestant church has been the main religious worship site of the city. The twin towers of the Grossmünster are regarded as the most recognized landmark in Zurich. It also houses a Romanesque crypt that dates to the 11th and 13th centuries.

Swiss National Museum

This art museum has some of the most important historical collections in Europe. The museum building dates back to 1898, and it was built in the form of a French Renaissance chateau. Art lovers will be impressed by their rich compilation of gothic art, chivalry and liturgical wooden sculptures.

Lake Zurich

Come summer, the lake and its surrounding area are the heart and lungs of the city. Framed by the Albis and Zimmerberg hills, the bean-shaped lake has a picturesque setting and a serene atmosphere with gently rocking waves lapping up against green patches. The best way to discover the Lake Zurich area is by taking a boat trip.

Old Botanical Garden

Owned by the University of Zurich, this botanical garden and arboretum showcases a large variety of vegetation from the tropics and the Mediterranean. While spring is the best time to come here, the greenhouses are also worth a visit in bad weather.

Where to Eat and Drink

Swiss food is more than just schnitzels, raclette and fondue — and in Zurich, you can easily see the variety in Swiss cuisine and how it’s evolved with time. Whether you’re seeking Michelin-starred fine dining, traditional staples in a tavern setting or simply affordable halal food, Zurich won’t disappoint.


RECOMMENDED PLACES TO EAT

Yalla Habibi

Known as the best halal option in town, this affordable Lebanese restaurant has a full halal menu with classic dishes like tabbouleh, baba ghanoush and kebbeh.

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Parkhuus

This upscale restaurant pays great attention to detail, and places great emphasis on the composition of their dishes. The restaurant’s open-concept show kitchen and two-story wine library that houses more than 3,000 bottles of wine truly give it a wow factor.

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Au Pavillon

This Michelin-starred restaurant located within the legendary Baur au Lac hotel, offers contemporary, fine dining in a classic environment. Headed by the famous chef Laurent Eperon, the restaurant delivers an artful combination of traditional ingredients and flavors with creative and innovative preparations.

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Tibits

Fresh, delicious & easy going: that’s the motto of Tibits. This vegetarian and vegan restaurant chain offers an inexpensive, delicious and fresh buffet, as speedy as a fast food joint and as cosy as corner café. You pay by weight, so you can take as much or as little as you want. It’s an all day affair so perfect for breakfast, brunch or a light dinner.

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Recommended Places to Stay

Baur Au Lac

Voted as one of the world’s top luxury hotels, this heritage lair is a destination on its own. The classic heritage hotel is where most celebrities and dignitaries would stay when in Zurich.

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Atlantis by Giardino

The newly renovated luxury hotel is a real urban retreat, boasting Modernist architecture that blends naturally into the green surroundings of Üetliberg.

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X-tra Hotel

Located in a modern building, the hotel is part of an entertainment complex which includes an indoor discotheque for 1500 people a venue for the latest bands and DJs as well as special parties.

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Hotel Coronado

Centrally located in the university area of downtown Zurich, this midrange hotel is simple and sparkling clean, and easily accessible by tram. If you’re looking for a no-frills hotel with a modest price tag, you can’t go wrong with this.

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Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Zurich is during the summer months when the average temperature is around mid 20ºC. However, summer is the peak season so it’s also the most expensive time to visit. Spring and fall are also good times to visit Zurich, though temperatures can drop as low as 5 to 8ºC. Winter season is best avoided, as it can get extremely cold (around -2ºC to 3ºC) and hotel rates remain high due to the ski season.


Getting There

Many airlines fly from Saudi Arabia to Zurich, including Qatar, Saudia, and Turkish Airlines. There are no direct flights; most flights from Riyadh to Zurich include one or two stopovers. The journey time is approximately 9 to 11 hours.

Getting from Airport to City
  • By Train

    The Swiss Federal Railways run services from Zurich Airport to Zurich Main Station every 5–10 minutes between around 5.00am and 12.30am. In addition, the S-Bahn lines S2 and S16, and arious regional and Inter City trains, connect the airport with Zurich Main Station in just 10 minutes. A single fare starts from 3.30 CHF.

  • By Bus

    Flugbus has regular departures from Zurich Airport and stops at various points in the city center. A single fare costs 40 CHF. However, it only runs from early May to mid October. There are also 7×7 minibuses that run at least once an hour in both directions between the city center and the airport. All the hotels in central Zurich and Zurich-West are served by the shuttle bus; A single journey costs CHF 25 for adults.

  • By Taxi

    Taxis are located in front of Arrival Halls 1 and 2. The journey from the airport to city center takes around 15 minutes and costs between 50 and 70 CHF.



Extra tips
  • In Zurich, the official language is German. French and English are also widely spoken.

  • The currency in Switzerland is the franc (CHF). The current exchange rate is 1 SAR to 0.26 CHF.

  • The outlets in Switzerland supply 230 volts.

  • Switzerland has its own plug style, which is a hexagonal three pin plug. Most hotels will also have the European two-pin plug.