Tourist in Zurich

Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Switzerland's largest city is one of the world's most important centers of finance in the world. Famous for its typically Swiss qualities of cleanliness and efficiency, Zurich is consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities. About twenty miles north of the Alps, visitors have much more than fine timepieces and chocolate at hand — though both are plentiful here.

Walk Through Zurich's Past

Zurich's historical center — called the Altstadt (Old Town) — is a wanderer's delight. Like something out of a storybook with is narrow cobblestone streets, ancient churches and tiny, whimsical shops. Visit the St. Peter Church which dates to 1000 A.D. Its conspicuous clock face is the largest on any European church. At Lindenhofplatz, up on a hill in the heart of Old Town, you can take in one of the best views of the city as you look out over the Limmat River. Nearby is Zurich's most striking church, the Grossmünster (Great Minister). Legend has it that Charlemagne ordered its construction, which makes it date back to the 12th century.

Outside the Old Town there are plenty of delightful distractions, including the serene Chinese Garden. Don't resist Bahnhofstrasse, downtown Zurich's main thoroughfare, where the high-heeled congregate in front of the haute Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Cartier windows. If you spend a little too much on a scarf, then rejoice — the Lindt factory store, just a few kilometers south of downtown, offers great discounts on chocolate.