Drawn by the Swiss National Exhibition in 1939 and the Landscaping Exhibition of 1959, lower Lake Zurich is ringed by a wide array of promenades, public parks, baths and gardens. Especially on public holidays, the lake is swarming with boats, and the banks are swarming with people out for a stroll or a picnic. From April through October, regular passenger and automobile ferries operate on the lake. Special round trips can be booked at the Bürkliplatz in summer, offering meals, music, dancing and night cruises.
Established in the year 1961, North America Native Museum in Zurich offers a wonderful insight into different cultures. Originally set up with Gottfried Hotz' erstwhile private collection, the museum today focuses on conserving and exhibiting various ethnographic items of Inuit, First National and Native American cultures. The museum building's second level houses its permanent collection. North America Native Museum received a small exhibition space in 2013 which displays a few original art works by Karl Bodmer, a renowned illustrator and painter.
The Kunsthaus Zurich is among the most prominent fine arts museums in the city and is renowned for their 19th and 20th-century collection. It includes pieces by Chagall, Mondrian, Munch and other masters. Those who favor Impressionist artists will be delighted to find two of Monet's best waterlily paintings here. Modern art is not forgotten, with works by Beuys, Baselitz and Bacon flying the flag. In the entrance you will find an elaborately-stocked art bookshop. Refresh yourself at the cafe-bar or restaurant.
Zürich Opera House, known locally as Opernhaus Zürich, sits on the edge of Lake Zurich. Its history dates back to 1834 when the first permanent theater, the Aktientheater, was erected. The current theater, which replaced the original after it was destroyed in a fire, was built by Viennese architects and opened in 1891. Today, the site also houses the Bernhard-Theater Zürich and Zürich Ballet. Zürich Opera House is a premier cultural attraction in the Swiss city, celebrating a rich artistic history in the many performances it puts on. The neo-Classical structure even has carved images of such geniuses as Schiller, Mozart, Shakespeare, Goethe, and Weber in its facade. While the ornate auditorium offers excellent acoustics, the lovely Zürich Opera House is even worth admiring from the outside.
The Offene Rennbahn in Oerlikon, Zurich, is an open air track-cycling arena. Dating back to 1912, this concrete track was host to the inaugural UCI Track Cycling World Championships (Bahn-Radweltmeisterschaften) which was held in 1923. The arena has a seating capacity of 3,000 and is a regular venue for other disciplines of track cycling as well. Call ahead to know more.
The Beyer Clock and Watch Museum is a one of its kind museum and houses an extensive collection of timepieces. Horologists will marvel at the exhibition which showcases over 250 chronological instruments that date back from 1400 BC all the way to modern quartz clocks that are accurate upto a millionth of a second. The instruments are meticulously arranged according to chronology, so the collection begins from shadow sticks, sundials, oil clocks and tails off with navigational chronometers. There is a lot you can learn about man’s complex relationship with time here.