Crowning the picture-perfect Weinegg Quarter, this university garden is enlivened by a vivid tapestry of botanical wonders. It is an integral part of the Institute of Systematic Botany. Constructed across its verdant meadows are bubble-style greenhouses, bountiful harbors of plants which lovingly call to mind the clear weather and vibrant landscapes of the Mediterranean and the Tropics. Come spring, the garden comes alive with a burst of mesmerizing blooms while droves of frogs croon into its glimmering pond. From alpine roses and water plants to native European and primitive species, the garden strives to be an embodiment of both research and recreation, creating a gardenscape which is a spectacular feast for the senses.
Flanked by verdant hills, the majestic Lake Zurich spans the cantons of Zürich, St. Gallen and Schwyz. The lake is bridged by the Seedamm at the point where it narrows, diving Lake Zurich into two distinct parts. Carved out by the ambling Linth River, this enormous lake is fringed by vineyards, orchards and splendid alpine hillocks. Myriad cruise ships ply its shimmering, blue-green waters, making it an ideal tourist destination replete with opportunities for adventure. Along its banks lie a wide variety of lake-view restaurants where patrons can relish 'Fischknusperli', a dish made using fish straight from the lake's depths. In addition, Lake Zurich is a popular windsurfing destination, and several idyllic hiking and biking trails wind around its perimeter. Particularly on public holidays, the lake is swarmed by boats and its banks with strolling people.
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.
Amid the city's bustle lies a serene sanctum complete with tree-lined walkways and the ornate Hedwig Fountain. This moraine hill-top space is a picturesque canvas and a nationally significant Swiss heritage site. Evidence of early activity dates back to the 2nd Century, and it is believed that the former castle remained standing through the 6th Century. Lindenhof also became a center of political activity and significant historic events. Home to the antiquated Lindenhof quarter, Lindenhof hill is where a synergy of history, culture, and natural beauty takes center stage. What today stands as an open verdant space is an erstwhile Celtic settlement harboring a Roman fortress, the ruins of which are still visible today. This scenic, emerald-hued expanse affords sweeping views of Old Town's charming roofed houses, the meandering waters of the Limmat River, and even the distant, mighty Swiss Alps.
Nestled in the sprawling Swiss Plateau, the majestic Üetliberg mountain affords an awe-inspiring panorama. An integral piece of the Albis chain, this mighty mount towers over Zurich's charming roofed houses, playing an ideal vantage point to look across Lake Zurich, the Alps, and Zurich's cityscape in all its glory. Its forested fabric is crisscrossed by hiking trails, mountain bike paths as well as the extensive Planet Trail. 'Zurich's very own mountain' is further dotted with jubilant water fountains, campsites, and hotels and is an outdoor wonder par excellence. This mountain also offers views of the majestic, rolling expanse of the Limmat Valley. Bursting at the seams with diverse flora like the wild garlic come spring, this mountain is a naturalist's dream and an adventurer's wonderland. During winter, the snow-capped range is ideal for skiing and sledding, making Üetliberg a top destination for both summer and winter sports enthusiasts.
A bevy of cultural experiences are to be found in this old villa, on top of a little hill in a park. On different floors, Rietberg Museum shows art from India, Southeast Asia, China, Tibet, Japan, Africa, Oceania, America, and Switzerland. Displays contain objects like statues of Shiva and other gods and goddesses, wooden dolls, masks and other artifacts. The admission prices for temporary exhibits differ from the normal rates. Get caught up in the world of the past and pay a visit to this magical museum.
This is where the heart of Switzerland beats: the biggest banks, two luxurious hotels and the traditional café "Sprüngli" surround this square that consists mainly of a big streetcar station. The place is scarcely more than a traffic crossing without cars - just pedestrians and streetcars. You can distinguish the exclusivity of this place by the wardrobe of the female passers-by and the volume of high-class shops nearby. The square thus represents the real character of Zurich: a little bit bourgeois and conservative like the "gnoms of Zurich".
The Schanzengraben reclaims the perimeter of Zurich's original defensive bulwarks, turning the area into a lovely tree-shaded walkway that subverts the once-imposing fortifications of Altstadt. What was once a prohibitive moat is now a tranquil canal, boats and swimmers bobbing easily in the still water that reflects the brickwork of antique fortress walls. A haven from the bustle of urban Zurich, Schanzengraben is the perfect destination for a peaceful walk through green pathways and nearby office workers enjoying a leisurely lunch.
For tourists in Zurich, one of the must-see places is certainly the Stadthaus Ausstellungen. Various documentary exhibitions are hosted regularly inside the gorgeous neo-gothic town house that was established in 1900. Visitors can stroll around the various galleries of the Stadhaus and spend quality time acquainting themselves with local history. Exhibitions here focus on sociopolitical issues and history related to Zurich and the surrounding region. It is a fantastic place to view and admire the architecture and learn more about the city and its culture. For history buffs, a visit to this townhouse and its various exhibitions would be an extremely fruitful and enriching experience.
Declared as one the world's most expensive shopping streets, Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse easily holds its own compared with its peers in New York, Hong Kong, Paris and London. Blue-and-white trams whisk shoppers along this mile-long and mainly car-free stretch between the main train station and the lake. Bahnhofstrasse is where the affluent shop for designer clothing and gold watches. However, it also finds a fair share of the general populace, all in awe of the shopping extravaganza. Elegant department stores worth a visit include Jelmoli and Globus, which is separated from Bahnhofstrasse by a small park. Numerous restaurants and cafes feature outdoor seating, ideal for observing fellow shoppers.
The first floor of Zunfthaus zur Meisen houses the faience (glazed ceramic ware) and porcelain collection of the Swiss National Museum. The baroque interiors provide a good backdrop for an overview of the Swiss faience and porcelain workshops of the 18th century and the role Switzerland played in the tableware culture of that time. Products from the Zurich porcelain factory in Kilchberg-Schooren and some from Nyon VD are displayed in the center of the room. They are arranged chronologically (Zurich products from 1763 to 1790 and Nyon ones from 1781 to 1813) to give an insight into how they evolved as per the changing tastes of the time. Zurich's porcelain figures have a special place in the exhibition. They are grouped according to the theme they represent such as seasons, continents, wine, love, allegories, hunting, elements and exoticism. Private events can also be organized at the venue which can accommodate 200 people (standing only).
Augmented by the steely waters of the Limmat River, this church is a stirring escape into history. A stone's throw from Lindenhof Hill in the old town of Zurich, this is one of the four major churches in the city. Although the current holy site was not declared sacred until 1706, an early church structure was believed to have been built by the 8th or 9th Century. The most iconic feature of St. Peterskirche is its clock tower, which plays host to the largest clock face in the country, its minute hand alone measuring 5.7 meters (18.8 feet). With a facade as legendary and imposing as this, it is no surprise that St. Peter Church lords over pristine, fawn-roofed houses which dot the charming landscape of Old Town. However, the interiors of the church are just as beautiful, its stuccoed white ceiling and carved wooden balconies illuminated by a line of chandeliers that swing overhead. While an ornate Romanesque choir stall and Baroque naves add to its magnificence, it is the now faded murals that are a true testimony to the church's long-standing history and religious repute.