Zürich City Guide: Where to Stay and What to See, Do & Eat

Zürich is a wonderful city with a multitude of things to offer. Prior to visiting Switzerland’s largest city, I had researched on the must-sees and must-dos, to ensure we made the most out of our five-day stay in Zürich. Fortunately, despite the limited time we had, we got to do everything we wanted. So to help others out there who are planning their trip Zürich, I hope this all-in-one post helps you map-out your trip one way or another. 

Where to Stay: Leoneck Swiss Hotel

Like I’ve said far too many times before, choosing where to stay is one of the most crucial decisions you’d have to make as a traveler, as it could easily make or break your trip. Given that I’ve always prioritized comfortability and accessibility when choosing where to stay, and of course, making sure it’s aligned within our budget, we’ve always been happy with our choice for accommodation. Luckily, this was also the case for where we stayed in Zürich. Leoneck Swiss Hotel is fantastically located in the heart of Zürich, and is within walking distance to all the major attractions in the city.In addition to this, the rates are affordable, and the rooms boast of all the amenities you would need during your stay. Additional facilities include a tour desk at reception (where we booked our excursion to Mount Titlis the night before we decided to go – absolutely convenient!), a small in-house restaurant serving great food, computers & printers you could use for free, as well as a lobby lounge you could take a quick break in if you hadn’t checked-in yet or if you’ve already checked-out. Needless to say, WiFi is complimentary and absolutely reliable!As a bonus, there’s also a tram stop right in front of the hotel, which links you directly to the airport, or pretty much to any other part of the city. So look no further, and choose Leoneck Swiss Hotel as your home in Zürich!

What to See & Do: My Top 8 Things Not to Miss

1) Heidiland and Liechtenstein Day Trip from Zürich by Gray Line

For more details, click this link to read about our tour excursion to Heidiland and Liechtenstein from Zürich, a must-do while in this city! 

2) Day Trip to Mount Titlis from Zürich by Best of Switzerland Tours

Still deemed as one of the best days of my life to date, a day trip to Mount Titlis from Zürich via Lucerne will definitely be a great experience for anyone. I have a whole post dedicated to this magical day, which you can access via this link 3) The Architectural Icons of Zürich

While Zürich has a number of iconic attractions with regards to its architecture, there are three that I highly suggest you don’t miss-out on, as listed below:

Grossmünster

This Protestant church is one of the four major churches in Zürich, and was built in Romanesque architecture. Sitting right by the Limmat River, this gorgeous structure dates back to the early 1200s, making it one of the most historically-significant buildings not only in the city, but in Switzerland. 

Hauptbahnhof

A major transportation hub, the Zürich Hauptbanhof also sits rights by the Limmat River, and serves as the city’s main transportation terminal. Aside from being important with regards to access, the structure is beautiful in itself, and is, I believe, a must-see for those who are planning to visit Zürich. Opera House

Yet another architectural beauty in the city of Zürich is the Opera House. Home to the Zürich Opera and the Zürich Ballet, this grand building is located beside Lake Zürich, and is situated right in front of an open square where you could lounge around in, as you bask in the European sun’s warmth (or the cold – depending on which season you’re visiting). 

4) Old Town

The Old Town of Zürich, also known as Altstadt, will make you feel as if you were walking in a fairytale. With winding cobblestone roads and medieval buildings, walking around and simply exploring could easily fill-up an afternoon as you find your way around this district. It also houses a few museums you could also spend some time in, like the Museum of Art and the Swiss National Musuem. 5) Lindenhof Hill

My favorite attraction located in the middle of the Old Town, however, is Lindenhof Hill. Sitting above the rest of the city is a park known as Lindenhof that is situated on top of the hill. It gives you a panoramic view overlooking the Limmat River and Zürich in all of its glory – definitely one of my favorite spots in the whole city. A tip: this is a great place to watch the sunset as well. 6) Limmatquai

Fancy some retail therapy or a cup of coffee as a break from exploring this magnificent city? Look no further, as the road right beside the river – Limmatquai, has everything you’re looking for: from shopping stores to cafes and restaurants.  7) Limmat River

Stretching throughout Zürich’s main city center, the Limmat River is this gorgeous waterway that adds even more charm to the city as it is located in the midst of Zürich’s architectural beauty.As gorgeous as it is to see during the day, it is also quite a sight by night. 

8) Lake Zürich

Last but definitely not the least on my top 8 things to not miss-out on while in this great Swiss city is of course, Lake Zürich. Its size stretches through the neighboring cantons, but right in the middle of Zürich at the mouth of the Limmat River spilling over to the Lake, there’s a walkway beside it where you could spend an hour or even more, as you take in the incredible view. 

What to Eat: Don’t Miss the Fondue!

And of course, a trip to Switzerland is never complete without some fondue, so here are my two top choices of where to get your cheese fix in the city:

Raclette Factory

With fantastic reviews online, this was at the top of our must-try list. True enough, the food did not disappoint. I highly-suggest you get their set selection, where you can easily choose the cheese, the side, and the topping: I say… go with Smoked Cheese, Bread, and Bacon – absolutely delicious! 

Restaurant Swiss Chuchi

We stumbled upon this restaurant on our last night when everything else was closing, – it was about 10 in the evening when we decided to go out – and we were craving for some hot melted cheese. Luckily, service was great (thanks, Patrick!) in this restaurant we came across – and the food, even better.  It was a great way to spend our last night in the city, leaving us with satisfied smiles. Seriously, you can never go wrong with fondue!

Why Zürich Should Be On Your List

Now that we’ve reached the end of my post, let me wrap up with three reasons why Zürich should be on your checklist of cities to visit:

  1. It’s one of the best base cities if you plan on exploring Switzerland. With several day trips offered from Zürich, you’ll get a taste of both the city and Swiss countryside if you stay here.
  2. Zürich is one of the most easy and convenient cities to explore given the accessibility of all the attractions, as well as the lack of a language barrier – almost everyone speaks perfect English, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost in translation!
  3. There’s just so much to see and do in the city. As aforementioned, Switzerland’s largest city just has so much to offer to all kinds of travelers – from families to couples and even, solo travelers. Architectural wonders, excursions to nature’s best landscapes, and so on…

I do hope that this post has convinced you to one day, visit the gorgeous city of Zürich; on the other hand, you are already planning your trip to this glorious city, then I hope this post helped you one way or another make the most out of your stay – that you’ll surely remember years on end.