The city, located on the shores of Lake Zurich, was permanently settled approximately 7000 years ago, and later the Roman Empire occupied it for strategic and commercial reasons.
Romans called Zurich Turicum, The burghers of the city swore allegiance to Lucerne, Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden cantons on May 1, 1351 joining the Swiss Confederation, which today is composed of 24 jurisdictions.
is more than clichés about banks, money, and Bahnhofstrasse.
The visitor is always delighted by the size of the city with a population of 400,000. Although it is accessible on foot, it also boasts a well-organized public transportation system.
The city’s location between green hills and Lake Zurich is compact and though small, it is a world city intellectually, economically, and culturally. The best months to visit Zurich are May to September, although the city never experiences the severe climate of nearby mountainous region Grison or Graubunden, famous for its resort hotels, and air-dried beef.
There are many museums for those who like such places of interest – museum of Art, Swiss Natural Museum, Centre Le Corbusier (a world famous architect who among other things designed the new capital of Brazil called Brasilia, Museum of Design, Watch Museum Beyer are only a few of the many.
Beyond museums, you can visit Guild Houses, the Zoo, Botanical Gardens, and Chinese Gardens.
The economy of the city is based on banking, the Stock Exchange, insurance, educational research, media conglomerates, and publishing.
Festivals abound; the opera, ballet and theatre performances continue throughout the year.
Fort those interested in church architecture, Grossmunster (Romantic period) and Frauenmunster (Gothic) Cathedrals are highly recommended.
Normally, tourists shun visiting cemeteries, but in Switzerland, and especially in Zurich, they are worth a few hours to see how well they were conceived, executed, and are maintained.
Henri Durant, the founder of the Red Cross, is buried in the Fluntern cemetery.
The Bahnhofstrasse (the main upscale downtown street) is full of high-end retailers selling super expensive jewellery, and watches. Boutiques and banks may interest some visitors, but Niederdorf (Old City), cafes, conffiseries or a walk on the Limmatquai, are more interesting for the tourist of limited means.
The Zurich Card allows you to ride the totality of public transportation system, plus free visits to all museums for 72 hours.
Never use taxis in Zurich as the tariffs are the highest in the world. In general, Switzerland is expensive, and because of this the tourism promotion concentrates on population segments rich enough to afford a visit.
Once in Switzerland or Zurich, you can eat well at all levels – fast food, medium-priced eateries, and high-end restaurants.
Switzerland enjoys world fame for its chocolates, and locals support the industry by consuming mostly Frey chocolates, although Lindt and Sprungli is the largest manufacturer in Europe, and exports to more than 50 countries.
A visit to conffiserie Sprungli and Café Odeon on Limmatquai are highly recommended. Vienna’s cafes are well known and frequented by locals, but Zurich’s cafes deserve your patronage to experience truly fresh brewed high quality coffee at a very high price.
If you like chocolate, visit Teuscher, and St. Jakob’s conffiseries to delight in “truffles” and other delicate and imaginative chocolate creations.
Several hotels cater to all kinds of tourists, from youth hostels, to medium priced, to luxury operations.
Switzerland is a small country with an extremely well organized rail system, the centre of which is Zurich. Once in teh city, you can visit Lucerne, Schaffhausen, Bern (the capital), and even Grison, famous for its resorts.
I have visited the country several times, and lectured there on two occasions.
The population can be outgoing and friendly once they get to know you, but everyone seems to be more interested in your spending habits.