24 Hours in Zurich – How to Make the Most of Your Time

24 Hours in Zurich – How to Make the Most of Your Time


Switzerland’s largest city has such good transport links that it’s an excellent hub from which to explore the rest of the country. Yet with a sizeable Old Town and many pedestrianised streets, it’s a great place to visit in its own right. If you have 24 hours in Zurich, read on for our tips on how to make the most of your time.

24 Hours in Zurich – What to See

If arriving by train, start at the train station with a visit to the helpful Tourist Office inside the train station to get your bearings. A few minutes away, you’ll find the Landesmuseum or Swiss National Museum. It has over 820,000 exhibits, presented in a really interesting way. One of my favourite exhibits was the giant rotating wheel displaying iconic Swiss items such as a watch, cow bells and cheese.

Landesmuseum Zurich SwitzerlandAfter the Landesmuseum, you may now be feeling hungry so head for a quick and hearty lunch at Zeughauskeller. This 15th century building was an arsenal where weapons were stored – according to legend, William Tell’s crossbow was issued here.

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Admire the striking Art Nouveau architecture of Grieder Bongénie luxury department store on Bahnhofstrasse. It has a particularly lovely roof terrace with a great view of Paradeplatz.

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There are also some very quaint streets in the surrounding area.

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Whilst not far away, you can visit Grossmünster meaning Great Minster, an impressive Protestant church with beautiful cloisters dating from the 12th century AD.

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During your walk, you’ll no doubt come across a few decorative water fountains – Zurich has over 3000 of them!

Zurich Old Town is charming and well worth a visit - Luxury Columnist - Food, Lifestyle & Travel Blog
One of Zurich’s hidden gems is tucked away inside the Police Station. If you ask nicely, they may well let you have a peek at their lobby, also known as the “hall of tiny flowers”. It was created by Augusto Giacometti, a relation of renowned artist Alberto Giacometti in the early 1900s.

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Photo courtesy of Zurich Tourism

Close by, you’ll find the Urania Sternwarte or Observatory which stands 157 feet high and offers wonderful views. In addition to telescopes, it also houses the Jules Verne bar.

Zurich Jules VerneWalk up the pedestrianized cobbled streets to Lindenhof hill for equally panoramic views over Zurich’s river and to the university quarter in the background. The University of Zurich is the largest in Switzerland with over 26,000 students and some very illustrious alumni such as Albert Einstein. Lindenhof itself was an important prehistoric, Roman, and medieval site and is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance.

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The Hedwig Fountain dates from 1688 and was designed to commemorate the brave Zurich women who defended Zurich during the siege by the Duke of Habsburg in 1292.

The Lindenhof Statue in Zurich, Switzerland - Luxury Columnist - Photography Blog
Once you’ve descended back to the centre, make time to visit some of Zurich’s best chocolate shops, including Läderach and Confiserie Sprüngli, renowned for their Luxemburgerli macaroons…

sprungli-chocolate-zurichand not forgetting Teuscher, the first chocolatier to create champagne truffles.

Teuscher is one of the best chocolate shops in Zurich, Switzerland - Luxury Columnist - Food BlogAnother hidden gem on Neumarkt is a model of Zurich dating from the 1800s.

zurich-panorama-modelIf you are staying longer than 24 hours in Zurich, then a cruise on the lake is highly recommended, or perhaps consider an excursion to Lucerne or Lugano.

Zurich-lake

Photo courtesy of MySwitzerland

24 Hours in Zurich – Where to Eat

For a pit stop in the Old Town, Café Schober on Napfgasse takes some beating. Spread over several floors and with a charming little terrace, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a slice of cake and coffee. On nearby Spiegelgasse stands the Cabaret Voltaire, an  arts centre and café where the Dada art movement began in 1916.

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For dinner, the historic Oepfelchammer restaurant nearby poses a unique challenge…diners are welcome to try their luck at sliding through the ceiling beams! Many have tried including acrobats and many have failed.

Graffiti at the Oepfelchammer restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland - Luxury Columnist - Food, Style & Travel Blog
Getting to Zurich

Zurich airport has direct flights to 127 destinations in 60 countries. From the airport it’s just ten minutes by cab, train or tram into the centre. It’s well worth investing in the ZurichCARD, which gives you unlimited second-class travel on all public transportation in Zurich and the surrounding areas. It also gives you free or reduced admission to most of Zurich’s museums and 50% off public city tours organised by Zurich Tourism.

Where to Stay

For business travellers flying into Zurich airport, the Kameha Grand is an excellent choice. With a location less than 10 minutes from the airport and an impressive array of events spaces, it has a quite extraordinary interior design. From the rocking horses in the lobby, to the Moroccan shisha lounge and mouthwatering desserts, the attention to detail is fabulous.

kameha-grand-zurich-reviewOur “Gentleman’s Suite” has a James Bond theme and came complete with its own roulette wheel! Even the bathroom doors were designed to look like safe doors.

The Gentleman's Suite at the Kameha Grand, Zurich, Switzerland - Luxury Columnist - Style & Travel Blog
The spa on the top floor of the hotel has two saunas set at different heats, a steam room, chill out area with mesmerizing fire display and an outside area for when the weather is good. There’s also a very well equipped gym if you’re feeling energetic.

kameha-grand-zurich-spaBreakfast was one of the best that I’ve come across, with a huge choice including healthy juices and an array of hot and cold dishes. Kameha’s motto is “Life is Grand” and staying here certainly gave us that impression!

Whether you’re in Zurich for business or pleasure or both, the city’s compact size makes it easy to explore and its many attractions will definitely make you want to return.

Have you ever visited and what would you recommend seeing for someone who has only 24 hours in Zurich?

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  • Looks gorgeous here Suze and that suite is amazing!!

  • So many amazing places to see wow

    Beauty Candy Loves

  • This was a brilliant guide to Zurich and those macarons look delicious. I was quite taken aback by the decor of your hotel room, what a fun environment!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  • Such a great guide! I’ve been to Geneva before but absolutely hated it! However, I think I’d really like Zurich because of all the German influences 😉 xo

    • I had mixed feelings about Geneva as I wasn’t there with the right person. If I go back, there’s a very kitsch restaurant called Edelweiss that I can’t wait to return to! I’m sure you’d love Zurich, they do great beer 😉

  • Zurich has so many beautiful places, building and landmarks to see. I love the macaroons the most, for the love of food!!
    http://www.fashionstylemogul.com

    • For once I managed to resist the macaroons, though we did sample a bit of chocolate!

  • alice

    Great post doll, love the pics!

    Alice Cerea,

    babywhatsup.com

  • Agness

    I’ve heard once that Zurich was quite boring. Now I read your blog post and I’m like “Yeah… whatever!” 🙂 Can’t wait to make it there!

    • I think if you lived there it might be a bit quiet in terms of nightlife but having said that there’s a huge student population – anyway it was great for our trip!

  • Paola

    Thanks for this lovely tour Suze!
    Kisses, Paola.

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  • The macaroons! I’d park my fanny there. And eat as many as possible before I exploded LOL. Then I’d stuff a few more in. And a few more. What colors! Always love tasty food but the presentation is the icing on the cake. Or the color on the macaroon 😉

    • Now I’m feeling like a mug for not eating any macaroons this time 😉 Mind you I certainly got my fill of savouries and chocolates!

  • This is defo a good 24-hour guide for Zurich! I love the Kameha Grand – it’s very handy for quick trips and I agree with how nice brekky is!

    Honey x The Girl Next Shore

    • I agree, It’s nice to find a business hotel that treats people like individuals not faceless numbers!

  • Thanks for the overview of Zurich! A city we haven’t yet visited – but could very well in future :-). And that motto “Life is grand!” is right on!

  • I would love to visit Zurich…it looks and sounds like such an amazing place! Thanks for sharing this overview!

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  • I love Zurich! On my first trip I went in the summer and went paddle boating on the lake. It was such a fun way to spend an afternoon!

  • Zurich looks amazing! That hall of flowers inside the police station is so beautiful. It’s crazy that people try to squeeze through those beams, I wonder how many get stuck? hahaha

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

    • We were so lucky to be able to visit inside the police station, it depends what’s going on when you visit

  • I would love to visit Zurich and am definitely bookmarking this for when I finally do! Zurich looks like such an amazing city and it seems like the perfect spot to head further on to explore Switzerland!

    • It’s a great base as the train can whizz you off through some really scenic countryside

  • The Reader’s Tales

    I adore Zurich and Luzern. This is an excellent review 🙂
    Thank you for stopping by my blog yesterday and thank you for your kind words.

    • Thanks very much, I’m glad you enjoyed reading it and I enjoyed reading your Geneva restaurant review!

  • If they bust me for stealing cheese do I get taken to the “hall of tiny flowers”? XD

  • I loved visiting Zurich in the summer, there was so much more to do than I thought!

    • Yes I was surprised to be honest as we thought we knew the place quite well already

  • Zurich looks so gorgeous + fun!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Great post Suze, Love how you’ve brought Zurich to life in pictures 🙂

    crossinglemons.com

  • I’ve been so many times at Zurich airport to catch connections but I have never visited the city. From your photos it looks fantastic!

    http://www.luxessed.com

  • GREAT post Suze! You’re posts are seriously making me very nostalgic for Switzerland, not to mention I am positively craving a Confiserie Sprüngli’s inimitable macarons!

  • Beauty Follower

    Loved the buildings and the desserts of course!

    http://beautyfollower.blogspot.gr/

  • I’m so sad our visit last year was derailed! This sounds amazing!