There’s something extra special about the summer months in Europe. The sun and warmth bring the cities (and people) to life. Street cafes are bustling, friends are toasting glasses of rosé on rooftops, and families are picnicking along river banks. This past June I had the pleasure of experiencing all this and more in Zürich, Switzerland—a picturesque international city centered in the heart of Europe.
Zürich offers incredible site-seeing, dining and plenty to do with theater, opera, museums and galleries aplenty. It has all the perks of a large city without the overwhelming hustle. And the streets are some of the cleanest I’ve ever seen. Not to mention, the public transportation is convenient and always on time.
Getting there is easy, too. Swiss Air offers comfortable non-stop flights aboard their new 777 aircraft and Lufthansa connects you to all other major European destinations, including Zürich, via Frankfurt in Germany.
In this 3-part travel guide I’ll be sharing all my recommendations for must-see sites, where to make your tastebuds super happy, and give you a peek into Zürich’s thriving contemporary art scene. First up, my top 10 must-see places:
01. Augustinergasse Street
One of the most colorful streets in Zürich. It reminds me of a fairytale and has a one-of-a-kind Swiss charm.
02. View from Lindenhof
One of the coolest things about Zürich is the Limmat River that runs through it. There’s no better spot to take it all in than the view from Lindenhof, which also offers amazing views of Old Town, Grossmünster Church and City Hall.
03. Old Town (Altstadt)
A definite must-see is Zürich’s historic Old Town, or Altstadt in German (as the locals say). The area features some of the city’s oldest architecture, with some buildings dating back to medieval times.
04. Grossmünster Tower
You can’t miss Grossmünster church with it's two identical towers. It’s definitely worth paying the 4 Swiss Francs to climb to the top for some pretty epic panoramic city views.
05. Lake Zürich
The Swiss are some of the most active people you’ll meet and Lake Zürich at summertime is their playground. The lake is teaming with sailboats, kayaks, paddle boards and more. We even got the chance to go wakeboarding with some locals!
This mountain overlooks the city and surrounding area, and it’s only a short train ride from Zürich’s main station. You can enjoy a hike surrounded by nature and climb up the observation tower for amazing photo-worthy views.
07. Freitag Store
This unique shop is found in Zürich’s trendy industrial district, Zürich-West. The shop itself is made from freight containers and houses the label's recycled bags made from used truck tarpaulins, car seat belts, bicycle inner tubes and airbags.
08. Gerold Cuchi Umbrellas
Another great photo-op in Zürich-West is the colorful umbrella art installation found outside the Gerold Cuchi restaurant.
09. Frauenbad Stadthausquai (ladies-only river bath)
This ladies-only bath along the Limmat River is the perfect place to unwind and soak up some sun after a long day exploring Zürich.
10. Flussbad Oberer Letten (public river bath)
This has to be one of the coolest places to take a swim in Zürich. Here you’ll find a young crowd enjoying a refreshing dip in the Limmat river or hanging with friends out on the docks.