Zurich Sights

From the northern tip of the Zürichsee, the Limmat River starts its brief journey to the Aare and, ultimately, to the Rhine—and it neatly bisects Zürich at the starting gate. The city is crisscrossed by lovely, low bridges. On the left bank are the Altstadt, the grander, genteel pedestrian zone of the old medieval center; the Zürich Hauptbahnhof, the main train station; and Bahnhofplatz, a

major urban crossroads and the beginning of the world-famous luxury shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse. The right bank constitutes the livelier old section, divided into the Oberdorf (Upper Village) toward Bellevue, and the Niederdorf (Lower Village), from Marktgasse to Central and along Niederdorfstrasse, which buzzes on weekends. Most streets between Central and Bellevue are pedestrian-only zones, as is the Limmatquai from the Rudolf-Brun-Brücke to the Münsterbrücke.

Similar to the arrondissement system in Paris, Zürich is officially divided into a dozen numbered Kreises (districts), which spiral out clockwise from the center of the city. Kreis 1, covering the historic core, includes the Altstadt, Oberdorf, and Niederdorf. Zürich West is part of Kreis 5. Most areas in the city are commonly known by their Kreis, and a Kreis number is generally the most helpful in giving directions.

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Kreis 1: The Historic Core 21

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Left Bank: The Altstadt 10

Right Bank: Niederdorf and Oberdorf 11

Kreis 5: Zurich West 4

Kreis 7 2

Kreis 8 1

Kreis 2 1

Winterthur 1

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Arts/ Performance Venue 1

Building/ Architectural Site 2

Cemetery 1

Government Building 1

Museum/ Gallery 13

Neighborhood/ Street 3

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 2

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 4

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Zurich Sights

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Sammlung Oskar Reinhart "Am Römerholz"

  • Museum/Gallery

Lucas Cranach's Portrait of Johannes Cuspinian, Pieter Breugel the Elder's Adoration of the Magi in the Snow, Peter Paul Rubens's...

Schauspielhaus Pfauenbühne

  • Arts/Performance Venue

During World War II this was the only German-language theater in Europe that wasn't muzzled by the Nazis, and it attracted some of the...

Schweizerisches Landesmuseum

  • Museum/Gallery

Housed in a gargantuan neo-Gothic building dating from 1889, the Swiss National Museum owns an enormous collection of objects dating...

Stiftung Sammlung E.G. Bührle

  • Museum/Gallery

A stunning array of Cézannes, Manets, Monets, and Degas make this eye-knocking collection one of the best art museums in Europe—unfortunately...

Wasserkirche

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

One of Switzerland's most delicate late-Gothic structures, this church displays stained glass by Augusto Giacometti. Both the church...

Zoologisches Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

Engaging and high-tech, the Zoological Museum allows you a close look at its accessible displays on Swiss insects, birds, and amphibians.

Zunfthaus zur Meisen

  • Museum/Gallery

Set on the bank of the Limmat across the river from the towering Fraumünster is Zürich's most beautiful guildhall, comprising a magnificent...

Zunfthaus zur Saffran

  • Building/Architectural Site

Portions of this guildhall for haberdashers date from as early as 1389. The modern restaurant downstairs has outdoor seating underneath...

Zunfthaus zur Waag

  • Building/Architectural Site

Renaissance in style—note the broad Tuscan columns and decorative strap work on the grand facade—this circa-1637 guildhall was the...

Zürich Zoo

  • Zoo/Aquarium

This is one of Europe's outstanding zoos, with more than 1,500 animals, including Asian elephants, black rhinos, seals, and big cats.

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