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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  • Museum/Gallery

The impressive collection of the Federal Institute of Technology includes a vast library of woodcuts, etchings, and engravings by such...

Grossmünster

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

This impressive cathedral is affectionately known to English speakers as the "Gross Monster." Executed on the plump twin towers (circa...

Helmhaus

  • Museum/Gallery

The open court of this museum once served as a linen market. Inside there are changing exhibitions of contemporary, often experimental,...

Kirchgasse

  • Neighborhood/Street

Antiques, art, and book enthusiasts will delight in the shops on this street. No. 13 was Zwingli's last home before he was killed in...

Kunsthaus

  • Museum/Gallery

With a varied and high-quality permanent collection of paintings—medieval, Dutch and Italian baroque, and impressionist—the Kunsthaus...

Rathaus

  • Government Building

Zürich's striking aroque government building dates from 1694–1698. Its interior remains as well preserved as its facade: there's a...

Rindermarkt

  • Neighborhood/Street

Fans of Gottfried Keller, commonly considered Switzerland's national poet and novelist, will want to visit this street. The 19th-century...

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...

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.

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