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

House/ Mansion/ Villa 1

Museum/ Gallery 13

Neighborhood/ Street 3

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 2

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 4

Store/ Shop/ Mall 1

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

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Zurich Sights

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Alfred Escher statue

  • Public Art (Mural/Sculpture/Statue)

Leave it to Zürich to have a statue that honors not a saint, not a poet or artist, but rather the financial wizard who single-handedly...

Bahnhofstrasse

  • Neighborhood/Street

Reputedly "the most expensive street in the world"—thanks to all of its extravagantly priced jewelry stores—Zürich's principal boulevard...

Fraumünster

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Of the church spires that are Zürich's signature, the Fraumünster's is the most delicate, a graceful sweep to a narrow point. It was...

Graphische Sammlung

  • 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, affectionately known to English speakers as the "Gross Monster," features plump twin towers (circa 1781) on...

Hauptbahnhof

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

From the bustling main concourse of this immaculate 19th-century edifice you can watch crowds rushing to their famously on-time trains.

Haus Konstruktiv

  • Museum/Gallery

Housed in a former electrical substation set by the River Sihl—an impressive 1930s modernist architectural statement in its own right—this...

Helmhaus

  • Museum/Gallery

Changing exhibitions of contemporary, often experimental, art by Zürich-based artists are hosted at this museum, the open court of which...

James Joyce's Grave

  • Cemetery

The inimitable Irish author not only lived and wrote in Zürich, but died here as well. The city's most famous literary resident is buried...

Kirche St. Peter

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Dating from the early 13th century, Zürich's oldest parish church was built on a site that has been occupied by a church since the 9th...

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