Since 2001, out of 300-plus cities every year, Zurich has been awarded the ‘City with the world’s best quality of
life’ title a total of 7 times, and enjoyed the runner-up position 3 times. The award (which is put on by the Mercer
research organisation) examines aspects like leisure and recreation, safety, cleanliness, and political and economic stability. And, it proves that the Swiss city of Zurich really is a small paradise in the middle of Europe. Here are twenty things to experience in what is arguably the world’s best quality of life city.
- Hike up Uetliberg: Uetliberg is ‘Zurich’s very own mountain’, and from where you have beautiful views of the city, lake, and Swiss Alps. At around 900 metres high, Uetliberg is not huge, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in popularity. In winter, the hiking trails are converted into sledding runs. In summer, there are hiking trails to the top, mountain bike routes, and a ‘Planet Trail’ of our solar system.
- Shop at the Bahnhofstrasse Boulevard: At this world renowned shopping boulevard you’ll find numerous fashion boutiques, designer department stores, top-class restaurants, and luxury watch and jewellery shops, as well as the famous Paradeplatz – the Swiss banking centre.
- Experience ‘3 000 Years of Timekeeping’ at the Clock and Watch Museum: One of the world’s leading private collections of clocks can be found at the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum. Over 300 valuable exhibits are on display, and present you with a history of timekeeping over 3000 years.
- Go underground at Käpfnach Mine: The now disused Käpfnach coal mine offers an exciting underground adventure, with the highlight being a 1.4 kilometre ride through a railway tunnel. There is also a Mining Museum here with exhibits relating to the centuries-old local coal-mining industry.
- Do a Zurich Bicycle Tour: One of the best ways to discover Zurich is by bicycle, and there are various guided bike tours around the city’s picturesque urban districts, and famous sites.
- Visit a medieval castle: Kyburg Castle is perched high up above the River Töss, and is Eastern Switzerland’s most important feudal castle. It is also now home to a lively museum where you can hear tales about the knights and castle maidens, and see the castle torture chamber, medieval kitchen, and armor and weapon rooms.
- Admire the finest watches and watchmaking in the world: For centuries, Switzerland has been world-renowned for its watches. In Zurich there are dozens of watch and jewellery shops stocking the leading brands. And it is hard to walk away empty-handed (or empty-wristed)! 8. Visit the Kunsthaus Zurich art museum: This is a must visit for art enthusiasts as it houses one of the most important modern art collections in Zurich. There are also artworks from the medieval era and a significant collection of international works, including key pieces by Picasso, Monet and Chagall.
- Take the kids to Kindercity: This edutainment centre is where your kids can discover the joys of science – and where they can learn how to manipulate, observe, analyze, exchange and experience their natural, physical world in a scientific way.
- Explore the National Museum Zurich: The National Museum is located in the heart of Zurich, next to the Main Railway Station and houses the largest collection of cultural historical objects in the country. The museum building itself is over 100 years old and looks like something out of a classic fairytale story.
- See the Swiss Alps from Bürkliplatz: Lake Zurich’s Bürkliplatz dock is the starting spot for many tours, the venue for a variety of events, a vegetable market (which takes place here twice weekly), and a flea market every Saturday in the summer. It is also where you’ll get a view of the majestic Swiss Alps peaks.
- Stroll through the City Gardens: Open every day of the week, the Zurich City Gardens await with thousands of flowers, a large display garden with botanical rarities, two greenhouses overflowing with tropical and subtropical plants and animals, a pumpkin plantation, and much more. It’s a great place for a relaxing, ‘escapethe- city’ stroll.
- Visit Zurich’s Chinese Garden: The ‘Temple Garden by the Lake in Zurich’ was a gift from the city’s Chinese partner town of Kunming. At the centre of the temple is a pond with a small island, pavilions and a small palace.
- Explore Schipfe: Schipfe is Zurich›s oldest district, and where boats docked during the Middle Ages to deliver silk, gold and food to the city. Today, it is an idyllic location to linger around, shop at, and enjoy some good food at the many restaurants in the area.
- Eat Swiss cheese: For tourists, any trip to Zurich can be considered incomplete without a traditional Swiss cheese tasting session – or without a traditional Swiss cheese fondue served in a hotpot (especially in winter).
- Dine on Zürigeschnätzlets and other Zurich dishes: The classic Zurich dish is Zürigeschnätzlets, which consists of chopped veal in a cream and wine sauce, served with potato Rösti (a type of hash-brown). Grilled Würste (sausages) is also popular, and served with boiled potatoes, or small noodle dumplings.
- Buy a Swiss Army Knife: The now legendary Swiss Army Knife (represented by the Victorinox brand) is one of life’s practical little luxuries – and always extremely handy to have in your pocket or handbag. And, there’s no better place to acquire one than from the country where they originally came from.
- Explore Zurich Zoo: Amur tigers, snow leopards, giant tortoises, penguins and gorillas are just some of the over 360 different animals that provide visitors to Zurich Zoo with what is an exotic world adventure. There is also a spectacular treetop tour through the Zoo’s Masoala Rainforest.
- Hang out at Niederdorf Promenade: Located in Zurich’s Old Town, the Niederdorf Promenade offers you a chance to explore some of Zurich’s most interesting sights, culinary delights, nightlife, people, shopping, and a whole lot more.
- Take a cruise on Lake Zurich: The best way to explore the famous Lake Zurich is by boat. Cruise operators like the Lake Zurich Navigation Company offer tours on the lake during summer with various food, dance and entertainment themes.
Oman Air flies you to Zurich 5 times a week!