Flight and hotel Zurich
City breaks in Zurich: A-Z
Noted as one of Europe's most habitable cities, Zurich is as pretty as a picture, reflected in its lake and river. With a focused financial centre, the city runs like clockwork, yet also boasts an edgy, bohemian scene. Annual Street Parades in the summer see this part of the city's personality reach its zenith. Package holidays in Zurich are perfection, whenever you choose to visit. Zurich is chocolate-box perfect, and its opera house and panoply of splendid turreted buildings overlooking the lake are picturesque.
Before booking a flight to and hotel in Zurich
It's simple to organise Zurich flights and hotels from the UK. Flights from Cork to Zurich depart regularly, as do flights from Dublin to Zurich. The currency is the Swiss franc, though most places accept credit cards. While German and French are the predominant languages spoken, most people also speak English. Zurich is an hour ahead of the UK, so it couldn't be easier to arrive at Zurich Airport (ZRH) and take the direct train to Zurich's impressive central station.
When is the best time for city breaks in Zurich?
The weather is perfect between June and August, when you can swim in the lake. The heat does hike prices and footfall though, so Zurich is especially attractive during the winter offseason. It's also close to the Alps' ski slopes. For those who enjoy a party, the best time to arrive in Zurich is mid-August, when the city's street parade rips through the city, turning its normally serene atmosphere on its head with techno-fuelled street parties.
What is there to do on city breaks in Zurich?
Begin weekends in Zurich by climbing Grossmünster's tower, which reflects Fraumünster's riverside position and windows by Augusto Giacometti. It was here that Huldrych Zwingli challenged the Catholic Church, precipitating the Reformation in the 16th century. His house is located in the shadow of the church, and well worth a visit.
Keep track of the time at the Uhrenmuseum Beyer, which is dedicated to Swiss timepieces. The museum is as intricate and perfectly formed as the timepieces in its collection. The exhibition begins with striated medieval candles and features examples of fantastical pieces such as Moses striking a rock with his staff to spout water. If you're still not sufficiently edified, head to the Rietberg Museum. Three villas in a leafy park house African, Asian and American artworks. Enter through the bottle-coloured glass entrance to peer at shamanic eagle masks, Chinese enamel and Persian tapestries. The collection is often augmented by contemporary collections.
What is there to see on weekends in Zurich?
Zurich's sights are as sophisticated as they are elegant, and European treasures pop up pretty much everywhere you go. Here are some to look out for:
- Gaze up at the coloured light falling through stained glass windows by Marc Chagall at the 13th-century Fraumünster church. Overlooking the water, this gallery of sacred artworks is completed by Giacometti's rose windows, which were added to the north transept in 1945.
- See more of Giacometti at the Kunsthaus, where the collection spans masters from the Middle Ages, taking in Rodin, Monet and van Gogh on its way to contemporary works.
- Explore the mansion-castle mash-up that is the Swiss National Museum, where its permanent collection transports you through Swiss history. Exhibits include handcrafted sledges and reconstructed historic interiors bridging six centuries. Don't miss the assemblage of religious artefacts and the newly added archaeology section.
Eating in Zurich
Gastronomy in Zurich showcases the wealth and intelligence of this sophisticated European capital. Didi's Frieden is a superlative spot to sup innovative twists on traditional Swiss dishes, featuring top-of-the-range ingredients. Delve into the underbelly of Zurich's food scene at Mikas, where sausages are produced from organic pigs raised just beyond the city limits.
Make like a local and head to Frau Gerolds Garten, where several bars serve every conceivable alcoholic cocktail in the summer sunshine. Hiltl claims to be the world's first vegetarian restaurant and has a Guinness World Record certificate to prove it. A self-service buffet of more than a hundred dishes is capped off by desserts such as blueberry hazelnut crumble.
Souvenirs from Zurich
What would a trip to Switzerland be without chocolate? Max Chocolatier is a haven of spectacular melt-in-your-mouth creations. Don't miss the tasting room, where truffles made with sea salt, caramel and dried passionfruit make it hard to choose what to take home. Or how about a watch? Swiss timekeeping is world renowned, and many travel from around the world to visit the watchmakers. What better way is there to remember package holidays in Zurich?