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Thoughts of Zürich may dredge up images of international finance, but book a flight to Zurich with Qatar Airways and you’ll discover a spectacular Alpine backdrop and a juxtaposition of classic and modern design, is the real story.
Zürich is a vivacious and fun-filled city surrounded by natural beauty that will leave you weak at the knees.
Travel to Zürich and bask in the shadow of the Swiss Alps, amid the birthplace of Dadaism.
Zürich’s quirky personality is neatly characterised in the extraordinary Schiffbau Theatre. Once a factory dedicated to the production of lake steamers and turbine engine parts, it is now the cultural epicentre of the city.
Culture buffs will appreciate a visit to Cabaret Voltaire when they travel to Zurich, named after the French philosopher Voltaire. It is here, in 1916, that the anti-establishment Dada movement was formed.
Switzerland is renowned not only as the world’s banker, but also as its leading crafter of exquisite timepieces. To see why, head for the Beyer Watch Museum, home to several one-of-a-kind pieces. And if you need a little tranquillity, the Chinese Garden is a small, peaceful oasis in the heart of the urban bustle.
Travel to Zurich and you’re in the heart of skiing country.The Alps are a skier’s serenade. They surround the city, and plenty of deviously challenging runs await you. But for the slightly less sportif, hiking trips in the surrounding countryside can be equally rewarding. The landscape is breathtaking at any time of year, from craggy, snow-topped peaks to flower-filled meadows.
Back in the city, you can spend days wandering around museums, which exhibit everything from the ancient wonders of the East, to the world of coffee, at the unusual Johann Jacobs Museum.
The city is full of parks and open spaces, and an early-evening promenade along Lake Zürich is not to be missed. This 3km-long boardwalk starts at Bellevue and heads towards Tiefenbrunnen, and is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day.
Swiss food is simple, but delicious. If you travel to Zürich during certain times of the year, you will encounter festivals that celebrate the national cuisine. Cheese is, of course, a Swiss speciality, and in Zürich you will find plenty of shops selling locally produced varieties. Just follow your nose.
The Swiss take an au naturel approach to food, preferring organically produced premium-quality ingredients. For a real taste of Switzerland, look out for family-run restaurants that combine mouth-watering dishes (a favourite here is fresh perch filets) with Zürich’s patented brand of eccentricity. One exclusive restaurant even has signs on its walls declaring, “No Polka Dancing”.
Swiss chocolate; Swiss watches; Swiss chocolate-watches. From designer brands to contemporary art, retail enthusiasts will not be disappointed with Zürich.
Reasonably priced souvenirs can be picked up at Heimatwerk or the Flohmarkt Kanzlei (Kanzlei Flea Market). For designer goods, head to Bahnhofstrasse, which runs from the Zürich Main Train Station to the Lake Zürich. Here you will find designer flag-stores and high-end shopping to rival Paris, Madrid and Rome.
Essential facts about Zürich
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip