Zurich Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Zurich

Planning a short break to Zurich? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Zurich. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Zurich. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Old Town

This is where you come face to face with Zurich's past through the streets that take you back hundreds of years. The 16th and 17th century guild houses are a main feature. There are guided tours by cable cars or boats rides or you can take yourself around.

Museum of Art

Locally known as Kunsthaus Zurich, it has Western works since the 1600s and an impressive collection of modern art.

Great Church

This is an impressive cathedral that was constructed in the 12th century and is important from both an historical and architectural view. The cathedral's twin towers serve as the most recognized landmark in Zurich.

While the exterior is quite impressive, it is rather bare inside because of the thinking at the time of its construction that opulence was rather unholy. Some have said that this gives the church a bit of an eerie feeling. The church is packed with history including the fact that it was built on a site dedicated to some martyrs. The church is known as Gross Munster by the locals, which some English speakers have dubbed as Gross Monster.

Lindt and Sprungle Chocolate Factory

Switzerland is synonymous with chocolate and all genuine tourists should take the opportunity to see what goes behind the country's reputation as a great chocolate maker. The factory, on Seetrasse 204 in Kilchberg, has a museum and during the tour a film is shown and off course, free samples are given.

The recipe for the chocolates is said to be so precious that it is kept in the vault of a Swiss bank.

Bahnhofstrasse

This is Zurich's main shopping thoroughfare and symbolizes all what capitalism stands for in the way of capital goods. It is elegant and modern and has the high prices to go with it. From Cartier, the jewelers, to Rolex the watch people and to fashion people like Armani, anyone who is someone in the upper market echelons of business is there.

All this wealth generates from Zurich's activity as a major financial centre in the world. Under the streets are said to be bank vaults full of gold and silver and understandably, no visitors are allowed there.

St Peter's Church

This is one of the oldest churches in Zurich dating back to the 13th century although a church has been on this site since the 9th century. The church is best known for having the largest clock face in Europe where the minute hand is 3 and a half metres long. The tower was expanded in 1534 when the clock was added. The interior of the church is simple, more like a ballroom than a church.

Swiss National Museum

Switzerland's national treasures are kept here which makes it rather difficult to decide exactly where to begin and end as there is so much to see. However, the toy soldier re-enacting battle scenes at the museum serve as a reminder of the former war like past of Switzerland which today is known for its neutrality.

The museum has objects from the Stone Age to modern times through things like costumes, furniture and off course watches for which the Swiss are famous. The ground floor has medieval and religious art including a panoram of Zurich painted around the 1500s. There is also much to learn about the local tribes who were to later form the Swiss nation. There are extensive archelogical collections and reconstruction of grandiose period rooms.

The museum is housed in a gargannan Gothic building that was opened in 1889.

View details at www.musee-suisse

Schipfe

This could be described as the arty quarter of Zurich, all laid back and casual and located along the Limmat River. This is one of the oldest sections of Zurich and much of the life has remained unchanged despite the years.

A little history of Schipfe reveals that in the Middle Ages it was the transfer point for essential merchandise. In the 16th century it was the headquarters of the silk industry and was also famous for its bath houses and boat building. The craftsmanship side of the area is still strong with the livelihood from arts, crafts and custom made products very much in evidence. The crafts people talk to their customers and nothing is hurried - pretty much like the old days.

All you have to do in Schupfe is linger, shop and eat in the many restaurants that transverse the area.

View details at www.schipfe.ch

Zoo Dolder

The famous residents here are two Asian elephants. Besides the animals, there is a Madagascan rainforest. The zoo is near the Zurichberg woods that are ideal for walks.

Lindenhof

In the heart of the city centre, this is the sort of place where you can get away from it all despite the urban jungle revolving around you. It is a square that doesn't really seem part of the city. It is a meeting place for passionate chess players. In the vicinity are the ruins of a Roman customs post and Roman fortress. It offers great views over the Old Town.

User Suggestions

Karl's Tower

While visiting the Great Church it's worth climbing the 184 steps to the very top of the Karl's Tower. From there you have a beautiful view of the lake, the old town and the surrounding area. Admission is two Swiss francs.

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