Destinations / City Breaks / Zurich
A global giant in the financial world, Zurich simply smells of money!
A tax heaven for many companies and home to enormous financial institutions, the city is a world player in banking circles. Deemed the wealthiest city in Europe, Zurich also gained the accolade for having the best quality of life in the world! A centre of research and development, Zurich is a place of serious business, but also a cultural city and a city steeped in a rich historical past. Earliest records are from the 2nd century and even today the medieval old town, Lindenhof, has many delightful guild houses and atmospheric alleys.
Located on the tip of Lake Zurich and only 30 km from the Alps, Zurich old town stretches on both sides of the river Limmat and further neighbourhoods of the city are now densely built up around. Notable landmarks in the city include the ancient Fraumunster Church with its Marc Chagall stained glass windows and St. Peter's Church which boasts the largest church clock face in the world. The famous Bahnhofstrasse is lined with expensive designer stores and upmarket shops whilst the Niederdorf quarter is the nightlife mecca with bars, cafes, music pubs, bistros, restaurants, strip clubs, hip hop venues and techno bars.
Zurich is home to many wonderful museums and art galleries and the Kunsthaus (Zurich Museum of Art) hosts works by Picasso, Munch, Braque and Giacometti. The Centre Le Corbusier also pays homage to its most famous architect. For all its serious side, Zurich is a bit of a party town and will definitely appeal to all culture buffs..
There is an international film festival, many chamber and symphony orchestral recitals, opera, ballet, theatre and the annual Street Parade which celebrates techno and dance music. Zurich is also the headquarters of FIFA although the favourite city sport seems to be ice hockey with hiking and cycling following closely on its heels.
Doubtless, a city worth exploring (even to check out the validity of the world's best quality of life!), Zurich has a squeaky clean reputation and startling attractions for the first-time visitor. Maybe time to open a new bank account..............