Right in the center of Switzerland, landlocked in Europe, Zurich can’t complain about its location. Being so centrally located in the continent has its advantages for travelers but its setup can have its disadvantages too. Some only experience the Zurich layover while en route to other locales. However even if you only have one day to spend with this Swiss city, you can still get to know Zurich for its views, art scene, architecture clusters and trendy new areas.
For Views, Lindenhof: Those in a time crunch can get a quick lay of the land at Lindenhof. The square sits on top of Zurich, but not too far that you have to work for the views. From up at this vantage point, the Old Town, Grossmünster, City Hall and the Limmat River are all in full view. Lindenhof has become a gathering spot in Zurich, where chess players come to challenge the day away under the shade of the linden trees.
For Art, Kunsthaus Zurich: Zurich is home to over 50 museums and more than 100 galleries. If you only have a short amount of time in the city, a visit to Kunsthaus Zurich will satisfy cravings for modern art. The Museum of Fine Art houses the most important collection of modern art in Zurich. Visitors can marvel at works by Edvard Munch, Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet and Chagall. The collection details both Swiss and international art. If you hold the Zurich CARD, you can get into the museum and all museums in Zurich without paying an additional admission.
For Architecture, Three Churches in One Area: Zurich lends travelers an architectural tour of its churches without having to walk too far. Grossmünster, Fraumünster and St. Peter’s Church all reside within close reach to each other. Grossmünster is easily the symbol of Zurich with its iconic twin towers. Fraumünster warrants a stop for eye-popping color throughout its stained glass windows by Chagall. St. Peter’s Church likes to keep the time of Zurich as it boasts the largest clock face in Europe. It is also the oldest church in the city.
For The New, Zurich West: Strolling through the Old Town of Zurich produces a few notions of the city being trapped back in time. However Zurich West is a different story. The former industrial area presents the city’s knack for making the old new again. Zurich West is home to the 126-meter Prime Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Switzerland. You can grab a drink at the bar up top for a completely different view of the city. Nearby is the Freitag Tower, the mother-ship store of the famous designers from Zurich. The company produces bags from recycled elements from the streets. The store is no exception, composed of old containers stacked on top of each other. Zurich West also boasts the Viadukt, a unique shopping and commercial center set up in the arches of the railway viaduct.
For Convenience and Comfort, Swissotel Zurich: Long layovers in Zurich that produce but a day in the city can be a juggling act between the airport and the city center. Swissotel Zurich presents a convenient location, just five kilometers from the Zurich Airport and the city center. Its contemporary rooms are complimented with the ultimate room service addition, a pillow menu.
Make that layover a little longer by scoring a flights to Zurich on airberlin with OneTravel.
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Photo: Suzy Guese