Zurich Area Map
Zurich is located in northern Switzerland and sits along the banks of the picturesque Limmat River. The city is made up of 12 "Kreise" (the German word for districts), but you'll find that most of the attractions reside in Kreis 1, with the others scattered throughout Kreise 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8. Street addresses are also part of a larger organized system. Even numbered locations can be found on the east side of a street, while odd numbered destinations sit to the west.
Accessible via tram Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17 and 19.
Centrally located Kreis 1, which straddles the Limmat River as it flows into Lake Zurich, contains much of Zurich's storied history. Swiss bankers, historically called the Gnomes of Zurich, work in imposing banks on the western side of the river. On the opposing bank, you'll find Old Town and its weaving alleys. If you stroll along the peaceful river, you'll walk by the blue-spired Minster of Our Lady, which has vivid stained glass by the famed Marc Chagall. A second church, the twin-towered Great Minster, is done up after the Romanesque style. Shop along Bahnhofstrasse, a street devoted to retail and one of the reasons why Zurich is considered one of the world's most expensive cities. But even if you don't drop a single franc, Bahnhofstrasse provides a glamorous backdrop for a casual stroll. The Museum of Art – which contains art by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Wassily Kandinsky, as well as a number of Swiss artists – and the Swiss National Museum are also highly recommended. Lindenhof is a favorite among Zurchers. Complete with dozens of Linden trees, giant chess sets and lots of benches, this raised city park provides spectacular views of the Limmat River and Zurich's east bank. Accommodation options are limited in Kreis 1, but you will find a few high-end properties here, including Baur au Lac and the Widder Hotel.
Accessible via tram Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, 13 and 17.
This lakefront district, located southwest of central Kreis 1, is known mostly for its picturesque setting, as well as for the young, fun-loving clientele it attracts. A cluster of hostels and vibrant nightlife options reside along this district's shore, so if you're searching for a more serene stay, opt for a room in the neighborhood's northeastern region. Upscale options include the Park Hyatt Zurich and the ALDEN Suite Hotel Splugenschloss Zurich.
Accessible via tram Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17 and 19.
Kreise 4 and 5, located northwest of Kreis 1, comprise the former red light district. Bursting with energy and imagination (and some residual seediness), many of the city's contemporary art galleries cluster in Kreis 5 on Limmastrasse near the Limmat River's west bank. You'll also find a techno-pulsating club scene, as well as a number of eclectic eateries here. And every June, the city's gay pride event, Zurich Pride Festival, takes place in Kreis 4.
Accessible via tram Nos. 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 11.
East of Old Town lies Kreis 7. Although most of this neighborhood's streets are lined with luxurious homes, Kreis 7 is where you'll find Zoo Zurich and the University of Zurich campus. And for literary buffs, this district offers Friedhof Fluntern, a cemetery just south of the zoo that features the grave of acclaimed novelist James Joyce.
Accessible via tram Nos. 2, 4, 8, 11, 17 and 19.
This southern district is perhaps most famous for its 19th-century villa-turned-art museum, the E.G. Buhrle Collection. Inside this ivy-covered museum is an array of famous (mostly French, 19th-century) works, including Pierre Auguste Renoir's "Little Irene" and Edgar Degas' "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen." Meanwhile, nature lovers will enjoy Kreis 8's Botanical Garden and Chinese Garden.
There have been no recent terror attacks in Switzerland, but threats of violence have become more common in other Western European countries. Demonstrations in Switzerland have occasionally turned violent in the past, so it's best to avoid protests and large gatherings. As a whole, Swiss cities are generally very safe to visit. Zurich sees very little tourist-directed crime; however, pickpocketing is common on public transportation and at airports, so keep an eye on your belongings at all times. For more safety tips, check out the U.S. State Department's website.
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