Great Minster (Grossmunster)

#8 in Best Things To Do in Zurich
Great Minster (Grossmunster) picture1 of 4
Great Minster (Grossmunster)2 of 4
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Key Info

Grossmunsterplatz

Price & Hours

Free
Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-5 or 6 p.m., depending on the ...

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.0

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Located in Kreis 1 in the Old Town, the Great Minster church was the starting place of the Protestant Reformation in Zurich. Preacher Huldrych Zwingli initiated the movement from this austere church's pulpit. But the history of the Grossmunster goes back even further. According to local legend, Charlemagne is said to have founded this magnificent church, which is believed to sit atop the graves of the city's patron saints of Felix and Regula.

Former visitors insist that a visit to the Great Minster would not be complete without a trip to the top. You'll have to pay 4 Swiss francs (about $4) to climb the historic cathedral's stairs, but past travelers said the panoramic city views more than justify the fee. Others also recommended checking out the church's stained-glass windows and ornate bronze doors.

History buffs, architecture enthusiasts and religious travelers will likely gravitate toward this free attraction. The Great Minster is open daily, though hours are restricted on Sundays to accommodate Sunday Mass. From November to February, the cathedral is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Between March and October, the property is open until 6 p.m. every day except Sunday. No on-site parking is available, but visitors can get to the Great Minster by tram. The Nos. 4, 15, 17 and 19 trams all stop at Helmhaus station, which sits less than a block from the attraction. Visit the church's website for more information.

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Type
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#1 Lake Zurich (Zurichsee)

Backing lower Lake Zurich is a tangle of parks and gardens, collectively known as the lake promenade, that make for a picturesque place to spend an afternoon. And in warm weather, the lake is peppered with boats, while the banks are filled with picnickers and sunbathers. If you're a jogger, the area is also one of Zurchers' favorite places to pound the ground.

For some of the best views of Zurich and the nearby Alps, travelers suggest taking a boat ride on the lake. One-and-a-half-hour boat tours are available throughout the year and are free for Zurich Card holders.

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