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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Switzerland > Zurich

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Local time Zurich

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Things to do in Zurich

Cruise around Lake Zurich

Set on the edge of Lake Zurich, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the city from the water. Zurich Navigation Company (tel: +41 044 487 13 33; www.zsg.ch) operates cruises on a variety of themes including a fondue cruise. Passengers who disembark at Rapperswil can explore its medieval castle.

Float across Zurich in a hot-air balloon

There’s no better way to get to grips with Zurich’s impressive setting than taking to the air. Rappiballon (tel: +41 552 103 975; www.rappiballon.ch), based lakeside in Rapperswil, offers scenic hot air balloon flights in all shapes and sizes including (rather appropriately for Switzerland) one fashioned like a cow.

Have a swim in a landlocked city

Zurich may be landlocked but it boasts some great swimming spots. The ultra-clean River Limmat is popular, whilst the stylish Frauenbadi Stadthausquai (tel: +41 442 119 592; www.barfussbar.ch) in the Old Town is for women only. For a beach vibe Mythenquai Lido (tel: +41 442 010 000) even has a sandy stretch.

Rollerblade through the streets at night

Zurich’s streets make for excellent rollerblading and every other Monday, Night Skate (tel: +41 79 353 47 93; www.nightskate.ch) sees hundreds of people blade through the city, starting at Bürkliplatz. Nearby, Greifensee lake is another popular route for in-line skaters. Try Speed Blade Experience (www.sbx.ch) for skate hire.

Try stand-up paddleboarding under a full moon

Try one of Switzerland’s fastest growing sports on Lake Zurich. SupSwiss (tel: +41 444 519 090; www.supswiss.ch) as well as equipment hire, teach the basics of stand-up paddleboarding and offer a variety of unusual outings, including a full moon paddle, SUP yoga and a dance paddle during Zurich’s Street Parade. 

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Featured Hotels

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Leoneck Swiss Hotel

Just a five-minute walk from the city centre, the Leoneck Swiss Hotel is an official Swiss Alpine Club SAC partner with over 80 air-conditioned rooms, a restaurant, free Wi-Fi and a free smartphone in every room. For just CHF 20, guests can have breakfast at the hotel buffet which includes a range of egg dishes, coffee and fresh croissants and fruits.

Walhalla Hotel

The Walhalla Hotel is located directly at Zürich's main railway station. All its 48 modern and comfortable rooms are equipped with a tablet and have complimentary WiFi access. The hotel features six conference rooms which can accomodate up to 50 people, business facilities in its Business Corner and a breakfast buffet.

Lady's First

Conceived in 1994 when eight women decided to create a female-exclusive hotel in what was formerly a finishing school for country girls, Lady's First is a boutique design hotel housed in an elegant 19th-century building. This Zurich hotel is no longer, however, exclusively for women - men are welcome too. A good-natured atmosphere characterises this establishment, which also offers its guests free Wi-Fi, a wellness centre and a roof terrace. There are 28 rooms.

Widder Hotel

Composed of eight adjoining medieval houses, the Widder Hotel is named after a 13th-century Augustinian monastery that used to exist here. The 35 individually decorated rooms and 14 suites (four with private roof terraces) all combine the old and new, with features including 17th-century frescoes and old wooden floors. The Widder Bar has long been an important jazz venue - its 'Library of Spirits' offers several hundred single-malt whiskies.

Central Plaza Hotel

Built in 1883 with an impressive period facade, the Central Plaza has 105 air-conditioned rooms and suites, all fully soundproofed against traffic noise; many have views of the River Limmat and all have modem points. Highlights include a piano bar-cafe and the King's Cave restaurant. A terrace garden with illuminated waterfalls is open in summer. It's also said that the piano bar of this Zurich hotel was a favourite meeting place for Cold War spies.

The Dolder Grand

The location of this luxury residence couldn't be any better: The Dolder Grand offers its guests great panoramic views over the Lake Zürich, the city and over the mountains. It features all amenities you might expect from such an award-winning 5-star-hotel with a long history: rooms and suites with selectable butler service, spas, a pool called Aqua Zone, saunas, a fitness centre, state-of-the-art business facilities, meeting rooms, several lounges, two restaurants (one of which has earned two Michelin stars), a bar and a lobby, a ballroom and a car park.