Zurich Overview from a local

Overview: Synonymous with international banking, Zurich (Zürich, or more familiarly, Züri) has a financial and cultural importance that belies its modest size. Although the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich aptly promotes itself as the “little big city” and has a historic centre compact enough to be explored on foot.

If you travel to Zurich, the city’s most familiar sites are the Fraumünster and Grossmünster minsters, which face each other across the river, while the nearby Lindenhof was the site of a Roman customs post founded in 15BC and is a good vantage point. The city lies at the northern tip of the Zürichsee (Lake Zurich), and lakeside promenades and expensive houses can be seen along both shores. The view in summer is beautiful, with the lake reflecting the mountains and blue sky but winter snowfalls bring a magic of their own.

His motto “pray and work” was to have a profound effect on this diligent city, which, by the nineteenth century, had grown into the commercial and financial centre of Switzerland.

Other riches lie in the city’s excellent universities, and Zurich is a powerhouse for research, with public-private partnerships leading to innovations in design and the high-tech arena.  The city also has a strong cultural presence, over thirty museums, art galleries, auction houses, the opera, orchestras and the Schauspielhaus theatre, as well as a number of performance spaces that encourage contemporary artists in all media.

The citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and this is played out in the many fashionable and enjoyable bars, cafés and restaurants that fill the Old Town. This is, after all, the city that saw the birth of the Dadaism, the antithesis of conformity. More at

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