Grossmünster, Limmat River, © Can Stock / happyalex
Visit Zürich – Old Town Walking Tour
Start your Old Town Walking Tour at the main Train Station. Walk a couple of blocks south on Werdmühlestrasse to reach the police headquarters. The Giacometti Murals cover the entrance and the vaulted ceilings of this police station. Then cross the Limmat River on the pedestrian only Mühlesteg foot bridge.
Zurich Old Town, © Can Stock / gina_sanders
Next wander the narrow streets working your way south through the Old Town along Niederdorfstrasse. You can also choose to walk a few blocks north the the Central Plaza and catch the Polybahn funicular to the museums of the University of Zurich. The fare is included if you purchase a Zurich Card. The museums at the University of Zurich include zoology, paleontology, archeology and ethnography. The east bank of the Limmat River in the Old Town has lots of other museums too: the Musée Visionnaire, Kunsthaus, the Zunftstadt, Haus zum Rech and Haus zum Brunnhof for example.
Zurich Old Town, East Bank
Visit Zürich – Old Town Churches
About 10 minutes south of the Mühlesteg foot bridge at the river bank is the Grossmünster Church. The church is easy to locate because of its two distinctive towers. The Grossmünster was built by Charlemagne in the 1100s. Next take a side trip 10 minutes south to the Zurich Opera House. The Opera House is on Lake Zürich at the southern end of the Old Town. The Zurich Opera House is home to the Zurich Ballet.
Next, return to the Grossmünster Church along the lakefront pathway. At the church, cross the Limmat River to the Fraumünster. The Fraumünster Church is a highlight of Zurich. See the distinctive stained glass windows designed by Marc Chagall and the beautiful frescos by Paul Bodmer. Beside the Fraumünster is the Centralhof Monument. Then it’s only a block to the Paradeplatz, which is a square where many of the trams for Zurich intersect. You are now on the Banhofstrasse.
Zurich Old Town at Night, © Can Stock / elxeneize
Visit Zürich – Bahnhofstrasse
The Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most expensive retail areas in the world. The street runs between the Train Station and Lake Zurich. The Bahnhofstrasse runs parallel to the Zurich River through the portion of the Old Town on the west bank of the Limmat River. You can follow it all the way back to the Train Station.
Old Town West Bank – Limmat River
If you aren’t into shopping on the Bahnhofstrasse, then follow the Limmat River bank back to the train station. From the Fraumünster, walk within a block of St Peter Church on Storchengasse. Continue along this street to the Lindenhof Park viewpoint. Then take the narrow Schipfe waterfront walkway among the old shops.
Schipfe Riverfront Walkway, © Zuerich.com
Visit Zürich – Background
Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland. More than a million people live in Zürich. Low tax rates attract international corporations to headquarter the city. The large financial district helps Zürich enjoy a high standard of living. The wealth of the city has helped create its many museums and theaters.