According to Switzerland Tourism, the city of Zurich, which quite often is the starting and ending point on a trip to Switzerland, offers a lot more than meets the eye.
The wider Zurich region, for example, is often neglected, yet it bursts with extraordinary cultural experiences.
Boasting 1000-year old castles, contemporary art, modern architecture and picturesque medieval towns, regional Zurich’s Cultural Route will expose travellers to specially selected attractions and experiences that are slightly off the beaten path.
Below is a list of 10 insider tips on some cultural highlights for the discerned traveller.
Schiffbau Located in the trendy Zurich West, this industrial building was where ships were once built. Today, it’s a venue for culture, cuisine, theatrical performances and live music.
The birthplace of the Dada Mythos, the Cabaret Voltaire is celebrating its centenary this year. Here, visitors will learn about the history of Dadaism, which was born in 1916.
A place perfect for some R&R, Sechseläutenplatz is located between Bellevue and Zurich’s Opera House. As one of the largest city squares in Switzerland visitors can come here to appreciate the architecture and greenery, while taking a break in between tours.
An artistic dream world and a garden full of mythical creatures and characters, visitors can come here to enjoy the sculptor, Bruno Weber’s fantasies brought to life. The park, only a 14min train ride from Zurich, encourages full interaction with the sculptors, making it fun for visitors of all ages.
This trail presents a delightful interplay between art and nature, where walkers will experience contemporary Swiss art up close. 26 pieces of art by prominent Swiss artists decorate the Limmat riverbanks on both sides. The circular trail goes from below Wettingen Abbey to the Historic Museum Baden.
A 1000-year-old medieval castle set on a rocky spur above the thundering Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe. Most visitors stroll directly through the inner courtyard of the castle to the viewing platform for the best views of Falls. Laufen Castle is less than an hour’s train ride north from Zurich.
Home to one of the most beautiful modern art collections in Switzerland, the museum’s old building houses an overwhelming number of French Impressionist masterpieces as well as works from other modern art movements. Here visitors can enjoy works of art by countless famous names including Monet, Van Gogh, Kandinsky and Picasso.
Featuring 50+ trees from more than 25 species, the Enea Tree Museum is located in an impressive park close in Upper Lake Zurich in Rapperswil-Jona, about a 40min train and bus ride from Zurich. It combines landscape, botany, architecture, art and design for the enjoyment of nature and tree lovers.
Ufenau Island (also called Ufnau) is the Monastery Island and a nature reserve on Lake Zurich. The island makes for a great day excursion where visitors can learn about the settlement that dates back to the 2nd and 3rd century. The nearest train station to Ufenau, Pfäffikon, is a 27mins from Zurich.
Zug’s Old Town on Lake Zug is exceptionally pretty with its beautifully renovated buildings, narrow winding streets and colorfully decorated façades of former stately homes and well preserved traditional guesthouses. Zug is a 24min train ride from Zurich.
Exploring Zurich and the wider Zurich region can be done easily and conveniently with a Swiss Travel Pass, which provides travellers with unlimited access to the country’s public transportation network of boats, trains and buses, up to 50% off mountain railways and entry to more than 490 museums around the country. Children under 16 years of age travel for free when accompanied by a guardian using the Pass.