Zurich – Wealthy, Chic and Fascinating
Visiting Zurich has been considered a privilege since about the second half of the 19th century. There is a certain elegance and chicness about this place that most people find completely irresistible. Even though it has only about 390,000 inhabitants, this is a grand city economically-wise. It is also a preferred destination among diplomats, artists, royalties and generally the wealthy.
As visitors approach the city on water, they have the pleasure of seeing its delicate silhouette in the distance, and as they get closer they begin to notice the shores with their green alleys, then the buildings, the red roofs, and finally they find themselves completely fascinated by the sight. It is a pleasure living here, with its inhabitants often using their lunch breaks to take a dip into the surprisingly clean Zurich Lake, or just to stroll underneath chestnut and linden trees.
The first to have been drawn to this place were the Romans. Of course, archeologists did find proof of even earlier settlements here, but it was the Romans who decided to build fortifications on the shores of the Limmat River, the body of water that still separates the city in two halves. They called the settlement Turicum and used it as a tax-collecting point. That’s an interesting fact, knowing that today the city attracts many companies who want to establish their headquarters here due to the low rate of taxes.
Zurich, together with its surrounding metropolitan area, is the largest city in Switzerland and one of the strongest financial centers in the world. It is also the country’s economic center, and yet it is not its capital city as well. That title has been held by Bern since 1848, even though by that time Zurich was already worthy of the status as well.Back then important figures of the world were already in love with the beautiful city on Limmat River: they would come and live at the fabled Baur au Lac Hotel. Artists, diplomats, queens, members of the aristocracy – they all enjoyed the neoclassical hotel’s hospitality.
Members of the Dada movement often gathered at Cabaret Voltaire on Spiegelgasse, while Café Odeon (also known as the official Great Gatsby Café) was a place of meeting for refugee writers. The famous Schauspielhaus Zurich – one of the most important theaters of the German-speaking world – hosted numerous talents between 1933 and 1945.
The Industrialization Period resulted in a dizzying development of the city, and after the railroad construction began here, there was no stopping its economic growth.Paris and its boulevards became an inspiration for Zurich and today the Bahnhofstrasse is still one of the most elegant commercial areas in the world. The plush shopping avenue is home for iconic designer boutiques, and it is also one of the world’s most expensive streets for retail (in 2011 it ranked third).
When tourists look at the beautiful buildings in the city, they instantly notice that this is a place that values its traditions. There are many historical places that have been carefully restored and maintained over the years, including the Town Hall building, which holds the country’s most beautiful Baroque room. Also on the list are the Neo-Baroque Opera House, the Kronenhalle restaurant with its numerous works of art, and a number of churches like Wasserkirche, Fraumünster, Grossmünster, and St Peter Kirche. But the only way to really understand what we are saying is to come here yourself and feel up close the unique vibe of the chic Zurich.
- If you are a fan of festivals, then you shouldn’t miss Sechseläuten and Mardi Gras.
- One very special attraction is the red Polybahn funicular which has been connecting the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) to the Zurich Central-Hochschulen since 1899.
- Zurich is a great place to visit all year round, but its blue lake is most beautiful in summertime.
- If you’re looking for a good souvenir you should go for handicrafts, jewelry, army knives and of course watches!
- It is never difficult to find a luxurious hotel in Zurich. We already mentioned the iconic Baur au Lac, but you could also try The Dolder Grand.
- Food enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the delicious Schnitzel mitRösti, fondue dishes, and fresh fish from the lake.