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Our tips to know Zurich

#insiderTips 14 - Zurich

Zurich may be Switzerland’s largest city, but it retains its charm and newness. A diverse cultural calendar, numerous historical buildings and a panoramic and singular view of the Alps attract a large number of visitors every year. Our AccorHotels Switzerland sales team has given us insider tips on what to do in the city and feel like a Zurich local. Oksana, Maylis, Sara, Elena, Gregorio and Hans-Rudolf answered our questions.

#insiderTips 14 - Come discover Zurich with our team -


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What is your city’s treasure?
Switzerland’s biggest treasure: 1,000 tons of gold, which you won't find at the Swiss National Bank on Bahnhofstrasse street. The gold is hidden in a secret place. But a host of other treasures await. The ‘Ruhmeshalle’, or pantheon, at the Swiss National Museum, displays the treasures of Swiss history in a “Wheel of myths” - I’ll say no more!

The Wasserkirche

What monument or building holds a special place in your heart?
The Wasserkirche near the shore of the Limmat river, not far from the Helmhaus tram station. Together with the Helmhaus, the former indoor market, this church exemplifies much of Zurich’s past. According to legend, the two patron saints of the city, Felix and Regula, died as martyrs in the Wasserkirche. After visiting the church and learning what became of these saints, it’s hard to walk by the historical building at night without getting goosebumps. A pick-me-up, like a good schnapps, can be had at Oepfelchammer, a restaurant in the Niederdorf district.  
Any local celebrities?
Iouri Podladtchikov lives in Zurich. He won the freestyle snowboard event at the 2014 Olympic Games and is also a professional photographer. His work has made him famous throughout Switzerland.

Street Parade in August

A not-to-be-missed event?
Zurich hosts a wide range of celebrations. The Street Parade in August is a festive march of colorful characters along the lake to the beat of techno music; or there’s Sächsilüüte, the traditional spring festival, held in mid-April. Zurich’s 26 corporations walk through the old town and along the Bahnhofstrasse in traditional costume. The highlight of the event is the burning of the Böögg, a snowman-shaped scarecrow that is covered in fireworks and burned on a pyre. Tradition has it that the faster the Böögg burns, the nicer summer will be.
What should visitors definitely take home?
Züritirggel: a delicious little cake that looks like a work of art and keeps easily. The ingredients of ‘Tirggel’ - honey, flour, sugar and water - are kneaded into a very thin dough on a small wooden board engraved with pretty motifs, usually scenes depicting life in Zurich. It’s an original souvenir that’s sure to please. 
Where can one enjoy a bit of local history over breakfast?
At the legendary Café Odeon am Bellevue, where you can have your breakfast in good company - so to speak. Since this Jugendstil-style café opened in 1911, countless celebrities have been: Stefan Zweig, James Joyce, as well as Benito Mussolini, Lenin and Trotsky, to name just a few.
What specialties is the city famous for?
Visitors to Zurich must try Züri Geschnetzeltes, a local minced veal dish in a creamy sauce and traditionally served with rösti. Sometimes it’s served with button mushrooms. Each tavern serves its own version, so it’s tough to find the ‘best’ Züri Geschnetzeltes!

zurich homes

What’s the most incredible thing you’ve seen in the city?
The most memorable thing about Zurich is the many sides it has to explore. Even after living here for years, locals regularly discover new things near to home. A treasure hunt like Foxtrail lets you see and learn a lot: wall frescos or sculptures people usually walk by without stopping suddenly take center stage and turn the city into an illustrated book offering lively and colorfully muddled impressions of Zurich.
What languages are spoken in Zurich, and what common words should visitors know?
German is the official language of Zurich. Not standard German without an accent however. Züridüütsch, the German spoken in Zurich, is Switzerland’s most commonly spoken dialect of German. Like in any big metropolis, however, visitors can interact in English and hear several other international languages in the streets. To hear how locals speak to one another, head to a hockey or football match in the city. It’s most instructive!

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