As you arrive in the land of cheese, chocolates and Roger Federer, a fun-filled weekend is guaranteed. Start exploring with idyllic Lindenhof Hill, the highest point in Zurich. You can take some of the best selfies against the panoramic view of the city and the Limmat River. Once the site of Celtic, Roman and medieval ruins, today it is a prime recreational area full of locals and tourists. You may also spot a few passionate chess players.
Walk down Altstadt's (Old Town) quaint alleyways and you will see why Zurich is one of the world's most cultured cities. Fraumünster and the Grossmünster churches are famous for artists Marc Chagall’s and Sigmar Polke’s incredible stained-glass windows. Art and history enthusiasts can visit the Kunsthaus for world-famous modern masterpieces, the iconic National Museum for Gothic art, and the Archaeological Collection at the University of Zurich for Switzerland's best collections of ancient art.
In the Evening
After the sunset, visit the shops in the 19th-century railway arches of Im Viadukt where design and gastronomy vie for your attention. Have your first dinner at Markthalle that serves Swiss cuisine. Their seafood platter is awesome. For those with a sweet tooth, I recommend St. Jakob Beck bakery that serves traditional deserts like Basler Läckerli, chocolate-filled carac, and birnbrot. Call it a day after watching a concert at Konzertsaal Tonhalle Maag.
In the Morning
After a sumptuous breakfast head for Bahnhofstrasse, one of the world’s most prestigious shopping avenues. Gawk at super luxurious boutiques and jewelry stores such as Tiffany & Co., Bucherer, and Cartier, or stop by Beyer, the oldest watchmaker in the country. For history buffs, I suggest visiting the traditional merchant guild houses-turned-restaurants to see Zurich of the Middle Ages. The Guild of Nobles, now Haus zum Rüden is the most notable in the Rathaus quarter.
If you are interested in knowing how and why Switzerland became the world’s banking powerhouse, head for Paradeplatz. A local can tell you about the evolution of Zurich’s banking scene and also show you the secret spots where Swiss bankers dine, make their deals, and store their gold reserves. Have lunch at Haus Hiltl, the world's oldest vegetarian restaurant, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Choose from over 100 enticing dishes– all vegetarian and organic, including the ice cream. Then, stop by at famous Confiserie Sprüngli for Luxemburgerli, a local version of macarons.
Before You Leave
For a picture-perfect ending take a short relaxing sunset cruise on Lake Zurich. Start from Burkiplatz – a scenic viewpoint where the River Limmat flows into Lake Zürich. Go up to Rapperswil, a quaint medieval town at the opposite end of the lake, and enjoy the charming ports that roll past. From the upper deck you see spectacular views of hills dotted with Swiss villages. The view of the majestic Alps in the background is simply mesmerizing.