IntroductionMistaken by many as the capital of Switzerland Zürich is arguably the financial and cultural center of Switzerland whilst the city of Berne (Bern) is in fact its federal capital. The largest city in Switzerland, Zürich is situated in the Kanton Zürich in north-central Switzerland, at the northern tip of the Zürichsee (Lake Zurich). The concentration of wealth here is apparent the minute you arrive; in a land full of bankers Zürich is the banker’s capital, as well as being a world center for industry and commerce. As a visitor however, you will simply be faced with a beautifully laid-out city with a magnificently well preserved Old Town (Altstadt) at its medieval center.
One of the most satisfying pastimes is to sit in one of the elegant lakeside cafes and enjoy the view of Lake Zürich crisscrossed by several bridges, with mountains in the background. The city is bisected by the Limat River with the Altstadt, the main train station and Bahnhofplatz on the left bank, and the younger and more vibrant section with Oberdorf and Niederdorf as well as Belevueplatz being located to the right.
Although officially the largest city in Switzerland, Zürich’s population is only about three hundred and fifty thousand. Small by European standards the city center is easily covered by foot.