Visiting Zurich
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Night view of Zurich from the Quaibrücke (©_Switzerland Tourism)
Because the River Limmat divides the Old Town into two distinct halves, it’s easier to consider the two banks of the river as separate entities rather than to concentrate on a New Town/Old Town split. The alleys of the east bank – known as Niederdorf or the “Dörfli” – are full of cafés and small shops, with the enormous twin towers of the Grossmünster as a centrepiece. The slender spire to the north belongs to the Predigerkirche with, above it on a hill to the east, the grandiose architecture of the university.

Opposite, the west bank is the oldest part of the city, centred around the raised platform of the Lindenhof and characterized by expensive fashion outlets and offices. Nearby rise the graceful spires both of St Peter’s, featuring the largest clock face in Europe, and the Fraumünster, a medieval church decorated in this century with beautiful stained glass by Marc Chagall. The long, curving Bahnhofstrasse follows the ancient course of the western city wall, and is now one of Europe’s most prestigious shopping streets, packed with jewellers and designer boutiques.

The best of the city’s thirty-odd museums are the marvellous Kunsthaus on the fringes of the Niederdorf, and the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum) in a park on the west bank.

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