Historic City Center in Zurich, Switzerland (Photo: canadastock/Shutterstock)
Historic City Center in Zurich, Switzerland (Photo: canadastock/Shutterstock)
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

Melinda Crow
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Zurich

Zurich consistently lands near the top of quality-of-life rankings worldwide. The air feels crisp and clear, the water is so pure you can drink it straight from one of the city's 1,200 fountains (the most in the world), and there's enough to do here to occupy several days of leisure time.

This thoroughly modern city is surrounded by hills but offers glimpses of the famed Swiss Alps. Activities and sights unique to Zurich include the Chagall stained-glass windows in Fraumunster Church, open-air swimming pools in Lake Zurich and the Limmat River, and the Swiss National Museum.

River cruises along the Rhine that begin and end in Basel, Switzerland, are sometimes packaged with a stay in Zurich, roughly 50 miles away. When cruise packages that include Zurich are booked through a cruise line, passengers generally are transported between the ship and hotel by motor coach. The trip may include scenic stops and/or tours along the way to facilitate arrival at the appropriate check-in time.

Transportation by train is available between the two cities for those self-booking a Zurich layover. The massive Zurich Airport is the primary hub for Swiss International Air Lines and services flights from around the globe. Transportation within the city is typically via trams, bicycles or on foot, but rideshare services and taxis are also available.

Shore Excursions

About Zurich


Easy to explore the city center on your own


Everything is expensive, especially dining

Bottom Line

Zurich offers Alpine scenery, art, history and shopping

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Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Currency is the Swiss franc (CHF) but paper euro bills are accepted, with change typically given in CHF coins. Euro coins are not preferred. Credit cards are readily accepted and the abundance of banks in the city makes finding an ATM a simple matter. For up-to-date currency exchange rates, visit xe.com.


Switzerland has three official languages: German, French and Italian, each spoken more heavily in different regions of the country. German is the predominant local language in Zurich. Most Swiss learn English in primary school and are fluent.

Interestingly, the "CH" designation on Swiss currency, vehicle license plates and as the internet country code stems from the need to use a universal language among citizens speaking varied languages. It is the abbreviation for the Latin "Confoederatio Helvetica" or Swiss Confederation.