Switzerland is known for its panoramic views, whether we’re talking about the hills of Zurich or Geneva’s charming streets. The city of Zurich is a gorgeous place no matter where in it you’re standing, but there are a few locations that offer some amazing panoramic views of the city’s many rooftops.
From the breathtaking vistas of Mount Uetliberg to the city’s highest observation decks and restaurants, here are all the top places to experience the best views in Zurich!
Mount Uetliberg is easily accessible from downtown Zürich, and it’s definitely the best place to enjoy panoramic views of the city. The view from the top of the mountain stretches all the way to Lake Zurich, and it’s a mesmerizing vista that will have you staring in awe.
On a clear day, you can even see the Alps, which is as wonderful as it sounds. Hikers and nature lovers will particularly enjoy their trip to Mount Uetliberg since it boasts quite a few exciting hiking trails at the top. It’s also possible to hike to the top of the mountain from downtown Zurich, which should delight most hikers.
Those who are more interested in views than hiking trails should know that it’s also possible to reach Uetliberg via train. There are two trains per hour that run between the mountain and downtown Zurich and the ride is only some 20 minutes long.
Mühlesteg is a bridge on the Limmat River and a very popular spot for photographs in Zürich. The small bridge offers beautiful views of the city’s more imposing bridges, as well as all the charming buildings on both banks of the river.
It’s also worth noting that this is Zurich’s padlock bridge, meaning that it’s adorned with locked padlocks pretty much its entire length. That can also be turned into an interesting photograph, so definitely don’t forget to stop by this inconspicuous bridge.
Mühlesteg even has a small viewing platform, from where you can admire the views of some other famous landmarks in Zürich. You can still see the tall towers of the city’s famous churches, as well as countless birds near the water. If you’re trying to get some beautiful photographs with the river as the main subject, this bridge is certainly one of the top spots in Zurich.
Grossmünster is one of Zurich’s most famous churches and a popular location for panoramic city views. There’s an observation deck in one of its twin towers, where you can experience the perfect view of downtown Zurich.
On a clear day, the view from Karlsturm extends all the way to the hills and mountains that surround this Swiss city. You’ll also get a good look at Fraumünster Church as well as both banks of the Limmat River.
The entrance into the tower with the observation deck is just some 5CHF, which is surprisingly affordable for Zurich. It’s definitely worth it if you’re looking for the best views in Zurich since this panoramic vista is certainly one of the most magical ways to experience this breathtaking city.
Lindenhof is a park situated atop a hill, overlooking Zurich’s old town. It’s the best place in the city center to admire some scenic views of Zurich, but without having to venture too far out of town. The hill overlooks the Limmat River, and it’s just a short walk away from the old town of Zurich.
The park is a popular gathering spot in the city – it’s a vast open space featuring chess and panoramic views, as well as loads of benches and trees. It’s worth noting that you can only access the park on foot, so be prepared for a long uphill walk to experience these panoramic views.
Another thing to note is that the park is frequented by both locals and tourists, but it’s such a vast space that it almost never gets too crowded. In addition to the pretty views, visitors can also admire historical landmarks and statues in Lindenhof park.
Bürkliterrasse is a large observation deck on the northern bank of Lake Zurich. It’s the best place in the city for beautiful lake views, and it’s even better to visit it at night when all the city lights come on and you can see their reflections in the water.
The observation deck is popular not just for the panoramic views, but also for the iconic Ganymede Sculpture. People also come here to see the many boats that traverse Lake Zurich, as well as countless birds that have made the lake their home.
It’s worth noting that Bürkliplatz is also a ferry terminal, and there are boats docked just a minute or two away from the observation deck. If you want to experience some truly unique views of the city of Zurich, get on a boat and see the city from the water!
You can go on a Limmat River cruise or on a ride along Lake Zurich – either is a great way to experience some beautiful views, but a river cruise is better if you want to see the old town of Zurich from a different perspective. Lake cruises take you to some parts of the city that are a bit further away, and some ferries will take you all the way to Richterswil and other towns on the opposite end of the lake.
Polyterrasse is an observation deck near a train station atop a hill that offers spectacular views of the Zurich skyline. You’ll see the tall tower of the Fraumünster, the rooftops of those beautiful old buildings, and all the mountains that surround this magical city in Switzerland.
Get to the polybahn station north of the Mühlsteg Bridge and take the funicular to the ETH Zurich campus. Not only will you get to see some of the best views in Zurich, but you can also visit the many museums that are tied to Zurich’s universities.
There are cafes and restaurants near the observation deck, so you can grab a drink or a bite to eat while you enjoy the scenic views.
Limmatquai is a street in Zurich that follows the eastern bank of the Limmat River. The street is about a kilometer long, and it’s easily one of the prettiest streets in Zurich. You get to experience beautiful views of the old town buildings on the other side of the Limmat River, as well as some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
Limmatquai street extends all the way to Zurich lake, and a walk down the street will take you on a quick tour of some of Zurich’s historic bridges. Quaibrücke, the imposing 19th-century bridge, marks the southern end of this picturesque Zurich street.
You’ll also pass by Münster Bridge, Grossmünster, the Rathaus, and a couple of other famous attractions.
Freitag Tower is a popular observation deck in northern Zurich and a great place to visit if you want a good view of the city’s many rooftops. The site is also interesting for the tower itself, which appears to be made out of shipping containers.
The Freitag Tower boasts a huge Freitag shop as well as a roof terrace with a mesmerizing view of the city of Zurich. It’s worth noting that the observation deck is quite small, so you might need to wait your turn if there turns out to be a queue of people when you arrive.
Another thing to note is that the store and the deck are independent of one another, so you don’t need to buy anything in order to get to the roof terrace.
Rigiblick is a funicular railway that transports passengers between northeastern Zurich and the Rigiblick station on Zurichberg hill. Head to the hilltop to admire some panoramic views of the city of Zurich, but also of the many mountains that surround it.
The views from Rigiblick are best experienced on a warm and sunny day. Although the view can be equally as magical in the winter, fog could also block your views of the city.
The best thing about the funicular is that the ride offers equally gorgeous views as the final destination. The entire journey is incredibly scenic, and you get to enjoy some wonderful vistas while you’re ascending the hill. The ride back into Zurich is also magical, especially as you get closer to those charming old buildings.
Clouds is a restaurant in Prime Tower and one of the best locations in the city of Zurich for experiencing gorgeous panoramic views. The restaurant is situated on the 35th floor and the tall glass windows allow you to see pretty much every corner of Zurich.
The view from Clouds might even be better than the food, as well as the main reason for high prices. This is one of the pricier restaurants in the city, so you might want to skip it if you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money for the best views in Zurich.
But if you usually enjoy going to upscale dining venues and you particularly like it when they offer a side of spectacular panoramic view, Clouds is one of the best locations in Zurich for you.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.