Top view of the city of Zurich with a young woman sitting on top of the tower

The most beautiful views in Zurich and the surrounding area

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Those who want to explore Zurich should in any case have their camera with them, as there is a lot to discover in this impressive city. Whether you want to marvel at the architecture of churches such as Grossmünster, St. Peter, Fraumünster, or the surroundings of Lake Zurich, impressive photo hot spots with wonderful views await you.
To make it easier for you to choose a motif or excursion destination, we present our photo favourites in Zurich below and tell you when the best time for snapshots is. We also link the locations to Google Maps. This allows you to create your own individual route and is guaranteed not to miss a single highlight.
Be inspired by the selected locations.

Polyterrasse

The Polyterasse, built in 1864 according to plans by Gottfried Semper, is part of ETH Zurich and a popular meeting place for students. It is only a few minutes away from the city and can be reached on foot or by the historical Polybahn . With its southern orientation it invites not only for picnics and sunbathing. Lean back and let yourself be enchanted by the picturesque view over Zurich’s old town. The photo motif is breathtaking at any time of year – especially at golden hour – and is suitable for impressive panoramic shots. You can read what you need and should pay attention to here .

Bürkli square

If you want to take a nice photo with Zurich in the background or if you are looking for the perfect place for a marriage proposal, you have to visit this vantage point.
Bürkli squarepromises a great view over the lake of Zurich in the morning and in the evening and makes mirror photography fun. There are plenty of motifs for impressive shots. Take a look at the boat landing stage, which is also the starting point for round trips across the lake, or take a tour of the vegetable market, which takes place twice a week and promises exotic things from all over the world. In summer, there is also a flea market on Saturdays at the beginning of Bahnhofstrasse, directly under the chestnut trees. The art and event location has a very special charm with its continuous lake promenade, avenues and parks.

Small tip: At the lake you will find a sculpture that is suitable as a photo motif.

Uetliberg

Whether you want to hike or take the train to the vantage point, reach for the stars and take a tour of the Uetliberg. Here sun, moon and stars shake hands. Convince yourself of the breathtaking view over the lake – you will certainly not regret the trip.

The tower on Uetliberg has an open viewing platform. At a height of 30 metres, a panoramic view of Zurich awaits you, making unique panoramic shots possible.

Even though the mountain attracts visitors at any time of the year and day with a unique view over the city of Zurich, its surroundings and the Alps, it is doubly worth a visit in winter and at night. The summit of the Uetliberg often lies above the Zurich high fog ceiling, creating breathtaking motifs. At night, when the city shines in the valley, you can take particularly beautiful photos. In winter, the way back invites you to toboggan through the winter forest – and the hearts of enthusiastic tobogganists will be opened.

Small tip: Learn how to correctly stage motifs in the dark so that the starry sky can also be seen and what the exposure time is all about here.

Rhine Falls

Do you fancy nature, culture and the largest waterfall in Europe? Then a trip to Laufen Castle is a good idea. A wonderful panoramic path leads you to the elevator, with which you reach the viewing platform “Känzeli”. Visit one of the most beautiful sights in Switzerland and see the impressive spectacle of the Rhein Falls.

The Rhine Falls can not only be admired on foot, but also from the water in summer. On a leisurely boat trip in the Rhine Falls basin, you will find beautiful photo motifs on the way to the Middle Rock and downstream towards the national border. After the tour, the brave can climb from tree to tree in the Adventure Park. From the tree tops in the rope park you also have a great view of the deep blue water of the Rhine Falls. You will find tips on how best to stage the Rhine Falls here.

It is up to you how you explore the fairytale-like scenery. You will definitely take impressive nature photos home with you on this excursion.

Small tip: Not far from the Rhine Falls is the medieval town of Stein am Rhein. The historical half-timbered houses are artfully painted and are also suitable as photo motives.

Rhine Falls and Laufen Castle, Switzerland

Karlsturm Grossmünster

The Karlsturm, named after Charlemagne, is located in the centre of Zurich’s old town. The Grossmünster belongs to one of the most famous churches of the city and captivates with a beautiful view over the old town, the river and the lake. The building is a real eye-catcher and worth a photo. This guidebookwill show you how to effectively stage the architecture and avoid beginner’s mistakes.

On the west side you find the street Wühre, from which you have a good view to the church. If you only want to focus on a certain detail of the facade, open the aperture of the camera as much as possible and shorten the exposure time. The view from the Karlsturm is also worthwhile. After 187 steps you have reached the viewing platform and the roofs of the city are at your feet.

Lindenhof

The Lindenhof is not only known for its eventful history. The green oasis is a meeting place for chess players and also attracts photo enthusiasts.  Take a trip to the venue during your holidays. Let your soul dangle at the sight of the old town with the Grossmünster, the town hall and the university and don’t forget your camera. Zurich’s oldest green area can be reached on foot and, with its eventful history, is an archaeological photo object and vantage point all in one. Light and shadow surround the shade-giving tree tops and allow for beautiful shots. A wonderful view opens up here at sunrise.

Rhine Falls and Laufen Castle, Switzerland

Conclusion

The churches, waters and parks in Zurich offer photographers a unique landscape with a variety of vantage points. We have selected some of our favourite hot spots to inspire you. If you are looking for further breathtaking photo motives, the terrace of the Penthouse Restaurant George Bar & Grill, a trip to the Urania Observatory followed by a meal in the Jules Verne Panorama Bar or the Restaurant The Waid, which is located directly at the edge of the forest, are also recommendable. The evening can end well in the Thermal bath over the roofs of the city. Whatever you choose: Let yourself be captivated by the charm of the city and be carried away into another world by the architecture and landscape of Zurich.

A little tip: in Zurich you can not only take photos, but also admire the great photographers at the Fotomuseum Winterthur.

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