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Visiting Zurich

It's not all banking and business in this beautiful city. Zurich scores a regular spot on lists of the world's most livable cities, and it's not hard to see why.

Its charmed lifestyle and lakeside location are instantly enviable.

On your way to Zurich, why not take a Stopover in Iceland and enjoy the sleek charm of the city of Reykjavík?

Swimming spots and scenic heights

Sitting pretty, Zurich's Altstadt (Old Town) holds court at the northern end of Lake Zurich, on both sides of the Limmat River.

The old quarters evoke a bygone era, with winding cobbled alleys, ancient guildhalls and church steeples.

Stop in at the landmark Fraumünster, where old meets new - the ancient church contains stunning 20th-century stained glass from artist Marc Chagall.

There are some excellent museums to check out - the pick is the art-filled Kunsthaus Zürich - but if the weather is good, there's no finer place to be than outside.

Take a boat tour on the lake or find a badi to satisfy your swimming (and people-watching) needs. Gain elevation and a stupendous view by taking the train up Uetliberg, the city’s highest point (2857ft).

Luxury boutiques and cool finds

The city's prime shopping stretch is Bahnhofstrasse, a boulevard lined with luxury boutiques, department stores and chic shops selling signature Swiss souvenirs such as watches and perfectly packaged chocolate treats.

The pedestrianized Niederdorf area of the Old Town is an enticing place to stroll - cute stores by day, great restaurants and bars by night.

In the past few years, District 5, colloquially known as Zuri-West, has emerged as Zurich’s coolest neighborhood. Wander the area for galleries, design stores and on-trend bars and cafes.

Make a beeline for Im Viadukt, a clever conversion of storage sheds now home to fresh, creative shopping and eating options.

Meat, cheese and chocolate

Rich and hearty Swiss fare is on offer in traditional restaurants and cozy bistros - think meat and potatoes, and cheesy fondue and raclette. The city's signature dish is Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, sliced veal in a creamy sauce of white wine and mushrooms.

Given all that, you may not expect to find the world's oldest vegetarian restaurant in Zurich. Haus Hiltl has been serving up brilliant meat-free food since 1898, and there are now a few outposts in town.

At the other end of the health spectrum: chocolate! Sweet-toothed visitors will rejoice. Sprüngli has been making chocolate since 1836 - there are more than a dozen stores around town; stop by the flagship store and cafe on Paradeplatz for truffle and macaron heaven.