Zurich is divided into 12 administrative districts, but as a traveler, you’ll likely use neighborhood names instead of numbers. Here’s a round-up of the most popular areas to help orient you in the city’s walkable center.
Old Town (Altstadt)
Zurich’s main tourist district is the Old Town, aka Altstadt, which is centered on the Limmat river and home to the city’s major historical landmarks, such as the Fraumünster and Grossmünster churches. Within this district, you’ll find smaller neighborhoods such as Niederdorf, a mostly pedestrian section of restaurants and bars; the Rathaus quarter, named for the town hall; and Lindenhof, one of the city’s oldest quarters, home to restaurants, shops, and historical sights.
On the west side of the Limmat, Zurich’s high-end banking industry operates in the City, separated from Lindenhof by Bahnhofstrasse, one of the world’s most expensive stretches of retail space. This is designer-shopping (or window-shopping) heaven, and many city tours include a stop in this bustling district.
On the eastern shore of Lake Zurich, south of the Old Town, Seefeld is a residential area home to a waterfront promenade, green space, and restaurants. City tours don’t often include this neighborhood, but it’s a great place to visit on your own to relax by the lake and enjoy the views.
Residential Zürichberg rises above the city in the hills to the east. Some city tours visit this neighborhood for the chance to ride on the Dolderbahn railway, check out the Zurich Zoo, take in views of the lake, and admire villas and other upscale homes.