Zurich in winter white

You'll have heard of the 'gnomes of Zurich', but what you might not know is that the city where they are based has an idyllic old quarter that might have been taken straight from a fairy-tale. And if your dreams are more down-to-earth, you'll still find plenty in the Swiss metropolis to appeal: surrounded by hills and set on the northern point of Lake Zurich, with the snow covered Alps on the horizon, the location is delightful and the nearby Uetliberg mountain affords the best views of the town. There are more than 50 museums and 100 art galleries to enjoy, as well as magnificent monuments such as Grossmunster Cathedral, exclusive shopping along Bahnhofstrasse, cafes and a bustling nightlife... and at this time of year, snow, which adds an extra touch of magic to everything.

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Zurich, Swiss chocolate
Swiss sweets, and chocolate in particular, are internationally famous – and within the reach of most pockets / © Zurich Tourism / Martin Rutschi 

Zurich shopping
Shopping in the old town of Zurich is like being on vacation. The idyllic location by the lake and the beautiful surroundings of the medieval city provide the perfect setting for discovering this juxtaposition of old and modern / © Zurich Tourism / Martin Rutschi 

Zurich snowy lake side
When it snows in Zurich, there are plenty of museums to explore, or cafes and restaurants to enjoy, or you can defy the cold and join with those who head to the snowy lake-side to relax / © Zurich Tourism / Rubiano Soto 

Zurich snowy river bank
As long as you wrap up warm, Zurich is a great winter destination with stunning snowy landscapes / © Zurich Tourism / Caroline Minjolle 

Zurich university
The roll-call of famous students who have passed through the halls of the University of Zurich, Switzerland's largest university, is long and impressive, including Albert Einstein and other Nobel laureates / © Zurich Tourism / Kerstin Bruhlmann 

Zurich old quarter
The highest concentration of clubs in Switzerland, one of the world's most famous shopping streets and a great range of cultural events and activities: Zurich is a rich cultural, historical and social melting pot, with a picturesque back drop of medieval monuments / © Zurich Tourism / Kerstin Bruhlmann 

Zurich, river Limmat
Nestled between wooded hills, Zurich is perched at the end of a beautiful lake from which the river Limmat emerges to split the old medieval town in two / © Swiss Tourism 

Zurich river Limmat
Zurich is particularly attractive in winter. Here the river Limmat, with Grossmunster Cathedral in the background. 

Zurich shopping
Bahnhofstrasse is considered one of the most exclusive shopping avenues in the world; here you'll find stunning jewellery stores, the impressive – and discreet – offices of banks, and luxury shops in monumental buildings 

Zurich, noctural river scene
Lake Zurich is the highlight of the city. In summer there are plenty of tourist cruises on the lake, and throughout the year, the river bank provides a perfect place for a walk / © Zurich Tourism / Rubiano Soto