Zurich audio tour: Historical Zürich: A Walk through the City of a Thousand Fountains

Historical Zürich: A Walk through the City of a Thousand Fountains

Walking Tour

75 mins

About the Tour

Zürich is Switzerland’s “kleintropolis“. That is what Max Frisch, a native author and architect, called this place: a small metropolis. Even though the city has grown substantially since Max’s time, on this tour you’ll discover just how well the description still fits!

Our walk begins on the Bahnhofstrasse, at the edge of the old town. I’ll lead you along cobblestone streets beside the Limmat River and show you where the Romans and Carolingians settled. You will see architecture from medieval to modern after that, and there are a lot of fountains. Zürich started creating fountains in the Middle Ages to provide residents with water and never seemed to stop. We’ll end the tour firmly in the present day at Paradeplatz near Lake Zurich.

Landmarks along the way include:

• The remains of the Roman Baths
• The Lindenhof and its panoramic view
• The Clock Tower at St. Peter‘s Church
• The Grossmünster Cathedral
• The Fraumünster Church
• Lake Zurich and the Opera House

The tour includes stories, facts and legends like:

• Where Zurich’s wealth has come from for the last 2,000 from a Roman toll station to private banking
• Medieval Zurich’s guild houses and the Craftsman Revolution
• Charlemagne, his horse and a few headless saints
• King Ludwig‘s daughters and a stag with glowing antlers
• Two brothers different paths to success in the chocolate industry

There are plenty of places to stop along the way whether you feel like something sweet or you’d prefer a savory snack. Near the start of the tour there is Cafe Honold on the Rennweg. They make an extraordinary hot chocolate. You can continue to satisfy your sweet tooth throughout the tour or at the end with a visit to Cafe Sprüngli in Paradeplatz. For savory appetites, there’s bratwurst from the Sternen Grill or lunch at the Bauschänzli, a beer garden and grill on a tiny island between the Limmat River and Lake Zurich.

Join me as I reveal all the ways this small city has charmed international visitors and locals alike.

Tour Producer


Cynthia Toole

I am a tour guide, teacher and independent business owner (www.swisswalkingtours.com). With my many years of exploration and experience I am able to bring you all that I have uncovered. It is great fun to introduce visitors and locals to the legends, history and delights of a city. Usually I share all this live but thanks to VoiceMap you can come along with me any day or time and discover!

Major Landmarks

  • Lindenhof

  • Clock at St. Peter’s

  • Fraumünster

  • Grossmünster

  • Rathaus

  • Lake Zürich

  • Confiserie Sprüngli

Directions to Starting Point

The tour begins on the corner of the Bahnhofstrasse and Uraniastrasse, just about 300 meters from Zurich Main Train Station.

Show Directions
Buying for somebody else?
If you’d like to give VoiceMap tours as a gift, you have two options: choose the tours yourself, or buy a voucher redeemable against any of VoiceMap’s tours in 167 cities worldwide.
Buy a gift voucher
VoiceMap tours for large groups
If you’d like to provide groups of guests with access to a VoiceMap tour, you can buy a specific number of copies for a particular event or obtain a license for more regular use.
Find out more


Places to stop along the way

Bauschänzli, Stadthausquai 2 - an open air Beergarden and Grill from April until September. Have a drink or lunch under the Chestnut trees on the miniature island where Lake Zürich meets the Limmat River.
Cafe Honold on the Renweg 53 - Stop by for one of the best hot chocolates or a sweet.
Outdoor Bar at Hotel Störchen in Weinplatz - Enjoy a drink in open air while watching life pass by in Zurich.

Sternen Grill in Bellevue Square - Try their classic St. Gallener Bratwurst, there is always a crowd at lunchtime.
Confiserie Sprüngli in Paradeplatz - for chocolates and macarons

Best time of day

This tour can be taken at any time. The optimal time is during daylight and the most peaceful time is in the morning hours and Sundays. It is quiet on Sundays because shops are closed all day and churches are closed in the morning for services.


Make sure to wear comfortable shoes for walking and do cross the streets in the crosswalks. The locals follow the rules and they expect the visitors to do as well.


I enjoyed the tour very much and learned a lot but I think the guide should take some time to learn how to pronounce all the German names and places.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 2 months ago

Thanks for posting and happy to hear you enjoyed the tour. Believe me, I am constantly working on improving my German and have been studying for years. However sometimes, even though my mind knows the correct pronunciation my tongue does not always cooperate.

Posted by Cynthia , 2 months ago

Great tour! Perfect for a 2 hr walk through Zurich

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 4 months ago

This is a wonderful tour, providing a sense of the modern city and its historical roots. Just enough detail to make the past come alive and invite visitors with more time to return to a fountain, a church or a bridge to revel a little bit longer.

Posted by Nancy , 11 months ago

What a wonderful way to see the sites and learn about the city of Zürich!

Posted by Cynthia , over 1 year ago

I’m an Expat living in Zurich. I decided to do this tour as a way to explore the city during Corona times. I thought I could learn some new things about my adopted city as part of a holiday at home. It didn’t disappoint. The tour brings users to all the main monuments in the city, but added background information about the places that I didn’t learn in everyday life. For instance, we all know that Lindenhofplatz was the historical epicenter of the city, but I didn’t know the story behind the female statue there. I was also surprised there is so much art hidden in plain view if you know where to look. The tour lasts about an hour and a half if you want a quick overview of the city, but it you enjoy the views and savor the history along the way, it can easily fill several hours.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 1 year ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Historical Zürich: A Walk through the City of a Thousand Fountains