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Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood

June 30, 2021
Zürich is a truly beautiful and fascinating city. The rest of the world recognizes it as the leading banking district, the major financial and business hub of Europe. But it's not only a metropolis dominated by the corporate world. It's also a grand destination with all sorts of charms. You'd know of it if you learned more about the different neighborhoods in Zürich. From its livelier Zürich West and Nierdorf districts to the more idyllic Seefeld and Affoltern areas, get to know the city with this neighborhood guide.

Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood

Where to Stay in Zürich

Some of the best places to stay in Where to Stay in Zürich include Enge, Seefeld, Affoltern, Rapperswil-Jona, and Nierdorf. Not only are they among the city's most popular districts, but they're also safe, exciting, and lively. They're not too touristy too, which means local life flourishes in these areas.

Is Zürich a Safe Place to Live

Yes, it is. The crime rates in Zürich are low. Its current general crime rate is just 17.92%, one of the lowest among major European cities. Even its rate of increasing crimes is 55.05%, which is just moderate. And the city's safety rate enjoys a very high 86.34% during the day and a high 72.19% at night.

Areas to Avoid in Zürich

There are no dangerous areas in Zürich, further proving just how safe the city truly is. At most, Langstrasse is the “sketchiest” neighborhood as it used to be the red-light district. But it has since changed to what it was and is now among the most popular areas of Zürich.

Aussersihl, Zürich

Aussersihl is the closest thing to an “edgy” neighborhood in Zürich. Located west of District 1, it's the bohemian center of the Swiss financial hub. The place is so alternative that you never would've thought that it's in Zürich. It's an entire treasure trove of vintage stores, independent shops, restaurants with foreign cuisines, cool cafes, and hip bars. With its diverse and trendy scene, it's no surprise that Aussersihl draws the youth. The population here is considerably younger compared to other neighborhoods in Zürich.

What to Do in Aussersihl, Zürich

Typically, you'd think that spending a day in Zürich would include sightseeing and taking photos of the old castles and churches. You can do that in other districts, but not in Aussersihl. Here, it's all about hanging out and having fun. Go on a foodie tour of the neighborhood's diverse culinary scene. Meet new people and make friends in the coffee shops and bars. Shop for vintage clothing in the independent boutiques. And at night, party in all the alternative nightclubs!
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Paebi

Riesbach, Zürich

In District 8, Riesbach serves as a peaceful local hub in Zürich. Though it's fairly close to Lake Zürich, it's less touristy compared to other lakeside neighborhoods. It barely has any famous tourist spots too. Riesbach is the kind of place you'd only know if you've been in Zürich for a long time or you're friends with many locals. Its relatively peaceful atmosphere makes it suitable for residency, even more so since it also has great schools, fun hotspots, and ample green spaces. If you've just relocated to Zürich, it'll be easy enough to consider Riesbach your new home.
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Roland zh

Zürich West

Zürich's reputation and standing as the global leader in banking and finance is thanks in large part to Zürich West. Known as the “Industriequartier” in District 5, it's the center of the city's economic activity and growth. From big banks to big businesses, these corporate behemoths have set up shop in this very neighborhood. If you ever want to work in Switzerland, specifically in Zürich, then Zürich West is your place. Don't worry! It's not all work and no play here. Beyond the offices and banks, the area also has a myriad of hotspots.

What to Do in Zürich West

As one of the central neighborhoods of Zürich, you'll never get bored in Zürich West! You can spend the day shopping, going from one chic boutique to another. Visit the art galleries too! You'd be surprised to find that the major Swiss financial hub's art scene is just as exciting as Paris and London! If you're lucky, you might just manage to catch a concert in Zürich West too. The area is filled with cool venues for small and big shows.

Where to Eat in Zürich West

You'll find some of the best restaurants in Zürich in this very neighborhood. Markthalle is a good place to start. It's the city's first covered market, offering up local and foreign cuisines and delicacies. The glass-encased LaSalle is another culinary highlight. They serve French cuisine with French wine here—that alone is worth a half-month's paycheck! And speaking of haute cuisine, Josef is another great hotspot that serves up the most delicious European dishes. They're notorious for their small servings, but every bite is a culinary experience you won't soon forget!

Is Zürich West Safe?

Don't worry, it is! Zürich West has one of the lowest crime rates among the many neighborhoods in Zürich. The security here is high, thanks in large part to the big businesses and institutions that operate in the area.
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Thomas Woodtli

Affoltern in Zürich, Switzerland

You can say that Affoltern lies in between the two different parts of Zürich. On one hand, it's another idyllic neighborhood in the city that has a major rural vibe, perfect for a more relaxed lifestyle. Nature reigns supreme in Affoltern, complete with nearby fields, lots of trees, and the countryside is close by too. And since public transport in Zürich is convenient, you can easily get to the busier parts of the city from here. Just hop on a bus or tram you find and you'll get to the other districts in no time!
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Roland zh

Zürich's Enge

Located on the western side of Lake Zürich, Enge is a largely contemporary residential district. It's busy enough to consider it as an urban area but then it's no popular hotspot for tourists. Enge is more famous for its green spaces than tourist attractions. The leafy banks along Lake Zürich and the botanical garden are just some of its most popular parts. But don't worry! The neighborhood still has its fair share of hotspots, from upscale restaurants to chill cafes. Needless to say, Enge is one of the most comfortable neighborhoods to choose when you move to Zürich.
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Roland zh

Niederdorf, Zürich

Out of all the neighborhoods in Zürich, Niederdorf is undoubtedly the most popular among tourists. Since it's one-half of the city's Altstadt (Old Town), its nostalgic charm has inspired travelers the world over. But they stay because of the many exciting establishments, ranging from nightlife hotspots to luxury shops. Its most famous attraction, the Grossmünster Church, remains one of the most popular sites in the Swiss capital. It can almost rival Notre Dame in Paris or the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

What to Do in Niederdorf, Zürich

Whether you live in Zürich or not, you can bring out your inner tourist in Niederdorf. See the famous sights, take selfies in the more Medieval parts, eat in popular restaurants, shop at all the luxury stores, and more. Every day can be an adventure in Niederdorf!
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Jochen Teufe


As the second half of Zürich's 'Old Town,' Zug is another tourist-heavy neighborhood in the city. However, it's still a fair distance away from the city center, making it less busy than Niederdorf. And it's here where you really get to see the 'old' Zürich, almost similar to the many charming neighborhoods of the Zürich Metropolitan Area. But instead of castles and churches, you'll see humble homes, cottages, and more that speak of the city's beautiful heritage.
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Schulerst

Seefeld, Zürich

Thanks to its lakeside location, the calm and serene neighborhood of Seefeld has attracted both locals and tourists alike. It's even become a haven for the most active in the city. Since it's a waterfront area, countless places here offer swimming lessons, water sports, and the like. It also helps that the neighborhood has many green spaces too. From the zen Chinagarten to the lively Zürichhorn Park, it's no wonder the locals love going out and having fun here.

What to See in Seefeld, Zürich

Seefeld's pièce de résistance is the promenade right by Lake Zürich. It's one of the best places to hang out and relax along the soothing waters of the lake. The Chinagarten as mentioned earlier is a must-see too! You won't find a more peaceful and tranquil green space than this in the city.
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Roland zh

Fluntern, Zürich

While many of the neighborhoods in Zürich boasts beautiful parks and serene gardens, Fluntern is the undisputed green district of the city. The largely residential neighborhood flourishes with such flora, ranging from the tree-lined streets to the nearby forestland. The overall tranquility of the place has made it perfect for families to settle down, and it helps that Fluntern has some of the most luxurious homes in Zürich too.

What to Do in Fluntern, Zürich

Fluntern is about having an adventure in Zürich. You can start by taking the little ones to Zoo Zürich, a fun-filled oasis where nature meets man. Apart from the various animals living here, the place also has a cool rainforest, fascinating wetlands, and even an elephant park! You can take the kids hiking or mountain biking when they are older. The nearby natural wonders make for great locations to let out your inner adrenaline junkie!
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Langstrasse, Switzerland

Though a little infamous since it used to be the red-light district of Zürich, Langstrasse is far from what it used to be now! It went away with the skeevy establishments and has become one of the trendiest parts of the Swiss city. Today, it’s Zürich’s premier nightlife hub, complete with the many bars and clubs that have opened over the years. It’s become a great place to stay for sexy singles, young students, and even the young at heart who live life freely, make new friends and have fun.

Is Langstrasse, Switzerland Safe?

It’s unfair to say that Langstrasse is unsafe. Although the area is no longer the red-light district, it’s still the city’s nightlife hub. This isn’t to say that it’s a dangerous place, but that you’d still be better off more aware and accompanied if you ever go here at night.
Ultimate Zürich Guide by Neighborhood
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Martin E. Walder

One of the best ways to get to know Zürich is to discover its many neighborhoods. From the busy areas to the more peaceful outskirts, this Zürich neighborhood guide has all the basics of the city's central districts.

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