The area of Zurich was urbanised in 1893 and 1934 for the first time. Since then the city has been divided into twelve districts, which are further subdivided into 34 quarters. There is also the presence of independent neighbourhood life, cultivated by the residents and culturally shapes life in the city of Zurich.
The first district is the most central in the city centre. Districts 2 to 8 are arranged clockwise around it. The city districts 9 to 12 form a second ring in the north of the city. But, enough geography: What are the characteristics of the different circles? Zurich – What is Where:
District 1 – Old town & city centre
The town of Zurich originates in the old town, which together with the city centre forms District 1. This includes the historic Old Town on both sides of the Limmat, as well as the south bordering the lake basin. Zurich’s landmark is also located here: the Grossmünster with its two towers. One of these two towers is named after Charlemagne, Karlsturm, and offers visitors a wonderful view of the Old Town, historic guild houses and imposing churches. Furthermore, District 1 invites visitors to stroll along the luxurious Bahnhofstrasse. You can then relax on the Sechseläutenplatz in front of the opera house.
District 2 – Enge, Wollishofen & Leimbach
How does living in District 2 work? Most of the residents will point to the immediate vicinity of the lake. Architecturally, the district also has a lot to offer: The railway station Enge was built of Ticino granite and while walking through the residential areas you will discover buildings in the historicism style all over again. This district is ideal for families, couples and individuals who appreciate the peacefulness and proximity to the countryside.
District 3 – Wiedikon
Wiedikon is located directly below the Uetliberg, which is a former workers’ quarter and has developed into a popular residential area after a building boom in the 1930s. Cosy cafés, vintage shops and trendy alternative boutiques can be found in this district. The immediate proximity to Zurich’s local mountain is particularly attractive to sporty people.
District 4 – Werd, Langstrasse & Hard
The heart of this circle is Langstrasse, which has become an integral part of Zurich’s nightlife. Thanks to its busy city nightlife and central location, District 4 has become a “place to be”, especially for young people.
District 5 – Industrial Quarter
Once an industrial quarter, District 5 has established itself as a creative quarter that attracts both culture and lifestyle enthusiasts. Nightclubs, bars, cultural events and art academies are spread around Prime Tower near Hardbrücke. This district is characterised by the many creative ways in which the buildings are used: the viaduct, an unconventional shopping street, or design shops like the Freitag Tower are two well-known examples. The diverse area attracts all kinds of residents: from young parents to couples and singles. However, living in this district also has its price.
District 6 – Upper and lower road
Also known as the university district: thanks to the quietness and proximity to the centre, both students and families feel at home here. University buildings, houses in modernist style and green hideaways such as the large Irchel Park characterise life in District 6.
District 7 – Fluntern, Hottingen, Hirslanden & Witikon
There are many characteristics that speak for District 7: hillside location, beautiful view over the city of Zurich and reduced traffic. However, the price of living here is correspondingly high. In addition, the Zurich Zoo as well as The Dolder Grand Luxury Hotel are part of the neighbourhood.
District 8 – Seefeld, Mühlebach & Weinegg
This district stretches from the opera house to the Tiefenbrunnen railway station and has become increasingly popular in recent years. There are exclusive boutiques that guarantee a successful end to every shopping tour. And when you want to take a break, the Chinese garden right by the lake is ideal for relaxing.
District 9 – Altstetten & Albisrieden
District 9 is a typical industrial area and is characterised by its proximity to the Limmat and the Uetliberg and good transport connections to the centre. The district’s life is multicultural, with a number of trendy bars and restaurants as well as peaceful corners for people seeking a balance between nature and the city.
District 10 – Wipkingen & Höngg
Similar to district 7, district 10 earns points with its hillside location. During cloudless days, there is a wonderful view, where you can see not only the town and the lake, but also the mountains in the distance. If the water temperature is warm, you can swim and enjoy the sun on the nearby Limmat.
District 11 – Oerlikon, Seebach & Affoltern
District 11 is located in the immediate vicinity of the airport and is well connected to the city centre by the Oerlikon railway station. As a result, business people and students in particular often choose to make their homes in this area. The Hallenstadion, where music and sports events are held, and the former Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon (MFO) are also located in this district. The latter is an event location for all kinds of exhibitions, festivals and open-air cinemas.
District 12 – Schwamendingen
Affordable apartments and surrounded by nature: Schwamendingen has retained its village character despite its incorporation. Located right next to the Zürichberg and featuring many sports facilities, nature-lovers and sports enthusiasts feel very much at home here.