Situated on a lake with a beautiful view of the Swiss alps, Zurich is Switzerland's largest city and Switzerland's key financial, cultural and educational center. The picturesque old city with cobbled streets flanked by town houses, ancient churches, boutiques and street cafés contrasts with the modern architecture of the financial district. With its cinemas, theaters, the world famous opera house, the university and the internationally recognised ETH, museums and galleries, Zurich with its beautiful surroundings has something to offer for every taste. Relaxing piano bars, and lounges as well as nightclubs playing music styles ranging from Hip-Hop and House to Jazz and traditional Swiss folk music can be found throughout the city.
One of the world's most developed public transport systems affords easy access to the surrounding villages, vineyards, mountains and beyond. From here you can go hiking, mountain-biking, swimming in summer or skiing in winter. Further afield, the cities of Basel, Berne and Lucerne can be reached within an hour by train. Geneva and Lausanne, at three hours, takes a little longer but the extra time spent is rewarded by the spectacular views along the way. Situated in the centre of Europe, Switzerland is an ideal base from which to visit the surrounding countries of Austria, France, Germany and Italy.