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Polyterrasse Zurich: A Guide to the City’s Best Terrace

Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by Darla Uhl

Polyterrasse Zurich is a popular public terrace, situated just in front of the ETH Building, providing breathtaking panoramic views of Zurich. It’s a favorite destination for both locals and visitors to admire the city from up high. Getting to Polyterrasse is simple with the Polybahn funicular. Wondering how to reach Polyterrasse Zurich? Let’s find out!

Image of Zurich from the Polyterrasse by TouringSwitzerland.com

How to Get to Polyterrasse Zurich

Image of the Polybahn Funicular by TouringSwitzerland.com

The easiest way to get to Polyterrasse Zurich is by taking the Central Polybahn Funicular from Zurich. This train has been running since January 1889. The funicular brings visitors from Zurich city center to the vantage point 41 meters higher.

To avoid crowds, come in early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It gets busy during lunchtime. Another good thing is that the price for the funicular is already included in the Zurich City Ticket or Swiss Travel Pass if you have one. You do not have to buy a separate ticket to use the Polybahn.

Alternatively, you can hop on one of the trams or buses heading to the ETH/Universitätsspital stop and walk a short distance to the terrace. The terrace is also accessible by car, with parking available nearby.

Address of Central PolybahnLimmatquai 144
8001 Zürich
Trams to Central PolybahnZurich, Bahnhofquai/HB
Trams 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 14
Trams to ETH/UniversitätsspitalZurich, ETH/Universitätsspital
Trams 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10

Visiting Polyterrasse Zurich

Image of Lindenhof by TouringSwitzerland.com

The terrace is a popular place for students of the nearby Universities to relax and socialize, and it has since become a popular gathering spot. The terrace is always open to everyone and enjoys stunning views of the city. It is free of charge.

Since there aren’t many activities available on Polyterrasse besides enjoying the views, here are some nearby attractions you can easily walk to after taking in the panoramic scenery.

These include:

  • Zoological Museum Zurich – Just a brief stroll away, you’ll find the Zoological Museum, where you can explore over 1,500 animal species on display, ranging from insects to mammals. It’s conveniently located near Polyterrasse.
  • Paleontological Museum Zurich – Located right beside the Zoological Museum, the Paleontological Museum has an extensive collection of fossils, minerals, and rocks.
  • Lindenhof – If you enjoy panoramic views, you should check out Lindenhof, another popular viewpoint just across the Limmat River. I find Lindenhof even more picturesque because from here, you get a stunning view of Zurich, including the Limmat River, Grossmünster, and the charming Old Town. Lindenhof is around 900 meters away from the Polyterrasse.
  • Grossmunster Church – Located only 15 minutes away from the Polyterrasse, Grossmünster Zurich is an iconic landmark in Zurich with its striking twin towers and played an important role during the Protestant Reformation. You can also enjoy panoramic views of the city from its towers.
  • Landesmuseum Zurich (Swiss National Museum) – If you have enough time, I warmly suggest visiting the Landesmuseum. It’s expansive and brimming with captivating history and artifacts showcasing the essence of Switzerland. The Landesmuseum is located only 15 minutes away from the Polyterrasse.
  • Kunsthaus Zurich – Art enthusiasts will delight in Switzerland’s largest art museum, conveniently located 10 minutes away from the Polyterrasse. Spanning two buildings, the museum showcases the works of renowned artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Auguste Renoir, and Paul Cézanne.
  • WOW Museum – If you’re short on time and looking for a fun indoor activity, consider visiting this small, interactive museum around 15 minutes away from the Polyterrasse.

Final Thoughts: Polyterrasse Zurich

At Polyterrasse Zurich, you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city, perfect for photography, relaxation, and socializing. Whether you’re snapping photos, reading a book, or simply taking in the scenery, this scenic spot offers a peaceful escape. Additionally, you can catch a breathtaking sunset over Zurich’s skyline. After your time at Polyterrasse, consider walking to nearby attractions such as the Zoological Museum, Landesmuseum Zurich, Grossmünster Church, or Kunsthaus Zurich for further exploration and enjoyment.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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