Zurich is frequently cited as the city offering the world’s best quality of life. It is situated where the Limmat River issues from the northwestern end of Lake Zurich, about 20 miles north of the Alps. Switzerland’s largest city and its financial capital is predictably clean and efficient, and it displays a rich cultural heritage, with beautifully restored historic buildings. The quays that line the banks of the crystal-clear river and lake make for leisurely exploring, and the snowcapped Alps wait nearby, luring skiers or merely providing a spectacular natural backdrop. Famous Bahnhofstrasse has the major chain stores, but more-interesting shopping can be had in the narrow, hilly lanes of Zurich’s old center or under the stone arches of the Viadukt development.

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