This hill in the heart of Zurich’s old town, Lindenhof Hill is the city’s crowning jewel. The view from the top (once the site of Roman fortifications) is impossible to beat. A geological formation carved out during the last glacial period, the now largely flat summit of the hill is home to a beautiful public square situated roughly 100 feet above the Limmat River.
The dense vegetation and stone tables are among the features that make this a popular destination for residents and tourists seeking some urbane recreation. Historically, bowling and chess were favored recreations (and they’re still played enthusiastically by the Swiss). Today, these pursuits compete with some of the best shopping and restaurants in the city.
Long established as a site of national significance, the hill has a rich history, complete with royal residences, ruined fortifications, and plaques attesting to visitations from famous personages such as Casanova, Goethe, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, and Johannes Brahms, just to name a few.
Happily, automobile traffic is not allowed on the hill’s narrow lanes and streets, making it an ideal location for strolling and taking your leisure amid the fragrant foliage and historic buildings. It is not, however, a place to seek solitude (expect crowds), but this fact doesn’t deter legions of visitors every year, and it certainly shouldn’t stop you.
Framed by the city police station to the north, St Peter’s Church to the south, the Bahnhofstrasse to the west, and the river to the east, the greater Lindenhof district is a destination that rewards careful exploration.