The districts and neighbourhoods of Zurich
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The districts and neighbourhoods of Zurich
Living in the wonderful city of Zurich is a great experience. Seen as the economic centre of Switzerland, the multifaceted city on the water has a great deal to offer, including many job opportunities, a huge range of leisure and cultural activities, and a wide selection of bars and restaurants. We have put together information about the individual districts of Zurich, and how much it costs to live in the city.
Zurich and its 12 districts
The city of Zurich is divided into 12 districts, which in turn consist of one to four neighbourhoods from a total of 34. Districts 2 to 8 are arranged clockwise around District 1, Zurich city centre. Districts 9 to 12 form a second ring, which encloses the north of the city.
Each district has its own culture, a series of unique locations and a distinct character. Let us give you an idea of what Zurich’s districts have to offer.
District 1: Mittendrin statt nur dabei
District 1, the heart of the wonderful city of Zurich! The most central district comprises the historical old town either side of the Limmat river and borders the edge of the lake to the south. This district has a great deal to offer – the luxury Bahnhofstrasse, impressive guild houses, imposing churches and the opera house provide a wide range of leisure and cultural activities. Niederdorf exudes old-town charm and offers enchanting apartments in historic buildings with roof terraces. District 1 will set you back a little, as the central location means that rents are high and apartments are highly sought after.
Neighbourhoods: Rathaus, Hochschulen, Lindenhof, City
District 2: Wollyhood
Just like Hollywood: where the rich and beautiful meet in a breathtaking location. District 2 is located on the left bank of the lake and encompasses the Enge, Leimbach and Wollishofen neighbourhoods. Built using Ticino granite, Enge railway station stands out as an architectural beauty. District 2 offers the cultural experience of the Rietberg Museum, Mediterranean flair at Seebad Enge and the Rote Fabrik. The elegant neighbourhoods of District 2 boast a range of sophisticated houses and apartments in a historical style. They are home to many couples, families and individuals who appreciate the proximity to the countryside and Lake Zurich.
Neighbourhoods: Wollishofen, Leimbach, Enge
District 3: Fischers Fritschi
District 3 incorporates Albisrieden, Aussersihl and Wiedikon. Once a worker’s quarter, the district below Zurich’s Uetliberg mountain has been transformed into a sought-after residential neighbourhood. And with good reason, thanks to its cosy cafés, exclusive boutiques and cool vintage stores. At over 28 hectares, the Friedhof Sihlfeld cemetery is one of the largest green spaces and a favourite location for a walk, as is the popular Fritschiwiese park, which is particularly suitable for families. Goldbrunnenplatz and Lochergut, on the other hand, are home to large numbers of young people and students.
Neighbourhoods: Alt-Wiedikon, Friesenberg, Sihlfeld
District 4: Kreis Cheib
The legendary ‘Cheib’ district has a very particular reason for its name, having been used to dispose of animal carcasses, or ‘Cheiben’, in pits in the Middle Ages. At that time, District 4 was also used as a site for executions and the infirmary accommodated lepers. But don’t let this put you off! District 4 has long since ceased to be a place for animal carcasses and is nowadays a much more attractive place. Incorporating the neighbourhoods of Werd, Langstrasse and Hard, it is one of the most popular districts in Zurich. No wonder with everything that’s going on there – a wide range of restaurants, a central location and lively nightlife with various clubs and bars make the district a popular place to be, especially for young people. Although numerous expensive flats have been built on Europa-Allee in recent years, despite its central location there are also some more affordable apartments in District 4.
Neighbourhoods: Werd, Langstrasse, Hard
District 5: Partymeile
Zurich-West, the home of District 5, was once the industrial heart of the city. Today, it is the site of the prominent Prime Tower, which is surrounded by nightclubs, cultural institutions and schools and universities. This district on the Limmat river is diverse, fresh and modern. While the daytime is spent by workers keeping the wheels of business turning, at night District 5 becomes the place to party with well-known clubs such as the Hive and the Supermarket. However, the district is also home to Josefwiese park, which is an appealing location for many families and makes the area attractive for people of all ages. Living in District 5 is fun, but comes at a price.
Neighbourhoods: Gewerbeschule, Escher Wyss
District 6: Weder une no obe
This district is right in the middle of Zurich and radiates a feel of precisely this central location. District 6 incorporates Fluntern, Unterstrass and Wipkingen. In addition to the impressive university building, here you’ll find numerous art nouveau villas, green oases such as Irchelpark and cultural treasures such as Kulturhaus Dynamo. Its many quiet squares and central location make District 6 a popular residential area for students and families.
Neighbourhoods: Unterstrass, Oberstrass
District 7: Villa am Berg
Pride of place for the villas: District 7 is situated on a beautiful hillside location on the Zürichberg and incorporates Fluntern, Hirslanden, Hottingen, Oberstrass and Witikon. Zurich Zoo and the luxury Dolder Grand hotel are also to be found here. District 7 has a wide range of family homes and renovated apartments, but a large budget is needed for the many unique residential properties.
Neighbourhoods: Fluntern, Hottingen, Hirslanden, Witikon
District 8: Garten Eden
Urban chic on the right bank of the lake: District 8 starts behind the Opera House and continues up to the Seebad Tiefenbrunnen public bath. This area lies over the city like an elegant garden and offers, in addition to numerous boutiques, the popular Chinawiese park and the Seebad Utoquai public bath. District 8 has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many agencies and exclusive shops moving there. In view of this popularity, the rents are correspondingly expensive – with its fantastic location, District 8 is one of the most expensive parts of Zurich.
Neighbourhoods: Seefeld, Mühlebach, Weinegg
District 9: Gleis-Kreis
For a long time, District 9, which takes in Albisrieden and Altstetten at the edge of the city and borders the Limmat river to the north, was known only for the Letzigrund stadium. However, the area around Altstetten has now developed into a real place to be with a host of new restaurants. District 9 is the most populous district in Zurich. The many goods trains make this part of town a place on the rails for us, but in addition to industry there are also some pleasant and quiet places to live, with more affordable rents.
Neighbourhoods: Albisrieden, Altstetten
District 10: Hipkingen
District 10 offers a hip and alternative scene. The district in a breathtaking location to the right of the Limmat river encompasses Höngg and Wipkingen: the lower and upper Letten is a place to meet in summer for swimming and sunbathing. Today there is no trace of the Letten drug scene that was eradicated in the 1990s, and the place has even evolved into an area for recreation. It has also become a university district with the construction of the ETH campus. Höngg and the Käferberg offer spectacular views of the city of Zurich and the mountains beyond. Both places have good transport links and great places to live with their idyllic atmosphere and fantastic location. Students, families and nature-lovers alike can all feel at home here.
Neighbourhoods: Höngg, Wipkingen
District 11: Studio Oerlikon
Oerlikon, Affoltern and Seebach form the city’s northernmost district, the furthest away from the city centre. However, the well-developed public transport network means you can reach the centre in no time. In addition to the many television studios, District 11 is also home to the Hallenstadion, which is used to host large numbers of music events. In view of all the large companies located here, the area is home to many businesspeople, but students are also attracted to District 11 by the relatively low rents.
Neighbourhoods: Oerlikon, Seebach, Affoltern
District 12: Schwamhattan
Schwamendingen in District 12 probably has the cheapest rents in the city of Zurich and is often described as a ‘ghetto’. In fact, Schwamendingen offers a wide range of green spaces and is an attractive residential area for many families due to the low rents. The city centre can be reached within 20 minutes from Schwamendingen.
Neighbourhoods: Schwamendingen, Saatlen, Hirzenbach
What is the cost of living in Zurich?
It’s no secret that living in Zurich is expensive. After all, the city on the water is one of the most expensive cities in the world. If you’re looking for a flat in the city of Zurich, you should make a list of your expenses in advance. This will always depend on your personal lifestyle, of course, and your costs will also depend on how much you spend per month on leisure, shopping and food, etc.
You can use the cost of living below as a guide to life in Zurich.
Assuming you live alone in a 2.5-room apartment in Zurich, you should expect the following average costs per month:
How much are rental costs per district?
Rents in Zurich are generally high and, according to our data, are on average CHF 1,380 for a 2-room apartment and CHF 1,600 for a 3-room apartment. Rental prices vary between the different districts:
Where are the cheapest places to live in Zurich?
Anyone who wants to live in Zurich can generally expect to pay a high rent. The cheapest areas are District 9, District 11 and District 12. Rental properties around Lake Zurich and in the city centre are the most expensive by far: as the list shows, a 2.5-room apartment will cost you the most in districts 1, 2, 5, 7 and 8.
Do you already know which district you’d like to focus on for your new dream apartment? We are sure you’ll find the right rental property on Homegate.