Top ten cultural highlights in Zürich

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Zürich's culture is as rich as Swiss chocolate. Dip in and out of world-class galleries, museums and concert halls to immerse yourself in a city that spawned Dadaism, pioneered Modernism, and inspired James Joyce and Wagner.

Stellar art at Kunsthaus Zürich

If you only have time for one gallery, make it Kunsthaus Zürich, which covers all the major genres - from Monet's impressionist landscapes to Munch's expressionist paintings. The biggest draw is the peerless Alberto Giacometti collection, spotlighting the Swiss surrealist's thought- provoking artworks and sticklike sculptures.

Winkelwiese 4, 8001 Zürich

Strings and sopranos at Zürich Opera House

The giant of Zürich's performing arts scene, the neo-baroque Opera House presents a high-calibre programme of opera and ballet in lavish stucco and red velvet surrounds. For the best seats, book your tickets at the same time as your Zürich hotel.

Falkenstrasse 1, 8008 Zürich

Lyrical readings at the James Joyce Foundation

Lose yourself in the epic works of James Joyce at the well- versed James Joyce Foundation. The Dublin-born writer spent most of the Second World War in Zürich, where he was inspired to pen Ulysses. There are free public readings of Ulysses at 5.30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Finnegans Wake at 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

Augustinergasse 9, 8001 Zürich

Time travel at the Swiss National Museum

Behind a turreted, neo-Gothic facade, the Swiss National Museum examines Zürich culture through a wealth of artefacts, from prehistory to the present day. A spin takes in the medieval treasury's gem-encrusted relics, the armoury tower's jousting paraphernalia and archaeological finds like a 100,000-year-old flint stone.

Museumstrasse 2, 8021 Zürich

Industrial revolution at Schiffbau

Once a boatbuilding warehouse, the red-brick Schiffbau in the edgy Züri-West district has been cleverly reincarnated as a dynamic cultural centre. Today the striking post-industrial edifice harbours the cutting-edge Schauspielhaus theatre and one of Zürich's top jazz clubs, Moods.

Schiffbaustrasse 4, 8005 Zürich

Dada at Cabaret Voltaire

Cabaret Voltaire catapults visitors back to 1916 and the birth of Dadaism, an anti-war artistic and political movement. Revisit an age when Zürich was a hotbed of revolutionary thinking at one of the insightful exhibitions, events and screenings.

Spiegelgasse 1, 8001 Zürich

Classical nights at the Tonhalle

Time your visit to enjoy a classical concert at the grand Tonhalle, opened by Brahms in 1895. Chandeliers illuminate the frescoed hall, where the revered Tonhalle Orchestra perform under the baton of David Zinman.

7 Claridenstrasse, 8002 Zürich

Swiss aesthetic at the Design Museum

Vintage billboards from the dawn of Alpine tourism, poster art, graphics and applied arts - the Design Museum presents a fascinating journey through Swiss design. Expect to see collection highlights at one of the rotating exhibitions staged in the rectangular 1930s building.

Ausstellungsstrasse 60, 8005 Zürich 

Museum Rietberg

Perched on a green hill above Lake Zürich, Museum Rietburg occupies an impressive neoclassical mansion, where Wagner once composed to Mathilde Wesendonck's poems. Today's outstanding non-European art collection showcases gems like Tibetan bronzes, Indian miniatures and Aztec sculptures. 

15 Gablerstrasse, 8002 Zürich 

Le Corbusier at Heidi Weber Museum

Audacious Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier left his modernist imprint on this cubic edifice. An umbrella-like roof shelters light-flooded spaces that display Heidi Weber's private collection of Le Corbusier's architectural plans, drawings and furniture designs. 

Hoeschgasse 8, 8034 Zürich