Urania Observatory, Zurich

Urania Observatory, Zurich (must see)

The Urania Observatory is visible on the city landscape, with its curved dome and impressive height. It was named after Urania, the muse of astronomy in Greek mythology. It began, first, as an observatory on the roof of the Zunfthaus zur Meisen. The Urania Observatory was initiated in 1899 and went into operational use in 1907. The refracting telescope is equipped with a two-lens system allowing for 600-fold magnification. The refractor is what sits in the large dome structure. The telescope stands on a pillar and is fitted with anti-vibration components. The optical telescope, designed by Carl Zeiss, weighs 12 tons and was considered a technical masterpiece at the time. The telescope underwent a restoration in 2006 and was placed back in the observatory in 2007. Tours are available at the observatory for viewing of the moon and Solar System objects, such as stars, star clusters, and galaxies. Because the observatory is in the middle of the city, it is subject to urban light pollution, so views from within are fairly limited. Paid public tours are given in the evenings, Tuesday through Friday when there is clear weather. A restaurant and bar are located in the building.

Why You Should Visit:
To experience an great view of downtown Zurich, all while learning new things about telescopes and the outer space.

Opening Hours:
Thu-Sat: 9pm-10pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Zurich, Switzerland within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Urania Observatory on Map

Sight Name: Urania Observatory
Sight Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walking Tour   Architecture Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Zurich, Switzerland

Create Your Own Walk in Zurich

Create Your Own Walk in Zurich

Creating your own self-guided walk in Zurich is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Religious Sights Walking Tour

Religious Sights Walking Tour

Zürich has many splendid churches and monasteries, which provide an immense spiritual and cultural contribution to the entire country. Many of them played a significant role in the Protestant Reformation. Each church is inimitable in its architecture. Follow this walking tour to become familiar with Zürich's most beautiful religious edifices.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Zurich without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Zurich, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

Switzerland’s largest city, Zürich, is rich in heritage and historic value, and is a popular travel destination. Its medieval architecture is well-preserved and worth seeing, as well as the city’s historic monuments and modern sculptures. Old Town, with its 13th century buildings, is an especially wonderful historic area to be seen. Be sure to visit some of Zürich's best landmarks in...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Aussersihl Area Daily Life Tour

Aussersihl Area Daily Life Tour

The best way to become acquainted with a city’s energy and inner world is to witness the daily lives of its locals. Aussersihl, or Kreis 4, is a multinational neighborhood in Zürich, located near the center of the city. It was formed in the 18th century. There are many places to relax and plenty of entertainment to find here as well. The following is a list of places that are popular among...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
Culture Self-guided Tour

Culture Self-guided Tour

Many of Switzerland's most important cultural venues are located in Zürich. The city has been home to many distinguished figures, including Richard Wagner, Thomas Mann, James Joyce, Carl Jung, Felix Bloch, and others. Zürich’s theaters are famous all over the world. Take the following tour to discover Zürich’s most popular and prominent cultural venues.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Kids Entertainment Walking Tour

Kids Entertainment Walking Tour

Zurich offers many activities for kids of all ages. There are shops for those who have just started their life journey with a lot of safe and enjoyable toys and games, boutiques with exclusive clothes, and, of course, sweet shops with original Swiss chocolate. Visiting the city’s museums, kids will learn about the history and culture of Switzerland, and the puppet theater will entertain with...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Distinctively Swiss Things to Buy in Zurich

16 Distinctively Swiss Things to Buy in Zurich

Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city, and although it may feel like a bustling metropolis, the tranquil essence of the Alps flows fervently through the lively cobblestone streets, the buzzing train station, and the frenzied designer boutiques. Most shops in downtown Zurich open at 9 am and close...