I do have a wired obsession with Switzerland, but somehow, even though the distance is so short, I never managed to visit. Until now, the third weekend in January. The year I started my 12 (new!) countries in 12 months. And bam: I managed to travel to Zurich and combine it with a full load of girls -trip.
Zurich, with its beauty, reminds me a lot of Austrian towns. Surrounded by the mountains you can enjoy an incredible view from the top of Uetli mountain, eat yourself through cheese and chocolate, put your bank account into dept while shopping or unwinding with a walk around the lake.
If you wanna save up some money, I would recommend an apartment with kitchen and maybe bringing some food staples from another country since prices in the supermarkets can be shocking, even for me, growing up in Munich, the moist expensive town in Germany. (6!!Swiss towns made it into the “10 most expensive cities in Europe” ranking, that’s 6 out of 10.)
Start with a great brunch, maybe at Babu’s Bakery & Coffeehouse or Café Odeon. Check for more options here .
Than walk your way around the city. The river splits the city and when you look at a map, the right one is Old Town. Start with the area of the main station (left side), cross Augustiner-, Glockengasse and more and catch a great view over the city from Lindenhof.
Walk along the river towards north, the train station. Cross the river called Limmat via the “Bahnhofsbrücke” and walk back towards south and get totally lost in all those magic alleys. Take a break in one of many cafés to enjoy a hot chocolate (or ovomaltine). We sat down in the cafe “Mohrenkopf” which sells great hot chocolate and delicious looking Mohrenköpfe (kind of like Marshmallows covered in chocolate on a biscuit).
Well rested you are ready to visit the churches Grossmünster and Frauenmünster.
From there, walk further south to reach the lake.
Enjoy a long nice walk around Lake Zurich. You’ll pass the pretty opera house and a little Chinese garden and other than that, you are able to enjoy the quietness in the middle of a big city. If you feel lazy you can also hop on a cruise around the lake and admire the city and mountains from a boat.
When the sun starts to set, it is time to fill up the empty stomach. Why not looking for a cheese fondue (check some options here ) or checking into “Haus Hiltl“, the oldest vegetarian restaurant worldwide, opened 1898.
You are in Switzerland, the land of cheese and chocolate, so ditch the scale and enjoy the ride.
I got told that the night life in Zurich is a worth a try, so check here, for the hottest bars right now.
Here is a (google) Map with my Idea of Zurich center. Please turn right and left whenever you feel like, that’s, what makes the city special.
Enjoy day two with a visit to the Uetli mountain.
If you are around with the car you can park your car here (Birmensdorferstrasse 12 in Uitikon-Waldegg (200m away from the gas station) and take the trail from there through the woods to the train.
Please keep in mind that you still have to walk up a hill for about 10 mins after arriving.
If you are up for a little 45mins. “hike” you can just keep walking along the trail to get up to the top.
Otherwise just jump into the train (SZU/S10; platform 22 main station) in Zurich center and hopp off at the end station Uetliberg.
One other (secret) tip, if you are around with the car is to visit the “Bruno Weber park” in Spreitenbach. Bruno Weber († 24. October 2011) was an Artist and Architect of our time and created his own house and garden, definitley is worth the visit. Please check here if it is open, since it is closed during winter (2019 it will open again on April 6). Its open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:oo am – 6:oo pm.
Another thing we sadly missed, even though we talked about it is Frau Gerolds Garten. Basically, old shipping containers that house bars, restaurants and a real garden.
I hope my little tips help you to make the most of a short time in the largest but still charming city of Switzerland.
Scroll for many more pictures.