On Boxing Day we jetted off to Zurich to spend a few days exploring the city before we went in search of the Swiss Alps!
I must admit that Zurich hasn’t been a top contender on my travel list however having spent the weekend there, I have to say I’m thrilled that I visited because it was one of the most magical cities that I’ve ever been to.
We got into Zurich in the evening and in the morning we awoke to a huge cloud of fog hanging over the city. As the sun came out, the fog started to lift and revealed Zurich’s charming medieval architecture and a web of little alley ways full of restaurants and shops.
Here are a list of places that we explored in our short time in this beautiful old town:
If you wander through the streets of Lindenhoff there are so many beautiful chalet style buildings with the cutest windows and shutters. Oh and they’ve all been given a colourful lick of paint too which definitely adds to their appeal!
In the afternoon everyone wanders up to Lindenhoff Hill to watch the sunset over the city. It showcases breathtaking views over the city any time of day but watching the candy coloured sky light up the town in the afternoon is truly magical.
There are many bridges which cross the Zurich lake to get you from one side of the town to the other. My two favourites were the Mühlesteg bridge (it’s full of tiny padlocks like the love love bridge in Paris) and also the Münsterbrooke bridge (because of it’s beautiful fencing and vantage point watching the trams and the lake).
St Peters Church
Eventually after you weave your way through the streets of the Lindenhoff you will end up at St Peters Church which has the largest clock face in Europe. There was also humongous Christmas tree in the centre of the square which I couldn’t resist seeing how far up I could reach (not very far)!
On the other side of town is the Grossmünster Church which is another key landmark of Zurich. As with most of the buildings in Zurich, it is decorated with ornate details such as stained glass windows and bronze doors. #swoon
Bahnhofstrasse (Main Shopping Strip)
Bahnhofstrasse roughly translates to the road that leads you to the railway station. The Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich is also the main shopping strip which has everything from department stores, high end designer shops through to high street fashion. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the retail stores are all closed on Sundays but we still looked at all the beautiful window displays and were totally taken aback by the beautiful Christmas lights.
At the end of the city there is a long wharf which has the most amazing, uninterrupted views of Zurich Lake with the swiss alps peaking in the background. It’s so lovely sitting down there soaking in the sun and the views while nibbling on some roasted chestnuts.
Sukkulenten Sammlung (Succulent Collection)
Of course, if a city has a dedicated succulent collection then I couldn’t really pass up the opportunity for a visit. This little collection won’t appeal to the masses but if you are a cacti lover like me then you will love the array of spikey, squidgy and furry succulent friends!
If you are deciding to visit this beautiful city, here are a few handy trade tips that might make you have a more pleasant stay!
- As mentioned above, Sunday’s are truly a day of rest in Zurich. The shops are shut and a lot of cafes and restaurants are shut too. This means you spend more time exploring the city and less time in the shops… Potentially a blessing in disguise.
- You can buy a 24 hour Zurich Travel Card for 24CHF (24 EUR) which will allow you to travel on all the trams and trains around Zurich city (and to the airport). It also gives you some discounts to museums, restaurants and local shops.
- Most people in Zurich speak English very well but a lot of the signs are in Swiss-German and sometimes French… bring a phrasebook or learn some key words to help you get around!
And this is my ‘happy face’ – the weekend of beautiful sunshine in Zurich made me realise how much I miss the feeling of sun tingling your skin!!And then it was off to the Swiss Alps for snow and more sunshine – my favourite type of skiing… Come back soon for more swiss snaps!