Although we were only in Zurich for one full day, we got a good feel for the city. In my opinion, I think you would only need a day or two here to enjoy the city’s highlights.
Below are a few highlights and observations from the day’s outing while they’re fresh in my mind.
1. Fraumünster and Grossmünster
You can catch a glimpse of these two churches pretty much wherever you are as you’re strolling around Old Town (Alstadt).
The Fraumünster is not only a place of worship, but people come to admire the windows, which is a world famous work of art.
You can also visit the Grossmünster and climb up the tower to get a stunning view of the city. The fee is 5 francs.
Note: The exchange rate is roughly 1 USD to 1 CHF.
2. Lake Zurich Boat Ride
In the evening, we hopped onto a small boat and cruised around Lake Zurich. With the purchase of a tram day pass (9 francs), we were able to go on this short cruise for free.
If you plan on buying any day passes for the tram or train or have any other kind of transportation pass in Switzerland, make sure to check whether you have a free boat ride around Lake Zurich included with it!
Otherwise, you can purchase tickets ranging from about 8 francs to 35 francs depending on how long you want to ride for (30 min, 1 hr, or 2-3 hrs).
A historical area that once was the location of a Roman castle before the castle got destroyed. It’s now a nice park, where people come to enjoy the fantastic view of the Limmat river and old town. We also saw people playing bocce ball and the oversized chess games available at the park.
4. Water fountains
This one’s my favorite! You can find potable water fountains around the city that you can refill your water bottles with, take a sip out of, or bathe your feet in (yes, I saw someone do this). Even dogs and birds drink from these fountains! Of course, you’d want to catch the fresh water coming out of the spout. 🙂
1. It’s expensive.
I knew it was going to be expensive, but boy, is it expensive. I had a McDonald’s double cheeseburger and a small fries for 9 francs ($9!!!). We also had a Starbucks grande cold brew latte for 8 francs ($8!!!). Pretty much double the price in the States.
Don’t worry, we also had local restaurant food. Even the one $ sign places start at about 10-15 francs. We had chicken shawarma at Yalla Habibi for 10 francs each, and our dinner at a Chinese restaurant called Beyond (it’s really yummy despite the 3 stars on Yelp) came out to about 47 francs for only one order of dumplings and one main dish. It’s nuts.
We found a sandwich shop called Äss-Bar that serves day old sandwiches. It was the most decent priced thing we found at 3.50 francs a sandwich. Tastes good too for being a day old.
2. Everyone’s beautiful.
People are tall and beautiful. Everywhere you turn, there is a good looking stranger. Hair ranges from blonde to light brown, and eyes are blue to dark brown. Totally mesmerizing but kind of unfair.
3. Lots of healthy food options.
I was surprised by how many organic and vegan/vegetarian places there are in the old town area. They even have witty advertising for how healthy they are.
Also, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world is in Zurich!
4. Zurich is a quiet city.
As we walked around the city, I noticed how the streets were eerily quiet. Granted, it was a weekday, but according to the locals, the city is only a little more lively on weekends.
I’ve heard that the Swiss value their quiet time and like to keep to themselves, so it makes a little sense. Please enlighten me if you have more context around this.
Alrighty, that’s my quick and dirty summary on Zurich. Can’t wait for our next stop in Switzerland! Follow me on Instagram for pictures and stories of what’s coming up next.