Two days in Zurich

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When I left Strasbourg it started raining and I could arrive in Zurich, one of the top travel destinations of this road trip July 2012, during the evening. After hundreds of km by car I had a rest in the Youth Hostel Zurich, the biggest hostel ever seen. The morning of Saturday 28th I started the visit to the city. "Welcome back to Switzerland" that's what I said...and a return ticket by tram costed 8 CHF, approximately 6 Euros. However, the first place I saw was the railway station, the biggest one even seen, with more than 60 platforms. 

As one of my passions is the history, especially the modern and contemporary one, I crossed the station and reached the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, whose location was a medieval castle.
Diaries of an explorer
Diaries of an explorer

The museum was really interesting, really interactive: I spent almost 2 hours to visit it. You can learn how Switzerland was created from the Middle Ages until now, not only from an historic point of view, but also regarding the economy and tourism. If you love history, this is the right place for you. Besides this, there was also the Postmodern expo, really weird, with the development of the postmodern movement (music, philosophy and fashion). Inside the castle there was also an art gallery, but honestly I walked over. Immediately outside the Landesmuseum you find the gardens that end where the Limmat River divides itself from the Shil river, before flowing into the Zurichsee (Lake of Zurich). It is curious as Zurich seems to be a section of a salmon seen from the air.
Diaries of an explorer Road Trip July 2012
The district at the rightside of Limmat River is the financial area of the city, with the dark grey Stock Exchange ( the forth of the world), some skyscrapers and the Bahnofstrasse, the centre of the shopping area with luzury brands and the unfailing Swiss jewelries. A quiet place close to the Stock Exchange, that seems to be a protected area far from the city chaos is the Old Botanic Garden with also this curious water polo pool.
Diaries of an explorer
Switzerland
Walking along Bahnofstrasse then you reach the area of Lindenhof, a sort of big terrace good to take some nice pictures
Diaries of an explorer
and especially the most famous cathedral of Zurich, Grossmunster.
Diaries of an explorer
. From Lindenhof you get to the oldest church, St. Peter, with one of the largest clocks of the world, built in 857.
Diaries of an explorer
The big surprise was to find in such an old church Baroque decorations:
Diaries of an explorer
After that you cross a district with little streets and coloured houses
Diaries of an explorer
to reach another important landmark, the Fraumunster church, originally a monastery for women, and now property of the city, with its kloister.
Diaries of an explorer
Then you get to the Burkiplatz, where the Limmat river flows into the Zurichsee...unfortunately the weather was not that good otherwise the sightseeing would have been fantastic ( lake, hills and mountains).
Diaries of an explorer
Impressive the number of swans and ducks...
Diaries of an explorer

Before crossing the Quaibrucke, my digital camera battery was down so I had to take some pics with my fiel mobile phone, the Samsung BT-G3410...but also the mobile phone battery was almost down too and I could not take so many pics. It was a real pity as I was getting to the most beautiful part of the city. The first thing you can see is the Operahaus, the theater.


Going from the Opera towards the main station you find little streets like this
and then the Romanesque Grossmunster cathedral with the famous two neogothic towers,
the church on the water (Wasserkirche) and the Town Hall (Rathaus).
The Oberdorf district is plenty of old aristocratic and medieval houses

A patisserie you should go ( but it's really expensive) is the Cafe' Schober with fantastic sweets and a inner decorated room. But be prepared to open well the wallet! :-) Beyond this the Niedersdorf starts and is the real heart of the old Zurich , plenty of bars, restaurants and pubs, populated by crowds of people. Many terraces around and a nice atmosphere make it a pleasant place where to spend some hours and an evening. Another nice place to go is the Neumarkt, surrounded by nice houses, little restaurants and with a fountain in the middle.

Unfortunately I could not test the nightlife of Zurich but for sure the city has demonstrated to be similar to London, trendy, tolerant and opened. In fact Zurich hosts the Street Parade, where hundreds of thousands of people join of one the biggest techno - house parties in the world or the Zurich Pride Week (gay-friendly). In the hostel I met a Swiss guy that had worked in Zurich for some years and told me that Zurich West has many discos that were opened in this ex-industrial area. So maybe the next time I will write down a report about the Zurich nightlife and I really hope so! For sure this is one of my top travel destinations ;-)

Where to sleep:

  • Budget accomodation: Walhalla Guest House, located really close to the central railway station, breakfast included, prices around 140 Euros per night per double room. Please consider that Switzerland is expensive and the prices are higher than other European countries.
  • If you prefer spend less, you can consider an hostel like the Youth Hostel Zurich, not so central but you can easily take the tram 7 and reach the real heart of the city in 10 minutes. Prices in a 4 bed dorms are around 40 Euros per person.


  • Medium budget: Hotel Marta, nice hotel at just 5 minutes walk from the central railway station, breakfast included, prices around 165 Euros per night per double room.
  • Luxury accomodation: Hotel Schweizerhof Zurich, located along the exclusive Bahnhofstrasse, soundproofed rooms with electrically adjustable beds, breakfast includes, prices from 360 Euros per night per double room.
Next destination: Lucerne!

2 commenti:

Mike Quane said...

Enjoyed the article, Marco. A decade ago I wrote an article on the perception of Zurich as a dull business center, when actually it's really charming.

Mike Quane

Marco Zannin said...

Hi Mike! thanks for your comment! Before visiting the city, I was expecting what was your perception...and I realized that Zurich is not only a cold business center. Especially the leftside of the city is really lively and charming. A guy from Bern, that lived in Zurich, told me they are investing to make it even more attractive and plenty of events.

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