There are many places I have been visiting, traveling and living in, but no place kept me longer, and closer, than my hometown Zurich. Years, I have spent around the region and in the city. Here is the ultimate tip for a city trip.
The city of Zurich
The largest city in Switzerland has various possibilities of touristy entertainment to offer, which are not always easy to be found, but let me help you with that matter, by naming my top 4 of best day activities, in and around Zurich.
Hiking around the Uetliberg
The “Uetliberg” railways, will give you the chance to reach the top of the 869 meter high mountain from all the way of Zurich HB (railway terminal of Zurich), while having a nice and lovely view on the way up. Once you have reached the end station, you can make a 10 minute walk up to the view platform on the tower, where you have a beautiful and exclusive view across the city and region and maybe, if good weather, even the alps in the East. Getting out a few stations earlier, or walking down the mountain is definitely worth it, but even better, is to walk from the Uetliberg to the “LAF”, an aerial cable car, that will take you down the hill until the Station of “Adliswil”, where you can return to the city easily. It’s a long trip, but one that’s worth it. Best thing, is to buy a good amount of food at the Zurich HB, or to eat on the hike, where you can find a nice restaurant on the cliff.
Discovering the old center of Zurich
The most exclusive shopping mile in Europe and the local old town called “Niederdorf” are the two locations, one has to visit, when being in Zurich. The “Bahnhofstrasse” contains International brands, International banks, private jewelry and clothing stores, expensive Cafeterias and some stores, that are made for the middle class people, like the huge book store “Oreill Füssli” (printing the banknotes of Switzerland), shopping malls and other interesting stuff. I admit, I have not entered several exclusive stores before, as they simply seem too scary to enter with the designer guard at the entrance door. Anyway, by following the “Rennweg” or simply walking East, towards the Limmat river, you’ll have a beautiful and interesting sight of Zurich, as more exclusive, but traditional local stores are showing their labels quietly behind several corners. Of course, the architecture is a mentionable fact, since many buildings and churches are still intact, and have never been damaged by the World wars. after crossing the Limmat river, you are facing the entrance to the “Niederdorf”, the soul of this city. from Central to Bellevue, you can stroll through the old district with Swiss traditional restaurants, less International brands, but more local brands, hipster stores, pubs and several unique stores, that are representing the fantastic and beautiful district, downtown. Take a day, stroll around the city center and let yourself float in the center of Zurich.
Enjoying the Lake
A truly fulfilled time should be a proper visit of the Lake of Zurich. While the end of the “Bahnhofstrasse” is marked with the little port at the Bürkliplatz, you have a choice of leaving the tip of the lake, either to the right, where you can enjoy a stroll along a beautiful piece of this city, until you reach Wollishofen’s “Rote Fabrik”, an important cultural left winged community spot facing the lake, where spray paintings and cheaper menus can be found. everyone in Zurich knows about the red factory, and so should you, if you want to have the insight of a local. If you go left, instead of right, you will pass by Bellvue, before passing along the probably most crowded place in Zurich by nice weather; the lake passage until the Chinese garden.
By buying the “ZVV 9 Uhr Pass” for 26 Swiss Francs (24 USD, half price for kids), you can visit the whole canton of Zurich for a day, only exception, you have to use the public transportation after 9am, except on weekends. This gives you the opportunity to take the S7 train, to visit the village on the other side of the lake, Rapperswil. A clean lake, embracing a castle and the old town, beautiful sceneries and a peaceful atmosphere are awaiting you, especially during the warm seasons. Leave in the morning and have lunch in the old town for reasonable prices, wander on the famous wooden bridge, towards Pfäffikon SZ and enjoy a truly beautiful view, with chances to see the alps on clear days. To find your way back to Zurich, take the large Steamboat from the port, that runs on warm seasons, and enjoy the long journey, until you reach back in the Evening, with the same Ticket you bought before.