A Day In Zurich, Switzerland
By the amount of one day trips you see on this blog, you probably are getting the idea that I like to see a city and move to the next. Zurich, however, I wish I had more time. This city captured my heart and made me fall in love with everything Switzerland. Whether you are looking for history, beautiful architecture, delicious cuisine, shopping or cityscapes; Zurich had it all.
Of course with just 24 hours to spend, I made the most of my day. Which started at the Zurich airport and figuring out how to maneuver public transportation labeled in a different language. Luckily, I had researched how to get around prior to landing in Zurich. However, even with research it can still be alarmingly nerve wracking, so when you head to the train station which is a level below the airport, take the train to the HB station (Hauptbahnhof) which is close to the middle of town. A short thirty minute ride and you’ll be in the heart of HB station. Head outside, no matter which way you come out (North, South, East, or West), you'll be ready to head south toward the "middle" of Zurich. With so many historical points, Whether this is true or not, I made my “middle” the bridge between Grossmünster and Fraumünster churches.
8:00 am - I arrived in town bright and early to ensure I had enough time to check into my hotel and grab a quick meal. Once I arrived, I walked south along the river toward the “middle” of town.
8:30 am - Breakfast/Coffee at Sprungli near Fraumünster (This is a great place to people watch, grab a heavenly coffee/hot chocolate/expresso and a light breakfast such as rolled oats ( a bargain at 6.5 francs), croissant, or other pastry.
9:30 am - Walk toward Fraumünster church and head inside. It will cost you 5 francs which will include either a brochure or an audio device that will tell you the story of what you are about to see. I was able to get an English brochure. You can not take photos inside, and shouldn't. Be respectful, this may not be your house of worship, but it is someones, and you need to respect that.
10:30 am - Head out for a walk going south from the church. Don't be afraid to get lost a little bit; you will always end up by the water if you keep going south. There are small shops and great architecture on the way. When you make it to what I like to call the horseshoe (you have to go one way or another, you can't keep going straight) decide which side of the river you'd like to walk along (continuing south), I like the east aspect of the river. Walk for thirty minutes (seriously, just walk) and find some benches and take it all in. It's something out of a dream -- don't let it pass you by.
11:30 pm - Start heading back toward town (walk north) toward Grossmünster church.
12:30 pm - I decided to eat lunch at Raclette Factory near Grossmünster in the Niederdorf area. Considering the cost of things in Zurich, this is an incredible bargain with some dishes coming in at just 8 francs.
1:30 pm - Wandering the Niederdorf area I was able to go into a few fun shops, coffee houses for an afternoon pick up, and I found fantastic photo opportunities. There was always someone willing to take my photo. Whenever I’d try to selfie a picture, someone would offer to take a photo.
3:00 pm - I decided to also tour Grossmünster church. It doesn't cost to get in, but leaving a donation is always good karma. There is a door with very detailed paneling on it, I spent twenty minutes looking at all of the detail. Once inside I was blown away by the stained windows. They were breathtaking.
4:00 pm - I decided to get back outside and walk along the river again. This time I took a stroll down the streets of Bahnhofstrasse. This is deemed one of the most expensive streets in the world. You can find some fun gems around the area to look at and admire.
6:00 pm - To wrap up my evening I went to Hilti for dinner, the world's longest running vegetarian restaurant. The food is in a buffet setup, and you only pay for what you dish. If you put your food in a takeaway container, you will save 1 franc. The egg rolls are amazing, the mousse is to die for, and the atmosphere is chic and inviting.
7:00 pm - As my day came to an end, I headed back to the train station which was a thirty-minute walk. I spent about an hour going to the three chocolate shops in the train station and picking up treats for my next adventure. My favorite was Laderach, but there is also Sprungli and Teuscher.