What’s to do in Zurich in an afternoon? Plenty.
I was there for a few hours recently, on gorgeous crisp spring day. It was the last day of a magical trip to the Alps (see my Davos post further down) and quite a contrast to when I arrived a week prior to snow and minus 12 degrees!
Zurich is a class act and this is a great time of year to enjoy it, whatever the weather. People are either sitting snugly in cafes on the Bahnhofstrasse sipping thick hot chocolate or out walking their dogs along the river, cycling, and enjoying the sidewalk cafes in the early spring sunshine. I’ve been to Zurich twice before so having some free time meant the chance to enjoy the city like local rather than as a tourist.
The Old Town (Aldstadt) is a great place to wander through small streets and alleys that date back some 2,000 years. Have a coffee or hot chocolate at CakeFriends and watch the world go by. Next time I’m in Zurich I’m going to book a walking a tour through the area to get the fascinating low-down on its history… Roman baths, ancient churches and medieval guild houses all give a hint of a time gone by.
Visit the famous Freitag store in Grungasse, famous for the amazing bags of all shapes and sizes, made from recycled truck tarps. I was coveting a shoulder bag – the original ‘Messenger’, a waterproof, heavy duty sling bag, but the prices, on the ZAR currency, would’ve meant I’d have to sell a kidney to be able to afford it! But if you’re flush on the Euro or US$, buy one and I’ll just have to deal with the FOMO. After you’ve drooled over the fabulous merchandise, take a stroll along the Viadukt boulevard nearby. It’s a hip area with some cool stores, galleries and delis, situated right underneath about 36 railway bridge arches.
And buy chocolate. Lots of it. There’s a chocolatier whenever you look so no excuses!
Finish off your afternoon with a beer and some bratwurst from the uber popular Sternen Grill, or sit in one of the loungers on the square next to the Zurich Opera House and watch the sun go down with a glass of Pinot noir in hand.
If you’re in Zurich at night (I popped in during the day), Cabaret Voltaire is a must. Established in 1916, it now houses a cool store that stands at the heart of Dadaism, a 100 year old movement ‘best described as a mix of art and the absurd’. The ‘Dadahaus’ as its called, has a bar and a shop with cool paraphernalia like pens, books, bags etc and holds regular exhibitions, performances and events.
So there’s my post about Zurich. It’s a great city, any time of the year. Stay for a a few hours, day, or more and when you’ve had enough, and feel like some country air, there’s always Davos, 2 hours away by train, fabulous at any time of year.
Switzerland for the win!
Here are more images, from snowfall to sunshine!