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I have to be honest. Zurich is a pretty enough city I suppose, but lacks the medieval charm of Bern and Basel. Sorry, residents of Zurich! To be fair, I was battling not only a slight cold the day I went wandering through Zurich, but also evening rain and jetlag, having only arrived from Australia that very morning. As a result, I find that I only have a few photos to show from my day there, and not a very good memory for the sights.
For my 1 night in Zurich, I had booked a room at the Walhalla Hotel. It was slightly on the expensive side, but a good choice given how I was feeling that day. The hotel is just a stone’s throw from the main railway station, so it was easy for me to get there – just a 15 minute train ride from the airport, and a roughly 5 minute walk across the street. There is a Starbucks and several other eateries right next door, or if you’re feeling more energetic than I was, it’s only about a 10 minute walk from the centre of town. The room was clean and moderately sized, and the included breakfast was your standard continental breakfast with fruits, cereals, yogurt, bread, cold meats, eggs and cheese. I appreciated the little touches like free fruit at the front desk and umbrellas for loan when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Best of all, I had fast connection free wifi at my disposal when I decided to call it quits and returned to my hotel room in the early evening, too tired to persevere with my exploration in the rain.
Zurich is actually the largest city in Switzerland, with a population of just over 400 000, but like other Swiss cities, it’s quite small and easily walkable. After dropping my suitcase in my room, having a brief rest and freshening up, I was out the door, eager to explore my surroundings. Just as well I had that early spurt of energy, as the rain came pretty suddenly and unexpectedly later in the day!
The prettiest part of town, the Old Town, lies in the fork of the Limmat River, which flows from Lake Zurich to the south. Unfortunately, unlike most of my other posts, I can’t give you exact directions, as I was too tired that day to zealously follow a map. All I knew was that there were 3 churches to visit towards the southern/lake end of town, and that I wanted to have afternoon tea at the Sprungli (Lindt) cafe. So, from my hotel on Limmatstrasse, I crossed the narrower arm of the river on Museumstrasse with the Swiss National Museum to my left, walked through the railway station, headed south down one of the main streets, Lowenstrasse, and then proceeded to just wander semi-aimlessly, but headed in the general southeast direction of the churches. The highlights for me that day were:
1. The views as I walked by the river
2. The views from the tower of the Gross Munster
3. Chocolate and desserts at the Sprungli cafe.
It’s worth wandering through St Peter’s Church and the Fraumunster as well since admission is free anyway, but I didn’t think they were especially memorable. Then again, I’ve seen a lot of churches during my travels throughout Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the UK and elsewhere, so I think I’m not as easily impressed these days.
As I’ve mentioned previously here, I find it hard to walk past an opportunity to take a reflection photo
This florist shop throws their unsold and wilting blooms into the fountain outside at the end of the day. I’m not sure if that’s bad for the environment, but I certainly thought it looked very pretty! There are lots of other fountains scattered over town to drink from anyway.
Do you disagree with me and think that Zurich is an amazing must-see city? If so, convince me by letting me know what sights I missed out on that I should see next time.
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