72 hours in Zürich, Switzerland <3
This trip to Zurich was planned very last minute. And by last minute, I mean sitting in JFK and trying to pick between going to Zurich or Nice. Working for an airline isn’t easy but the perks sure make it worth it. The airline I work for was holding a scavenger hunt for teams of five to accomplish. Since neither of us has been to Switzerland, we decided to cross off one of the items on our list and go find the umbrellas that hang in an alleyway in Zurich. From JFK the flight was a total of seven hours, which can seem like 5 when sitting in first class. We landed around 7 am, went through immigration quickly and headed for our hotel.
WHERE TO STAY: We stayed at the Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel. Located in a quiet area, the Renaissance is a two-minute walk from the tram station. Once on the tram, you are two minutes away from the city center. The hotel staff was so kind and very helpful when we asked for recommendations.
TRANSPORTATION: Getting around Zurich was such a breeze! From the airport to the city you take the main train system. You can buy the tickets from machines or from the ticket counter. Either way, it’s easy and cheap. In Zurich, there’s street buses, water taxis, and trams to use. From our hotel, it was an easy ride on the tram and 5 stops away from the center. Once in the center, you can walk everywhere. I recommend walking, its the best way to find and see the cutest cafes, boutiques, and restaurants. The water taxis take you through the canals in the city and to the surrounding towns. We hopped on just to see where it would take us. The best part was going under the bridges when going through the city.
WHAT TO EAT: for breakfast, we stopped at a local cafe near the hotel. It’s one of the cutest cafes with fresh pastries and really good coffee. For lunch, everyone comes outside to eat and enjoy the warmth of the sun. It was incredible to see so many people taking a long break from work and enjoying their lunch. We grabbed empanadas from a street vendor that was very popular. She had so many different choices it was hard to choose. Now for dinner, it gets tricky! Our first day we took a nap and didn’t wake up until 8 pm. We got ready for dinner and headed out to 9 pm. The first place we walked to was closed. The second place we found did drinks only. As time went on our hunger grew and each restaurant we walked to was either closed or the kitchen was closed. We had no idea what to do. Then in the far distance, we saw those American golden arches. We literally had to eat Mc Donalds because every restaurant was closed. The next evening we made sure to not nap and get out early enough to eat a proper dinner. We returned to a really really cool restaurant we visited from the night before. This time we were too EARLY! Happy hour in Europe means really tasty spritzers. My favorite are Aperol spritzers but i decided to try something new and the bartender made me one called, jugo. It was slightly sweet and came with a piece of candy. As we waited and waited and waited, we found a cute fondue place via Yelp. Since neither of us has had fondue, we headed to Raclette Stube. This restaurant was very tiny and so cute. They offer two types of fondue, one has a wine base and the other does not. Sadly they only offer bread and potatoes to dip, we asked for meat and veggies but they said no. We did leave very full and were happy enough to have had a dinner. To be honest I still don’t know what time the locals eat dinner. I do know, its better to be early rather than late.
WHAT TO WEAR: Fall is in full effect in October with cool days and colder nights. I packed a leather jacket, my favorite jeans, tees, a blazer, sneakers and the most comfortable booties I own.
WHAT TO DO: We didn’t have time to hike and if you don’t either I recommend checking out museums, visit the oldest clock in the EU, check out the artsy district, drink coffee at a tiny cafe off any of the alleyways, walk up the tower of steps leading to the church’s bell and check out the view, eat, drink and just enjoy! Zurich was very calm, there isn’t much to do which makes it that much more wonderful. Instead of trying to pack so much into one day, imagine visiting a city and taking your time exploring.
AIRPORT TIPS: If you decide to take the train back to the airport, make sure to give yourself enough time to check in. It was easy getting back to the train station form our hotel. The train ride is about 15 mins to the airport. Once at the airport check-in and head straight to the gates. There’s an amazing sky deck to sit and enjoy coffee and a snack before your flight. We were heading Spain so I’m not sure if this sky deck is also available for international flights. Regardless it was nice to be outside until our flight was ready to board.
Stay tuned for my next post about us heading to Madrid from Zurich.