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Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 11 – 10 Hours in Zurich

Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 11 – 10 Hours in Zurich

Million Mile SecretsOur Anniversary to Italy: Part 11 – 10 Hours in ZurichMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Emily Jablon:  Daraius and I went to Europe in September to celebrate our 2nd anniversary for ~2 weeks.  It was my first time in Italy so I was very excited!  In Italy, we visited Varenna on Lake Como, Milan, Venice, and Rome.

Since we were in Europe, we visited a friend in Strasbourg, France and also spent a night in Zurich.  We started our trip with a one day layover in Chicago to see friends!

One Day In Zurich
Daraius and Emily in Zurich

Our Anniversary To Italy – Trip Report Index:

This post will highlight what we did in about 10 hours in Zurich.

One Day In Zurich

We arrived early at the Park Hyatt in Zurich and had to wait 40 minutes for our room.  So we took a walk to the lake.

Most of our activities were based on suggestions from the Rick Steves’ Switzerland book.  In particular, we enjoyed his suggested walk around Zurich.

One Day In Zurich
Emily Outside the Park Hyatt Zurich

Adler’s Swiss Chuchi

After checking-in to our hotel, we went to lunch at Adler’s Swiss Chuchi for cheese fondue.  This is one of the most popular restaurants for fondue in Zurich and was in both the Rick Steve’s guide and on Chowhound.

One Day In Zurich
Emily Looking Forward to Trying Fondue at Adler’s Swiss Chuchi

We asked the hotel to make reservations for us just in case it was busy.  When we arrived, our table was waiting with our name on it.

One Day In Zurich
Emily at our Reserved Table

We ordered fondue…

One Day In Zurich
We Ordered Fondue

which was delicious…

One Day In Zurich
Emily Enjoying Tasty Cheese Fondue

and raclette with farmer’s ham….

One Day In Zurich
We Also Ordered Raclette and Farmer’s ham

which also came with a small sack of hot potatoes.

One Day In Zurich
A Small Sack of Potatoes was Included With Our Meal

It was a fun, but different, way of eating, and reminded me of the Thali dishes in India.

First, you put a piece of cheese in the tray.  Then, sprinkle it with nutmeg and/or paprika. And put it in the oven until it bubbles.

One Day In Zurich
Putting Cheese in the Oven to Bubble

Remove it from the oven…

One Day In Zurich
Emily With a pan of Heated Cheese

and scoop it onto your plate.  Add some grilled ham, potatoes, and any of veggies you want, and voila!

One Day In Zurich
Tasty Raclette Tray of Cheese and Vegetables

My favorite combinations were the ham/cheese/potato and the cheese/pear/potato.

Everything is expensive in Switzerland, including the food.  Our fondue was ~$27 dollars and the raclette was $30.  The good news is that the food portions are large enough to split!

We were so full we decided to skip dessert, and that was a good thing because of a few treats we would have during our walk later that day.

Rick Steves’ Walking Tour

After lunch, we went on Rick Steves’ walking tour (detailed  in the Rick Steves’ Switzerland book), which was a perfect way to spend the day.

We got to experience all of the main sites (except the Swiss National Museum) in a walk of about six hours with time to stop for treats and to visit the sites.

Zurich Hauptbahnhof

We started at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof train station which handles 2,000 trains a day and is full of travelers transitting through Zurich.

One Day In Zurich
Exterior View of the Zurich Hauptbahnhof Train Station

Bahnhofstrasse

After that, we went to Bahnhofstrasse, which is the main one mile long shopping street.

One Day In Zurich
Daraius at Bahnhofstrasse

Daraius loves Switzerland, people-watching and walking.  So he was enjoying our walk.

One Day In Zurich
Daraius Having a Great Time Walking Down Bahnhofstrasse

It was fun to people watch on this street, and I marveled how well dressed the men and women were.  Women wore well fitting clothes, either neat slacks with a complementary belt or a jacket with a contrasting scarf.

Men also took pride in their appearance and I did not see many in t-shirt and jeans.  They also wore tailored shoes with striped trousers, and a jacket to complement their outfit.

On this street, we stopped at one of the many fountains we would see that day.  So carry an empty bottle to refill along the way!

One Day In Zurich
Emily Posing at a Fountain

Pestalozzi Park

We also stopped at Pestalozzi Park which is one of the few green spaces in the city.

One Day In Zurich
Relaxing at Pestalozzi Park

The park is in honor of Johann Pestalozzi who believed that a good education is a basic human right, not one that should be reserved only for rich people.

Zurich Police Department

After that, we went to the police department to see several paintings by the very talented artist, Augusto Giacometti.  We could not take any photos, but it is worth seeing this entire room that is painted so beautifully in psychedelic colors.

It was free and all we had to do was ask the receptionist if we could see the painting.  She took one of our IDs (no passport needed) and said we could spend 10 minutes there, which was plenty of time to see everything.  But no photos allowed!

Schipfe

Our next stop was Schipfe, which is a small riverside street filled with many cute boutiques and some restaurants.

One Day In Zurich
Emily Savoring the Sunny Day in Schipfe

We stopped in a store that sold fur cuffs.

One Day In Zurich
Checking Out the Fur Cuffs

Everything was very expensive.  Cuffs for women were ~$100, and certain eyeglass frames were over $1,300!

One Day In Zurich
Some Eyeglass Frames Cost Over $1,300!

Lindenhof

Lindenhof was our next stop, and this was an excellent place to sit for a few minutes, read the history about this square, and admire the views.

One Day In Zurich
Daraius and Emily at Linderhof Park

In 1292, Habsburgs from Austria invaded, and the men of the city were off fighting in another battle.  So the women put on the men’s armor and made lots of noise, which tricked the Habsburgs into not retreating.

The square is commemorated for these women, and is a celebration of life without rulers.  The fort that was here was destroyed because everyone knew that whoever lived here would rule the city.  Today it is a marvelous public park

One Day In Zurich
The Beautiful Linderhof Park Square

with gorgeous views of the city.

One Day In Zurich
Great Views from Linderhof Park Square

There are benches to sit and relax, swings for kids, and life-size chess for everyone to enjoy.

One Day In Zurich
A Rousing Game of Life-Sized Chess

After that, we went to see St. Peter’s church, which is Zurich’s oldest church.

Zurich is very beautiful and we enjoyed crossing the bridges and admiring the views.

One Day In Zurich
One of the Many Bridges in Zurich

Daraius loved the natural beauty and peaceful streets.

One Day In Zurich
Daraius Appreciating the Serenity

Neiderdorf (Zurich Old Town)

Our next stop was Neiderdorf (Zurich Old Town), which is a trendy shopping area.  I loved the colored flags.  It was like a parade.

One Day In Zurich
Colorful Flags Lined the Street

Conditorei Schober

We walked along the picturesque streets, and stopped in one shop to buy postcards, and were enchanted by their gummy candy.

In the mood for a little more to eat, we went to Conditorei Schober for its chocolate truffles and hot chocolate.  We went inside the cute little shop with its dainty showcase…

One Day In Zurich
Dainty Antique Showcase of Conditorei Schober Chocolates

and whimsical décor.

One Day In Zurich
Emily Enjoying the Sweets in Conditorei Schober

We selected a few chocolates…

One Day In Zurich
There Were Lots of Chocolates to Choose

and went outside to sit.

One Day In Zurich
Our Selection of Tasty Chocolates

We ordered our drink outside.  We got hot chocolate with amaretto.  The chocolate was very expensive at $15!

One Day In Zurich
We Drunk Hot Chocolate With Amaretto

I preferred the chocolate truffles, and thought the hot chocolate was better in other places, such as in Spain and the Dominican Republic.

Great Minister Church (Grossmunster)

The next stop was Great Minister Church (Grossmunster), which is a large old church.  The highlight of the church is the 4 Swiss Francs (~$5) trip to the top of one of the towers.

One Day In Zurich
View of Great Minister Church (Grossmunster) From our Walk

We paid the 4 francs to take advantage of the stunning views.

One Day In Zurich
Emily and Daraius at the top of Great Minister Church (Grossmunster)

The views are gorgeous, and each perch has its own unique, beautiful view.

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Gorgeous Views of Zurich From Great Minister Church (Grossmunster)

It was well worth the 4 francs (~$5)!

One Day In Zurich
The Views are Worth $4

The Fraumunster church was next, and this time the purpose was to admire stained glass by Marc Chagall.  This stained glass series depicted the life of Christ and the Redemption, but the style is very different from any other stained glass we’ve seen, and it was fun reading about the details in our book.

Sprungli

Ready for some more treats, we went to the famous Sprungli shop.

One Day In Zurich
Emily Outside of Sprungli

We ordered a quiche lorraine, which turned out to be excellent, a pretzel and meat sandwich, cheese sticks, and macarons.

One Day In Zurich
Emily Admiring the Display of Macarons

They all looked delicious!

One Day In Zurich
Delicious Macarons – a Great Snack

We then walked to the river and ate them on a bench by the river as our dinner!

Bottom Line

Zurich is an expensive city, but you only need a few days to see the sites!

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Hi Emily and Darius! Love all your trip reports. I was wondering if you can comment on the usage of credit cards overseas, since you’ve been to so many different counties. I’m planning my first international trip (to Europe) and would like to use my CSP or other points card, but I’ve read people having constant trouble with american credit cards…and that so far only the Barclay Arrival is chip and pin and so that’s pretty much the only safe bet?! Thanks

My son and I were in Zurich on Christmas Day (for one day) enroute to India.

What difference a season makes!! Also, much different all around compared with what you guys saw, so much so that I bet that our trips were mutually exclusive, in that you did not go where we went and vice versa. We went to Uetliburg and Rheine Falls, which pretty much took our day (limited by daylight) – we knew most attractions would be closed the day we were there, so didn’t even bother.

But I would love to visit Zurich again.

My wife and I were there last summer and Zurich is beautiful but very expensive

Maaaaan, Zürich is so nice. I miss it. I lived in Lugano in 2009-2010. Glad you enjoyed CH!

If you want to have the advantage of having some great Swiss chocolate and pastry, but don’t want to break the bank check out the grocery stores on the Bahnhofstrasse. You can get great fresh made pastries and chocolate bars from the same expensive shops, but for much less. We got whole chocolate bars with raspberry filling, that were delicious, for just one or two francs each!