We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
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!
Our Anniversary To Italy – Trip Report Index:
- Part 1 – Planning & Introduction
- Part 2 – Park Hyatt, Chicago
- Part 3 – One Day in Chicago
- Part 4 – Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
- Part 5 – Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge, London
- Part 6 – Under the Channel to Strasbourg
- Part 7 – Hotel Cathedrale, Strasbourg
- Part 8 – What did we do in Strasbourg
- Part 9 – Eating in Strasbourg
- Part 10 – Park Hyatt, Zurich
- Part 11 – 10 Hours in Zurich
- Part 12 – Hotel Eremo Gaudio in Varenna, Italy
- Part 13 – What to do in Varenna, Italy
- Part 14 – Eating in Varenna, Italy
- Part 15 – Park Hyatt, Milan
- Part 16 – What Did We Do in Milan
- Part 17 – Eating in Milan
- Part 18 – Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice
- Part 19 – Around the Hilton Molino Stucky & Free Shuttle Boat Details
- Part 20 – What we did in Venice
- Part 21 – Eating in Venice
- Part 22 – Waldorf-Astoria, Rome Cavalieri
- Part 23 – Eating in Rome, Part 1
- Part 24 – Emily’s Best Meal Was in Italy!
- Part 25 – Rome Cavalieri Imperial Floor
- Part 26 – Activities in Rome
- Part 27 – Activities in Rome – Where to Go, What to See, How to Save Time
- Part 28 – Virgin Atlantic Flight from Europe to US
- Part 29 – Conclusion & Blog Giveaway
This post will highlight what we did in about 10 hours in Zurich.
- Adler’s Swiss Chuchi
- Zurich Hauptbahnhof
- Pestalozzi Park
- Zurich Police Department
- Neiderdorf (Zurich Old Town)
- Great Minister Church (Grossmunster)
- Conditorei Schober
One Day In Zurich
Most of our activities were based on suggestions from the Rick Steves’ Switzerland book. In particular, we enjoyed his suggested walk around 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.
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.
We ordered fondue…
which was delicious…
and raclette with farmer’s ham….
which also came with a small sack of hot potatoes.
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.
Remove it from the oven…
and scoop it onto your plate. Add some grilled ham, potatoes, and any of veggies you want, and voila!
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
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.
We started at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof train station which handles 2,000 trains a day and is full of travelers transitting through Zurich.
After that, we went to Bahnhofstrasse, which is the main one mile long shopping street.
Daraius loves Switzerland, people-watching and walking. So he was enjoying our walk.
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!
We also stopped at Pestalozzi Park which is one of the few green spaces in the city.
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!
Our next stop was Schipfe, which is a small riverside street filled with many cute boutiques and some restaurants.
We stopped in a store that sold fur cuffs.
Everything was very expensive. Cuffs for women were ~$100, and certain eyeglass frames were over $1,300!
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…
with gorgeous views of the city.
There are benches to sit and relax, swings for kids, and life-size chess for everyone to enjoy.
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.
Daraius loved the natural beauty and peaceful streets.
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.
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…
and whimsical décor.
We selected a few chocolates…
and went outside to sit.
We ordered our drink outside. We got hot chocolate with amaretto. The chocolate was very expensive at $15!
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.
We paid the 4 francs to take advantage of the stunning views.
The views are gorgeous, and each perch has its own unique, beautiful view.
It was well worth the 4 francs (~$5)!
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.
Ready for some more treats, we went to the famous Sprungli shop.
We ordered a quiche lorraine, which turned out to be excellent, a pretzel and meat sandwich, cheese sticks, and macarons.
They all looked delicious!
We then walked to the river and ate them on a bench by the river as our dinner!
Zurich is an expensive city, but you only need a few days to see the sites!