What do you do when it is cold in England? You hop on the plane and go somewhere where it is even colder! I was so hoping for snow and Zurich seemed like a perfect destination to enjoy the white fluff; unfortunately we were only able to admire the snow covered mountains in the distance. Nevertheless, Zurich managed to charm us with its architecture and atmosphere.
We travelled straight after work on Friday afternoon, which always adds to the excitement (and a little bit of stress- but in a good way!); with our suitcases packed a day earlier and a clothes changing, getting the airport operation mastered, we made it in time. Our first flight was delayed (even more excitement…stress?) and we already started to plan our crazy weekend in Amsterdam! Luckily, we did manage to catch our next flight and we left the Netherlands bang on time. The drive time from the Zurich airport to our hotel took around 25 minutes and the rest of the evening was a little bit of a blur as we were so tired we fell asleep instantaneously.
Zurich is a perfectly walkable city. All the main sites and landmarks are easily reached by foot but if you prefer to move around the city a little bit more quickly, then the tram system is very reliable. We started off our adventure in Zurich by heading straight for the lake.
Serenity and tranquillity. With clouds and fog hanging above the mountains and our heads, it was a perfect time and place to start our day. The mountains covered in snow and a few rays of sunshine- it was a magical show enjoyed by us and several joggers who embraced a cold, gloomy winter morning in Zurich.
If you love shopping and hate walking with your pockets full of money, then this spot is just for you. Fancy boutiques, fashionable department stores, antiques, jewellery, paintings. For a cheaper option (and just as pleasant!), stroll in this wonderful area admiring little alleys and Christmas decorations.
If you are going to visit one church in Zurich, then my bets will be on this one. It is situated on a hill, overlooks the city and is one of the most popular and most often visited landmarks in Zurich. My absolute highlight was climbing up one of the towers (not for faint hearted or vertigo prone people!). Once you are at the top, you will be absolutely mesmerised by the panoramic views. Even though it was a drizzly afternoon, you could see beautiful Switzerland stretching for miles, and that made me think that I need to return to this part of the world, sooner than later. Spring and summer months seem like a perfect idea!
Swiss National Museum and Kunsthaus
If you are planning on immersing yourself into culture and art, make sure you visit these two spots: Swiss National Museum and The Museum of Modern Arts. Probably a lot of people, including tourists and the inhabitants of Zurich, were searching for the last minute Christmas gifts, as both places were not flooded by crowds. I found Swiss National Museum particularly enjoyable as the exhibitions were interactive, interesting and fascinating. The Museum of Modern Arts boasts some world famous masterpieces by Picasso, Monet, Warhol and Munch to name a few.
Obligatory. Compulsory. A must in every city you visit. The Old Town. Always charming. Because it is full of history. Because you never know what’s round the corner. Colourful houses, narrow streets, cute cafes. The real, beating heart of the city.
Last but not least and probably a highlight of a trip to Zurich in December when the Christmas craziness strikes and you have no option but to surrender and join in the holiday’s festivities. There are plenty of Christmas markets to stroll around in Zurich and one of the most prominent ones is the biggest, under roof market at the Zurich Main Station. A magnificent tree decorated with thousands of Svarovski’s crystal will surely dazzle your eyes. There is plenty to impress your taste buds as well! My personal favourite was the Christmas market neat the Opera House. Not as crowded, outdoor, with just a little bit more Christmas fun- yes, the skating rink! Beautiful huts, delicious food and drinks, music and skating! And yes, it is like riding a bike!