I recently visited Zurich and had a great time in this exciting city; from the picturesque old town to its very own mountain Ueltiberg to the vibrant nightlife, the wonderful spas and more. This city, though renowned as a global centre of banking and finance, happens to be a perfect place to relax, explore and enjoy yourself. From my experience, it seems like a good city to live in. A great mix of culture, nature, work and a well-balanced life is what I could discern from my visit.
I stayed at Hotel 25Hours Langstrasse, in the very centre of Zurich, 10 minutes from the Main Zurich HB station (great connectivity with most of the city). It is a great hotel to stay at, lively with a cool bar and restaurant and comfortable rooms.
Zurich Old Town Visit
The old town walk is serene with some breathtaking views of the Lake and the monuments from the old city. You will be fascinated by the rich testimonies to bygone days which document the early international significance of the city. The old town is not just populated with tourists, you will also see a lot of locals hanging out there. I visited some of the stores, restaurants and eventually sat by the lake, appreciating the beauty on offer. It’s simply beautiful walking along the streets of the old town. You will notice small fountains on the streets all around Zurich and unbelievably, the water is completely hygienic and potable! I was surprised at first but after noticing a few people drinking from the fountains, I joined in too 🙂 One of the stand-outs was the stunning Frauminster Church, with its gorgeous prismatic glass windows.
I spent few hours shopping at Bahnhofstrasse at the Jelmoli (House of Brands) department store. I explored the beauty section and the women’s section (of course). It is Zurich’s largest premium department store designed in 1899. Since it was Valentine’s Day when I visited the store, they had a special make-up session at the YSL counter with some Macrons and Champagne on the house! They made me feel like a princess and dolled me up. I tried some great brands like Phillip Lim, Santoni, Stella Jean, RalphLauren, AMQ and more. Well, I have to admit I shopped well and pampered myself this Valentines. After all, it’s all about #SelfLove, isn’t it! They also have a Food market located at the ground level and offer several highlights including Switzerland’s first cheese humidor, a select range of food and wines as well as some exclusive restaurants. Be ready to spend a few hours here.
Food & Nightlife
There are ample great places to dine in and drink at in Zurich. Some of the ones I would recommend are Spritzwerk (a cool restaurant with multi cuisine options and the best momos), Neni (you can find cuisines from all around the world here, with a twist), Kaufleuten Club and restaurant is also pretty cool (fine dining scene , Tiramisu to die for), Café Bebek (perhaps a good try for my middle eastern friends), The Bar at Prime Tower with some great city view is also a must do. There are some excellent restaurants that you must check out at Zurich West Via Duct (I enjoyed dining at Markthalle), they are grunge and urban. Langstrasse has some decent places to hang out in, you can totally go bar hopping. Regarding nightlife and generally, Zurich is a very safe place and you can go around everywhere by yourself, like I did!
I also visited the highest peak of Zurich, located on a mountain called Uetliberg. It’s a lovely train ride from the city just about 30-40 mins away. The most stunning views of the city and lake and a glimpse of the Alps are available here. It is 2,850 feet above sea level offers the finest breath-taking panoramic views.
Earlier known as the industrial and working class district, Zurich West has transformed and is now known for its trendy spots, including a pulsating nightlife and various dining places. Via Duct is one of the cool places to hang out here, and Prime Tower, also a great-hangout, is located in Zurich West and it offers beautiful city views alongwith a great bar and restaurant. One will notice some re-purposed buildings and spaces and observe a fascinating history of the neighborhood through the general structure of the area. I also visited the Wave Factory and tried some skating; I have to say that I am lousy at it but it seemed like an activity absolutely worthwhile to learn 🙂
Thermal Baths & Spa Zurich
This was my very first experience of a Thermal Bath and I must tell you it was simply WOW! I visited the Thermalbad & Spa, amid the century-old stone vaults of the former brewery. Fresh thermal water bubbling straight from Zurich’s Aqui source offers pure relaxation and an experience of a lifetime. Swimming in the pool at 35 degrees warm water on the rooftop terrace, I don’t have words to describe it. I wish I could have taken some pictures but photography wasn’t allowed . But trust me on this, whenever you visit Zurich do not miss this (you can thank me later :)).
I hope I’ve come close to making my trip sound as enjoyable as it actually was. I spent almost 3 days in Zurich and I still feel that I can go for more 🙂