Zurich is one of the best stopover cities in Europe coming from Australia or America. With the town only 15 minutes on the train from the airport and it being a small walkable city, it’s the perfect stopover destination, weekend break or relaxing end to a European adventure.
Things to see and do in Zurich
- Walk along the waterfront along the park
- Lookouts e.g. Linderhof
- Walk across each bridge for a different perspective (and great photos)
- If you’re a fellow stationery love, Zurich has plenty of stationery shop (see this post)
- Augustinergasse street (pretty street)
- Walk along the river (on both sides)
Tips for visiting Zurich
- It felt safe walking around at night
- Globus and Manor are the main department stores in Zurich
- Take the train from the airport – much cheaper than a taxi and very convenient
- The main train station is easy to navigate
- Food is expensive – really expensive
- The view from the university (ETH Zürich) is a good place to start to get oriented with where things are (note: there’s no need to pay for the Funicular – UBS Polybahn – there are steps you can use to get up there for free)
- I visited early May – it was still quite cold (jeans + boots + jumper + thick outer coat – although I do seem to feel the cold more than most people)
The view from Lindenhof (free!)
How long should you spend in Zurich?
I think 2 days is sufficient. I arrived in Zurich mid-morning and spent the rest of the day in Zurich. On the 2nd day I spent the morning in Zurich and the afternoon visiting Rhine Falls and Stein Am Rhein.
Day trips from Zurich
- Zurich is one of the best major airport connection cities to see the black forest (apart from Frankfurt)
- Basel (about 1hr each way by train)
- Colmar (about 2hrs each way by train)
- Rhine falls & stein am Rhine
- Rhine Falls & the Black Forest
- Uetliberg lookout (probably a half day not full day)
Rhine falls – a short drive from Zurich
Where to stay
I stayed at the Best Western Plus Hotel Zürcherhof. The location was great – walkable distance to everything and near restaurants for dinner.
Pros of this hotel
– Room big enough for suitcases
– Comfortable beds
– Effective blackout curtains
– Makeup mirror
– Full length mirror outside the bathroom
– Mini bar fridge was included in the price
– Short walk to everything – convenient location near the river and grocery shops
– Friendly staff
– Had wall adapter power plugs if you forget yours
– There was a sign in the bathroom where if you forgot something like a toothbrush that you could ask for it at reception
– Decent breakfast with croissants, cheese, yoghurt, they make an omelette for you with whatever you want in it and it had a very cool DIY Nutella dispenser
Cons of this hotel
- Like most things in Switzerland, the hotel was very expensive
- Requested a room with 2 single beds, instead it was just 2 single beds pushed together to make 1 bed. The bedside tables and headboard were fixed so you couldn’t separate the single beds
- There was too much noise from the bars and restaurants in the street below – even from the 3rd floor. The windows didn’t seem very soundproof
Would I go back to Zurich?
I think once was enough for Zurich – it’s quite small. Since I like to fly Singapore Airlines and one of their Europe hubs is Zurich, I wouldn’t rule out going back someday as a stopover to somewhere else – maybe in winter so I can see the contrast between the 2 seasons (I visited in spring).
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- Why I use a printable travel planner to plan a vacation
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