Switzerland was a place that I was really looking forward to visiting. Everyone has heard about the beauty of Switzerland, it’s mountainous landscape, numerous lakes and high peaks of the Alps. Thus, I jumped very excitedly on the opportunity for a Zurich getaway over the Easter weekend, for the chance to explore a little piece of Switzerland.
Unfortunately due to our recent extended trip back home, Peter had to return to work in London and we weren’t able to spend much time there. But that’s the beauty of living in London. You can hop over to Europe for a long weekend. In our case, a weekend break in Zurich, a city that offers over 50 museums and more than 100 art galleries, the FIFA World Football museum and let’s not forget, one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in Switzerland.
If you ever find yourself in Zurich, I highly recommend doing a day trip to Liechtenstein and Heidiland. Not only will you get to explore more of Switzerland but you also get to tick another country off your list. I know, it’s not all about ‘ticking’ places off, but let’s be honest, it is a little bit about that. Also, who wouldn’t want to visit another country within a country if given the chance! During our Zurich Getaway, the day trip allowed us to see so much more of the countryside, in such a short space of time, that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen. And, don’t even get me started on the scenery. The trip through Zurich, its surrounding areas and into Liechtenstein is one of the most beautiful and scenic routes.
What to do on a Zurich Getaway
Guess what – Zurich is beautiful! Not surprised? Me neither to be honest. While we weren’t very fortunate with the weather, we still had an amazing time! No icy conditions, rain or wind was enough to hold us back! When you’re in such a wanderland, you have to make the most of it. Here’s a list of things that you should definitely do on your Zurich Getaway
1. Explore the Old Town
This is something you should probably do in any major city, but Zurich’s beautiful Altstadt is truly incredible! The streets are filled with the perfect combination of rich history and modern shops and cafes. Altstadt is the part of the city where most of the nightlife, culture and shopping is situated. It’s a place you can quite happily get lost in, with new and exciting cafes and quirky shops on every corner.
I was even surprised to find a part of the city that reminded me a lot of Amsterdam! Did you know that weed is legal in Switzerland? There is a street filled with strip clubs and shops that sell cannabis, and these are found among family restaurants and top notch cafes.
2. Eat Fondue
The fondue is one the most recognized Swiss dishes and it’s unbelievably delicious! Very few people leave Switzerland without dipping into a fondue. It’s the main French contribution to the Swiss table and presented in the centre as a pot of gooey melted cheese, kept on a slow burn while diners dip in pieces of crusty bread using two-pronged fondue forks.
We indulged in all this deliciousness at Adler Swiss Chuchi in Zürich. While it is very touristy, they serve very authentic, Swiss classics. The old town is filled with traditional restaurants but if you ever on a Zurich getaway, make sure you try out a fondue one at least once.
3. See the view from Lindenhof
By getting ourselves somewhat lost among the snaky streets of Zurich, while looking for somewhere to eat one evening, we stumbled across one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city. We went up a steep side street, thinking we were just heading back towards the main town but we came out in a hilltop park. Turns out, all alleys lead to Lindenhof.
The view from here is breathtaking. Offering a romantic and picturesque atmosphere that makes you feel as though you are going back centuries in time. The low stone walls looks out over the Limmat river and colourful views of the city.
4. Üetliberg Hill
This hill and its iconic steel tower can be seen from just about anywhere in Zurich. You can reach the top by taking the S10 train from the city centre or for the brave ones, you can hike or bike up the mountainous and lush paths. The views from the top are absolutely worth it! It’s actually a fairly easy hike up and should only take about an hour but the weather was terrible so we opted for the train.
It was very windy and cold on the day we took this trip, but we still had an amazing experience. Even with the bad weather, the view from the top was out of this world. You look out onto Lake Zurich and the city ahead of you and lush green farmlands to the back. I can only imagine what it would look like on a clear day! If you want an even better view, you can climb the watchtower for just 2CHF and get an incredible 360º view of the city and its surroundings. It was extremely windy, and I literally feared that I may be blown off and into the lake, haha. So our experience at the top wasn’t as pleasant as it should have been but the view was still breathtaking!
5. Visit the FIFA World Football Museum
Yes, every city, country or island that we visit that happens to have any sort of Football association, Peter makes sure we do it or see it! So naturally, we couldn’t miss out on visiting the centre of it all when we were in Zurich.
The FIFA World Football Museum was created in honour of the most popular team sport in the world. The museum takes you through the history of football, the impact it’s had on society and how it continues to inspire the lives of people all over the world. A large part of it has to do with the FIFA world cup and since it was hosted in our homeland 8 years ago, it was wonderful to see so much of South Africa on display. Truthfully, it made me a little homesick.
The third floor hosts a gaming zone with pinball machines and interactive games where you can test your football skills. There’s also a bistro, a café-bar, and a shop on this floor, so you can grab something to eat once you’ve finished making your way around the museum. If you’re a football fan, you will love it. If not, you should probably leave this one off your list.
6. Take a day trip
A day trip was possibly the best thing we could have done on our Zurich getaway. As I mentioned earlier, we took the trip to Liechtenstein and Heidiland but there are plenty of other trips available. You could take a trip to the Swiss Alps, tour the Rhine Falls, take a summer trip to Mount Pilatus or even do a cheese and chocolate tour into the Swiss mountains. Due to the location, Zurich is a great base from which to explore other parts of the country.
If Switzerland wasn’t on your bucket list, add it NOW! We LOVED our time in this Cheese loving, chocolate filled, breathtaking nation. Nature, adventure and culture await you in this mountainous wanderland.