Last Summer, I traveled to Europe and one of the cities I visited was Zurich, Switzerland. I spent a few days there to explore and unwind. It was my first time in Switzerland and I planned to not only visit Zurich, but I also had my trip set to Lucerne and the Swiss Alps which I will be featuring soon in my upcoming travel posts.
I arrived in Zurich on a very warm and very bright late morning. The sun was really touching my skin in a very hot and quite aggressive way. I wasn’t used to that much sun anymore and I was squinting as I lugged my two large luggages on the front door of Hotel Swiss Night, located along the quiet residential street of Steinwiesstrasse 8. The hotel looks quaint, silent, and very homey with its quintessential Swiss design, complete with red and white paints/accents all over the walls just like the Swiss flag. You can also see replicas of big round cheeses and milk barrels as main decors right when you enter the hotel. Speaking of the hotel, it is actually not very large. The entire reception area is quite tiny and so is the narrow staircase leading down the breakfast room. The place feels more like a house rather than a hotel. Outside the hotel, you will find a red cow statue facing the door. The staff speaks good enough English and are overall very friendly and helpful.
The view outside my hotel room. What a cute multi-floor Swiss house!
I only took a few makeup and skincare stuff with me on this trip since I didn’t really have much time to pack, so I just mostly took the essentials.
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The Hotel Swiss Night has only one elevator and it can practically fit two very slim people, provided that they don’t have any luggage with them. I emphasize the words very slim because I think in most instances, it can pretty much fit only one person with a small luggage. But there I was, shuffling along with my two large luggages, doing the whole Tetris thing trying to fit my stuff inside the tiny elevator, and for the life of me, I still couldn’t sneak my second luggage in. So, I decided to leave the second one out first while I took the first one to my room, then I went back for the second one. Speaking of rooms, my room was to be very honest, really really small, and really really hot. As I mentioned, it was Summer when I arrived and I was placed in an attic room with just a portable AC and with not much space for both my luggage and for my legs to walk around. I also found the very low ceiling to be very hazardous. I mentioned hazardous because there were many instances where I bumped my shoulder against that low ceiling and I eventually ended up with a dull shoulder pain that lasted for months since that trip. Apart from that, for what I paid for, the hotel has horrible Wifi and the TV channels were not translated into English. Since it’s situated in a quiet residential area, there weren’t many shops around, but there’s a 24/7 grocery store nearby. Keep in mind though that everything in Zurich is very expensive. A very basic nail cutter for 25 USD, everyone? Shockers, right? Other than that, the hotel’s breakfast was ok, you may still have to ask for water or milk in German/Swiss German for the staff to understand, but the selection’s fine enough for me to survive. Also, the bed here is really nice and comfy, but everything else is just too tiny and too claustrophobic for me. So, I don’t think I’ll be staying here again.
The first thing I went to see in Zurich is the popular Lake Zurich. I wanted to see the beautiful swans looking majestic and swimming serenely. So I spent a lot of time strolling along the lake just staring at such stunning creatures and taking all the pictures I could get. Lake Zurich is indeed very beautiful and is fun to visit. It’s pretty full of tourists though but it’s not overly congested. There are shops and cafes around, so you can shop, eat, and drink while you take in all the views.
After a couple of hours strolling along Lake Zurich, I went to take an eTukTuk ride which I booked at Tripadvisor. If you’re wondering what an eTukTuk is, it’s actually an electric car that takes you on a tour to see some of the highlights of the city of Zurich. I chose this tour because I knew I wouldn’t be staying that long in Zurich, so I wanted to get a comprehensive knowledge of the city in a short period of time. There several types of eTukTuk tours you can choose from, ranging from the central Zurich and surroundings tour even to a Fondue and wine tour. The meeting place for this tour is at Museumtrasse 1, which is very close to the Zurich Main Station. I took an uber there (the driver was pretty responsive) and located my driver immediately. His name was Attila. He was very informative and very friendly. I learned a lot about Zurich through his explanations and his experiences living and working there. I ended the tour feeling quite knowledgeable and more oriented about the city.
After the eTuktuk tour, I decided to stop at Coop Supermarkt, which is Zurich’s most common grocery store. I love this grocery store a lot. In fact, I like most European grocery stores because there is a lot to see. In the Coop Supermarkt, I found lots and lots Toblerones which is pretty obvious because they’re Swiss-made, but I also found lots of ham, cheeses, sweets, desserts (did I mention that the ice cream here is so addicting?), European wines, various haircare products, different types of bread, and all sorts of hausgemacht (homemade) sandwiches and sausages. They’re all expensive though, but they’re also all worth it.
The following day, I took a stroll along the Limmat River where you can find the Fraumünster and the Grossmünster Church. This part of Zurich is very classic and has very interesting architectural works. I made it a point to stroll along the famous Bahnhofstrasse nearby, which is the upscale shopping avenue of Zurich. I also went to see the Farmer’s Market nearby and I found some really nice fresh flowers.
As I strolled, I stopped by to eat at Restaurant Dialog for a nice Lasagna. Then I continued my stroll but I felt very jet-lagged, so I went inside Gran Mota Restaurant for an ice-breaker, lol. I did get an ice cream and that sort of kept me awake for a while. I went to continue browsing some shops and even went back to Lake Zurich because I just loved staring at those Swans (dunno why), lol. I didn’t realize it was quite dark when I headed back to my hotel room and I literally passed out from the massive jet lag.
The next day, I had a trip booked for Lucerne and the Swiss Alps.
Have you ever been to Zurich before? What’s your most memorable experience in that city?
Stay tuned for part 2 of this post.
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