The last time I was in Zurich was almost three years ago, so when one of my best friends from home, Miriam, moved there a few months back for a job, I began planning my visit. Luckily, living in southern Germany, Zurich is only a few hours away by bus!
I was planning on visiting back in May but because of my busy master’s schedule, I didn’t have time until last weekend in June. On the bright side, the weather in June this year has been wonderfully sunny in both Germany and Switzerland, so our weekend was filled with spending time at the lake, ice cream, exploring hipster parts of Zurich, and of course watching the World Cup games (because although we’re both not regular soccer fans, when it comes to the World Cup or Euro Cup, all of a sudden we turn into crazy soccer fanatics).
One of my least favourite things about Switzerland is definitley how crazy expensive the city can be. An average meal at a restaurant can easily set you back 30 francs, beer at a bar is around 7 francs and even food from the supermarket still costs four times as much as what you’d find in Germany.
So instead, we did a lot of cooking at home, which I love because it meant spending mornings and evening on Miriam’s balcony with the sun and a cute view!
Since I had already seen all the touristy Zurich attractions the last time I was there, we skipped most of that except for the church. Ironically, it’s called the “Great Church,” but if you have a chance to go up the church tower to see the view of the city, it definitely lives up to its name! If you’re in Zurich, I highly recommend it!
For another impressive (and free!) view of the city, walking up to the University of Zurich is another great spot!
And if you’re looking for another, the Freitag tower in the Viadukt district provides an interesting, more industrial view of the city. The Viadukt area is very hipster, and consists of rows of trendy shops. It’s definitely worth a visit especially to the Freitag shop with the towers.
Since I’ve seen tons of people with Freitag bags in Germany, I didn’t even know they’re actually a Swiss company. Although what surprised me the most is that these bags costs 150 euros and upwards (to even 300, 400 euros!). I’ve always found the bags to be pretty ugly, so I’m surprised how pricey they actually are!
One thing I love about the Viadukt area is all the kooky things you might find.
Like these umbrellas hanging from the sky:
Or a path made of gold hearts:
Or this cute outdoors bar where we watched the Germany vs. Ghana game:
During the weekends in Zurich there’s also lots of farmers markets and flea markets. Although the prices at these places are still pretty pricey, if you have the time, there’s tons of interesting finds to be discovered.
One of the things I love about Zurich is that since it’s a city by the water, there’s an overall laid-back vibe to it. And maybe I’m just imagining it, but even the air smells so refreshing!
Despite being an expensive city, don’t let the stereotype of Zurich being a city full of banks fool you (ok well it is a city full of banks) but there’s always tons of fun things going on downtown that won’t break the bank, like outdoor parties (there was apparently a Swedish party happening the Saturday we were there but we never managed to find it!), parades and free outdoor concerts.
One of my favourite things to do in Zurich after a day of exploring though, is definitely hanging out by the lake!
Have you guys been to Zurich? What are some of your favourite things to do there?