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Zurich

Transportation and Accommodations

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Things to do and see

Grossmunster

Climb the Grossmunster church. It costs 2 Swiss franc for students and is a quick but nice climb and view of the city

Walk around the town
Bahnhofstrasse

One of the most expensive shopping streets in the worl.

Old Town

Spend time in the Old Town area (this is where the Grossmunster church is)

Walk along the river/lake

The city is right next to Lake Zurich

Lindenhof

Cute little square that has a nice view over the river. Nice to just do a quick stroll through

Church of Our Fair Lady (Frammunster)
Hike up Uetliberg

Definitely worth it. The hike takes about 30-45 minutes up depending on your pace but is very steep up so dress appropriately. There’s a way to take a tram up too, but we didn’t look into this and I would highly recommend the hike if you like a little bit of physical activity. Round trip (coming from the main train station) it took us about 3 hours so that includes getting to the trail head, hiking up and down and spending at least 30 minutes at the top. The view at the top is gorgeous because you can see the city, the lake, and rolling hills and mountains (Swiss alps!) in the background.

This is a free, must-experience attraction if you like the outdoors. You can get to the beginning of a nice series of trails by taking tram 13 from Zurich HB all the way to the end, Albisguetli. Walk past the bathroom and dog park on your right and head up the hill, and continue straight on the sidewalk for about 3 minutes. You will come upon a map and a series of hiking trails. The short trail up Uetliberg is the main one in the center with lampposts that are on at night. Honestly, the map just confused us. Walk past the map and head straight (do not veer left or right). You will then be on the main path (keep an eye out for lampposts and then you know you are on the right path!). It is a steep, gravel path with a few stairs on very steep parts. The steep part ends with an overlook and restaurant on the right. (Note: slightly before the restaurant, you need to veer right at a fork in the road and continue up a bit more before seeing the restaurant). Continue past, and take the stair way on the right. That brings you to another restaurant/hotel and an observation tower (2 francs to go up) you can climb. Bring water as it is strenuous at times. The view is unbelievable; you can even see snow on the Alps in the summer. There is an easy way to go up to the observation tower without the hike – but the hike was excellent if you can manage it.

Day trip to Lucerne

There isn’t a ton to keep you busy in Zurich so definitely recommend a day trip or 2 depending how long you are staying (I stayed 2 nights, so had 2 half days and 1 full day). On our full day we went to Lucerne, which you get to by taking a train out of the main train station in Zurich called Hauptbahnhof and the trip takes about 50 minutes. The trains run about every 30 minutes and are very easy.

In Lucerne, you should walk along the river that flows into Lake Lucerne, find the Lion that is carved into the side of a rock wall, and notice the very old timber bridges. We also walked along an old castle’s walls very briefly and just walked around the town.

Paragliding

Do something adventurous! We went paragliding. We did it with http://www.paragliding-luzern.ch/ and loved it. To get to this specific guy, we had to take another train out of Lucerne and met him at the station. It was so worth it. You take a cable car up the mountain, hike a bit and then basically run off the side of a steep piece of the mountain and paraglide down!

Food and Drink Recommendations

Läderach – Get some Swiss chocolate! (there’s one of these on Bahnhofstrasse).

Zurich is a nice city, but people aren’t kidding when they say it is expensive. It was hard to find a meal for less than 15-20. We found dinner on the street called Niederdorf. This is where you’ll find the highest concentration of restaurants I’d say.

There’s nightlife like any other city, but nothing too great. We went to a club called Kaufleten and had a good time