Zurich is a city brimming with character. Just a stroll through the tree-lined streets and you’ll discover something interesting in almost every corner. Historic squares, architectural highlights, churches, interesting streets and much more - Zurich has it all!
What to see?
One of Zurich’s most famed attractions is the Kunsthaus Zürich, as this art museum has one of the largest collections of Classic Modern Art in the world, including works by Munch, Picasso, Braque and Giacometti. Other great spots are the Lakeside Promenade and the street of Augustinergasse for their old world charm. Oh, and let’s not forget the lake Zurich that everyone keeps talking about – yes, it’s worth the hype, absolutely captivating and a must visit. Take a boat tour of the lake to experience its beauty in all its glory.
Zurich has great shopping too—everything from high end designers like Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Chanel and watch stores like Omega, Bucherer and Rolex, to your more affordable and well-known shopping chains like Zara and H&M. Head over to Bahnhofstrasse and just walk in a northwardly direction and you’ll run into all of them. To emulate the way I like to shop, start with lunch at Pavillon or cocktails at Le Hall in the Baur Au Lac Hotel and then head out up Bahnhofstrasse from there.
Where to stay?
The artsy and vibrant culture of Zurich is very evident in the lodging options here. Cozy and romantic, The Florhof Hotel is one fine example. Stunning architecture, pretty rooms, good food and wine and a central location – what’s not to like about the Florhof Hotel? But, if you’re willing to splurge, there can’t be a better choice for you than the regal 10th Century palace, Baur Au Lac and the fabulously luxurious Dolder Grand.
For something mid-level, the Marriott that sits right on the water and in the center of town is also a fantastic option. That’s actually where I stayed and the entire property was quite lovely. There are dozens of sleek, well-apportioned meeting rooms so if you’re having a conference or a business meeting, it’s probably your best bet. Their members lounge serves a decent breakfast in the morning and free wine and snacks in the evening. And the rooms are clean, modern and have all the amenities you need.
Where to eat?
There’s more to Zurich than its famed cheese, chocolate, and fondue. This city is a heaven for true foodies like me. My clear favorite is Pavillon, which is located in the luxurious Baur Au Lac hotel that I mentioned above. This two-Michelin-starred restaurant shows its beauty and exceptional service and cuisine from the moment you walk in the door. The dining room is tastefully done with hues of light green and pale purple, with giant matching floral arrangements at every turn. It truly feels like you are dining in a garden, even though inside. Their service is of course impeccable and the food—oh, the food!—is phenomenal. We opted to do the tasting menu starting with a seasonal asparagus dish, then a beautiful plate of Scottish salmon and of course the cheese cart for dessert. The price for Pavillon definitely matches its high quality, so be prepared to spend a pretty penny if you are planning to dine there. Totally worth it though.
If you’re looking for other options, there are plenty. Restaurants like the Brasserie Lipp, which serves some of the best of French cuisine, Michelin-starred Ecco and the esteemed Zürcher Geschnetzeltes are some of the city’s hottest places to eat in Zurich. For something more casual, hit up Differente Hotel Krone Unterstrass, Restaurant O or Marktkuche.
Or if you’re lucky enough to be traveling to Zurich during mid-May for the Zurich Food Festival, purchase a ticket for one of the many hosted dinners or stop by the Street Food Festival, where some of the cities hottest restaurants serve dishes of all types from all over the world. We sipped on Aperol Spritzes, noshed on dim sum, then ate Bahn Mi sandwiches. We sampled the new Orbium gin by Hendricks, paired it with unique Fever Tree tonics like “Mediterranean”, “Elderflower” and “Aromatic”, and even smoked hookah at an Indian food restaurant truck that had set up a beautiful seating area for diners to enjoy Shisha and Indian cuisine.
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