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3 Reasons to Visit Zurich

Oh man…Zurich, Switzerland…we have fallen in love with a city that we can’t afford.

People in Germany had told us that Zurich was expensive and boy, they weren’t kidding! Our first stop in Zurich was a very trendy little burger place called Heidi & Tell Co. It was right around the corner from our Airbnb apartment*, had a very laid back vibe, and we were starving…easy sell. It was good, but nothing extra special (3 stars by my judgement). We each got a burger, a drink, and we shared a small fry and it cost us over $50! (Okay, over 50 Swiss Francs...about $55USD.) This was the norm in Zurich. We couldn’t even eat at McDonald’s for under 40 bucks!

Aside from the price, we LOVED Zurich. We basically spent two days just wandering around with our jaws (okay, maybe just my jaw) dropped in amazement. I was oohing and aahing around every corner. Let me tell you why:

1. Old Meets New

Zurich is a very old city with the beautiful old architecture to prove it. But it’s also home to some of the largest, most affluent banks in the world. And with money comes new and fancy things. So yea, we were under-dressed EVERYWHERE we went.

As we wandered the city, we found a couple of great look-outs. One being the top of the Grossmünster church tower (only €3!) and the other at a free park directly across the river from the church. Both provided an amazing view of the ancient buildings and their reflections in the clear Swiss water. These are the moments that completely take my breath away and remind me why I love to explore the world.

2. City Meets Nature

While Zurich is a big, thriving city, it’s also nestled right at the base of the Swiss Alps. In this regard, it kind of reminded me of the Pacific Northwest. (In fact, there was a Columbia store with a sign that said, “Tested tough in the Pacific Northwest – Portland, OR.” So yea, shout out to our beloved homeland!) The northern shore of Lake Zurich comes right up to the busy city and its crystal-clear waters are met by parks, boardwalks and boat docks.

This was probably my favorite part. You can walk along the river trail right up to Old Town. Walk across the street from the Opera House and you can get in a boat and head out on the lake. That’s pretty cool!

We were lucky to experience Zurich on a sunny weekend because we got to go paddle boating on the lake. Sailboats were anchored in the sunshine, paddle boarders were exploring the lake, and swimmers were jumping from the bridges. All right in the heart of the city.

3. High Class Meets Quirky Art

Zurich is a classy place. It’s clean, it’s expensive, and it’s fashionable. However, its got a fun little quirky side. I’d heard of a restaurant/bar and a mall of boutique shops called Frau Gerolds Garten. They’re built in a bunch of shipping containers and located about a 45 minute walk outside of the city. So, of course, we started walking. On our way there, we came across the Im Viaduckt– self-proclaimed, “the most exciting street to shop in Zurich”- where there are shops and restaurants built into the old railway viaduct. We followed that until we found a little street covered overhead with a ton of umbrellas and then ended up at Frau Gerolds, which was totally as cool as it sounds!

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