96-hour city guide | zurich | switzerland - an unsung city break paradise.
'seeking picturesque lanes & waterfront promenades'
has a city break to switzerland every been on your radar? mine neither. but as you will find out my short trip to one of the world's financial capitals was super surprising. after camping in iceland for the last week it was a welcomed change of pace arriving in this ultra-modern & green city. the mixture of old & new can be found everywhere, i was slightly concerned about what a financial city would have to offer a city tourist but needless to say i had nothing to worry about, as you will find later.
25 hours hotel
interestingly my 96-hour journey started in the super trendy 25 hours hotel in langstrasse.
do me a favour... close your eyes & think of your dream city hotel. now open eyes & welcome to 25 hours. this place has really thought of everything when it comes to what a millennial traveller wants from a hotel....
Trendy design ✅
Cool bar & restaurant ✅
Free rental car ✅
Free mobile internet ✅
Free mini bar ✅
Bluetooth speakers ✅
Great breakfast ✅
Late 2pm checkout ✅
Free scooter rental ✅
Sauna & gym ✅
I could go on, but you get the picture, this hotel has put together the wish-list of every modern traveller & gone way beyond that. I can honestly say that this brand has the best city hotels in the world. You really feel like this place is alive. so many locals come here for the bar & restaurant, it’s a totally different vibe to other boring hotels.
country no.99 | lichtenstein
the free mini cooper car that was provided by 25 hours hotel gave me the perfect opportunity to visit this tiny country.
around an hour's drive winding through the spectacular mountains & lakes of the swiss countryside you arrive to what can only be described as a fairy-tale land. from the castle perched above the capital vaduz to the main pedestrian street lined with luxury stores this is a wonderful day trip from zurich. make sure to visit the tourist area in the centre of town to get one of the rarest passport stamps in the world, well worth the €5 they charge.
things to do
now let's get back to zurich... considering this is not a famous tourist city there are a lot of things that can keep you occupied. summertime is by far the best time of year to visit the city as it comes alive from people fishing on the river to cafes & restaurants offering alfresco dining.
the old centre
zurich is a super modern city but you can find remnants of its medieval past in the heart of the city. from the squares with an abundance of outdoor seating for the summer months to the churches & enclosed winding alleys that take you back intime all immaculately preserved. you can really tell the wealth of this city & country just by looking at how well maintained the historic centre is.
it's super impressive & even during these times of corona virus everything was open & functioning compared to other countries, they did an excellent job limiting the impact on the pandemic, now locals & tourists can benefit from as close to normality as we had before the world changed.
a few of my favourite attractions where the fraumünster church located right on the edge of the main square close to the river.
on a sunny saturday morning i woke up early & happened to find an antiques market in a small treelined park here, definitely worth a browse for an authentic souvenir.
my whole stay in zurich was accompanied by fantastic weather & for the majority of the time i found myself walking along the banks of the lake zurich.
early in the morning i caught glimpses of the swans sleeping & locals fishing by hand with small boats right near the old town. as you move away from the old town along the banks of the lake towards the chinese gardens locals & tourists are enjoying the sunshine sunbathing, swimming & biking through the beautiful pedestrian area. grab yourself an ice-cream, take your towel & have a dip in the pristine waters of this beautiful lake.
green marmot capsule hotel
this is the new kid on the block. in a city where accommodation averages over €200 per night, the green marmot takes the famous japanese concept of a capsule hotel new heights giving tourists a budget alternative.
i have stayed in a few capsule hotels in my time especially in japan & asia but i can honestly this has to be the highest quality places i have stayed. the bespoke capsules have been designed perfectly to make your stay as comfortable as possible from the storage space to the outlets & custom table to get some work done while in bed.
here you have the privacy of your own room but the communal aspect making it easy to meet other guests. the hotel is super clean with 24-hour free coffee & what had to be my favourite place, the balcony. overlooking a busy square in front & the river beyond it was the perfect place to have breakfast in the morning while people watching.
where to eat
so many places to eat here from pizza places to michelin stared restaurants. here are a few of my favourite places that i can personally recommend.
breakfast | babu's bakery - one of the most famous cafes in the city to have breakfast. this bakery & coffeehouse serves up some of the best pastries in the city. you must try the freshly baked lemon cake there, its divine.
lunch | ribelli restaurant - located in the west of the city on the ground floor of the fabulous 25 hours west hotel. this place gives a truly authentic italian experience with the absolute best ingredients. ask for the homemade lemonade that's not on the menu.
dinner | racelette factory - the swiss are famous for their cheese & what better way to introduced yourself to swiss cuisine than fondue. this small place has one of the best fondue's i have ever tasted.
my lasting impressions
everyone knows that switzerland is famous for its mountains, whether that is in the winter for skiing or the summer for hiking. but zurich might just be a hidden gem in the world of over tourism. while you must set your budget higher than most other cities for a few days this was one of my favourite city breaks.
⦿ swiss franc is the national currency. you can exchange at the airport or use any atm.
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country travel tips
atm: free to use with most european cards.
sim card: i use airalo e-sim for every country. get yours here
transport: use the public transport, reasonable prices. €6 to the airport.
taxi: uber? use promo: carlm5078ue for free ride.
accommodation: get ($20) off your first booking.com reservation here