Take a city break to Zurich

I have just had a city break to Zürich. I was there for only 24 hours in August 2013 but Zürich is such a compact city you can see plenty of this beautiful city in a short length of time.

I arrived into Zürich train station from Chur. I had been on the Bernina Express from Tirano to Chur and caught a connection to Zürich.

Zürich train station is a spectacular bit of architecture. The station is unusual in that it’s not really enclosed and as you get off the train one of the platforms is adjacent to the pavement. This is a great idea as it avoids congestion in the station !

Zürich is probably the cleanest city that I have ever visited. It’s very pretty and the River Limmatt runs through the city centre. I noticed that the river water is crystal clear and a lovely green colour and that’s because the water comes straight from the nearby mountains.

I stayed at the Hotel Walhalla for one night whilst I was in Zürich. I found the hotel very comfortable, modern and with comfortable beds and good modern clean bathrooms with a good shower cubicle. The hotel is just across the road from the train station and a good continental breakfast is included in the price.

Zürich is easily walkable. We set off walking along the River Limmatt towards Lake Zürich and then crossed a bridge and walked back through Zürich old town. There are plenty of good shops to browse in and the main shopping street is called Bahnhofstrasse. There are also many pavement cafes where you can sit down for coffee and watch the world go by.

I have never seen so many trams in one city as I saw in Zürich and the transport system is efficient and clean. Zürich has an air of charm and sophistication that makes it an excellent destination for a city break.

Many people say that it is expensive to eat out in Zürich and in Switzerland in general. Whilst the city is more expensive than eating out in Italian or French cities it is possible to find affordable places to eat. We found a nice little restaurant/bar just around the corner from the Hotel Walhalla and the food was plentiful and reasonable priced.

We arrived in Zürich with no Swiss Francs. We only had Euros. Most shops and restaurants in Switzerland do accept Euros but they will give you change in Swiss Francs. Paying my credit or debit card is an option too if you are there for just a  short time.

I can highly recommend a city break to Zurich. Watch my short video about Zurich

Bern baby Bern

Bern is possibly most famous as the city in which Einstein lived when he stumbled across his famous theory of relativity, but today it is a hugely popular tourist destination in its own right.

Nevertheless the city has retained its famous stone bear pits that hold live bears and, in general, the city still retains a medieval quality, which is evident in the gothic architecture and cobblestone streets.

That’s not likely to change either, as Bern was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Popular attractions include the thirteenth century clock tower, the gothic Cathedral, the Paul Klee collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, and the four-mile covered shopping arcade, which is the largest in Europe.

Wandering through the Old Town can be a magical experience and few cities in the world are so visibly wedded to their distant past, with architecture and a street plan essentially unchanged since the ‘olden days’.

The most hectic shopping goes on in the western half of the Old Town, on Marktgasse and Spitalgasse in particular; the older, eastern half is slow paced and tranquil.

But it’s when you walk under the crowded arcades that you get a full-on blast of modern consumerism, with music, shop windows and advertising vying for your attention.

Step a few metres to the side to walk in the open air and – with a little imagination – it’s easy to picture yourself in the Bern of the sixteenth century.

Bern certainly provides a magical mystery tour.

Bern is also famous for its swimming in the very fast flowing River Aare. In summer thousands of people take to the river to let themselves be taken along in the fast flowing current.

Take a look at this video which shows you what happens !

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dc1vmzjwJE]


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