March 13, 2019

48 Hours in Zurich

Howdy! As y'all may know, I did a study abroad semester in Germany last fall.  Living in Europe means you have access to travel with ease and relatively cheap to neighboring countries. At my school in Bonn, we also had almost every Friday off.  This made weekend travel perfect!  Early on in September, three of my friends and I used the Eurowings Blind Booking and ended up flying to Zurich, Switzerland.  To say Zurich was magical would be an understatement! After getting off our bus stop at the apartment complex our Airbnb was at, we ended up getting pretty lost looking for it.  It certainly didn't help that it was already dark outside.  Right when we were starting to get a little worried, a tabby cat appeared.  The feline proceeded to meow at us and then started walking away.  Well, being the cat lover that I am, I followed the cat along with the others.  The cat eventually stopped outside this one apartment and meowed at us.  It was our Airbnb!! The cat then just walked away! I will forever believe that the tabby cat was a spirit guide! 

Hopefully that little story just shows how magical it is in Zurich.  Alright, you are probably thinking, "Michelle, isn't Zurich like super expensive"? and you'd be right.  However, It is also the place I spent the least amount of money! Lucky for you, I'm gonna give you my 48 Hour Itinerary for Zurich which includes a lot of cheap alternatives! 

  1. Get Meals at Grocery Store:  We decided rather than eating at restaurants, we would just grab all of our meals at various grocery stores across the city.  Near our Airbnb was a Co-Op, so for breakfast we got bread, yogurt, and coffee.  It was a good start to the day and only around 3 US dollars.  Lunch and Dinner were also similar. One of the nice things about doing it this way, was for Breakfast and Lunch we were able to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather as we all talked and had a jolly time!

  2. Zurich Card:  If you're planning on going to Zurich, purchase the 24 hour Zurich city pass. For only 27 US dollars it gets you free city transit and free admissions to a lot of different attractions throughout the city. Honestly, the transit alone will earn back the money that you spent.  They also have 72 hour cards if you are planning on staying longer than a weekend.  We perfectly timed our card activation with when we would need transit back to the airport so it worked out perfectly
  3. Gerold Cuchi Umbrellas: If you ride the train to the Kreis 5 district of the town you'll be able to go see the coolest example of tactical urban landscape architecture with hanging umbrellas between the alleyway. It's a great photo opportunity
  4. Frau Gerolds Garten: Next to the Umbrellas is this really hipster cafe, outdoor restaurant, art market, and shopping area that seemed to be made primarily out of old train containers! Since we were there very early in the morning, not many stores were open yet, but the ones we did investigate seemed really cool!

  5. Pfingstweid Park: A short walk down the road from Frau Gerolds Garten is Pfingstweid Park, which is gorgeous! Maybe it's the landscape architect in me but I was in love. It has open lawn, lots of fun fountains to play in, swings, a sandpit, slides, and other fun water features.  It's in between several high rise building which also gave it nice shade in September.  Additionally, while we were there a girl had brought her pug out to play, and it gave me pug kisses!!

  6. Kunsthall Zurich Museum: This is one of the museums that our Zurich Card got us into for free.  If you enjoy modern art, I 100% recommend checking it out.  They had an Ikea exhibit going on while we were there. It was actually very interesting and all the descriptions were also in English so it was no issue understanding what they were displaying. Also, on the top floor is a really fun couch to lay on that I highly recommend. 

  7. Succulent Plant Collection: This was also another Zurich Card place, and for all the plant nerds out there, you must go! There are so many plants and succulents!! You can learn about all the different regions succulents grow, and how they are propagated. 50% of all known succulents are actually on display here. Plus if you enjoy plant photography this is the place! Conveniently, its on the left shore of Lake Zurich.

  8. Lake Zurich:  You didn't think this wan't going to make it on the list did you?  This lake is crystal clear! Y'all, I'm from Texas. I'm use to my waters being browner than chocolate. We ended up spending a few hours just chilling and talking on the lakes shores.  We even made a duck friend who kept trying to climb out of the lake. Additionally, if you have your Zurich Card, you can actually take the water taxi across the lake. 

  9. Explore Altstadt (Old town): Of course being a European city, there is an old town with classic architecture and lots of shopping! While shopping may not be free, window shopping is! That is what we did. There are also a lot of cafe's along this area as well. The Old town is right along shore of Lake Zurich, across the lake from the Succulent Plant Collection.
  10. Drink from a Fountain:  There are over 1200 fountains in Zurich that are constantly running clean drinking water! So you don't even truly need to buy a water bottle! Or if you do, you can just re fill it! 

  11. Botanical Garden Biomes: Affiliated with the University of Zurich, the Botanical Gardens offer a transportation to the tropics without ever leaving Switzerland! There are three biodome green houses that have exotic and cool plants from all over the world.  Additionally, there is an amazing view of the city from the gardens since they are situated away from the city center and on higher ground.

Overall, Zurich was beautiful and amazing! If you love nature and plants, this is honestly the destination for you! Don't be scared off by the talk of how expensive it is to visit, because if you plan right it can actually be very affordable! Oh and were comfy walking shoes!

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