Zurich Vacations – A Taste Of The World’s Banking Capital In A Complete Different Perspective…Far Away From A Boring Financial Hub!
The city of Zurich is known all over the world as a banking capital which is demure, uptight and spotlessly clean. However, this metropolis is more than just a boring financial hub. Even though Zurich today is home to worlds’ fourth largest stock exchange, the city is also surprisingly trendy and vibrant. This transformation has come about in the recent years and the globe trotters as well as the natives of the country are not complaining.
Sitting pretty beside a picturesque river, the city of Zurich is easy to navigate. The most astonishing feature of the city is its easy-going and peaceful attitude that is uncharacteristic of most metropolises these days. However, do not mistake this tranquility for demureness. Despite its low-key attitude, this city is known to enjoy the best things in life. Since the late 1990s a lot of new clubs and bars have opened up in Zurich and unlike clubs in most other parts of the continent, these are very homely and warm. Zurich also hosts Europe’s largest street party which is known as the Zurich Street Parade. The streets are filled with young crowds around this time and the city which is otherwise orthodox in appearance comes alive with modernity. Even the so-called conceited bankers are seen zipping across in swagger bikes. The best thing about Zurich though is that its conservative protestant background keeps away all the things associated with modernity and helps keep a perfect balance of the past and the present.
What To Do And See On Your Zurich Vacations
There are many tourist attractions to explore in Zurich. Just a stroll through the city and you will discover something interesting in almost every corner. Historic squares, architectural highlights, churches, interesting streets and much more – Zurich vacations will pack it all for you!
You should start your Zurich vacations with the Augustinergasse. This is one of Zurich’s oldest and narrowest streets but is intrinsic to Zurich culture. A unique feature of this street is its colorful oriel windows. These windows are one of a kind and are generally located at the side of front door to provide a view of those coming inside. The street connects the busy Bahnofstrasse and St. Peterhofstatt. Next, you may visit the Bahnofstrasse which is a paradise for shop-a-holics. Lined with jewelry stores, boutiques and department stores, this street has all that you will ever need.
After that, get a taste of Switzerland’s Protestant culture in the Fraumunster Church. This used to be one of the only churches in Europe to have female inhabitants. It’s important architectural assets include the high transept and the Romanesque choir. However, the jewels of the church are its amazing stained glass windows which have been created my renowned artistes like Mark Chagall and Augusto Giacometti.
Alternatively you can visit the Grossmunster, this can very easily be referred to as the symbol of Zurich. For those who haven’t seen it before, it is a cathedral with twin towers facing the River Limmat. It has a crypt which is said to be the largest of the kind in Switzerland and dates as far back as the 13th century. It is generally open for sightseeing during the week subject to some weather changes and some access restrictions at certain times of the year. The church will definitely be one of your Zurich vacations’ highlights.
Finally, you can end your church tours with St. Peter’s Church, which was built back in the thirteenth century on the bank of Lindenhof. This church is the oldest church in the city and has a clock face that is the largest in Europe. You can see the huge hands of the clock with a minute hand that is more than thirteen feet in length. Great way to add church history in your Zurich vacations, especially if this is an area of your interest.
If visiting churches did not you give enough excitement for your Zurich vacations then you can kick up the notch if you have some money in your pockets by going shopping.
Zurich, Switzerland is a melting pot of upscale stores and boutiques, and compared to some other European Capitals, Zurich comes very highly regarded. Switzerland is usually stereotyped for their products such as watches and chocolates and a walk along Bahnhofstrasse which is long considered to be the primary shopping street in the world. But there is more to it than just that stereotype, Zurich is one of Europe’s finest when it comes to shopping. Taking a weekend break in Zurich, the Bahnhofstrasse is one of the suggested streets to explore specifically the department stores Globus and Jelmoli.
They provide the finest first-rate fashion shopping experience and food halls that offer Swiss specialties are also available. Bahnhofstrasse, which extends all the way to Bürkliplatz on the lake, is also filled with jewellery stores, Bucherer, Beyer and Gübelin among others. Famous shoe shops and boutiques such as H & M, Ermenegildo Zegna and Bally are also in this street. As you walk along, you can discover Shopville that houses souvenirs and good wines.
As you walk along Augustinergasse, you will see how beautiful and picturesque this lane is, with guildhouses that were built hundreds of years ago, from the 14th-18th century. There are also charming shops found along this lane. It is quite an experience walking along their narrow streets and walking on cobblestones. You can find a wide collection of antiques, keepsakes, relics and book stores between the confined streets of Bahnhofstrasse and the embankment which is called the Limmatquai. The Rennweg and Paradeplatz also places of interest to go to. To the west of Hauptbahnhof, further ahead is the Flea Market at Helvetiaplatz, for those who love to bargain. This market is only open during Saturdays around 9am to 1pm.
One of the city’s oldest district, the Niederdorf is located on the other side of the Limmat. Here you will notice pedestrian streets, confined alleyways and courtyards, and each construction filled with botiques, “modern” antique stores, book stores, and affordable restaurants. Marktgasse and Storchengasse/Strehlgasse are great destinations for those who like to spend hours on window shopping.
Lastly, the Schipfe, a heavenly place to explore, can be found through the eccentric houses on the banks of the Limmat. A lot of artists and craftsmen carry on their masterpieces, providing quality and products that are customized from little workshops and boutiques.
A lot of stores in the center of city are open on weekdays from 9am to 6:30pm, and some extend until 8pm. Stores are mostly closed on Sundays, while on Saturdays they are open from 8am to 4pm. Shopville outlets and those at Stadelhofen train station are open on Sundays. If you are eyeing to go to the Niederdorf district, take note that they open late mornings or early afternoons and they close on Monday. Yes….Zurich vacations and shopping, go hand in hand!
Continue your Zurich vacations by heading to the Johann Jacobs Museum Coffee Museum. The museum is located at Seefeldquai 17, 8034 Zürich, has a new, different exhibition each year dispensing information about the political, social and cultural facets of coffee. These exhibits are built around the collection of coffee and coffee implements the museum has in its possession.
Another museum to visit on your Zurich vacations is the The Depuoz Collection Toy Museum, which can be found at Englischviertelstrasse 19b, 8032 Zürich, offers displays of children’s toys from the 18th to 20th century. The exhibits of dolls, dollhouses, toys made of wood and tin, and other objects chosen by collectors Claudia and Christian Depuoz, are a must-see for young and old alike.
If you feel like you want to learn more about the history of paintings and sculptures, then Schweizerisches Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum) is the place. Sitting on a nice piece of parkland between the Limmat, Sihl and Hauptbahnhof rivers, the museum is a very interesting sight to see and add while on your Zurich vacations. Its collection is not just restricted to paintings and sculptures but also to many other exhibits that show the life, times and culture of the Swiss people. Exhibits include flags, watches, prehistoric objects, tools, toys and weapons. This museum is open on all days of the week except Mondays.
Zunfthaus zur Meisen (‘zur Meisen’ Guild Hall, this is one place on your Zurich vacations where you can feast your eyes on collections from pottery and China made by the Swiss in the 18th century. These pieces were manufactured in pottery factories located in Zurich and Kilchberg-Schooren among others. The Guild hall is in itself a piece of art with elegantly decorated rococo finishing. It is certainly a beauty that has hardly diminished since its construction in 1757, remaining the most beautiful of the Guild Houses in Zurich till date. It is a must see for anyone going for Zurich vacations.
You can wrap up your museum adventure on your Zurich vacations with the Fine Arts Museum, the home of many nineteenth and twentieth century paintings. The museum was founded in 1976 and today houses the largest collection of modern and classical arts. Many wonderful paintings are included in the collection including some from Marini, Picasso, Chagall, Bonnard, and Lipsshitz.
Those more interested in combining their Zurich vacations with outdoor entertainment can purchase a snow’n’rail ticket, which includes a train and ski pass, from the Hauptbahnhof during months in the winter. Ticket-holders are able to ride the train to a ski resort in the morning and return in the evening. The closest large ski resort is Flumserberg, a setting popular with Zurich natives. The resort has a variety of runs, for beginners to experts, and offers an alpine garden, shops, restaurants and a night club.
Animal lovers, you are not forgotten if you opt in for Zurich vacations…….the Zurich Zoo, located at Zürichbergstrasse 221, CH-8044 Zürich, is open 365 days a year and is a popular destination for those visiting the city. The zoo offers educational programs, special events, guided tours and attractions specifically for children, including birthday offerings in the zoo’s Masoala restaurant. Another popular and unusual program at the zoo is the Night Walk program, which allows participants to take part in an overnight stay at the zoo. This event takes place during school holidays and lasts from 6:30 p.m. until 10:30 a.m. the next day.
Alternatively, you can go to the Zoological Garden that contains more than twenty-two hundred animals. At this place, you can enjoy the aquarium and an open-air aviary. There are several houses to visit including the elephant house, ape house, terrariums, and the giant tortoise house. This is one of the most popular attractions in the city and a great way to get outdoors while you are on your Zurich vacations.
Theaters And Galleries
Finally, the Theater am Hechtplatz, Hechtplatz 7, 8001 Zürich, a small theatre capable of seating 260, offers independent theater year-round. Most of the shows produced are Swiss cabaret, but performances also include pantomimes, clowns, and song. Children’s plays are shown here on a regular basis and there are shows available to satisfy every age and taste. This theater is a great alternative to wind down in the evenings while you are on your Zurich vacations.
If not feeling the theater scene but still looking for entertainment with less crowd, then visit the Kunsthaus Zürich (Zurich Art Gallery). This may just be the best place to go on your Zurich vacations if you wish to see pieces done by masters dating back to the 19th and 29th centuries. You can see paintings and sculptures including Monet’s Water Lilies paintings. Alberto Giacometti’s works are an important part of this gallery’s collection. The gallery is closed on Mondays but open on other days of the week. Kunsthaus is a great options for tourists gone for Zurich vacations and are art lovers.
Gardens, Parks, And Sites
Start with the Botanic Garden, the place has a huge selection of living species from Caledonia and Africa. You can enjoy the many rare specimens that this garden enjoys. More than three million plants can be seen in this garden.
Then, head to the Urania Observatory……a place that allows people to see through a telescope to look at Zurich and the distant Alps. You can enjoy views of planets, stars, and galaxies. Since the observatory is located centrally in Zurich you can enjoy seeing all parts of the city and more, great way to build memories of your Zurich vacations.
Another great place to visit is the Eluntern Cemetery, where James Joyce is buried. Near the tomb for James Joyce is a unique statue of the author. People come from far and wide to view this statue dedicated to the author of Ulysses. Many other famous people are buried in this cemetery.
End your Zurich vacations tour with a visit to the Lake Promenade. This grassy park area along the lake is Zurich’s favorite hangout spot and the epicenter for all its activities, especially during the summer months. Take in the cultural diversity of the city amongst the skaters, sunbathers and street artists that fill the place every evening.
Long story short, Zurich is an excellent place to visit, especially for those who like to party but love culture all the same. Go for Zurich vacations this year and embrace the culture, art, history and modernity of this great city in all its glory!
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