I recently visited Zurich, Switzerland on a family vacation with my parents. Zurich was the first stop on our itinerary so we only had 2 days to make the most out of our stay. Luckily, the city made that very easy for us! We arrived on a Friday morning around 11am. Like the majority of Europe, Zurich has great public transportation and our hotel was easily accessible by a quick train and bus ride. It wasn’t the most enjoyable thing to lug large suitcases around, but we made it work. By 3pm we were in our rooms, showered and ready to take on the city.
Our first day consisted of getting acquainted with the city and transportation system. By the time we got to our hotel and got ready to go back out we were quite hungry. So food was our first priority. I had seen the same place pop up several times on different blogs and thought it must be worth a try if so many people were talking about it. My fellow bloggers did not disappoint!
Eat at Hiltl Restaurant
Hiltl is actually an all vegetarian/vegan restaurant. However if you aren’t either of those, don’t let that stop you fron experiencing this amazing menu! Hiltl is a seat yourself/buffet style restaurant. There are a couple locations around Zurich, so simply pick the one closest to your hotel and give it a shot. We wanted to explore a bit afterwards, so we went to the location right in downtown Zurich, by the city center. The atmosphere was very casual with some lounge seating and even a nice half outdoor seating area. We snagged the first table available and decided to grab a round of drinks before digging into the buffet.
Walk around the shops in City Center
If luxury shopping is your thing (or in my case, luxury window shopping), then you should make some time to stroll down the shops in Zurich’s city center. Even if I can’t afford half the stuff in those shops, I still love walking by and fantasizing about how the other half lives.
Stop for Coffee & Cake
Seeing as one of the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Switzerland is chocolate, I had to assume they had some pretty good chocolate cake. I was definitely not disappointed. We stopped at a little cafe called Babus Bakery & Coffeehouse. We got a couple lattes, a hot cider and chocolate cake.
Our second day in Zurich was much more productive after getting some much needed rest and letting some of the jet lag wear off. We deiced to get up and head straight into Old Town Zurich after seeing how beautiful it was the night before. We started off the hunt for a breakfast place and quickly fell into more exploring and less eating. We came across an outdoor food market just in time to realize how hungry we were, so we grabbed a couple croissants to keep us going.
Explore Zurich Old Town
The old town of Zurich is a beautiful place to spend the day. It has so many cute coffee shops, great restaurants and amazing architecture. It is a great place to sit, with some wine and cheese of course, and people watch.
Climb to the top of Grossmünster Church
I am a sucker for arial city views, so I obviously had to climb to the top of the Grossmünster church to get a complete 360 view of Zurich. The view definitely did not disappoint.
Take a Boat Cruise on Lake Zurich
Cruising around Lake Zurich was one of the most beautiful lakes I had been on in a while. The mountains towering over in every direction made it so there truly wasn’t a bad view no matter where you sat. The cruise is technically a water taxi, but you can take it on a round trip. Which is what most people do. It is about an hour and a half round trip and especially while traveling and walking around all day, it was a great relaxing thing to do.
Go to a Wine Tasting
As we had been walking around Old Town the previous night, we stumbled upon about 4 or 5 boats all docked in a row all decked out with lights and people walking from boat to boat. It turns out there was a wine expo in town for the weekend, and all those boats were full of wine! Talk about a dream come true. So we decided to go back specifically for the wine tasting.
Eat Pasta on a Pasta Schiff (boat)
One of the boats included in the wine tasting was a pasta boat. In my opinion this was very strategic placement, what else could you possibly want after consuming 4 boats worth of wine? I thought my pasta dish was great, but my parents thought there’s was a little bland. If you go, I highly recommend getting the cream and mushroom sauce, it was amazing.