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Holidays to Zurich
Zurich - far too easy to love
Zurich takes its Swiss-ness very seriously; the public transport is efficient, regular and beautifully presented. The town is spotless, the flower beds a triumph of form and colour and the dining is exquisite. However a little chic grunge has crept into the mix and those that like to get out on the edge are well catered for as well!
Zurich hosts Europe's biggest street party every August and the town comes alive for this eclectic weekend. There are dance clubs popping up all over the place and during summer Zurich seems to grow its hair long, get a couple of tatts and raise a glass to enjoyment.
As far as weekend getaways go, Zurich is brilliant. You can land on Friday night, explore the city and get away on Sunday or Monday having had the time of your life.
Explore the Old Town, enjoy late night activities in Züri-West. Wander the red light district of Langstrasse and on Sunday morning join all of Zurich as they stroll the lakeside pathways. Food is good and there are plenty of choices - from the upmarket traditional such as Zum Kropf to the hundreds of cafes that dot the city. Zurich should be near the top of your list for short breaks in Europe - it's easy to get to, has plenty to do and will suit the night people and or the day trippers.
Eating out in Zurich
Cheap, expensive and everything in between
Zurich may have the reputation of being expensive, and for sure, a lot of places are. But delve into the back streets, head away from the tourist hotspots and you will find where the locals eat. Check out Niederdorfstrasse and the surrounding back streets. The thriving cafe culture will keep your budget intact, and when you want to go all out, don't worry - there are plenty of choices there as well!
The budget options - Niederdorfstrasse has dozens of cafes and good restaurants. On Bahnhofplatz 2 is Restaurant Au Gratin which does a brilliant line in little baked dishes of your favourite ingredient covered in melted cheese. Many restaurants will serve half portions and don't forget if you want a great meal at a special restaurant, lunch time is better value time to go.
Mid price options - still on Niederdorfstrasse at 33 you'll find Tre Cucine which is a little Italian restaurant serving delicious pasta, pizza and risottos. Grand Cafe Odeon is at Limmatquai 2 and you can dine on traditional Swiss Rosti as well as burgers and salads.
Splurge - you can easily push the boat right out in Zurich, but it's always better to look for quality. Try Caduff's Wine Loft on Kanzleistrasse 126 for their extraordinary wine list and a seasonal menu based on what's fresh that day. You'll dine on fois-gras, terrine and more in a traditional setting.
What to wear, when to go
Expect to be cool when in Zurich. It's alpine valley location brings rain and cooler temps. January can get as low as zero while summer (July) reaches around 25C. Heat is rare with the 30s being reached on 3 days on average per annum.
It gets wet during spring and summer in Zurich, so bring a coat, but basically the temps are good for some concerted sightseeing.
Zurich will draw you in
There's so much to see and do in Zurich. You're awash in choices. If you're a dance fan, then Club Q is set in a car park and goes all night. Culture? There's a ton of it. Sights to see? Churches galore. Old stuff? Yes, the Old Town is postcard perfect.
The Old Town - Zurich has every sight you want in Old Town. Quaint cobblestone streets, trendy boutiques tucked away in quiet alleys. Cafes everywhere and the lot punctuated by the most magnificent churches and gothic town buildings.
Rietberg Museum - this is an exciting place for many reasons. The art is from all over the world so you can check out the African collection, the European masters, the Americas, Oceania and Asia. To see art from around the world in the one setting is a fascinating exercise.
The stained glass windows of Fraumunster - the church itself is a little small but the real attraction here are the windows designed by Marc Chagall and Augusto Giacometti. You've seen plenty of churches undoubtedly, but the windows make Fraumunster something special. Don't miss it.
Bahnhofstrasse - the most elegant street in Zurich is home to classy boutiques galore. Bring the credit card if you're shopping here. They say the vaults that lie beneath also contain countless amounts of silver and gold, so if you've also brought a shovel...
The Great Church - Zurich's most famous church is a 12th century cathedral and it's twin towers can be seen from all over town. The church is as beautiful as you'd expect but it's the view that's extra special.
The must see - is the Museum of Art, one of the great museums of Europe. The collection held here covers Europe from around 1400 and contains most of the old masters. There are sculptures, architecture displays and much more, set in a most impressive building.