Getting to know a city is like getting to know a partner in a relationship in many ways. The first visit is generally the period of romance (or not). You never quite see the city as it is but after a visit or two, you begin to understand ‘her’. Quite the same with Zurich. So here are some thoughts about the city that would hopefully be of help if and when you plan a trip –
Great People: I found (in my limited experience) the swiss to be happy go lucky and generally nice. I think that comes from a land blessed with lots of wealth and a high level of stability and security. Nevertheless, definitely a happy place.
Easy travel system: Much like Singapore, Zurich has a clear and easy travel system that makes roaming around the city a breeze.
Generally good weather in summer: It’s funny I say this because this week was one of ‘those’ weeks which every local would like to forget. It was very hot coupled with the fact that rooms typically don’t have air-conditioners or fans. Nevertheless, the weather in the summer is generally very pleasant.
Beautiful Lake: If you are staying at Zurich, I’d recommend staying near the lake. It is a very pretty sight in the summer.
Bahnofstrasse and Alstadt: These are the touristy places. Bahnofstrasse is supposedly ‘the richest street in the world’ as all banks have headquarters there.
Alstadt is the old town. I haven’t had a chance to explore the Alstadt yet. On the next trip, maybe!
Yoghurt: If you are a yoghurt lover, this is one of THE places to be. I was on a healthy diet of 1 litre of simply the world’s best yoghurt! 🙂 Small joys..
Expensive: Zurich is one city I wouldn’t want to take my family on holiday. Expensive is an understatement especially where food is concerned. A very average meal would cost around 20 swiss francs (nearly 20 USD) so I guess you get the picture.
However, on further exploration, there are small eat outs that would allow us to have a good meal for about 10 CHF. But again, that takes a bit of searching.
Lower quality of service in eat-outs: A couple of eat outs had rather rude waiters. We were told that’s because labor is very hard to find (average wage of a laborer is roughly 25 CHF/ hour!!) and hence, restaurants can get away with poor service in general.
If I were to travel to Zurich, I’d take my time to plan as the costs would tend to be sky high otherwise! And if I were traveling to Switzerland, I would stay in the countryside and only visit the city anyway..
All in all, definitely a city worth visiting! 🙂