Dragos Pitica

city of extremes: zurich is great for a weekend break

Since I spent all the winter holiday with my parents, we decided to go for a little trip to Zurich for New Year. Called the city of extremes, its lowest point is 392 m above sea level and its highest point is the Uetliberg Mountain peak, 871 m above sea level.

As soon as you enter the country, it is impossible not to observe all the stunning winter landscapes. Also, the ability of the Swiss to build looong tunnels through just about anything is impressive as well.


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peak

Mountain Uetliberg or also known as Top of Zurich is high above the city rooftops, at 871 meters above sea level. After a decent 1 ½ h hike through woods or 5 stops by train, you reach the summit that offers a beautiful scenic view over the city, lake Zurich and all the way to the panorama of the Alps. Unfortunately, in our case, all that covered with a blanket of clouds. Still a stunning view!


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beautiful

Due to the fact that the city is walking-friendly, you can get a peaceful walk down the Bahnhof Strasse, (claimed to be the most expensive street in Europe) that cuts through the centre of old Zurich. The old town feels like a place from a fairytale or any other European metropolis with a proper old town.

The street runs from the Zurichsee (Lake Zurich) to the main train station at Bahnhof Plaza. On the way, you can enjoy breath-taking views of the mountains and charming cafes where you can grab a bite of their famous cheese varieties and enjoy a delicious cappuccino.

fine points

Zurich has a very well-maintained road infrastructure and a well-organized public transport network. The streets are so clean that it makes you feel bad for “accidentally” throwing any litter around. I don’t know how they manage it, but I’m pretty sure it’s related to their finances as well.

It is a cliché that Switzerland is expensive but even in expensive cities you expect to be able to find some affordable street food or drinks. Whereas in Zurich, even a cup of coffee is around 7 CHF (7 EUR basically) and walking down the streets of the city, you understand how poor you are.

overall

Zurich is expensive, but a scenic city, too. Beautiful lake, very nice zoo, but not much more to do if you aren’t a museum person. 2 days will be enough to see and do everything. Therefore, when in Europe, make a stop in Zurich.

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