Last summer, a friend of mine asked me to join her to the beach the next day. At the time, it shocked me a bit since Madrid is 300 km away from the closest beach and she wanted us to spend just a day there. We did it though, and it was a great day-trip.
Now, I live in a country that I can almost cross in 3 hours (Well... I may be exaggerating a little, but Switzerland is ranked on the 135th position of 247 countries and the bottom 50 are pretty much all islands).
Given this fact, I should be allowed to refer to this is country as cozy and cute! Plus, there are an infinite number of natural, historical or plainly amusing places to visit within just 1 - 1.5 hours from Zürich. The highways and the punctual railway system spread a thousand different ways to help visitors reach their destination of the day in a breeze (and still sleep in the same hotel that night).
So, in case you are in the Zürich area, why not check out my city recommendations below?
Basel is the third largest Swiss city, located at the border of Germany and France. It is known for the headquarters of two of the five largest pharmaceutical companies, Novartis and Roche.
For those of you who are history buffs, Basel is certainly rich with history. But frankly, for the rest of the us, it is the least beautiful of the three cities (which does not mean it is not beautiful, warning!). The old town is rich in colors and beautiful facades, and the cathedral and its cloister have a kind of magical atmosphere.
The best part about Basel? The patchwork-like historical remains, scattered here and there. Plus, BSL airport serves several low cost airlines, making it a better alternative for getaways than ZRH!
Bern is the capital of Switzerland and it is obviously a must for any visitor (or local, that is)! The view from the cathedral is so picturesque, and one really has the feeling time has come to a standstill in this city.
If I had to pick up one of the three cities based on the charm of their streets, I would no doubt pick Bern with all its statues, towers, traditional shops and street-opened basements.
From the widest avenue to the narrowest alley, they are all cobblestone (which made me think they were pedestrian and I got almost killed by a tram) and framed by arches full of ivy and flowers. The cherry on top of this cake? Coming across unexpected street markets and marveling at the small details.
|Visit the Tram Museum|
This little gem of a museum allows you to learn all about Zürich’s most iconic mode of transportation. Furthermore, most trams in the exhibit are asking to be explored inside out… Many historical photographs bring the Zürich of days past back to life, and interactive elements help to keep kids (of all ages) entertained...
|Travel Back in Time at Swallow-d|
We were recently warped back in time when we entered Swallow-d in Zürich’s Kreis 4. The interior is an entirely different world as it contains everything “retro” you can imagine...
|Escape to the Oriental Hamam Bath|
All but 12 minutes is the amount of time which separated the wintery streets of Zürich’s Old Town from the steamy Turkish Hamam at Münstergasse. On a recent night, we escaped the freezing rain to try out this hidden treasure...
|Escape the Cold at Milandia Spa in Greifensee|
On a recent night, soaking up some heat after yet another foggy January day was my main objective. I decided to try out the spa at Milandia, one of several Migros Fitnesspark’s in Switzerland…
|Stroll through the Old Town|
Far from the shopping frenzy of Bahnhofstrasse, we found the cutest little gift shops, most delicious foods, and curious details in Zürich’s Old Town...
|Discover Zürich West|
By now, you will surely have heard the rumors that there is a new hotspot in Zürich! Zürich West is what everyone is talking about…
|Trace the Footsteps of Einstein, Joyce and Lenin|
Artists, scientists, political visionaries: Zurich has been home to some of the greatest and most original minds of the last century or two…
|Take off at the Runway 34 Restaurant|
The concepts of “airline” and “restaurant” have been combined many times all over the world. And fortunately for anyone in the Zürich area, the best airline themed restaurant is right next to the ZRH airport...
And last, but definitely not least, there is my beloved Luzern.
When I read that it attracts more visitors per year than London, I could hardly believe it! To me, it is the medieval brother of Zurich (its size, the river, the lake, the mountains), with its amazing fairy-tale bridges and still standing city wall!
I believe that it is the perfect setting for a grandiloquent knight adventure! A snaky maze of streets slide along the walls to meet the river and lake - luxurious and superb the former, broad and sightseeing paradise-ish the latter.
What you can’t miss? The Lion Monument that commemorates the death of 700 mercenaries from the Swiss Guard.
Also noteworthy is the Glacier Garden, an eclectic museum built around archaeological remains where you can enjoy a mozarabic mirrors labyrinth and a deforming mirrors walk!
|Dwarf Donkey||May 2012|
|Skull Monkey||May 2012|
|Ankole-Watusi Cattle||March 2012|
Now, enjoy your trip and tell the TRIPlets we said hi!
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