I would describe Zürich as a polished metropolis, fused with a stunning burst of rural scenery. The buzzy city is situated next to serene Lake Zürich, set against a majestic backdrop of snow-capped mountains. It really is a beautiful place.
My weekender began at the train station, where me and my beau made the short 10 minute walk to the hotel. Perfectly timed, the Christmas lights (named Lucy) were only just switched on, which meant we were elegantly guided by a twinkling path all the way to our hotel!
The Widder (which also has a pretty cool hidden cocktail bar called Widder Garage) is located just off the Bahnhofstrasse, a world-renowed shopping street and luxury brand-lover’s haven. From here, we explored the city on foot, walking through the city towards the lake, taking in those beautiful views. On a sunny day, it’s spectacular.
Enjoy a spot of tea by the river as there are plenty of cute cafes to base yourself at for some people watching. This cute café outside Hotel Storchen set me up with a cosy blanket whilst I sat on a fluffy sheepskin lined chair to keep the chill away.
We took a stroll around The Old Town, which is made up of cobbled lanes and medieval buildings lined with lots of shops and eateries to browse. Interestingly, Zürich’s metropolitan population is under 2 million, so no matter where you go, it never feels over crowded.
Food in Zürich is all you would expect from an international city, there’s a vast array of options. But for a taste of local we ventured to Zeughauskeller, a restaurant set in a 15th century house with a generous menu of traditional dishes. I went for the veal in a creamy mushroom sauce with rosti and it was delicious – and served in a sophisticated silver bowl. If you’re a bit stuck in your decision making, not to worry as the staff are super friendly and passionate about their cuisine. They were delighted to point out their favourites on the menu.
With Christmas approaching, we headed to Operhnhaus, where the largest and most popular Christmas market takes place every year. Armed with mulled wine and a Bratwurst (mine was dressed with a nice big dollop of mustard!) we sat under a festive outdoor hut, sheltered from the rain. I was slightly addicted to this place and had to come back here a couple of times to bask in the festivities!
And being in Switzerland, we couldn’t resist the Raclette…
On our final day in the city, we took a longer stroll down towards District 2, exploring the opposite side of the lake, taking in some stunning views of the lake. Zürich is chilly in the winter and we were caught in a mini snow blizzard, making our walk even more magical.
Then we headed back into the centre of town and warmed up with a huge pot of bubbling cheese fondue…mmm heavenly!
If you’re thinking about a weekender trip then don’t forget to consider Zürich. It’s a clean, sophisticated city filled with class and certainly on the pricey side, but definitely worth the visit. I’ve heard that summer is another experience entirely, with the lake acting as the central hub for a lot of the social activity in the area; so stay tuned… I’ll certainly be back!