Switzerland has always been kind of a mystery to me. There seems to be not one city that people unanimously agree should be visited in the country and though many different language and ethnic groups co-exist, it seems to almost be various small countries tied together by a man-made border. A Swiss guy I met while traveling actually kind of confirmed this as he told me that although there was a lot of tolerance there wasn’t much unity and not much nationalism or patriotism (which to be honest, at this point might be for the best- just look at the USA). So even to Swiss people, Switzerland is a mystery!
Anyways here are the few things I DO know about Switzerland: there is no official language- depending on the city and region, you can hear German, Italian, French or some mix of any of those. It’s crazy expensive. There’s the Swiss alps. They’re good at making knives and chocolate. And shady bank stuff goes on there…….so that’s about it. I know, not much lol!
I had the opportunity to spend 1 day and 1 night in Zurich in passing from Italy to Germany. More time would’ve certainly been nice, but time and especially money did not allow. However, I was able to get a taste of what the Swiss German part of Switzerland felt like.
1 day in Zurich (and how I spent it):
We departed Milan early-ish in the afternoon and headed towards Zurich via bus, which I think was actually a great call. It was a bit longer than a train or flight, but it was very scenic and we made a couple of stops along the way which turned out to be a great way to see a bit of the Swiss alps in passing. Sidenote- I bought a bunch of Swiss chocolates and baked goods on the stops we made and I have to confess that Swiss gas station chocolate is much better than Hershey’s. Also, they were selling swish knives everywhere….lol.
Anyways, mid afternoon we arrived in Zurich and we went straight to our Airbnb to drop our bags so we could get to exploring.
We only had that day in the city since we left for Munich early the next day but we were able to see most of the city center. We started our day by walking around Lake Zurich and then making our way through the shopping district. Let me just tell you, there were a lot of designer stores and high end luxury shops. Swiss people must be doing very well for themselves.
We then continued our way and walked through the old town which was weirdly quiet. There was also suprisngly what seemed to be a lot of national pride with Swiss flags flying from storefronts all around. But alas, we didn’t stop to question anything because we had to see everything in one day- so forged on!
We then walked up to Lindenhofplatz where we got a stunning panoramic view of the city as the sun came down!
By the time the sunset we had worked up our appetite and what else would you eat in Switzerland but fondue, beer, and schnitzel? We went to a restaurant which I cannot find or remember the name of for the life of me, but it was Niederdorfstrasse in the old town. It was honestly the perfect way to end the night.
We finally decided to call it a night and go back to our Airbnb since we had to be up early the next day.
All in all, I’d say it was a great way to get a taste of what Switzerland has to offer, but I defiantly want to go back and see more. I think when I return I’ll try do more of the alps and nature based things, but visiting Basel or Geneva could also be nice!