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Travel Review: Zurich, Switzerland

Adina Oditt

Known as Switzerland‘s largest city, Zurich is the first place tourists flog to. It is often referred to as the “portal to the Alps” because of the city’s close distance to tourist resorts in the Swiss Alps. Contrary to what some believe, Zurich is not the capital of Switzerland (that honor belongs to Berne.) However, Zurich has successfully generated a cosmopolitan vibe which has made it a fascinating and worthwhile travel destination. Furthermore, Zurich has been consistently ranked as the city with the best quality of life as well as the wealthiest city in Europe.

Airlines: Switzerland is highly accessible from all corners of the globe. Switzerland’s flag carrier airline, Swiss International Air Line, takes passengers directly to Zurich Airport, which is Switzerland’s largest and busiest airport.

Hotels/Lodging: Zurich is the financial center of Switzerland, and most travelers come with lots of money on them. Zurich is known for its superb hotels, but these won’t come cheap. As a result, the hospitality sector falls in the 4 and 5 star category. Whether you are a business traveler or a leisure traveler, finding a hotel to suit your need and budget is not a tough job. On your visit, stay in some of Zurich’s most luxurious hotels, including Alden Hotel Splugenschloss, Hotel Zum Storchen, Baur Au Lac, and Park Hyatt Zurich. These establishments will allow you to enjoy the best of modern-day comfort and luxuries, blended with traditional hospitality. Bed and breakfasts are also very popular in Zurich. The city also offers an amazing selection of mid-range accommodations, including the X-Tra Hotel, Hotel Bristol Zurich, Hotel Wildenmann, and Best Western Premier Hotel Glockenhof. For budget travelers, hotels, such as Hostel Suisse and Youthhostel Zurich, are simply unbeatable.

Attractions/Sightseeing: Zurich offers so many sights to see. A relaxed stroll through the city reveals something amazing at every corner: architectural highlights, historic squares, streets and districts, churches, works of art, and much more. The city is also visually striking, with the River Limmat snaking through and the snow-covered Alps looming in the background. Being fairly compact for a major European city, Zurich is perhaps best seen on foot. Cultural attractions are aplenty. Zurich boasts over two dozen museums, including the renowned Kunsthaus and the intriguing Swiss National Museum. As for distinctive architecture, check out the twin towers at Grossmünster Cathedral as well as the seventeenth century Rathus, which is Zurich’s baroque town hall. Shoppers will want to stroll down the cosmopolitan Bahnhofstrasse, where they can get anything from diamond rings to chocolate to fur coats.

Cuisine: Probably the most famous of Swiss foods, fondue is typically a pot of melted cheese into which you dip pieces of bread. Although cheese fondue is the most popular, fondue does not necessarily have to be made with cheese; there are meat fondues, too. Breakfast is one of the best meals in Switzerland. Muesli was invented in Switzerland and is always available for breakfast. Switzerland also has a great variety of breads. The Zopf is a white bread often eaten on Sundays for breakfast with butter, cheese, jam, or honey. Like most European cities, Zurich is abundant with cafés where you can enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee, glass of wine, or other beverage. For the best dining and entertainment, take in Niederdorf, which is the historic old town in city center.

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