Zurich, Switzerland is on the short list of my favorite cities in Europe (the other contenders include: Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Helsinki, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Athens, Lisbon, Salzburg, Budapest, Brasov, and Bruges – Moscow and Istanbul if you count those too). The thing about Zurich is that it is so pretty, the Swiss people are very kind, it has a great nightlife scene, and there are plenty of day trips to do in the area.
On previous trips to Zurich I have done the free walking tour, this is always helpful when traveling. They take you to Fraumunster Church and the famous stained glass windows on the interior, you have to pay 5 francs to enter though. The city also has multiple elevated parks as well that provide incredible views.
Highlights of Zurich
My favorite part of Zurich is the abundance of grass beaches throughout the city. Zurichhorn on the east side of the city is the most popular spot. Sunbathers go here to read books and relax. There is also an outdoor movie theater and multiple ice cream stands. Arboretum at Rentenwiese was also an amazing spot just to the west of downtown. I went here twice and the display of Swiss chicks was spectacular, probably due to the proximity to downtown. The city also has public swim houses along the river. You can pay around 8 francs and relax all day by a natural pool. I opted against it because I like to rough it in the wild.
Visiting Letten in Zurich
Another must visit in the summertime is the neighborhood called Letten. People chill outside on wooden docks, jump in the river, and just generally have a great time. The little neighborhoods in Zurich are adorable and each has its own distinct kind of fun. Escher Wyss north of town, towards the largest skyscraper in the city, has this really cool outdoor park with bars built out of shipping crates and an outdoor surfing thing. Josefwiese is a park built around an elevated train line that has shops and bars beneath it.
Take a Visit to Liechtenstein
From Zurich you can take a day trip to Liechtenstein. One of the smallest countries in the world and one of two double landlocked nations (google that, Uzbekistan is the other, a stop on my 2023 ventures), Liechtenstein is a principality and each of its villages are connected via pathways throughout this 25 km long country. It was an amazing ride from Zurich to Vaduz, the capital, and another country to tick off my list. A beautiful downtown and a city that can be explored during summer or winter, Zurich is a must visit for anyone heading to the Alps region of Europe.
"Harvey Falcon" is the the senior adventure corespondant for Ski Bum Van Life. From Europe to Asia to South America and beyond Harvey offers an exciting take on adventure travel. Read all his stories here.
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