I start the day off with breakfast at the hotel to fuel up for a morning of exploring Zurich on foot. This city is breathtaking. Despite the cloudy skies and chilly air, the city looms grand and impressive at every turn. Our tour guide begins by taking us to Bahnhofstrasse, one of the world’s most exclusive and expensive shopping streets. At about 1.4 kilometres long, it’s lined with designer boutiques from Chanel and Cartier to Dior and Louis Vuitton. Unlike Rodeo Drive, which I recently told you I didn’t like, this street has all the charm and character you’d expect from a world-class shopping district. From there, we wandered the winding lanes, taking in the city’s rich history and picturesque views. A tour of Zurich wouldn’t be complete without a pit stop at a chocolate shop and there are many to entice.
Check out Swiss chocolatier Laderach at Merkur for handmade delights that’ll make your mouth water. The smell alone will make your taste buds tingle. Row upon row of the most beautifully displayed Swiss chocolates that you know taste as good (better even) than they look, tempt you from the moment you step inside the shop. Afterwards, stop for an expensive but delicious hot chocolate at Conditorei (it puts North American hot chocolate to shame).
The shopping is impressive and extensive here in Zurich. From high-end designers to local artisans, there’s much flavour and diversity here. I loved Time Tunnel for its quirky wares (like the chandelier below) and retro home designs and fashions. It shares its real estate space with a hair salon — an unexpected find at the back of the shop that adds to its off-the-wall charm. There was something so totally European about it.
We enjoyed a stroll along the river Limmat and a boat ride along Lake Zurich, both of which provided stunning views of the city from different angles. But most of all, I loved the beauty that can be seen wherever you go, like the pretty flowers pictured below, sold along a sleepy street. The chocolate shops and cafes feel like they’re straight out of a story book, so pretty and perfect, like a fairy tale. The streets are unbelievably clean — it’s rare to see any litter and despite the hustle and bustle of the workday streets, there’s something calm and peaceful, too, even in the heart of downtown. Everything seems so organized and efficient, making Zurich an easy place to grow accustomed to.