Zurich is more of a global center for banking and finance and less of a destination city, however, it’s only an hour from Lucerne and is the biggest city in Switzerland so its airport is the most convenient to continue your travels through Europe. I enjoy staying in or close to a city center when traveling so I booked my accommodations in Old Town (Altstadt) which offered this cool nook with rooftop views.
The best part of solo travel is that it’s easy to make friends whether it’s a local or a fellow tourist who becomes a local when you visit them in their country. In Zurich, I met with a friend from High school who was a foreign exchange student at the time and we kept in touch after high school. It was an entirely different, unique experience being on “his turf” away from California and hearing him speak his native language in his home Country plus there’s nothing like getting tips from a local.
For lunch, we decided on Hiltl, a buffet-style restaurant Vegetarian since 1898 and holds the Guinness World Records for being the oldest continuously open vegetarian restaurant in the world.
It was a no-brainer that Hiltl was our go-to spot since I find buffet-style restaurants easiest while traveling. I love being able to pick and choose while also trying a little of everything and the Guinness World Records adds to its cool factor.
After lunch, we ventured to a nearby coffee shop where I asked him the most important question anyone can ask a local while in Switzerland. Where do I find the best Swiss Chocolate? He said that Läderach was the best, so off we went.
Apparently I was so over whelmed in “Willy Wonka” that I never snapped any photos so I found these online because I just had to share.
After tasting a few different chocolates, the chocolatier broke off my desired amount of Dark with Coconut and Hazelnut. The chocolate is then weighed and payment is made accordingly.
It's a fun experience walking into Läderach and seeing the visually pleasing assortment of chocolates, as for the taste it lives up to the "Swiss chocolate hype".
Taking in the architecture, I stumbled upon this beautiful church known as the "women's church" as it was built on the remains of a former abbey for aristocratic women, founded in 853.
- Free Walking Tour with Free Walk Zurich. They have a variety of tours, I went with their Downtown Zurich Tour which is great to get an idea of the city in a short amount of time, they even give you a piece of foiled Swiss Chocolate at the end of the tour.
- Grab lunch at Hilt the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world
- Indulge in the best Swiss Chocolate at Läderach (my Swiss friend recommended it so it’s Swiss approved)
- If you enjoy shopping, Bahnhofstrasse is lined with high-end couture shops and is the best-known shopping area in all of Zurich, supposedly it’s also the most expensive real estate in all of Europe.
- St. Peterskirche – One of the oldest churches in the city, this cathedral is best known for having the largest clock face in Europe.