If someone comes up to me and ask why they should travel to Switzerland, I’d ask them to grab a seat.
That’s because it could take a little while for me to explain how awesome the happiest country in the world is. I’m talking gorgeous scenery, amazing people and plenty of things to do (for single or family travellers alike!).
Now before you get giddy and start logging in to your favourite airline site, let me narrow down a place for you - The best place to start visiting the Alpine country is of course, Zurich!
Credit: True Nomads
Also known as the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich is a scenic city with a blend of old and new. With well curated museums, beautiful gardens and greeneries, well preserved medieval buildings and stunning architecture, there's just so much to do in Zurich!
[Looking for other travel guides to Europe? Check these out!]
1. Join a free walking tour of the cityCredit: kandas-adventures
Don’t just be a tourist. Be a traveller! That means you have to learn a thing or two about a city and the best way to learn is to discover it through the eyes of a local.
Check out Free Walk Zurich
, a non-profit organization offering free tours on foot with locals who are passionate about their cities and ready to give you local insights. All you have to do is show up at their rendezvous and walk with them.
The awesome part is you get to make new friends too!
How to join the free walking tour:
Visit their website for different types of walking tour packages that you can join here
2. Visit Zurich’s backyard mountain of UetlibergCredit: Andreas Hunziker on Flickr
Climb to the observation tower and savour the gorgeous view of Zurich and its surrounding landscapes from a higher point. Your jaw will drop in awe, like literally! Look to the north and yup, you will see the popular Black Forest too.
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You can also ride an aerial cable car to Felsenegg![/caption]
Few things to do includes hiking, walking along a planet trail to Felsenegg (an eight-mile walk along a scaled-down model of the solar system) or maybe wait to view a magnificent sunset.
How to get there:
Depart from the central station Zürich Hauptbahnhof on the S10 train and you will reach Uetliberg station in 20-30 minutes. The observation tower is a 10-minute walk away.
3. Go artsy fartsy and discover some Swiss artCredit: srf
The Kunsthaus Zürich (Museum of Fine Arts) is a popular museum to visit to appreciate arts in Zurich. Run by the Zurich Society of Arts, its collections consists of works by famous artists throughout the centuries such as Monet, Charles Munch and van Gogh. Besides paintings, the ground floor also houses changing exhibits of contemporary sculptures from living artists.
How to get there:
4. Savour the beauty of Lake Zurich and explore its vicinityCredit: Roland zh (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Sure you will love the view of Lake Zurich from land, but why not jump in a “pedalo” and get even more stunning view of the city! Pedalos are abundant for hire, but just make sure that you are feeling strong enough to pedal! ?
Or, you can also hop into a boat that will take you on a lovely 90-minute cruise around the lake.
Don’t forget to checkout the Viadukt – rows and rows of specialty shops, boutiques and cafes that runs under 36 arches!
Credit: cool-citiesHow to get there:
5. Visit Mahmood Mosque and get to know the local Muslim communityCredit: simple.advisor.travel
Minarets have been banned in Switzerland (boo!), so the only mosque with a minaret is the 50-year-old Mahmood Mosque in Forchstrasse, Zurich.
Currently run by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the mosque continues to stand tall until today. Activities in the community are often updated at the mosque so if you have some time to spare, join in one of their activities and learn more about living as Muslims in Swiss.
How to get there:
Pretty awesome huh? So what are you waiting for? Find some time (or an excuse) to visit Zurich and have a blast discovering the country!