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Old Town

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Visit of the Old Town of Zurich


Zurich has a beautiful old town and a center that reminds me on some Italian and French Mediterranean city. At the left and at the right side of the Limmat between the Zurich Lake and the main station, the life of Zurich happens, either in the daytime as also at nights. A mere walk alongside the river or the lake shore is a joy for half a day.

View from the Großmünster to the Limmat in northern direction

At the left and at the right side of the Limmat there are partly some glorious buildings with adornments and ornaments that can't be more laborious. One gets a stunning view to the Limmat and the old town by walking up to the Lindenhof. There, one arrives to a picturesque little park right above the Limmat. From there, one has a view over numerous houses. With plenty of banks in shady places, this little park offers a nice way to relax if the legs start to ache from walking.

The Fraumünster (left) and the St. Peter (right) at the western shore of the Limmat

At the left and at the right side of the Limmat there are three big churches visible, the St. Peter, the Fraumünster and the Großmünster. The Fraumünster is specially known because of its Chagall window and the rosette. St. Peter is the oldest parish church of Zurich. One can clamber the tower on the stairs and will be rewarded by a glorious view over the city.

The towers of the Großmünster at night

But from the Großmünster, one has an even better view. From there, one of course also sees the St. Peter at the other river shore side and therewith the biggest clock face of Europe. It has a diameter of 8,70 m. From Großmünster, one does not only see the old town but one has also an overview up to the city limits of Zurich, the Zurich Lake and at a clear sight even the mountains in the background with a height of nearly 3.000 m.

Right at the eastern river shore there is also the city hall. Already situated at the Lake, there is the opera of Zurich with its big forecourt. Once arrived at the lake, of course there is the possibility offered of having a little walk alongside both of the shores. The views to the opposite shore are too beautiful; and the magnificent buildings at the boardwalks are too fascinating.

Shopping in Zurich

What is also well worth seeing in Zurich is the main station with its glorious cladding. From the main station - how could it be different - the main station street (Bahnhofstraße) begins in direction to the Zurich Lake. Those who rent a shop location or buy an estate here pay the highest prices in Europe. A walk through the main station street (Bahnhofstraße) is not only worthwhile due to its exclusive shops but also due to the well worth seeing buildings at the left and at the right side of the street.

The front part of the main station of Zurich

In the main station street (Bahnhofstraße) there are all the famous shops that offer exclusive and expensive stuff: Christ, Bally, many watch shops, gourmet shops and, of course, the big Swiss banks. Of course there are also shops like C&A, but those are rather in one of the numerous side streets at the right and the left side of the main station street (Bahnhofstraße).

The main station street (Bahnhofstraße) close to the main station

Nearly at the lake there is the Parade Place (Paradeplatz) where the Café Sprüngli is located. Here, everybody should have a stop and enjoy one of those delicacies. At the front of the café there are approximately 20 tables; those wo do not get a place outside will get one at the first floor guaranteed. Sprüngli is known for delicious chocolate, but what is available in the Sprüngli house beats all things happened until now. Those who want to have a coffee there can walk by themselves into the "shop" and get his deliciousness. Chocolates, cake and open rolls, nearly everything is available and always arranged as a highest delicacy. Who does not get hungry then... unfortunately, these good things are also high priced: a piece of cake costs a minimum of 3 €, also the other little appetizers are hardly available under 3 €.

A delicacy of Cafe Sprüngli that tasted so incredibly good...

Apropos prices in Zurich. With its shops, the main station street (Bahnhofstraße) is a gorgeous shopping road where shopping can be real fun. But those who have an average budget will not have fun by shopping in Zurich. The prices are simply horrendous. No matter if one buys a pair of shoes, an electronical item, a garment or a watch, one regognizes immediately that the same item is available in Germany for at least 30% less. Thus, the shopping in Zurich becomes rather a window shopping or a mere gazing. Good to those who can afford to leave this city with replete shopping bags. But those also first have to get their "bargains" through the customs; as known, there is still a control at the Swiss border...

Going out at night

Zurich is not a city in which the lights go down at 9.00 p.m. and the city falls to sleep. In Zurich, there is hustle and bustle until late at night, not only at the week-ends. Even in the main station street (Bahnhofstraße), where at daytime the shopping and business life of the city flourishes, late in the evening there are still hundreds of people.

But the real district of the city for going out is situated at the eastern shore of the Limmat. Right at the Limmat quay, thus at the shore, as also in the parallel streets Niederdorf Street and Münster Alley there is one restaurant after the next and numerous pubs and bars. This area is specially pleasant in the summer time, as nearly all restaurants have outdoor tables. Then, one feels there like in a Mediterranian coast.

The are many different kinds of restaurants, original Swiss cuisine, Italian, and exotic restaurants like Japanese. In fact, there are no bad locals in this area. But what all have in common is that the prices are extremly high. For a good dinner for two one has to plan approximately 50 €, if dining in a "normal" way. This is the way Zurich is.

A few times per year, the grass is painted red in Zurich when the Swiss people celebrate their festivals. In spring time, there is the Festival of the Six o Clock Bells with the procession of the crafts. In autumn, there is the Boys Shooting Match together with a fun fare. And every 3 years there is the big Züri-Fäscht (Zurich Festival), where the old town, the lake shore and the shore of the Limmat build together a huge fairground. Thus, the big fire works on the lake are very well worth seeing.

Bathing in the Limmat

Swimming pool in the Limmat

Where is it possible to bath in Zurich? In the public swimming pool, of course, but this would be boring if there is a river and a lake in the centre of the city. It is possible to bath in the Zurich Lake itself, but in the city of Zurich there are no lawns for sunbathing.

But is is possible to have a beautiful bath at the lower side of the Limmat. There, there is a river pool, where one swims in a delimited area of the river. Normally, one has concerns about the water quality by swimming in a river. Not in Zurich, as the Limmat straight disembogues from the Zurich Lake. Thus, there is still lake water and no river water. Due to the reason that the swimming pool is practically situated in the centre of the river, one gets a lot of sunlight until late in the evening. What is nicer than relax for a few hours in the sun after an exhaustive city sight seeing and before having a strong dinner?

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