At around 6 in the morning at Nyon train station, we took the inter-regional train that headed to the direction of Brig. After 15 minutes, we got off at Lausanne and took another that would send us to Zurich. Two hours more, we finally arrived.
There we stood at one of the busiest railway stations in Switzerland. Zurich Hauptbahnhof is a major railway hub not only for Switzerland but also for neighboring European countries like Germany, Italy, Austria and France. The train station is already located at the Alstadt or central Zurich’s old town. A few more steps from there we found ourselves in Zurich’s main downtown street, Bahnhofstrasse. Known as one of the most expensive avenues for shopping in the world, Bahnhofstrasse is also where we started exploring this fancy Swiss city.
We found the first church we ought to see in Zurich, the Fraumunster. It is used to be a monastery for female aristocrats who had gained significant influence and political power in the city during the Middle Ages until the 15th century. By now it serves as a parish church, but still holds an important role. Apparently Fraumunster also houses the distinctive, masterful stained glass windows designed by the famous 20th century artist, Marc Chagall.
We turned further left passing by Munsterhof, a town square situated between Lindenhoff hill and Limmat river, and continued walking until we came across another church, St. Peter’s Church. This is used to be only the parish church in Zurich before the Reformation.
As we moved further up we found ourselves at the Lindenhof hill that is the historical site of the Roman castle and later on, the Carolingan Kaiserpflaz (imperial palace). It has remained as a civil meeting place, on which also, the Zurich citizens pledged their allegiance to the constitution of the Helvetic Republic, which represented an early attempt to unite cantons in Switzerland during the coming of the 18th century.
Nowadays, Lindenhof has become a favorite point for tourists like us to get a panoramic view of Zurich.
We went down the hill and crossed a bridge to reach Limmatquai. It is also one pleasant side of the city where you can find nice boutiques of bags, shoes, clothes, you name it! Or you can also stop by for coffee and do people watching. Not so far from this area is where you can find Grossmunster.
This Romanesque-style Grossmunster served as the starting point of the Reformation in Zurich under Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger in the 15th century. It was constructed in the 10th century dedicated to the martyrs Felix, Regula and Exuperantius, patron saints of Zurich. According to legend, Charlemagne commissioned its construction; the site of which was believed to be the graves of the said martyr-saints.
Definitely, summer in Switzerland is called for some Moevenpick ice cream, and some Sprungli to satisfy sweet cravings. For years of my stay in Switzerland, these heavenly divine delights remain my topmost choice. You can find Moevenpick almost everywhere in Switzerland; but Sprungli, you can only find it in Zurich.
By the time I had a first taste of its signature macarons Luxemburgerli and fell immediately in love with it, I already promised to myself that I’m going to visit this luxurious confectionery when I get to Zurich. And boy surely I did make it! Coming into their store, a full roster of colorful Luxemburgerli macarons and the intoxicatingly rich smell of Sprungli chocolates greeted me warmly, I finally gave in and bought boxes for my own delight. I really couldn’t get away without having one!
After going around the fancy streets of Zurich, off we returned to Bahnhofstrasse, for a little shopping. Seemingly I also couldn’t resist its pricey charm, as Zurich is truly known for.