In this series, Cédric Lizotte visits some of Europe’s best restaurants. He shares his inside knowledge about the best places to sample the delights of some of the best chefs on the planet. Follow his gastronomical journey with the hashtag #CedricInEurope.
ZURICH, Switzerland – Obviously, 24 hours in Zurich is not nearly enough. On the plus side, it’s possible to make brief visits to most highlights of this small town in a very short time. I hope you slept well last night, because you are in for a long day!
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READ ALSO: C&C’s complete destination guide to Zurich
24 Hours in Zurich: From the Station to the Lake
Zurich was built from the shores of Lake Zurich and extends to the Limmat River, which holds many points of interest for tourists.
Upon arrival by train, go through the Banhofplatz, then take the Banhofstrasse – the street from the station – and stroll on this beautiful street to the lake. Here you’ll find the museum of Swiss clocks, the Züghusplatz and Paradeplatz, in addition to the Bürkliplatz down the street, which give one a nice overall impression of the city. Back on the shores of Lake Zurich, be sure to pause and take in the view of the Alps (or perhaps you can even try the hiking trails of the Swiss Alps). Then return by the bank of the Limmat River. It’s lunchtime.
24 Hours in Zurich: Restaurant Bianchi
It’s well known that Switzerland is a combination of French and German cultures. But we sometimes forget the Italian side of the country. Indeed, 8.3 percent of the Swiss population is Italian-speaking! So why not take a bite of Italian-speaking Switzerland? Bianchi, on the banks of the Limmat River, includes a breathtaking terrace on the quay and a beautiful restaurant inside. Bianchi offers seafood and fresh pasta delivered with classic service, including white gloves, oysters and flutes of prosecco … pure luxury.
24 Hours in Zurich: Museums, Churches and Walks
There are many museums and churches of interest in Zurich, including Grossmunster, Fraumunster, Landesmuseum, Kunsthaus, Rietberg – in fact, it can be difficult to choose. If you’d rather spend time out of doors, the beautiful fall and summer days are perfect for long walks along Lake Zurich. Need coffee? The Conditorei Schober is straight out of a fairy tale. Prefer an afternoon snack? A beer and a charcuterie plate at the restaurant and butcher shop August is always a success.
Zurich is a city built on hills. One of these hills is Mount Zurich (Zurichberg), accessible from the Oberstrass neighborhood, a charming, winding residential area that is home to the Rigiblick funicular. A walk in this neighborhood is definitely worth your precious time. Or if you have plans of having an extended visit in the future, you can expand your walks to the Swiss National Park hiking trails that are easily accessible through Zurich.
24 Hours in Zurich: Restaurant Parkhuus
For dinner, I recommend Parkhuus. Park Hyatt Zurich’s restaurant offers local and imported luxury goods, prepared simply and elegantly. The portions are generous – a rare occurrence in this part of the world – and the service is impeccable. The menu lists the origins and producers of the dishes’ main ingredients — Is that not the way it should be everywhere? Click here to read my interview with the chef and see my photos!
Because Zurich is the most expensive city on the planet, your wallet might cry foul at the thought of a late-night cocktail. I certainly wouldn’t blame you.