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Few hours in Zurich

Islamabad
2 posts
Few hours in Zurich

I will arrive Zurich at 6:20am on May 4th & my next flight to Madrid will be at 12:35pm. I would like to visit Zurich city to spend few hours before my next flight. Pls suggest me how to manage and what will be the weather conditions generally? Can I manage it within the small budget of 100 euros?

Thanks,

Zahid

daryan01@hotmail.com

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235 replies to this topic
Zurich, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Zurich
Level Contributor
3,121 posts
34 reviews
1. Re: Few hours in Zurich

Thanksfully the train connections from the airport to the city centre are good and fast. Also the town of Zurich is pretty compact so that even with only a few hours you will be able to see a good part of it.

With your early arrival, the city will be somewhat dead at the beginning as most shops open at around 9 or 10 am. In your case I recommend the following route: Take any train to Zurich and leave it at Hauptbahnhof or HB (which means main station in German). Walk a short part along famous Bahnhofstrasse, which starts just opposite of the train station. After a few blocks turn left diagonally into Rennweg, where old town begins. Then take a left at the very small alley called Fortunagasse. It leads you up to Lindenhof, a tranquil square where often people can be watched playing giant chess. From here you have a nice view across the river Limmat towards the part of old town called Niederdorf. It's also the oldest section of the whole town with houses dating back to 12th century. Descend southwards along Pfalzgasse and Schlüsselgasse. You will pass St. Peter church, with the largest clock face of Europe. Further southwards you will reach Fraumünster church. Visit it from the inside - it's very famous for its modern windows created by artist Marc Chagall. After this continue south along the river, passing impressing houses from 19th century, until you will reach the lake. Hopefully it will be a clear sunny day and you will be able to see the mountain range from here. There are nice parks along the lake shore if you feel like having a short walk or just relax on a bench. On your way back to the train station you have two options:

A If you like (window)shopping, then take Bahnhofstrasse, which stretches all the way from the lake to the train station. Shops should be open at this time.

B cross the bridge and walk through old town (first part called Oberdorf, then Niederdorf) back towards the station. A visit of Grossmünster, the largest church of town, is recommendable. There is also a crypte and you could climb one of the two towers, from where there is a fantastic view. The alleys in that part are lined with small shops, restaurants and bars.

I would take a train back to the airport around 10.30 am to be there at time.

Islamabad
2 posts
2. Re: Few hours in Zurich

Thanks a lot for early feedback. Should i carry some warm clothes as well?

Zurich, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Zurich
Level Contributor
3,121 posts
34 reviews
3. Re: Few hours in Zurich

Weather is difficult to predict. But normally in May the temperatures should be agreable, maybe 10 C in the early morning and around 20 C in the afternoon. So I would bring a jacket with me, but you definitively won't need a winter coat or gloves.

Your budget shouldn't be a problem. All you need is a return train ticket, which is at the same time a 24hours pass for all means of transportation within the city. It currently costs CHF 12.40 in second class (about 8.50 euros). And maybe a few francs for a coffee breack. Only if you plan to buy a watch in one of the boutiques along Bahnhofstrasse it will be more expensive ;-)

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
120 posts
127 reviews
4. Re: Few hours in Zurich

I would look into taking a boat trip on the lake, preferably on a Paddle Steamer to Rapperswil and back. Another thing is to get the mountain train up to Uetliberg, which offers a panoramic view of Zurich and the Lake of Zurich. Its only a 20 minute trip from Zurich Hauptbahnhof. I think its Line 10

Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
59 posts
31 reviews
5. Re: Few hours in Zurich

@oller Even though I didn't ask the question, your answer was exactly what I was looking for. I have a just-more-than-two-hour train connection in Zurich, and I'm basing my (rapid) explorations on your suggested route. (Luckily I'm a really tall guy with long long legs :)

Anyway, this is just to say thank you very much for your posting -- it seems perfect.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Few hours in Zurich

@oller: Thank you so much for this! I won't be there 'til September 2011 but I am already planning. I will be there two days and nights (a Friday and a Thursday) at the beginning and end of my trip. I am trying to decide on a hotel area. Which is safer for a woman traveling alone? Near the airport or near Hauptbahnhof? Which area is quieter late at night? Can you walk through your suggested route at night time? Is Bahnhofstrasse safe after dark? Thanks so much for any input anyone can give.

Vikki

los angeles
Level Contributor
1,086 posts
103 reviews
7. Re: Few hours in Zurich

thank you everyone for posting this, I have a 7 hour layover potentially in June from 3:45 pm til departing plane 10:45pm....are all of these various possible things all doable? Not to do ALL of them, I just meant, would I have my pick or are some of these itineraries not doable with only really 4-5hrs max of time before having to head back to the airport?

Zurich, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Zurich
Level Contributor
3,121 posts
34 reviews
8. Re: Few hours in Zurich

The whole mentionned itinerary should be doable within 4-5 hours as the centre of Zurich is pretty compact. Of course it always depends on your pace - if you're a shopaholic then you will miss part of the attractions... By the way: Shops close between 6.30 and 8 pm, so you might like to visit Bahnhofstrasse first.

Philadelphia...
3 posts
9. Re: Few hours in Zurich

My son will be in the same position of having a layover in Zurich for 6-7 hours next week and he was wondering about this very issue, so I'll be sure to pass all these wonderful suggestions/itineraries onto him. However, one thing no one seems to mention is food. I now that he loves cheese and would love to eat some real raclette or fondue so does anyone have a suggestion for a place in Zurich for my budget-traveling, nothing-fancy son? Either that, or a good cafe with wonderful pastries etc?

Netherlands
Destination Expert
for Guernsey
Level Contributor
5,321 posts
48 reviews
10. Re: Few hours in Zurich

thanks for this itinerary! I'll be spending a Saturday in Zurich next week and this looks like a good way to do it!

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